Sporting Fools
Sporting Fools
Sporting Fools

Sporting Fools

The frequent and occasional humorous musings behind two of the World's greatest underappreciated sports minds.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The FSU Preview (Offense)

My preview won't be as elabortate as some, but it'll be honest and it reflects my feelings on this year's Seminoles squad.

Overall the slogan for the offense should be "The New Breed", these guys are short on experience, but long on talent. At virtually every position on the offense there are highly-touted talented freshmen as a result of back-to-back top 5 recruiting classes. Many of these freshmen will be thrown into the fire early at important positions like quarterback and the interior offensive line.

Quarterback: Although coach Bowden won't call it yet, Drew Weatherford will start Monday night against Miami. More than likely Xavier Lee will get a couple of series in the first half as well. Both quarterbacks are redshirt freshmen. Weatherford has the reputation of being a film junkie, which immediately makes him more prepared for Miami than Chris Rix ever was. Grade: B-

Depth: Xavier Lee is a former Mr. Florida football and all-time passing leader. At 6'4, 234 pounds he's a big guy and a terrific athlete. As he gets more used to the offense the popular belief is that he'll eventually past Weatherford. Behind Lee there isn't much, Tommy Keane and Jared Whipkey are walk ons and Keane has the most snaps of any quarterback, getting nine snaps against North Carolina in garbage time. Tight end and former H.S. quarterback Matt Henshaw would probably be an emergency QB. Grade: C-

Running Backs: Here's a great area of strength for the Seminoles. Leon Washington and Lorenzo Booker are as good as any 1-2 punch in the country. Washington is a great RB and Booker is very good. Fullbacks James Coleman and B.J. Dean are super blockers and could possibly get a handoff around the goal line. Grade: A

Depth: Antone Smith is a true freshman and has jettison up a depth chart full of highly-touted prospects like Lamar Lewis and Jamaal Edwards. FSU is roughly seven deep at tailback and third-string fullback Joe Surratt is more versatile than the upperclassmen ahead of him. Grade: A

Wide Receivers: This is one of those areas where the talent will shine more in the multiple wide out sets than with the starting two. Willie Reid has been the subject of the "Free Willie" campaign since 2002. Between his injuries and being buried on the depth chart, Reid has proven to be a realiable playmaker. This year the Georgia native finally gets his opportunity and I think he will be successful. On the other side is junior Chris Davis. When he stepped on campus Davis was said to be a clone of Peter Warrick. It hasn't happened. Davis is one of the few receivers who records negative YAC because he runs from side-to-side so much. Luckily as the season progressed (and after a demotion) Davis started taking his routes down the field and had a strong game against Duke and a strong Gator Bowl. Grade: B-

Depth: Here's where it gets good. De'Cody Fagg, Greg Carr and Fred Rouse are three of the best receiving prospects of the state. Rouse was the best receiving prospect in the nation. And then there is true frosh Richard Goodman, who came from out of nowhere to earn major PT with the multiple sets. Kenny O'Neal, a speedster from California will be dangerous on special teams. It'll be tough for talented prospects Rod Owens and Joslin Shaw to see the field. All in all this receiving corps could become the best in FSU history. Grade: A

Tight Ends: Donnie Carter is the starter and he's the best blocker of the three. Alledgedly he can catch passes too, but FSU doesn't throw to the tight end. Grade: C+

Depth: Matt Root and Matt Henshaw are both better receivers than Carter and will be used in goal line situations. Neither can block as well as Carter and since FSU doesn't pass to the tight ends, both of these guys need to improve in that area. Grade: C

Offensive Line: Guard Matt Meinrod and Center David Castillo return from injury to anchor the interior of the line along with sophomore Jacky Claude. Cory Niblock moves from left guard to left tackle and becomes the big question mark there while sophomore David Overmyer will start at right tackle. FSU changed tackle designations from split/tight to right/left to join the latter 20th century and will also be implementing a zone blocking scheme behind new OL coach Mark McHale. Right away I expect this line to be better than last year's based on coaching alone. Grade: B-

Depth: Mario Henderson is probably a better tackle than Niblock, but he'll backup Overmyer for a while. John Frady is a reliable backup at both guard and center. Overall the depth is thin after striking out on most of the state's top recruits in the winter. The little depth that's there is very good but too many injuries will be devastating. Grade: D+

Coaching: Jeff Bowden will forever be under fire on offense. He and quarterback coach Daryl Dickey failed to get Chris Rix to correct his many shortcomings and often showed public disgust in his decision making and in Bobby Bowden's loyalty to him. Running backs coach Billy Sexton is solid as long as his son's health isn't a distraction. Mark McHale joins the staff and will contribute in the playcalling. He is a tremendous upgrade over former FSU OL coach, Jimmy Heggins. Jeff Bowden will also coach the wide receivers. Grade: C+

Posted by TPrincess 3:52 PM ||
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