"I'm mad. I'm pissed off at myself. I'm pissed off at my coaches. But ranting and raving won't do anything," Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said Monday at his press conference following a humiliating 63-20 loss to Louisville.
Acknowledging the shared pain of the fan base is a smart move from Fisher as there were very high hopes for this season following 2015’s rebuilding year. Fisher stood in and took question after question, and didn’t shut it down until the questions stopped. Fisher must face the heat for the awful play of his football team, and it seems he knows it.
What else can a coach say in a situation like this?
Put it on the coaches
Fisher did well to acknowledge coaching failures were the cause of the player’s failures. This is important because the alternative is a coach saying that his players simply must execute the scheme, and throwing this many talented athletes under the bus would be the wrong move. It’s very clear that the staff must either figure out a way to teach all it wants the players to absorb, or more reasonably, to simplify the scheme and let the athleticism shine through even if it means being more predictable. Athleticism is useless if a defender is nowhere near the receiver.
His comment about mistakes coming not just from blown coverages but from the wrong personnel groups being on the field is also an indictment of coaching. Fisher attributed it partly to injury, but that's still an indictment of the team being unprepared.
Young QB not ruined
It's encouraging that Fisher believes Francois was still seeing the game and making the right mental decisions. However, that it implies other, more veteran players were making mental errors. The discussion about players taking ownership was a call for leaders-- or at least a lament of the lack thereof. That could speak to a deeper cultural issue.
That just sounds silly
Even if he believes it, Fisher needs to stop talking about how plays were "inches away." Many times Louisville receivers were hundreds of inches away from FSU defenders. FSU lost by 43 points and that is only because of a pathetic field goal decision down 46. Talking about inches and fumble luck in a game decided by a score or two makes sense, but not when the margin is six touchdowns. It makes Fisher look like he is not dealing in reality.
Pretending Dalvin Cook is just fine is getting old
Fisher again insisted that running back Dalvin Cook is “fine” and that there is nothing wrong with him. Unfortunately for Fisher, almost every TV set is now an HDTV and it’s easy to see this is not the same Dalvin Cook. Cook’s pass blocking attempts were awful against Louisville and there have been numerous instances through 10 quarters of FSU football on the year in which he seems to be actively avoiding contact to his right shoulder which was operated on in the off-season.