Noles News 08.10.11: FSU Practice Day Two

FSU returned to practice yesterday for its second day in helmets and shorts. I'll summarize the Seminoles' practice in one paragraph because I know y'all are busy.

Fisher was again pleased with the team's attitude. He said there were some mistakes, but that they were tolerable with how much FSU was able to install. RB Chris Thompson was held out (back) as a planned precautionary measure and RB Jermaine Thomas missed practice with migraines. Fisher praised freshmen Devonta Freeman and James Wilder, Jr. in their absence. Fisher said Freeman had the jump on Wilder because of Spring practice (as we said). Fisher said the team needs Thomas and that he is a very good back. Fisher says attitude and competition is what sticks out about this team. He said the tempo isn't different, but the program is not new to them now. Avis Commack is not moving back to offense, and is doing well at DB. The freshmen are overwhelmed, but the tempo of practice helps them get more reps, and Fisher is very impressed with their maturity. Fisher was surprised and pleased with how much size freshman interior offensive lineman Austin Barron put on. Nigel Bradham is an extremely vocal leader now as a senior.

Ok, I lied. Two paragraphs. Telvin Smith is strictly at Mike linebacker. Fisher said he is fine with a 215-pound Mike linebacker because playing linebacker is all about instincts. Reading into this more, Fisher also means to say (didn't expound much on this) that he is extremely jazzed about the defensive line being able to keep blockers off of Telvin. Trust me, FSU would not play a 215-pound Mike linebacker if that linebacker had to shed a lot of blocks. Fisher also went into stuff we've covered previously about the need to play Telvin against passing/spread teams, and the need for the Mike to get quality depth drops when playing quarters and Tampa-2 coverage (Can't play cover-3 every snap, haha). If Fisher is that confident in this line, so should you be. And to think, no seniors! So Telvin Smith running free of blockers. If he starts 14 games and the line keeps him free of blockers, he could easily best 120 tackles, as his instincts are unparalleled. 

The time has come for Florida State receivers - Tallahassee Florida State Seminoles | Examiner.com
This is a subject that has been discussed repeatedly over the past year and off-season. Florida State needs their talented group of receivers to step up to the plate. A combined 8 years of experience for the trio of Bert Reed, Willie Haulstead and Rodney Smith. But with Nick O'Leary, Jimbo can threaten them with going double-tights as a base formation and not playing as many receivers.

Ranking Offensive Lines (Fun Stat Nerd Tidbit: LSU) - Football Study Hall
A look at college football's best offensive lines. Please do read the explanation. FSU did not fare too well, thanks in large part to giving up a boatload of sacks to Wake, UVA and BYU early in the year when Datko and Sanders were hurt.

Improved FSU could give ACC's reputation a boost | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper
The Atlantic Coast Conference's reputation has taken plenty of hits in recent years. Jimbo Fisher figures it's time to change that.

Chat: Chat with Heather Dinich - SportsNation - ESPN

I feel that BC is unfairly punished each year because of the small-school fanbase. Could you name any other program that if they had both the pre-season Offensive and Defensive players of the year would be picked fourth in their division? Heather Dinich  (1:40 PM) You make a great point. With two of the best players in the league you'd think expectations would be higher. Here's the thing, though: FSU has three running backs who could put up Montel Harris-type numbers. Other teams are deeper.

Exactly. Montel Harris would not start for FSU.

The ITB Preseason 2011 Top 10

#6 Florida State: The Noles are set up to run through the ACC, again. They closed out the season in big fashion putting the screws to Sakerlina in the Chick-fil-A Bowl and reaching their first ACC championship game since 2005. Expect them to be back in Charlotte this year. EJ Manuel is finally taking full control of Jimbo's offense, he's like the kid who got had to wait until his older brother left for college to get his true shine on. This is his year and with Brandon Jenkins and Greg Reid highlighting a defense that has another year in the system under their belt he's capable of taking the Noles the distance if they can get past the Sooners.

Rivals

Pre-Snap Read: #24-Miami

There’s talent here. And plenty of experience across the board: a senior at quarterback, seniors at receiver, seniors along the interior of the offensive line, on the defensive line and at linebacker. Hopefully, Miami now has the coaching to take advantage of its talent and experience. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves and begin thinking about 2012, as that’s a different story altogether. Golden will need to really get to work on the recruiting trail, searching for immediate-type prospects, to overcome the losses that await after this season. But in this coming year, the Hurricanes have all the pieces to win nine games. Here’s what needs to be addressed: quarterback, offensive tackle, middle linebacker, cornerback. Yeah, Harris is an enormous question mark. All he needs is mental work, however, and I think the coaching change will provide him with the fresh start his career so desperately needed. Along the line, perhaps Henderson can return at some point this season and provide a boost. Middle linebacker: Spence can move if needed, so Miami has that trump card – though I don’t think Golden wants to do that. Cornerback is and will remain an issue throughout the year, in my mind, and it’s the primary reason why the defense might take a slight step back. Above all else, bringing in a replacement for Shannon – not even that it’s necessarily Golden, but any replacement – will be the biggest reason why Miami should step into a national ranking in 2011. That it’s Golden, a no-nonsense coach who has immediately reinstated accountability on the roster, is the icing. I like Miami to really bounce back in 2011.

The Florida Fix: Charlie Weis is the last, best hope to salvage the Gators’ John Brantley experience - Dr. Saturday - NCAAF Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Weis is a really good offensive coach. And not much of a head coach. Good and detailed rehash of what I wrote months ago.

OU LB Travis Lewis to miss up to 8 weeks - Crimson And Cream Machine
He is arguably OU's best defensive payer. But OU is super deep at linebacker.

Other CFB

New Classification Scheme - Every Day Should Be Saturday
Just read it. Wow.

Pre-Snap Read: #25-Houston

Houston’s not going to run through the season undefeated, thanks to this defense, but the offense will be good enough to win 10 games and the Conference USA West division. Sound familiar? That’s nearly a verbatim quote from last year’s preview, and I have no problem with that: new year, same story — minus the injuries, Houston hopes. Keenum’s return spells an offensive resurgence of sorts, as while the Cougars still moved the ball with ease in 2010 the offense certainly missed its Heisman hopeful under center. If healthy, Keenum will be the most prolific quarterback in college football; if he’s healthy, U.H. will again rank among the five most potent offensive teams in the country. And that, if for no other reason, is why Houston is going to win 10 games. Yeah, there’s a lot riding on health. You can say that about countless teams across the country, however, and Houston has good enough depth at receiver and running back though — and maybe even quarterback, though that’s a frightening scenario — to suffer an injury or two and still keep racking up the points. It’s the defense, once again, that’ll keep U.H. from making a run towards the B.C.S., though there’s a fair chance that the Cougars are able to finish the regular season 12-0. I think the front seven is going to be better, but the secondary is a tremendous concern. S.M.U., for instance, could pass for 500 yards on the Cougars. But the offense will offset the defensive liabilities. And when all is said and done, Houston will be one of the four or five best non-B.C.S. conference teams in the country. To me, anything less than 10-2 in the regular season would be a disappointment.

Pre-Snap Read: #26-UGA

Georgia’s primed for a bounce-back year, complete with a run towards 10 wins and a shot at the SEC East division. There’s no reason why the Bulldogs can’t even make noise on the national stage; there’s just one caveat: we’ve said the same of Georgia over the last two years only to be disappointed, so I think the safest bet is to sit back and wait for signs of life from a program once full of vim and vigor, now desperately searching for a spark. To keep that metaphor going, Georgia’s sitting on a bed of coals — the talent, the hunger, the schedule — and needs only someone, or something, to light the match. I think the Bulldogs will find a spark from a new-look defensive front, which could be very good, and a secondary that ranks among the top half of the SEC. So what’s holding Georgia back? There are question to address. Will Jenkins and Geathers provide the push the line needs on the nose? Can the youngsters at linebacker play up to their potential? What about the new receiver corps? Crowell at running back? Most of all, what about a thin and untested offensive line? Those are the sort of questions that prevent Georgia from being a real national contender, and those are the sort of issues that have many discounting the Bulldogs heading into 2011. I can’t necessarily disagree with those question this team’s resume at these crucial spots, but I do think they’re a bit overblown. This team looks much better than it was a year ago: there are question marks to address, but I feel like I may one day regret placing the Bulldogs here, not among the top 20 teams in the country.
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