Again: Do Not Blitz Florida State's Jameis Winston

Tyler Smith

It must be the "rs-fr" in front of his name on the depth chart. It's the only thing I can figure.

Defensive coordinators see that and think they'll rattle him by bringing pressure. And so they come. In fives, sixes and sevens. And Jameis Winston and the Florida State offense annihilates them. Again and again. Would they do it if Winston had a "sr" tag by his name on the roster? Doubtful.

Winston was already top-five in passer rating against the blitz going in to the game against Clemson. But on Saturday night, he took it to the next level.


There are a number of reasons FSU's offense has been so good against extra rushers. I asked Jimbo Fisher about it tonight.

"Because they communicate," Fisher said when asked why his offense has been so good against the blitz. "We're very versatile, we do a lot of things with protection, our guys pick 'em up, they're able to scan and hit 'em, Jameis is able to manage 'em, know where to go with the ball when the blitz is coming and find the one-on-one because he puts the time in the film study."

"And those guys also get open, those receivers now, they can play. They can play."

Indeed. Florida State has not had a receiver drafted in six years. That will change very soon, as all three of FSU's starters at receiver look to be locks for the draft whenever they elect to come out.

It's a veteran group around Winston -- by eligibility, he is the youngest starter, the only freshman.

"Jameis has the ability to go to all five guys," Fisher said. "And how coverage dictates, we read through [the coverage]. It's not called '1, 2, here,' our system is open. We go to everybody and he's allowed to distribute to all the guys. He's seeing the field well and getting the ball where it has to be.

Or maybe defensive coordinators think that blitzing is preferable because it shows that they are at least doing something to try and stop Jameis Winston. Playing back, not allowing the big play, and hoping to force a field goal playing red-zone roulette isn't pretty, but it's far more effective than giving FSU 1-on-1 matchups down the field with this group. But, that approach looks worse for the defensive coordinator.

So maybe the pressure under which Winston thrives will continue to come.

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