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Coaches Guide: What to watch for in FSU spring game

How to get more educational value out of the Florida State Seminoles spring game

Syndication: Tallahassee Democrat Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Spring football is all about the basics such as blocking, tackling, and scheme. The spring game is very basic in the same manner as coaches run their most basic schemes. A spring game is a glorified practice oftentimes not even on the level of a scrimmage. I believe at this point that most fans go into the game understanding that. Understanding that concept and watching the game through that lens is important. So, I thought I would sit down and write a coach's viewers guide to help you find the value of the game (outside of it just being great to see Florida State football on TV.)

Line of Scrimmage

First thing is first, do not watch the ball. Most people who watch the game stare at the ball the whole time but there’s so much other action to watch. Train your eyes on the line of scrimmage. This is a big year for the FSU OL and specific individuals on that line. I’m going to have my eyes focused on Robert Scott, Maurice Smith, and Bless Harris throughout the game. Is Scott ready to take the next step at tackle? Has Smith developed and able to hold up over the course of a season? Is Harris the answer at right tackle? These are big questions marks and these will be our first “game setting” answers.

There are two sides of the line of scrimmage and plenty of questions on the defensive line. While you are watching Scott and Harris be sure to also pay close attention to the defensive ends. Jared Verse, Derrick McClendon, Dennis Briggs, and a slew of others have massive shoes to fill. Let's see how this group creates pressure on the day (do not focus on sacks.) If this group can pick up where last year's group left off then this defense has a chance to be really good.

Wide Receiver

The next area of the field to go is out wide. The wide receiver room is an area that has been a major point of emphasis this offseason. Let's focus our attention on their route running specifically. On the Triple Option game reviews last season Kevin and I spoke often about the poor routes that the WR group ran. Have they improved in this area? Is this group improved in general? Pay close attention to see if they get any separation against the coverage. Then if the ball does make it to them, do they catch it? There is plenty to focus on with this position group and I’m going to be hyper-focused on it.

Tatum Bethune

Yes, one individual player in the linebacker group can make a massive difference. Outside of the ends stepping up, we know the LB group has to be better in underneath coverage. Insert Tatum Bethune into the starting lineup and let's see what happens. There should be plenty of opportunities to observe Bethune in coverage throughout the day. So while you are watching Bethune (and DeLoach) are they able to communicate well in their zones and pass off receivers? Do they wall crossers (jam them and not give them easy passes through their zone)? How much depth do they get in coverage and can they make a play on the ball? Can they stay with a running back releasing out of the backfield? These are just a few things for you to watch throughout the game.

Join me in the comment section and tell me what you are going to focus on.

Please be sure to go check out Kevin’s latest video on things he’s focused on during the spring game.