As the search begins for the next FIU offensive and defensive coordinators, time to ask what kind of schemes would you like to see from both sides of the ball next season.
Before we get to that, here's some of the latest from the DC search. This is the week that DC's will interview while the OC interviews begin next week. Word is that MC would like to have a DC hired by sometime next week and the OC in place by no later than the second or third week of January.
Among some of the first names to emerge to interview for the DC position are: Illinois linebackers coach Dan Disch, former Kansas defensive coordinator Clint Bowen, former Akron defensive coordinator Jim Fleming and Akron linebackers coach Vince Okruch. There are other defensive coaches that are ready to throw their hats in the ring for the job, including some Sun Belt coaches, but will wait until there is confirmation of the SBC coaches before posting on here.
In other FIU coaching news, tight ends coach Alex Mirabal has been named the Panthers offensive line coach and former offensive line coach Greg Laffere is now the FIU tight ends coach.
Tell us your takes on the FIU O & D schemes for next season. Here are a couple of takes to consider:
With the speed and athletes FIU recruits in the state and of course, locally in the tri-county area, the Panthers would probably be best served sticking to the spread offense to get those playmakers the ball in open space and utilize their speed to the max.
Ideally, would like to see the Panthers establish a clock-chewing, big-yardage running game to complement the spread, but FIU needs to develop or sign some big backs, along with a punishing offensive line. Can someone like a Jeremiah Harden or Kedrick Rhodes become that back? We'll see. As for the O-line, of course more beef is needed there. Certainly, the experience freshmen Dave Istanich and Rupert Bryan got last season will help.
With the new OC, would also like to see FIU take more shots passing downfield. The Panthers certainly have the speed with T.Y. Hilton, Junior Mertile, Wayne Times (left, thanks Alex J. Hernandez photo) and Dudley LaPorte, but Wesley Carroll will need the protection to have time to throw deep.
Also, keep working the WildPanther into the playbook. Kendall Berry was very effective running it last season and Wayne Younger also had his moments like the winning TD run vs. North Texas. Would be interesting to see T.Y. run the WildPanther, although not as much as KB, because of size concerns. From the Hilton Heave, we certainly know Goodbye can throw the ball.
Read in previous GPP post comments where some of you think FIU is best suited for a 3-4, because of the talent of the Panthers linebacking corps.
Not sure if FIU has that size upfront defensively to make the switch from a 4-3 to a 3-4. You have to be encouraged by what Tourek Williams (right, thanks AJH photo) and Andrew Mattox showed last season as freshmen, but the Panthers need more of that on the D-Line. Thatcher Starling also had his moments.
Agreed that FIU's D strength right now are the LBs. However, the only problem with that is that you need some big monsters on the D-Line to give the LBs some space to work their magic.
Maybe some of the incoming D-linemen will have the type of impact TW and AM had as freshmen last season. But who knows, maybe the new DC finds a way to play the 3-4 with what FIU has on the defensive line next season.
You have to like the potential of the FIU secondary with the type of season Jonathan Cyprien had last season, plus a senior Anthony Gaitor, Chuck Grace, Dez Johnson (expected to get a medical redshirt for an extra season), Jarrell McGee and the debut of Terrance Taylor and his former high school teammate and expected UCF transfer Corey Ammons. Yes, Ammons, who was between FIU and UCF on signing day last February is expected to join the Panthers for spring practice.
Your Panthers basketball team returns home after one month on the road for a 12 noon game against South Alabama on Thursday from the Bank. Will have a LIVE BLOG from this New Year's Eve afternoon game.