FSU Practice Report 08.26.10

Bert Reed warms up before practice. It's a good sign for the 'Noles that the leading receiver from 2009 isn't even starting.

Fisher led off with some fluff about Samford, which is actually a decent 1-AA team.

Andrew Carter with a nice quote from Fisher about Willie Haulstead who apparently is starting:

-Speaking of Reed, Fisher downplayed the fact that he's not starting. Fisher said, "It ain't nothing Bert's doing wrong, guys. Willie Haulstead is a big, good player. You've got to play ‘em all. I mean, you guys act like a guy gets beat out ... Josh Reed [at LSU] won the Biletnikoff and never started a game as a junior. Never started one game as a junior and won the Biletnikoff Award as a senior. And still caught 80 balls as a sophomore."

With how FSU recruits the position, I am rarely worried about the receivers.  I still think 200 catches and 2600 yards from Bert Reed, Taiwan Easterling, Willie Haulstead and Rodney Smith is well within reach, no matter the order of depth chart.

Here's the quotes from the FSU press release, and my comments:

Fisher confirmed that junior receiver Taiwan Easterling has climbed ahead of sophomore Rodney Smith on the depth chart at the "Z" position. Easterling, who sat out the spring to play for the FSU baseball team, is second on the team with 65 career receptions. "He's playing good ball," said Fisher. "He's a veteran. You can move him around to different spots and different positions. He's doing a solid job."  

I mentioned this might happen in this morning's preview, and have now added the update.  No doubt Easterling will move around in three or four receiver packages.  The top four is still some order of Reed, Easterling, Smith, and Haulstead.   

FSU's defense has been raised for their significant improvement since spring practice, but Fisher said he was a bit concerned about the Seminoles' run defense. "The last two days in a row we ran the ball really good on the inside and knocked them out; had some really big plays coming out of there," he said. "They've got to tighten that up a little bit, but for the most part they've done really well. The secondary has been playing really well."

With only one upperclassman on the defensive line, the run defense is not going to be good this season.  FSU needs it to be average.

G-Reid, Joyner figure in return plan It should come as no surprise that sophomore Greg Reid, who led the nation in punt return average last season, and freshman Lamarcus Joyner will be used extensively in the return game by special teams coach Eddie Gran. "They're both dynamic; probably two of the most explosive players with the ball in their hands that we have on the team," Fisher said. "That's the greatest space you're playing in, so why don't you want to have your best players?" Now imagine how much better the two instinctive return men might be with a healthy dose of front-line players blocking in front of them, which is a significant departure from last season. "You've got to be sound and we've got a lot of good mid-skill level guys that can run with big bodies that can block," Fisher said. "We ought to have a chance to be pretty good on that unit, I would think. Hopefully we don't have to use it a lot." Allowing Gran to choose from nearly the entire roster isn't exactly an upset for Fisher. "All of the good teams I've been on, everybody played," said Fisher. "The best special teams players I was ever around in my life (were LSU's) Michael Clayton and Justin Vincent. The year we won the national championship (Clayton) was a freshman and an1,100-yard rusher and leading tackler on special teams and MVP."

I happen to think Joyner might be a better kick returner than Reid.  Still expect Reid to be the best punt return guy in the country.

Junior right guard starter David Spurlock took some contact work in practice for the first time in two weeks. "He didn't miss anything," Fisher said. "We didn't give him the whole practice but we gave him about three-quarters of it and he looked pretty good." Redshirt freshman Bryan Stork earned most of the repetitions in Spurlock's absence.  

Good to see Spurlock is back as expected.  

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