Sunday, July 21, 2013
FSU notes: Coley at home in Miami
By David M. Hale
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- It certainly could've been awkward, but Miami quarterback Stephen Morris said there haven't been any moments of bitterness with his new offensive coordinator, James Coley, who held the same position with rival Florida State for the past three years before joining the Hurricanes in January.
Sure, it's a bit strange to be working with a one-time rival, but Morris has been around long enough that he's not rattled by much.
Quarterback Stephen Morris is looking forward to running the offense James Coley brought to Miami.
"At this point, I don't find anything odd," Morris said. "I know everything's a business, and you might be with a coach for one year, and that guy's gone."
Coley is likely to stick around a while.
Before he arrived at FSU, it was the Miami area that was home for Coley, and he's renowned as one of the most accomplished recruiters in South Florida. More importantly, after three years of implementing Jimbo Fisher's offense with the Seminoles, Coley finally is getting a chance to call his own plays, and Morris said the playbook already is earning raves.
"[The offense] is fun to play in," said Morris, who finished fourth in the ACC last season, averaging 279 passing yards per game. "The opportunity guys have to catch the ball and run with it, spread it out, go in the pro-set and run the ball -- it pleases the offensive line, the running backs, the receivers. We'll be in Wing one set, completely spread out the next. I'm excited for it. He's implemented his own stuff that he had before, and I think it's a great fit for us."
Fisher was notoriously reluctant to hand over play-calling duties, and that led Coley to depart when Miami made an offer this offseason. Randy Sanders replaced Coley as FSU's quarterbacks coach, but Fisher has not named a new offensive coordinator.
Meanwhile, Morris said Coley is mixing and matching the best of what he ran at Florida State with the best of Miami's 2012 playbook to build a diverse attack that nevertheless remains unique to Coley's point of view.
"He has an idea of what he wants, and he runs it by us," Morris said. "We tell him what we did last year similar to it, but at the end of the day, he has his own stuff he wants to run."
In the Hunt: Fall camp will open with a crowded secondary for Florida State, and even senior Lamarcus Joyner said he has no idea how the snaps will be distributed.
Joyner moved from safety to corner this spring, adding even more depth to a position that already includes potential stars in Nick Waisome, Ronald Darby, P.J. Williams, Keelin Smith and Jalen Ramsey. But while each has a claim to regular reps, Joyner said it's junior Tyler Hunter who has been taking command of the battle to ensure he's on the field when it counts.
Hunter was FSU's top nickel corner in 2012 and tied for the team lead with three interceptions, but he figures to be among the players most affected by Joyner's move to corner.
Hunter has been Florida State's defensive leader this summer, Joyner said, writing defensive scripts, meeting with new coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, and pushing his teammates during seven-on-seven drills.
"Tyler Hunter's been working," Joyner said. "He's hungry. ... He's been organizing seven-on-seven, talking to Coach Pruitt, trying to establish himself, and that's going to help our team be better."
Keeping quiet: South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney made waves last week when he said a handful of college football's top quarterbacks -- including Clemson's Tajh Boyd -- were afraid to play against him. Boyd ardently denied the claim Sunday, but laughed off the implications as typical trash talk.
But if Boyd was affable in public, Joyner said he wouldn't be surprised if there was some payback when Clemson and South Carolina face each other in November. Bulletin-board material has a way of lingering in players' minds, and that's why Joyner does his best to avoid providing any extra inspiration for the competition.
"You might say Lamarcus Joyner is a hard-hitting safety or whatever, and you may have a running back reading it saying, 'I'm going to truck his butt,' " Joyner said. "Just because people are afraid of you doesn't mean Tajh Boyd and other guys are afraid of you. Guys look forward to competing, and some people have got to understand, people are not going to bow down to you on the football field man."