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Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Fisher still reluctant to cede play-calling

By David M. Hale

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The next two days are a chance for Jimbo Fisher to take a breath and collect his thoughts after a chaotic stretch in which six assistant coaches left and 22 new players joined the fold. On Monday, however, Fisher plans to be back at work, beginning interviews to fill the final vacancy on his staff.

Fisher said he'll begin interviewing candidates for the vacant quarterbacks coach position next week, but it still sounds unlikely he'll be looking for someone to take over calling plays.

"It depends on who we can hire, who we're able to get," Fisher said. "It possibly could [involve play-calling]. We'll wait and see the guys that come in and the interview process of how it goes and where we're at."

What was clear, however, was that Fisher wasn't ready to hand over play-calling duties to departed offensive coordinator James Coley, who left last month for Miami (Fla.). Coley had been FSU's tight ends coach and a top recruiter until December, when Fisher moved him to coach quarterbacks -- a move Fisher said was a precursor to a bigger role.

Fisher said during the season he had a longterm plan to gradually hand off play-calling responsibilities, but Coley's opportunity at Miami was immediate, and Fisher's plans were not.

"That was the plan of maybe possibly put him in that role and bring him along, and I think he could've done that," Fisher said of Coley. "It was one of the reasons I wanted to swing him into quarterbacks. When you call a game, it's very important to see the game through the quarterback's eyes. That's as important a thing in calling plays as anything there is. That's a key element we were going to develop."

Coley's replacement will likely get the same chance, with Fisher saying he's unlikely to shift a coach from his current position to handle quarterbacks.

"Most likely, yes, a quarterback guy," Fisher said. "I would say a very high percentage of that."

The bigger question, however, might be the percentage that coach will also be given a chance to truly have a hand in designing and calling the offense.