NoleGameday

New Energy, New Vibes at Florida State

Haylee Blitch/ NoleGameday

During the previous season, there was a worrisome cloud hovering over the Florida State Football program. Coaches, players, and fans alike were all not happy with the direction the program was heading. Understandably, losing football games leads to that kind of predicament. Everyone knew that changes were needed and that they were needed immediately. The previous coaching staff’s message became stale and was no longer resonating with the players. There was a lack of positive vibes and the negative energy was suffocating. Enter, Willie Taggart, a coach with an already impressive track record of turning around programs such as Western Kentucky, South Florida, and Oregon. Taggart has quickly realized the talent level on this team is much higher compared to any of his previous stops, and that this wasn’t a rebuilding job, but rather, more of a realignment.

With the first two practices of the spring open to the public, fans were able to witness up close the change occurring within the program. Players were more enthusiastic, relaxed, and really seemed to be enjoying football again. Coaches were encouraging their players to enjoy the practices and to celebrate with their teammates when one makes a big play; a complete culture shift from the previous coaching staff. Now, this doesn’t mean that practices aren’t as intense and serious, there is just a different approach now with a premium placed on the players feeling loose and enjoying themselves.

Another example of the new vibes at Florida State are the reactions from the players themselves. Multitudes of players have come forward with comments of how football is fun again in Tallahassee. With the emergence of comments stating that there is a different vibe and that they are absolutely loving life with the new coaching staff, players are expressing the idea of how stale the previous message had gotten. These reactions are quite encouraging to the idea that the players have bought into Coach Willie Taggart’s message, and are looking to bring the Florida State energy back from the 90’s. In a recent address to the media, sophomore defensive tackle Marvin Wilson stated that “it doesn’t feel like a job anymore,” and that “football is fun again and feeling like it should at Florida State.”

Times-are-a-changin’ at Florida State and it is quite an exciting time to be a fan. The staff still needs to prove that they can develop the players and win games, but it is hard to not be optimistic about the future of the program.


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