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Nolecast: Jimbo Fisher doubled down on his coaches and lost

The No. 1 Florida State podcast breaks down the Seminoles.

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NCAA Football: Chick-fil-A Kickoff-Alabama vs Florida State John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Bud Elliott and Ingram Smith return with another episode of the Nolecast, the No. 1 FSU podcast.

The Nolecast is available on Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Stitcher, Google Play Music, Soundcloud, Overcast, and many other fine podcast providers.

Follow The Nolecast on Twitter @Nolecast.

As always, The Nolecast is brought to you by Louisiana Hot Sauce, and the fine restaurants of the Tallahassee For The Table Restaurant Group (Madison Social, Township, and Centrale).

Listen to the show on the player below this article, or click here to listen.

Losing a game when your true freshman plays well isn’t what we expected, and the repeated errors not remedied from last year are hard to take. Jimbo Fisher took a gamble by not changing up his coaching staff after last year’s questionable effort, and it is now clear he lost. While it is unreasonable to expect staff changes be made during the season, fans cannot be expected to support a carbon copy of this coaching staff come 2018.

Jimbo Fisher, who has never fired a coach during his time at Florida State, used to brag that he loved when his coaches got hired away for promotions because it was showing he had done a great job in hiring. Are any of the current coaches in contention for a promotion elsewhere? That’s doubtful, and it shows the failures Fisher has made in bringing in the new staff.

Per usual, the show breaks down the positions in order.

New quarterback James Blackman showed some very encouraging signs for being a true freshman, particularly with his deep accuracy, a difficult element to teach. You either have it, or you don’t.

The special teams were mostly excellent, with the exception of Jimbo Fisher’s wrong call to kick the ball deep instead of attempting an onside kick with no timeouts, but the players on the special teams played well.

We discuss the breakdown of carries between Jacques Patrick and Cam Akers. Is it too one-sided? What needs to change?

A discussion of the offensive line ensues. Per usual, many fans don’t understand what they are watching and are blaming the offensive line for errors of the receivers, back, or quarterback. Considering how talented the N.C. State defensive line is, FSU’s offensive line played as expected. It is embarrassing, however, for the broadcast to say that Jimbo Fisher laid out a plan to have the backs and tight ends deal with defensive end Bradley Chubb, only to see time and again the staff put left tackle Derrick Kelly in a position to fail with zero help.

FSU’s poorly-coached receivers are next. Noonie Murray and Keith Gavin were no-shows. Lawrence Dawsey, who has produced only 2 draft picks in 10 seasons as FSU’s head coach, once again did not have his unit ready to play. Multiple timeouts have been wasted on this unit’s inability to line up, and quite a few pass plays failed because the receivers were in the wrong spots. If Lawrence Dawsey was not an FSU legend for his play on the field, would he have kept his job this long?

Then a large discussion of the defense ensues. The defensive line and linebackers (considering how many injuries they suffered) played OK, but Charles Kelly’s defensive backs are making the same mistakes they made last year. It is clear his teachings are not getting through. Players are playing the wrong technique, leverage, or even coverage. It is the same thing as last year and has not been fixed.

N.C State’s offensive coordinator ate Charles Kelly’s lunch, always one step ahead. FSU’s defenders did not force N.C. State’s receivers to make great plays physically, but routinely gave them too much space.

It’s tough to see FSU’s great athletes play slow and second guess because they do not trust the coaches. Athletes of this caliber, when coached right, play with confidence. They know what they have to do, and they play fast because they don’t have to think, it just becomes instinct.

The show finishes with a revision of expectations.

  • Four losses? Three? Five?
  • Is Florida State’s coaching staff stale? If so, do you have confidence that Jimbo Fisher, who seems to overvalue loyalty, will make the needed changes? Where will the pressure come for Fisher to make the changes, given that he has one of the longest guaranteed contracts in all of sports? Pride and embarrassment? Caring about his legacy?
  • Plus a discussion of Florida’s credit card fraud scandal that could result in 60+ felony charges.

Some early reviews from Twitter

iTunes reviews were also strong

  • “Best FSU analysis out there.”
  • “Love Bud and Ingram, always eagerly awaiting new episodes.”
  • “Love the Nolecast. Always giving up-to-date and accurate analysis. Keep it up!”