CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Florida State threw the offensive playbook out the window this spring.
New coordinator Kendal Briles has been universally praised by coach Willie Taggart and the Seminoles as a teacher. He is hands on. He keeps things straightforward.
And he’s doing it without a playbook, which is what he has done at multiple stops in his young career at Baylor, Florida Atlantic and Houston.
“It’s no playbook at all,” FSU wide receiver Tamorrion Terry said. “It’s a simple offense and we just have to learn. We watch film a lot and when he teaches us, he tells us the plays. It’s so simple that we don’t really need a playbook.”
The difference is night and day, especially for FSU’s veterans. Long gone is the extensive playbook of coach Jimbo Fisher. Taggart brought in the Gulf Coast Offense in 2018. And now the Seminoles are learning Briles’ system, which features many similarities to Taggart’s offense.
There’s an emphasis on tempo, running the ball, spacing and putting the ball in playmakers’ hands. That is music to the ears of players like Terry, who had an FSU freshman record eight receiving touchdowns last season.
“It’s so much fun,” Terry said. “Coach Briles, he is a great OC. I love getting coached by him. I just have to stay focused and buy in to what he teaches me.”
Terry is one of the top returning receivers in the ACC, averaging more than 21 yards per catch. He is the prototype receiver – 6-foot-4 and 203 pounds – with speed and the physicality to fight for the ball.
Coming off a breakout redshirt freshman season, Terry said he has put in the time this spring and summer working to refine his skills.
“Coming off the ball more faster, my footwork, high-pointing the ball, just little things like that,” Terry said. “I’m always in the stadium doing drill work, always in the weight room lifting weights. Just keeping my body right and just keeping everything together. Just going out there, trying to work, have this season much better.”
The topic of Clemson comes up in nearly every interview with coaches and players around the league at ACC Kickoff.
FSU defensive tackle Marvin Wilson was asked about the FSU-Clemson rivalry and immediately recalled his Oct. 2016 recruiting visit to watch the teams play in Doak Campbell Stadium, which featured a back-and-forth final quarter in which the No. 1 Tigers defeated the No. 8 Seminoles 37-34.
Wilson remembered the build-up was one that was billed as Deshaun Watson vs. Dalvin Cook.
“That’s one thing we talk about in the locker room,” Wilson said. “The majority of my class was at that game. We saw how the stadium was rocking. That’s one of the top 5 moments in my FSU career and I wasn’t even playing yet. … Ever since then I fell in love with that rivalry.”
Let’s shut the door on 2018
Taggart has tried throughout the offseason to shake off questions about 2018. They have kept coming, whether it’s on the spring booster tour or this week at ACC Kickoff.
“We put that behind us a long time ago,” Taggart said. “Only time we talk about it is when we are asked about it. I don’t think it’s fair to our 2019 team to continue to talk about ‘18’s team. We learned from our mistakes, the things that cost us to be the way that we were. We’ve been working on it diligently since then to make sure we correct those things.”
FSU opens camp early
The Seminoles will report to camp on Aug. 1 and hold their first practice on Aug. 2. Yes, that’s right – just two weeks from today. It’s coming up fast but, then again, so is the opener on Aug. 31 against Boise State.