Florida State's offense made strides last year as they were a top 50 offense for the first time in several years. The running game for the Seminoles was the team's strength as the passing game was inconsistent. One factor causing that was a new quarterback in Christian Ponder, but primarily FSU's playmakers couldn't stay out of trouble.
Bert Reed is the most explosive threat the Seminoles have. Last year when he was able to play he showed glimpses of potential as the homerun threat every team needs. 2009 is a big year for Bert, and with the attrition seen at the wide receiver spot FSU needs Reed to put it all together this fall.
2008 started very well for redshirt freshman Bert Reed as he was able to haul in 7 passes for 130 yards and 2 scores in the first 2 games. Against Western Carolina and TN-Chattanooga Reed showed amazing burst and explosiveness. Then against Miami and N.C. State Reed showed he was a threat not only as a wide out but also as the ‘Noles return man.
While the stats weren't big the plays he was making were needed, thus he showed the coaches and fans that he could be a guy who could be looked at as a dependable playmaker for FSU.
Soon after the half-way point of the season is when the bottom fell out for Reed. He started getting in trouble off-the-field as he missed classes and was involved in the on-campus fight that made national headlines. He missed games against Virginia Tech, Clemson and Boston College and wasn't very effective minus a few plays here and there in the Georgia Tech game.
What Does Bert need to do in 2009?
From all reports it seems that Reed has learned from last year and taken his opportunity he has at FSU very seriously. Bert had a good spring and has taken that momentum into a solid summer. Reed has emerged as a leader on the offense, especially among the group of young and inexperienced receivers. That is the first thing Bert needed to do to have a successful 2009, and it looks like he's knocked that out rather easily.
When it comes to on-the-field performance Reed has to put it together. Reed should be able to build on each game instead of playing in spots. With Greg Carr, Corey Surrency and Preston Parker gone from last year Reed is the primary candidate to be the dynamic playmaker on FSU's offense.
Reed is electrifying in space and is hard to stop in one-on-one coverage. What some may not know is that Bert is FSU's top returning threat in average yards per game. He needs to build upon those numbers and actually become a primary threat. FSU likes to get Bert the ball in space to create, but also he has the capability to get down field as he is the only returning receiver to have a catch over 40 yards other than Jarmon Fortson.
The Seminoles need Bert to catch around 40 balls and maintain his average of 13 yards per catch while also getting at least 6 touchdowns through the air. Bert will also play special teams as a returner but Reed needs to make his biggest impact as a receiving threat. Without a true playmaker outside teams will stack the box to stop FSU's potentially lethal rushing attack.
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