Florida State Preview 2006 Further Analysis
Florida State Seminoles
Posted Jul 31, 2006

Florida State Seminoles Preview 2006 Further Analysis

1st and Ten – In reality, it was more than just good – As the NFL Draft commenced this past April, ACC defensive players came off the board faster than Asafa Powell and Justin Gatlin running the 100 meter dash.  But, as 14 defensive players came off the board in the first 63 selections, one thought kept coming back, “Gee, Drew Weatherford really had a good year”.  If that doesn’t make sense right off the bat, let me explain.  As Weatherford suffered his ups and downs in 2005 as a redshirt freshman, the jury seemed to still be out on him and his performance.  But, consider the fact that he threw for over 3,200 yards and threw for 18 touchdowns against the defenses he faced last season, and maybe it makes you think twice about what an extremely strong year he actually had.  Sure, Weatherford did throw 18 interceptions and he had to navigate Jeff Bowden’s ‘sometimes conservative’ offensive scheme, not to mention the fact that he had no real running game to help his cause.  But, add in the fact that he faced first/second round NFL talent every single week (the Citadel game notwithstanding), maybe the FSU faithful should feel more confident about the man under center.  Weatherford’s goal for this year has to be continued progress with his decision making and being able to push Bowden’s offense to its limits – utilizing all that it has to offer (which some would argue isn’t much, but I digress).  But, with Chris Davis, Greg Carr and DeCody Fagg returning, he’s got some experience and talent out on the perimeter that he can use to exploit ACC defenses.  2006 ACC defenses, that is.  He may be overshadowed by the Brady Quinns and the Troy Smiths of the world, but the Seminoles have the best QB in the ACC on their side.   

2nd and Seven – The Lone Survivor – FSU doesn’t ever have a problem finding linebacker types in the state of Florida, but after losing both AJ Nicholson and Ernie Sims to the NFL, the linebacker corps has some holes to fill.  Luckily for the Noles, the best, arguably, of last year’s trio is back – Buster Davis.  Some might argue that Sims was more athletic and Nicholson was the prototype at that position, but Davis is the one who consistently made plays.  He did finish second on the team in tackles behind Nicholson with 81, but he also had 10.5 tackles for a loss.  At 5’10” and 240 pounds, he looks more like a short brick wall than he does a middle linebacker, but Davis is so quick between the tackles that he’s difficult to block.  He explodes through ball carriers and is one of the more physical players in the nation.  He won’t be a guy that demands NFL GM’s attention like Sims due to his, well, shortcomings, but the man makes plays, pure and simple.  A lot of them, as a matter of fact.

3rd and Three – ‘Zo’s Time – Many will look back at Lorenzo Booker’s career with derision and perhaps think of him as a disappointment.  As the number one back/player in the country when he came out of St. Bonaventure High School in California, he carried so much promise as the next great FSU running back.  Four years later, things haven’t worked out quite as well as Booker, or the FSU staff, would’ve hoped.  Although Booker wouldn’t offer up excuses for his production the past three years, it’s seemed that he’s been running up hill from jump.  Put Booker in a power zone scheme like Wisconsin’s or Minnesota’s and he might have been a 1,500 yard stud, looking to cap a strong career with a Heisman trophy.  But, in FSU’s offense, running behind an average line (one that has been banged up as well), he’s been more like a fancy hood ornament – nice to look at, but no real considerable value.  And, that’s got to be the number one task for Bowden and his dad this fall – how do we get Booker the ball enough to get the most out of him and how creative can we be to get him the ball.  Some might think they already know the answer to that one – they can’t, but if that’s the case, then Booker has to find a way to use his assets – feet, quickness and vision – within the scope of the FSU run game.  It’s his time – what can he do with one more shot?

4th and One – The Rookie – As a defensive coordinator in the ACC, starting a true freshman perhaps ranks right up there with getting a tooth pulled.  But, FSU DC Mickey Andrews has been around the block enough to know that he’s got to find a way to get his best players on the field.  If he takes a page out of rival University of Miami DC Randy Shannon’s ‘playbook’, then Myron Rolle will be the Seminoles’ starting strong safety as soon as fall camp commences.  Last year, Shannon inserted mega-talent Kenny Phillips into the lineup for an injured Anthony Reddick and never looked back.  Phillips and Rolle are different as players – Phillips might be a tad more athletically gifted, whereas Rolle is a bit more cerebral in his approach to the game – but what’s hard to argue with is the impact that Rolle, a 6’2”, 218 pound heat seeking missile from New Jersey, could have right away.  His physical talents are unquestioned and he’s an incredibly intelligent young man who appreciates knocking a receiver into next week.  Rolle fits that intimidating, hard hitting Seminole style; it’s just that he’s also a 4.0 GPA kid who studies the game as well.  He might be a rookie, but he could possibly be one answer in an inexperienced secondary.

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