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Questions heading into next year......




What should we expect next year? I expect to win the ACC. Hands down. Anything less than an appearance in the ACC Championship Game is a huge dissappointment and reason to take a serious look at this coaching staff. We should finish in the top ten in the BCS polls, and probably top 5. This year wasn't the year for all the hype. I honestly believe ABC was behind the top 5 ranking just to sell the matchup between FSU and Oklahoma. Next year will be the year that we are legit if we can answer the following questions.......

A) Is E.J. the QB we thought he was? I'm not completely off the E.J. bandwagon yet, but I need to see drasctic improvement in the pocket next year. I don't know if it's the injury or that we just thought he was much better than we thought he was. Either way, if his pocket presence isn't much better next year it won't matter if he is healthy or not. Do we need to hope that Winston can walk in and be ready to at least challenge for the job his first year? Should we hope for Coker to step in? We have the recievers for him to be successful, the only other factor is.....

2) Can we win big with the current OLine personell and scheme? Rick Trickett was suppose to have been the big "get" of the coaching staff. He was widely regarded as the best OLine coach in the nation at the time. When he took over, the OLine was a mess. There was really nowhere to go but up for the unit. They did improve mightily and Trickett was seen as doing what he does, coahing up a bad OLine. This year, we can't help but wonder if it wasn't that the players were just really THAT good. Maybe it wasn't Trickett so much, but that the personell was just that good. This year, the Oline play is some of the worst I've seen from a program as strong as FSU. Thereis no excuse to have to start a 17 year old at tackle. That screams bad recruiting and running off too many players. I know you don't want players that can't hack it, but you can't run off everybody. Maybe his scheme just doesn't work with the players he has. I've never been a fan of the zone blocking scheme, myself. I'd rather just line up our big boys and knock theirs on their collective asses. This OLine isn't just getting beat physically, they are flat out missing assignments on a regular basis. They don't appear to have been coached at all.

D) Will the playcalling improve? This cost us a shutout against Florida. With the piss poor showing from the offense as a whole, the only thing I was holding onto Saturday was to shut out the Gators in the Swamp. That hope was dashed when, for some reason, we didn't let our big backs grind out the clock. The offense has sputtered all night, so I can understand the decision to just grind it out. What I don't understand is the decision to not let Wilder come in and grind it out, or at least let Pryor do it. Why Thomas? No one grinds it out with the little guy. I was crushed when Florida recovered that fumble, and I coudn't figure out why he was even in the game. That's not a knock on Thomas, he's a good back. He's just not the guy I want to grind out the clock behind a porous OLine. You need a big boy for that. I've questioned Jimbo's playcalling all season. I'm a fan. It's my job. I think Jimbo is a smart offenive guy, but he needs to hire a coordinator next year. There's not enought ime for him to carry out his duties as head coach and have time left to focus on the offense like he needs to to run it properly. Jimbo is a Saban disciple. That is what he was hired for, moreso than his resume as an OC. While his offenses were good at LSU, they were never pretty. Last year, the offense was a thing of beauty with Ponder. This year, it's like we have no idenity on offense. We dink and dunk then sling it deep. We run the option read from the shotgun, but E.J. seems to never keep the ball. He's misread too many of those plays for us to keep running them as much as we do. We need an identity.

In summary, these are the questions that will need to be answered in the offseason. I know it maw sound like I'm down on the team, but I really do have high expectations of this team next year. That doesn't mean there aren't questions to be asked this offseason, and it sure doesn't mean FSU isn't light years ahead of where things were two or three years ago. Let's not lose sight of that.


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