TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The excitement was obvious throughout the spring, regardless of any attempts by Jimbo Fisher to downplay the significance.
Jeremy Pruitt had come from Alabama, fresh off consecutive national championships, and in spite of Fisher's claims that it would be business as usual on defense at FSU, it was clear that a whole lot of change was coming.
"We're watching film of how Alabama ran it," linebacker Telvin Smith said this spring. "And I'm not knocking those guys, but I love this team and guys we've got running that defense, and I feel like we can really put something together."
And that was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to enthusiasm about Pruitt's scheme.
The overriding theme of the spring on defense was pretty simple: Florida State would no longer be boring but consistent. This was going to be an aggressive, take-no-prisoners approach that promised to pay big dividends for the Seminoles' athletic defenders.
"I love this defense," safety Terrence Brooks said. "It's amazing. A lot more blitzing, a lot more chances to make plays, moving guys around."
And, Brooks said, a lot more chances for takeaways.
Add it all up, and it sounds pretty good. The only problem, of course, is that Pruitt is at FSU because the Seminoles' last coordinator, Mark Stoops, was so successful that he landed a head coaching job.
The fact is, all that boring consistency on defense might have actually helped disguise just how successful Stoops' unit was during his tenure at Florida State.
The Seminoles finished second in the nation in total defense last season, sixth in scoring defense, third in rush D and first in passing defense.
But even with those gaudy totals, there was some criticism, which often started with takeaways.