Florida State's decline since the 2013 national championship season, or even since a 10-2 season in 2016, can't be blamed on one position group. But the problems with the Seminoles' offensive line have been there for all to see.
Last fall, FSU led the Power 5 in percentage of plays for zero or negative yards (41). Among Power 5 teams, only Oregon State and Louisville gave up more sacks per game than the Seminoles (3). Since 2015, Florida State ranks 17th nationally (fourth in the Power 5) in percentage of plays for zero or negative yards (35.9).
In 2017, ESPN analyst Jesse Palmer called Florida State's offensive line "arguably the worst position group in Power 5 football." Anyone who watched FSU in 2018 might have removed the "arguably" part. The end to the tenure of veteran line coach Rick Trickett wasn't good, and although Greg Frey arrived last year with great credentials, the former FSU tackle couldn't get his alma mater on track.
Randy Clements will take his shot this season. new FSU offensive coordinator Kendal Briles is receiving more attention, but Clements might end up being the more impactful addition to Willie Taggart's staff. Few position groups among high-profile programs need a jolt more than the FSU offensive line, and it's up to Clements to provide one.
Starting with Clements, I picked one new assistant for each position group who should make a significant impact in the 2019 season. While all these coaches are accomplished, this isn't necessary a best coaches' list, but one that accounts both for coaching aptitude and the needs of each position.
Let's get started.