Florida State

An O-line of chairs? Old drill shows Florida State QB James Blackman handles pressure

Doak Boyz podcast

Can new Florida State quarterback James Blackman survive behind a shaky line? Don’t worry Seminoles fans, he’s survived worse before.

Former Florida State players James Coleman and Geno Hayes discussed Blackman and the Seminoles’ prospects for Saturday’s meeting with NC State on the “Doak Boyz” Florida State Seminoles podcast.

The freshman quarterback will make his first start in place of Deondre Francois, who tore his patella tendon while getting sacked in the fourth quarter of the Seminoles’ season-opening loss to Alabama.

That was another low point for Florida State’s pass protection. As Coleman notes, though, Blackman is used to playing without much help up front. That goes back to an unconventional drill from his high school days at Belle Glade (Fla.) Glades Central.

“Blackman literally had five chairs in high school in front of him,” Coleman said. “He actually had a coach that would toss the ball to him on the snap and it was five chairs and nothing, but other people coming after him. And what he was able to do with that was amazing.”

Suddenly, Florida State’s offensive line doesn’t look so bad.

RELATED: Meet Florida State’s new quarterback: James Blackman

Coleman said the Seminoles can further help Blackman by taking a page from Florida State’s history books on offense, with a dash of Atlanta Falcons flavor thrown in.

“What I would really love to see Jimbo do is go back to some of the two-back sets, where you can have a guy like Cam Akers go to the slot,” Coleman said. “Almost what the Falcons do with (Devonta) Freeman and (Tevin) Coleman. Both of them are very good at running routes and catching.”

For longtime Seminoles fans, that kind of setup would bring back memories of Florida State’s first national title team in 1993, when Bobby Bowden frequently used I-formation sets with a quick back in Sean Jackson (or freshman Warrick Dunn) along with a power back in William Floyd.

The Wolfpack has given Florida State plenty of trouble over the years, including a stretch of four wins in six years from 2001-06, though the Seminoles have won the last four meetings.

RELATED: First game without Deondre Francois big test for Jimbo Fisher, James Blackman

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