FSU DC Harlon Barnett talks defensive issues with running game and passing game.
Wayne McGahee III, Tallahassee Democrat
Florida State is doing whatever it can to fix the defensive issues that have popped up over the last three games.
The Seminoles (4-6, 2-5 ACC) made a change at linebacker in the 42-13 loss to Notre Dame to help with the level of communication.
Dontavious Jackson moved out to the weak-side linebacker position with Leonard Warner moving into Jackson’s spot as the starting middle linebacker.
FSU’s defense struggled to stop the Irish despite the change, but FSU defensive coordinator Barnett was still pleased with the way they played.
“You like that, first of all, they’ve both been in control of the defense in the middle of the defense, being able to call things out,” Barnett said.
“So D-Jack and Leonard are in there together, calling things out, seeing things, maybe helping one another out by seeing something, helping the entire defense out by calling something sooner because they’re working together. Does that make sense? That’s what you like about it.”
Jackson led the team with 11 tackles and also had an interception against Notre Dame. Warner had two tackles.
Defensive end Janarius Robinson split two reps with Brady Scott during the drill.
Offensive guard Christian Armstrong got the best of Malcolm Lamar at the first level and wide receiver Tamorrion Terry beat safety Cyrus Fagan during one of the reps to spring the running back free for a touchdown.
Wide receiver Keith Gavin also had a nice rep holding an extended block that allowed the running back to score.
Offensive tackle Abdul Bello beat defensive end Wally Aime in two reps. Aime took exception to it pushing Bello and getting in his face after both reps.
Defensive tackle Jamarcus Chatman beat center Baveon Johnson on one of the reps making the tackle at the line of scrimmage.
FSU’s starting offensive line during the beginning of practice remained the same unit the Seminoles used during the Notre Dame game. From left to right, it was Derrick Kelly, Arthur Williams, Alec Eberle, Mike Arnold and Jauan Williams.
The second team was Abdul Bello, Jalen Goss, Baveon Johnson, Christian Armstrong and Brady Scott.
The first-team wide receivers during FSU’s tempo drill were Keyshawn Helton, Nyqwan Murray and Tamorrion Terry. The second-team guys were Keith Gavin, D.J. Matthews and Ontaria Wilson. Tre’Shaun Harrison and George Campbell also rotated in some with the first team.
After tempo drills, the quarterbacks and running backs worked on some read option plays and then the receivers came over to work with the quarterbacks on some stop-and-go routes.
Both of FSU’s scout-team quarterbacks were wearing the No. 4 worn by Boston College’s backup quarterback, E.J. Perry. No quarterback was observed wearing Anthony Brown’s No. 13.
Campbell was working out, but wearing a blue non-contact jersey.
The biggest news on the defensive side of the ball was the absence of Jackson.
Linebackers Jaiden Woodbey and Adonis Thomas were both wearing non-contact jerseys during practice.
The offensive tackles and tight ends came over to work with the defensive ends on double teams and fighting them off.
Josh Kaindoh and Aime both had good reps, but the best reps of the day for the defense came from Brian Burns.
Burns was lined up against offensive tackle Jauan Williams and tight end Naseir Upshur. Burns won the first rep tossing Williams to the side, but the second rep was even better.
Burns hit a swim move that not only got Williams diving at air, but also Upshur. Both players missed Burns and fell to the ground because of the move, and Burns stepped around both players before doing a little dance as they were getting up.
It was an extremely impressive rep from Burns.
Scouts from the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders were in attendance at Wednesday’s practice.