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Monday, March 25, 2013
FSU week in review: New coaches, QBs

By David M. Hale

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- After three months of change on the roster and the coaching staff, Florida State finally took the field last week to begin spring practice. While it’s tough to tell too much from just a few days of shaking off the rust, a few key storylines did emerge. Here’s a look back at what we learned from the first week of practice for the 2013 Seminoles:

1. Six coaches definitely make a difference.

Fisher assured that Florida State's core philosophies wouldn't change just because there are six new assistant coaches overseeing practice, but the new assistants brought a much different feel to the proceedings in the first few days. From Randy Sanders keeping his eye on the QB competition to Sal Sunseri's booming voice reverberating across the practice fields, players certainly had to make a few adjustments to their new coaches. "They're probably in there saying, 'Boy, the man is crazy,' " Sunseri said after the first day of workouts.

Players said some terminology is new, and Telvin Smith suggested the defense planned on playing more aggressively under Pruitt, too. But until FSU hits the field in September, we might not fully know just how big an impact this new staff will have.

Jimbo Fisher
While Clint Trickett was listed as the No. 1 QB, Jimbo Fisher was quick to point out that all the QBs were getting equal reps.
2. All eyes are on the QBs.

OK, so it's no surprise that the quarterback battle has been the most buzzworthy storyline, and odds are it will remain that way for the foreseeable future. But did the first week of spring practice actually tell us anything of substance about the competition?

Well, we learned that Fisher wasn't lying when he said all four QBs will get long looks during practice, and Sanders said it has taken its toll on the rest of the offense, which is being forced to run extra reps. And, as expected, Clint Trickett appears to be the clear No. 1 for the time being. Beyond that, however, not much is set in stone.

Fisher said there's no timetable to pick a winner, and Sanders wouldn't even set a timetable on a first round of cuts. In fact, when Trickett was asked how much the four quarterbacks were rotating with the ones, even he did his best to dodge the question, saying only "a normal amount."

3. Joyner's move was his call.

Fisher insisted earlier this year that Lamarcus Joyner's move to cornerback was a coaching decision, and it's true that Fisher and Pruitt offered final approval. But Joyner made no bones about how the decision came about -- and the choice was his to begin with.

After eying the NFL following the 2012 season, Joyner returned to FSU to get his degree and work on his versatility in the secondary. He pushed Fisher to make the move, and in the end the coaches agreed. Of course, Joyner also insists his approach won't be changing much. "At cornerback, my philosophy is no man wants to fight with a man that's willing to fight for 60 minutes," Joyner said.

4. FSU can't afford injuries on the line.

Jacob Fahrenkrug will miss the spring with an injury, and Wilson Bell and Ira Denson don't arrive until the summer. Add a career-ending injury for Garrett Faircloth and the graduation and departure of Henry Orelus, and the lack of depth on FSU's offensive line has been obvious through a week of practice. Things should get better by the fall, but the shortcomings this spring underscore just how tenuous things are on the line in the event of any serious injuries.

5. The indoor facility can't open fast enough.

Saturday's third practice session of the spring was rained out, but FSU's players should've been careful to enjoy their surprise day off. With construction continuing on the indoor practice facility -- due to be completed by Aug. 1 -- there won't be many more rain outs at FSU.