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Whiteboard Wednesday: What is going on?

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A broken cycle — how do you snap out of it?

Don Juan Moore

Tomahawk Nation is bringing you more and more analysis about what the Florida State Seminoles are doing under their new staff, breaking it down to each of the important coaches and their philosophies. We will be turning our focus towards the now as we get an idea of what the new staff is doing.

As we dive into the depths, we know there are some concepts that bear explanation. Scheme takes time to be installed and we want to take the time to give our readers an understanding of what is happening. We will take a much closer look at the Mike Norvell and Adam Fuller offense/defense.

One of the exciting parts for our scheme team is to discuss football in the comments section. We always look forward to your feedback and questions. Please don’t be shy to ask follow-up or clarifying questions after reading.


Welcome to the danger zone Seminole fans!

Today’s Whiteboard Wednesday is going to be a little different from previous installments. Being a good football coach isn’t always about your ability to draw a play on the board or teach a play on the field. Coaching football is so much about connecting with the players you are tasked to coach. Building connections with players can be the most challenging part of coaching.

I am not going to have cool videos or powerpoint gifs for you to see cool plays.

No, today I want to discuss relationship building and the impact it has on a football team. I promise I won’t take up much of your time so please hang around, take it in and let’s discuss it a little deeper in the comment section after.

Every year we see coaches get fired and players come out and say either “we needed more discipline” or “he was too hard on us.”

It is an ugly cycle in the football world, but what does it mean? Well it means coach A is more passive and would rather put their arm around a player causing an issue, and, coach B is more in your face and has a slew of rules that players are expected to follow. Is one better than the other? No. So what does all this mean coach?

Well, my friends, I’m here to remind you that your beloved Florida State football team is going through this type of transition right now.

“Our guys are learning and we are going to hold them to an extremely high standard,” head coach Mike Norvell said during interviews Wednesday. “We are building a foundation.”

“We’ve seen guys do get caught in the scoreboard and the urgency in the game without just doing their job. The confidence in what you are doing, that needs to always show up.”

The roster is full of players who do not know what accountability is nor how to process it appropriately — sometimes, it’s manifested in players freelancing and doing their own thing because of some internal need to “make a play,” rather than play within the system.

Now, we are seeing a new staff fight the battle of instilling a discipline and accountability that has been lacking for years during a COVID-19 season. This leads to lack of trust and belief which leads to an inability to maximize talent and effort on the field.

Which, you guessed it, leads to ugly and inconsistent performances.

There are some who seek out discipline and structure and those who resist it. There is a popular saying, “when I stop yelling at you for doing something wrong is when you know I stop caring.” There are those who understand this statement and those who don’t.

The players that get its meaning know that a coach is yelling because he wants the best for that player. The player who does not understand takes the yelling personal and thinks the coach is a jerk (and, sometimes, it’s true, but that’s besides the point.) Sadly, football and behavior can be that simple at times. We think of these players and coaches as machines because we only see them through the screen, but in reality they are human beings with flaws just like you and I.

The reason I am writing this and bringing all of this up is we are seeing so much blame placed throughout different media outlets, different articles, different videos and podcasts. “Fire Adam Fuller, cut all of the bad seeds, this player sucks,” are all words you’ve probably read or heard in the last couple of days.

Heck, I’ve said some of them myself on the latest episode of The Triple Option and honestly, I regretted it after doing so. Let’s take a second to step back and remember, this is a program and roster in transition in a seriously screwed up 2020. Losing stinks but finding glimmers of hope and progress are much more beneficial for us than assigning blame. When you made the choice to fire a coach after a year and half you made the choice to commit to a rebuild not a retool. Laying a solid foundation is priority number one for Mike Norvell and sometimes that means just staying the course even if it’s bumpy.

What do you think? How do you feel? We are halfway through a wild year. Take a second and let me know.