For the second time this season, Jimbo Fisher began his Monday news conference with the familiar “we need to coach better, execute better, clean some things up” approach.
Enough. Fisher must fire coaches on his staff.
Florida State is far too talented to get pushed around like it was Saturday in a 27-21 home loss to NC State. Three weeks ago, I was criticized for saying if you took Nick Saban and his staff and switched with Fisher and his staff, Florida State would’ve defeated Alabama. The same applies this past Saturday – NC State’s Dave Doeren and his staff were far more prepared.
Much-maligned defensive coordinator Charles Kelly should’ve been fired a year ago. The problem: His players love him, he’s a nice guy, he’s everything you want – except he’s not a good coach.
I’ve written about it on GN and talked about it on my radio show: I thought this would be Fisher’s best defense at Florida State despite Kelly. But Fisher can’t allow another year to go by without opening the wallet and finding one of the best defensive coordinators in football.
Kelly’s defense is filled with future NFL players, including four possible first-round picks next May. But they’re consistently out of place, have missed too many tackles, haven’t forced a turnover and have only three sacks on the year.
As bad as it’s been for Kelly, his defense had a chance to get the ball back late in the game. With a couple of minutes left and with NC State facing a third-and-7, Florida State needed to make a stop and force a punt. Instead, Florida State allowed a 15-yard run by Nyheim Hines.
After the game, Doeren said, “We wore them down over time.”
James Blackman made his first start as a quarterback and played well, but Fisher and his staff made it difficult for the true freshman. The offensive line had five penalties and did an awful job protecting Blackman. Fisher blamed the tight ends and backs for not doing a better job when it came to chipping the Wolfpack pass rushers. That’s the second time Florida State fans have heard that this season. Where are the adjustments? How come there isn’t better coaching? The talent is there. The blue-chip recruits are there.
The loss featured a game in which Blackman threw 38 passes; running backs Jacques Patrick and Cam Akers combined to run it 20 times. It was a bad game plan, especially for a freshman making his first start. Florida State was down a touchdown for most of the second half, but only ran it six times in the final two periods.
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