Jan.1, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles mascot Chief Osceola and his horse Renegade are seen in the first quarter during the 2013 Orange Bowl game against the Northern Illinois Huskies at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Renegade Report: 4 Under the Radar Story Lines for Spring

Oct 22, 2011; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles wide receiver wide receiver Christian Green (89) reaches for a pass before the start of their game against the Maryland Terrapins at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

As an initial matter, we are pleased to announce that we will begin teaming up with Herc & Nolebra Kai of the Renegade Report.  You love their podcasts and insight into Florida State Football.  Don’t look any further for the best analysis of issues affecting FSU football from Herc and Nolebra Kai.

The Renegade Report discussed 4 under the radar story lines heading into spring.  Considering we still have about a dozen practices to go, I think these topics are still timely.  They’ll still be timely, I believe, when fall practice starts as well.

Let’s discuss the topics and break down the podcast.

Basically, the drought is over.  Finally.  We’re back to watching football, in some capacity, even if it isn’t on TV quite yet.  I think fans in general have also had their fill of FSU news off-the-field.  The recruiting cycle this year was more stressful than in years past.  The coaching departures and hires was a fun ride, but also exhausting.  I think everyone, including Jimbo Fisher, is glad to get back to work and not worrying about things from his desk.

This spring has a similar feel to 2009.  Nothing is stale about this spring–whereas last year, the players and coaches were largely refining and going through the motions, this year, there are new schemes, new players, new coaches.  The only thing I’ll say about that is that the 2009 squad lost pretty badly to Oklahoma that year.  It’s going to take time for this staff to gel and for the players to find their new roles.  Speaking of new roles, the new coaches should, hopefully, breathe new life into some players that have been sitting on the sidelines (like Christian Greene, who we’ll get into later).  New coaches means new eyes and no past transgressions.  Each and every player has a new shot at redefining themselves.

The biggest story line of the spring is quarterback.  No doubt about it.  The quarterback position has been, is, and will always be the sexy position to discuss.  But I don’t know, much like Herc and Nolebra Kai discuss in their podcast, if we should agonize over it.  Jimbo Fisher said he will not be naming a starter until he is ready.  The starter will emerge and be named accordingly when that time comes.  It isn’t likely to be by the end of spring and it really depends on the quality and status of the offensive line.

The success of the offensive line will depend on two things: (1) the health of Cam Erving and (2) whether Bobby Hart can re-emerge.  Hart is an interesting story–he’s 18 and a junior in college.  Mentally and physically, he could have benefited from a redshirt.  He didn’t get one.  It is a testament to his talent, but also, a reminder that offensive lineman need time to develop.  You just can’t rely on them to play as freshmen.  The podcast breaks down the offensive line and as I was listening to the different contingency plans, I thought: “Our line is versatile but not sustainable.”  We have the flexibility to shuffle people around, but we don’t know what will happen when you do that.  We don’t have the luxury of plugging a new player into a spot and continuing to churn forward.

The podcast then breaks down 4 under the radar story lines:

  Can Christian Green and/or Willie Haulstead work their way back into wide receiver rotation?

This is a great story line that isn’t being discussed.  Both receivers literally fell off the face of the earth last year after having very successful campaigns in previous seasons.  Both have different skill sets, however, and I think we’re going to see Haulstead win the battle.  The new quarterback is going to need a possession receiver to lean on.  However, what sets Green apart is his explosiveness.  And, of course, as explosive as Green is, it will also depend on familiarity.  Trickett showed chemistry with Christian Green and we’d expect that familiarity to continue going forward.

  What’s plan B for the offensive line if something happens to Cam Erving?

We discussed this a bit above–the idea that FSU has versatility on the line but not sustainability.  If Erving goes down, we would need to rely on Bobby Hart.  That also means that Stork will likely move to RT and Barron will slide in at C.  While this is a good contingency plan, we have no idea how strong that line would be.  I’m sure we’d see a lot of help from the tight ends–especially considering how good of a blocker Haplea is.

  How much of an impact will Chad Abram have in the offense?

The guys discussed that Jimbo says “Abrams has the best hands on the team” which must mean he’s know good at his other two primary jobs: blocking and short-yardage running.

  Which defensive tackle will join Eddie Goldman in the 2nd team rotation?

I won’t even get into this too much–FSU is absolutely spoiled at defensive tackle and it’s going to be a tough fought battle.  You would think, though, that based on seniority and experience, Jaccobi McDaniel will win the job.

For the full audio, click below or visit the “Chop Chat Radio” page.  The audio should work, also, even while minimized on your smart phone.  Enjoy.

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Tags: Bobby Hart Cam Erving Chad Abrams Fsu Green Haulsted Jimbo Fisher Qbs Renegade Report Spring Practice

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