Sunday, August 17, 2008

08/17/08 E-MailBag

Well, I'd promised a mailbag for a while now and here it is.

User Chad wrote:
Myron Rolle - liability in coverage or victim of scheme/teammates?

I'd have to say that he is both. Rolle was burned last year and there are serious questions about the fluidity in his hips and his top-end speed. That said, he is rated as the #1 overall strong safety prospect for the 2009 draft by NFL DraftScout and Mickey Andrew's defense has really slipped in the past few years. If NFl Scouts think he is the best safety prospect out there, but he isn't a superstar player for FSU, it's reasonable to conclude that they believe that he will either improve immensly at a later date, or that he is already good and misused by Mickey Andrews. In either case, they think that their coaches can make it happen. I think he can be a decent NFL safety, and a very good college safety. Mickey needs to use him more on Blitzes in my opinion, and put him in more robber positions so he can intimidate people and make some serious hits.

More from Chad: Antone Smith - why has his YPC gone down? Will he pull a Washington/Booker and be better at the next level than now? If so, why? Is the line that bad or can he just not hit the holes?

As is so often the case, health is so important. I don't think Antone was healthy for most of last year. He was clearly hobbled in some games by his shoulder injury and turf toe. If you haven't had turf toe, I seriously suggest reading this excellent article from the Training Room. Antone killed Kentucky last year in the Bowl game, and he has really shown a great burst to date in training camp. The offensive line hasn't been good, and there haven't always been holes to hit. As I already talked about, this offensive line will probably be better this year. When healthy, Antone has always produced and I fully expect him to have a big year. As for the NFL, he seems a little small for that level.

Commenter Arthronole Wrote: Regarding your Return of the Sack article, I was wondering what your thoughts were regarding the overall offensive scheme changes in college football in general and how has it impacted FSU's success with QB pressure & sacks? FSU has or will see many variations of the option offense(spread @ UF, Orbit @ WF, Wishbone @ Ga Tech, standard @ Va Tech

Andrew's defense has clearly slipped in the past few years, specifically his pass defense. He had always recruited excellent defensive backs, but recently his recruits have been flops for the most part. I criticize him for his lack of creativity and his inflexibility. Some say that his defense is entirely predicated on getting serious pressure on the qb. Great. What if you don't get that pressure? We need to have more variety. We really don't disguise our coverages well.

On a positive note, I do think that FSU will eventually defend the spread well. Teams that blitz frequently get shredded by the spread scheme which makes them come from a greater distance and presents real issues when they try to disguise who is coming and from where. FSU doesn't blitz excessively, and hopefully they can get back to getting pressure form the front four.

FSU owns the triple option and with Miami, they were largely responsible for the disappearance of the triple option from the major college football scene. It's tougher now to prepare for the triple option because modern players aren't familiar with the attack and it's difficult to simulate the attack at full speed with the scout team.

As for Wake Forest, FSU lived in the Deacon's backfield last year and I fully expect them to return to dominating Wake very soon. FSU's athletes are just better than Wake's and now that FSU knows they have to focus on Wake's unique scheme, I expect them to come strong. This year will be especially tough for Wake since FSU will dominate their wideouts (all new) and their offensive line has not impressed in camp to date.

FSU will always be aggressive on defense, but they need to play smarter overall. Don't be aggressive for no reason. Read, then react.

Anynymous wrote: I'm not a coach and haven't seen Jody Allen coaching the ends. But it wouldn't suprise me if your speculation is correct. Bobby Bowden has a history of taking yeoman coaches and letting them coach positions they never even played before, much less coached (Jimmy Heggins ring a bell?). How can a former under-talented offensive lineman like Allen who is a grad asst. one year suddenly become a DE coach the next, ready to teach the finer points of technique, balance, steps, etc? We simply do not have the talent and depth to paper over subpar coaching anymore. This program will never truly turn around until Bobby takes his naps somewhere else and Jimbo is finally able to clean house!

We already said that Jody Allen needs to go. Obviously he is underqualified to coach defensive ends at the major college level. I agree that Bobby is a current net negative for the program. That said, we are in a better spot than we would have been had Jimbo left for West Virginia. I fully expect Jimbo to clean house and get rid of the last remnants of the Nepotism Era, but the key now is to continue to get this program ready for the 2010-2012 transition seasons.

Anthronole wrote, in regard to the They're Baaack... ACC OFFENSE EDITION:Does anyone else think the talk of the OL, while a concern, has been blown out of proportion? It's not like FSU is the only school in the ACC with only 2 returning starting OL. Clemson is as well but they get picked to win the ACC?

Yes, it is being overblown, especially when you consider that FSU gets 2 warm up games and won't face a hostile crowd until October (Miami). Early reports on the line have been very encouraging. I'm not blind to the youth, and I do expect some struggles, but other teams will struggle as well. I cited Wake's offensive line as a primary factor for my belief that FSU will soundly beat them this year even with the suspensions.

Anthronole wrote: Back in the JB era, the offensive was surprisingly high scoring compared to the rest of the ACC, but pass heavy. Even though scoring was way down last year, the offense was more balanced under JF.

Schedule, Schedule, Schedule! You always have to consider the schedule! FSU's 2007 schedule was very difficult, and their 2006 schedule was a cakewalk. Comparing those two years isn't really fair to Jimbo or Jeff. I saw a lot of improvement from the offense in 2007, and balance is just one factor that I could highlight.

Finally, Chili commented: I added your site to our blogroll over at DFIG. Bill at Scalp Em introduced me to the site and I read it daily. Excellent analysis. Keep up the good work.

Thanks Chili. For our readers who don't know, DFIG is a great Clemson blog. It stands for Danny Ford is God, and you can find them here, or in our blogroll (at right). I'm sure we will discuss the big conference showdown with them soon.


Anonymous said...

I apologize for leaving this question in the comments, but I couldn't figure out how to send you an e-mail - duhhhh!

The question is this: Lots of message board/Internet buzz on the NCAA investigation and that they will go beyond our self-imposed punishment. Also, there is something about FSU not releasing the letter from the NCAA.

I'm a big fan of the unvarnished truth from this site and would appreciate any info you have.

Scalper said...

FSU plans on releasing the NOA (Notice of Allegations) at a later date. The names will be redacted. Internet message board reports have very little power and are usually swiftly disproved.