JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Make no excuses. Blame no one. Do something.
Those are three key points that Willie Taggart is emphasizing as Florida State opened spring practice on Wednesday morning.
Just in case any player were to forget any of those phrases all three of them were posted along the FSU practice fields.
Just about every college football coach in America will stress accountability and competition this time of year. While those are important to Taggart he simply wants his guys to get back to having fun.
“I like to have fun but we’re not going to come out here and substitute fun over fundamentals and technique,” said Taggart on Wednesday morning. “We’re going to do our work and coach hard and be aggressive. But we want to have fun. When you make big plays we want you to be excited about it.”
The Seminoles began last season as one of the favorites to reach the college football playoffs. They finished with a 7-6 record and before the season ended Jimbo Fisher left Tallahassee for Texas A&M. In his first year as the FSU head coach Taggart says that everyone has a clean start.
“Right now we’ve got an organizational chart,” said Taggart. “It’s going to move around because right now there is no depth chart. It’s going to move around, it’s fluent and it can change daily. We’ll start off with guys that have experience and have played and have done everything we’ve asked them to do. From there it’s about competing.”
There wasn’t much to like about the Seminoles 2017 season but as a freshman Cam Akers lived up to his billing as a 5-star recruit. Although there’s no official depth chart he’ll likely get plenty of touches in Taggart’s up tempo offense.
“It’s always good to be able to compete,” said Akers. “We have a lot of guys in position to make each other better. That’s what have here. A ton of guys in line to make each other better.”
By all accounts the 2017 season was disaster for the Seminoles. There’s plenty of blame to pass along as to why things didn’t pan out. Although he’s only been on campus for a couple of months it looks like the returning players are buying into Taggart’s message.
“We trust our coaches, we tried to do things our own way last year,” said sophomore defensive tackle Marvin Wilson. “Now we just do whatever coach wants. That’s what we’re going to do this year. Whatever they want we’re going to follow directions and do it.”