Tuesday's Premium Football Notebook
Willie Reid's return this Saturday will be the first time that coaches are able to access how well he's healed and whether Reid is back to full capacity.
Offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden said he doesn't know what to expect when Reid takes the field, but judging by what Bowden has seen during practice Reid looks unhindered despite the twist that occurred in his knee in the 10-7 win over Miami.
"I think he'll be ready to start," Bowden said. "He practiced good today and was able to do everything."
Last week, Reid said that was able to sprint with ease and that his range of motion was nearly complete.
Florida State's young receivers, primarily De'Cody Fagg and Greg Carr, have adjusted well in Reid's absence, leaving Bowden with multiple options to call upon against the Orange.
"We'll rotate just like we have been," Bowden said. "We want to be fresh in the fourth quarter."
Head coach Bobby Bowden shared a slightly less optimistic view on Reid's recovery and felt that Reid will likely only work in certain circumstances.
"Willie (Reid) can go so long," said Bowden, anticipating that Reid will be used more sparsely in Saturday's game. "I think his moving is good. The pain after he moves is what's hurting him."
KEEPING LEE HAPPY
Reserve quarterback Xavier Lee went public on an internet publication with his frustration earlier in the week about his role as a back-up and his diminishing playing time.
Bowden said Tuesday that he wasn't aware of Lee's concerns and that he doesn't foresee the need to address the issue unless it affects the team's focus.
"I wouldn't think anybody would be happy if they weren't playing," Bowden said.
A TEST FOR DREW
Jeff Bowden shrugged off the notion that Saturday's game could potentially be a blowout, even indicating an edge that Syracuse holds over a previous opponent.
"I think their linebackers and their secondary is a little more skilled than Boston College," said Bowden.
The Orange has the fourth-ranked pass efficiency defense, sixth-ranked pass defense (128.33) and top turnover margin (2.67) in the nation.
There are nine returning starters from a defense that limited the Seminoles to 169 passing yards and no passing touchdowns in their meeting last season in Syracuse.
"That's the same group that gave us fits last year," Bobby Bowden said. "It will be another very big test. No doubt about it."
Weatherford readying for Syracuse's multiple look defense
Outside of the game against Miami, where the Hurricanes threw a completely uncharacteristic defensive scheme at the Tribe, the Seminole offensive attack has been able to key in on specific opposing defensive game plans.
Unlike games against The Citadel and Boston College, however, Saturday's match-up with Syracuse will be one featuring a multi-faceted defense under the direction of head coach/defensive coordinator Greg Robinson, who is known for his uncanny defensive prowess.
"Their defense is really tough, they show a lot of looks that other schools don't show," starting quarterback Drew Weatherford said. "They have an incredible coordinator that was in the (NFL) for a really long time so he makes it real difficult and he knows how to confuse quarterbacks and cause them to turnover the ball."
Confusing the quarterback is something that Seminole players, fans and coaches alike are all hoping won't happen this weekend. Weatherford has been studying film and understands just how critical it will be for him to pick up on the defensive packages, no matter how many there are.
"They do a really good job of mixing it up," Weatherford said. "Their defensive coordinator does a great job of showing every team different looks and they have four or five different types of defenses that they can run. They play real hard."
And mixing it up is the Orange's specialty as through the course of their first three games, Robson has used several packages in several varying situations. The consistent switching eliminates any advantage an opposing offensive unit would otherwise gain through watching film.
The Seminoles do know one thing, however. Through watching game tape, offensive coaches and players have picked up on the movement of the Syracuse cornerback and safety in a scheme that has yet to be presented to them this season.
"This is the first time this year we are going to play what they call a trap technique," Weatherford said. "A lot of times on the boundary the corner will walk in and play as like a run support. Instead of rolling a safety down they will bring the corner in and put the safety overtop but once we show pass the corner runs back out and tries to cover. So that's a different look that we are going to have to get used to."
As reported yesterday, defensive tackle Letroy Guion was held out of practice with his right arm in a sling.
The freshman standout defender told RenegadeReport.com today that he will be fine for this weekend's game and that he just had some fluid removed from the elbow.
And there is more good news as junior linebacker Ernie Sims, who suffered a sprained ankle against Boston College, has returned to practice and will be good to go Saturday; thanks to a new brace.
"I am doing good," Sims said. "They fitted me with a molded brace to fit my ankle and it's feels real good. I feel a lot more agile out there on the field."
The fitted brace will only help alleviate any potential hesitation that Sims might feel on the Saturday in regards to aggravating the injury.
Although when questioned about any hesitation, Sims simply smiled and stated: "I am never hesitant."
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