If you were looking for one element of the 2013 Florida State Seminoles that best embodies the unselfishness of this team -- you'd be hard pressed to find a better example than the job FSU's wide receivers do blocking down the field.
"A lot of runs that we get, you guys say ‘oh the back is shifty and he explodes from the line of scrimmage,’ but the big runs down the field happen because the receivers are blocking their tails off," said RB Karlos Williams.
It's an element of the game that largely goes unnoticed.
Unless of couse a guy gets a kill-shot -- as happened with Kelvin Benjamin last Saturday -- then it's kind of hard to miss.
“I think he was like a linebacker, I knew Karlos was going to get get the pitch and if he would have shot down I would’ve just had to like scrape paint on him," said Benjamin on Tuesday. "But he basically set himself up, because they teach him not to bite on the fake like that and he bit down -- so he really set it up himself.”
"When I saw him come in I was like ‘this should be perfect.’”
Benjamin de-cleated his man and then proceeded to walk directly to the sideline, never checking to make sure Williams scored on the play.
“We knew Karlos was going, we go through that in practice, as long as we take care of our man we know he should get in the endzone,” said Benjamin.
“Coach was laughing with me, he liked that intensity.”
Added Williams: “I think that he knew once I got around the corner and he made that block, he knew it was going to be a touchdown, I don’t fault him for that, I appreciate that.”
That block, however, is not an isolated incident. That's fairly common on this Florida State offense -- if you look for it.
"Those guys really take pride in blocking," said Williams. "You know Kenny [Shaw] takes pride in blocking, being Kenny’s size you would say ‘Oh he’s not a great blocker.’ Kenny’s a great blocker. He’ll block anybody for anybody."
Shaw is arguably the best blocking receiver on the team. Take for instance this run -- made last season by Chris Thompson -- in which Shaw essentially turns a long run into a touchdown blocking about 50 yards down the field.
“When you're a little guy you’ve got to show you’ve got toughness too," said Shaw.
Florida State's run game has been solid all year and the backs and offensive line deserve a lot of credit. But fans would be remiss not to acknowledge the contributions the receivers have made this year blocking down the field and on the edges.
"Even our young guys go out there and throw their bodies into blocks," said Williams. "Our quarterbacks do it, you’ve seen [Jacob] Coker throw a block on a reverse for Kermit [Whitfield]. I think it’s the pride that these guys take in it."
For the receivers, a big part of that mentality comes from their coach. Lawrence Dawsey was an exceptional blocker in his time at FSU.
“That’s just something he preaches, 'if you want the ball you’ve got to be a blocker first,'" said Benjamin. "And right after I made that great block I had a great touchdown, so. That’s just how stuff goes around."
Who knew blocking could be so karmic?
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