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A Blue Ribbon FSU Preview? Eh...

Scrolling around ESPN this morning and I saw the 'insider' alert for the Blue Ribbon Previews that "dissect" all 119 Division 1-A teams in CFB (although I think that number is either 120 or 121 now). Anyway, reading the Blue Ribbon guides once before they are either good for knowledge or good for a laugh.

So a few notes for those of you without insider I'll do the offense today and the defense tomorrow:

Bowden fired longtime running backs coach Billy Sexton, quarterbacks coach Daryl Dickey and offensive line coach Mark McHale. A key defensive assistant, Kevin Steele, left for Alabama when tea leaves spelled out in front of FSU President T.K. Weatherell hinted that Steele, who carried the double title of executive head coach, wasn't going to replace Bowden when a new leader is needed.

More after the jump

Actually Bowden didn't fire anyone. In the case of Dickey and McHale, he SHOULD'VE fired them but their contracts were up for renewal and they weren't retained. Sexton wasn't fired at all, he resigned to take a cush job with the boosters. Most thought he was retiring after this season, but he was probably coaxed to do it early.

The Steele stuff is pretty accurate. I was never supportive of Steele taking the head coaching job, especially with a 9-36 lifetime head coaching record.

Bowden won't say so publicly, but he wants to get to 400 career wins before he'll step away.

Hmmm interesting. It's obvious he wants to stay ahead of Joe Paterno, but 400 would be a heck of a feat either way. To think if he had compotent coaching in the last six years he'd be over 375 right now and probably close to 380.

Fisher didn't ditch the shotgun, but he has tucked it away. The Seminoles won't use the formation as often as they used to.

This is a good move in my opinion. I rewatched Lee against Maryland and he was very solid running the offense behind center. I didn't see too many games where Weatherford wasn't in the shotgun, but I'll watch the Rice game again since FSU had a strong rushing output.

Smith's junior season figures to include more pass-catching responsibility. The Seminoles want to throw the ball more to their runners -- something they rarely did last year -- and Smith's skills will enable that.

Now I thought FSU threw the ball to the RBs a good bit last year, hell the screen pass is one of the few that Weatherford doesn't under throw.

Booker caught 33 passes last year
Smith caught 21 passes
The other backs caught a total of five.

59 catches out of 239 total is right around 25%.

Let's compare this with random previous years.

  1. 42 catches out of 181
  2. 54 catches out of 262
  3. 38 catches out of 250
  4. 53 catches out of 249
  5. 74 catches out of 303
So FSU was right on and possibly a little above average on involving running backs in the passing game.
[Joe Surratt's] primary role this year likely will be in FSU's jumbo package, but if Fisher decides to throw to his fullbacks, Surratt is his receiver.

Looks like someone got benched. Apparently Holloway is a much better blocker and that's what Jimbo wants.

Beyond the lineup, Fisher has blown up the passing game. Most of the pass routes are different. What once was measured in yards now are measured in receivers' strides. Receivers will run more crossing patterns and underneath routes, a change. In addition, the bubble screen has made its way to Tallahassee. The transition hasn't been easy.

I tell this to all my NCAA '08 playing readers. When you play with FSU, use LSU's offense and you'll get a good idea of the zone runs and passes Jimbo will call. I think FSU is a good bubble screen team because: a) it's in Weatherford passing range and b) the Seminoles have receivers who can block well.

Carr (6-5, 212) and senior De'Cody Fagg (6-3, 218) are the only returning veterans, but Carr exited spring practice as a second-team receiver behind junior Richard Goodman (6-0, 182).

Carr's talent is only surpassed by his ability to do the little things so poorly and visibly take plays off. This shakeup in a coaching staff should help him in the long run if he allows it to.

Senior David Overmyer (6-5, 280) might win the starting job at right guard, but Trickett moved center Dumaka Atkins to guard to give a fresh look.

I read this to say Overmyer is more of a final option than anything. Trickett will work extra hard to motivate Atkins.

Piurowski's move to the offensive line has him behind senior Shannon Boatman (6-7, 301) at right tackle.

Not for long. Piurowski is going to be VERY good and I'd say he'll beat out Boatman in fall practice unless the former JuCo transfer is MUCH improved.

Left tackle is a position to watch. Sophomore Daron Rose (6-5, 284) is the listed starter, but this is the one spot where a freshman might play. And that freshman is Antwane Greenlee (6-6, 302).

Not surprised that Greenlee is already making noise, the kid is a stud. But I figured Rose would be much safer than Boatman for holding his starting spot. Interesting.

The Seminoles left spring with sophomore Ryan McMahon (6-3, 273) as their top center, ahead of John Frady.

Thank you! Watch McMahon practice and you'll have a man crush on him. He's a go getter and Trickett loves him.

But as Frady learns to shut up and block, he could -- and should -- be the starter.

He could also quit skidding the ball back to the quarterback on the shotgun.

Although he has attempted every field goal the last two seasons, Cismesia isn't a lock to be the kicker this year.

Does this bother anyone else? Cismesia should be the most reliable player on this offense. He's got two+ years worth of starts under his belt. He should be a no brainer at the position and if he's struggling, it's going to be a long, stressful season.