Morning Tomahawks 09.10.09: Christian Ponder is more team than Mickey Andrews

After the loss to Miami, Christian Ponder blamed himself for a pass that Jarmon Fortson should have caught.  Jimbo Fisher defended Christian Ponder and blamed himself, saying he could have called a better game (despite receiving a lot of recognition for calling a fine game).  But Mickey Andews, FSU's defensive coordinator whose unit gave up 476 yards, 25 1st downs, and 38 points, blamed his players lack of execution, tackling, and missing assignments.  it seems that in Andrews' mind, he was flawless.  And the gap between the offensive and defensive coaching staffs continues to widen.  One group will be here long term.  The other won't last even 6 more months.  One tirelessly works to improve themselves and the program.  The other selfishly tries to save their reputation and polish their resume's for their next coaching position (which for some, seems very unlikely to come).  Whether or not the defensive players played poorly, Andrews' comments and actions show a lack of accountability and that lack of accountability permeates the defense.  You won't hear excuses from the offense, because the offense is coached by someone who cares about the future of the program, not someone who had to be begged back so that Bobby Bowden wouldn't feel alone on his own staff.  There's a legitimate concern that the offense will start to resent the defense and as a result, start to press too much, rather than just playing their own game.  That's a concern that the offensive staff must guard against, but it's sad that we are even having to mention this.  

Speaking of accountability, Jarmon Fortson didn't say much after the game, but FSU's Fortson practices diving catch  Tallahassee Democrat:  As the offensive players were walking off the field Wednesday — after their first practice since Monday night’s heartbreaking loss — there was one player who was noticeably getting a little extra work in. Sophomore Jarmon Forston was practicing the exact route he ran on the game’s final play against the Hurricanes, and the student assistant throwing the passes was keeping the ball low so Fortson had to kneel down, or dive, to catch it. Just like Monday night as well.

Lots more inside.  Film review will be posted Friday morning or late tonight.

Corey Clark of the Democrat has some really good thoughts on the game. Check it out.
Christian Ponder is a special football player. He just is. I know it’s been a while since Florida State fans had complete confidence in one of their quarterbacks, but I think this kid is going to make a believer out of everyone – if he hasn’t already. It’s a shame, actually. With Jarmon Forston’s drop against Miami and Marcus Sims’ fumble into the end zone against Georgia Tech, Ponder had been denied two memorable, last-second, game-winning drives. But the guy just makes plays. The last throw was RIGHT where it had to be.   Speaking of … another reason to admire Ponder. After the game when he was asked about that play, he took full responsibility. Said it was a "poor throw." I didn’t buy it. I thought he threw it exactly where he wanted to, where he needed to, and his receiver just dropped it. Jimbo Fisher agreed with me, by the way when I brought that up. Said he was supposed to keep the pass low so Fortson could cradle it and a defender’s hands couldn’t bat it away. But what kind of leadership does that show from Ponder? To take the blame, on a play like that, when it wasn’t his fault? Like I said, he’s a special player. And he was in complete control all night against the Canes.

Good article on Jacobbi McDaniel looking to play a bigger role for the Noles. You can count on that.

FSU's Pryor moving to fullback Tallahassee Democrat
Lonnie Pryor is likely to see some playing time on Saturday against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks. Pryor tries really hard, has a lot of talent, and really is just a good football player. He's not yet ready to be a tailback in lour scheme, so we find him other ways to get the ball.

And last but definitely not least, Jeff Cameron of 1270 The Team gets Jimbo Fisher for a weekly Series.  Here is the first installment!

Discussed are Christian Ponder, Randy Shannon, adjustments, and preparation!  Fisher sounds smart and he understands what other teams are doing.

Here's a good photo of the better pass protection.  Christian Steps up and delivers a strike:

Improved_protection_medium with a nice article on the Jacksonville State QB situation.  

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