With every hour FSU fans are growing more and more impatient with Willie Taggart. Well over a month on the job and he still doesn’t have a complete coaching staff.
The hang-up now is with Alabama’s Mike Locksley. Everything I’m hearing from multiple sources indicate that a deal was done with him, but Alabama countered and now FSU is possibly renegotiating.
If it doesn’t work out with Locksley, a name brought up by Josh Newberg with the FSU 24/7 Sports site is Walt Bell, the offensive coordinator for Maryland. Could he be the backup plan at offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach if Locksley doesn’t go down?
I reported Friday that a deal with Locksley was done and thought his hiring would be announced, but with each passing day, that’s less likely.
Everyone Taggart hired had counter offers, but ultimately wanted to be at FSU. Many factors go into making the decision to leave your job and go to another school, so I don’t blame Locksley for wanting to stay, but I also will say that if you want a coach from a top school, put the money down to get him.
There is speculation that Locksley would like the Bama offensive coordinator job; now that Brian Daboll has resigned and is headed back to the NFL, that path appears clearer. I also believe Locksley would like to be a head coach sooner than later, but all this delay is forcing FSU’s hand.
Walt Bell, honestly, might be a better fit for FSU.
He’s young and considered a fast riser in coaching circles. He was named offensive coordinator at Maryland at 29-years-old and was the OC at Arkansas State before coming to Maryland. Being that young, his clock isn’t ticking as fast to become a head coach the way it would be for Locksley if he were hired.
I asked a few contacts who have coached with or against Bell and they consider him knowledgeable in terms of X’s and O’s. An “ability to become the next Lincoln Riley” was what I was told.
He’s not Locksley on the recruiting trail, but he is apparently good in the D.C., Maryland, Virginia area which is one of the qualities that makes him fit in with the Noles’ new recruiting philosophy.
Honestly, Locksley might have put himself in a box this time.
He was pegged by Jim McElwain to become the offensive coordinator at UF last year, but stayed at Alabama with the promise of not just becoming an on-field assistant, but the offensive coordinator. Then Alabama hired Daboll for that position. Locksley is holding on to the hope that he might get the promotion at Alabama this time around.
I think he’ll get more money thanks to the leverage FSU’s interest is giving him, but if Saban finds a better X’s and O’s guy, Locksley will be the odd man out again. That will keep him stuck at Bama as nobody is going to be willing to go through this game with Locksley for a third time.
Another interesting consideration in all of this to me is if Taggart is willing to give up some of the control regarding calling plays. Bell calls the plays now and I don’t think he makes a move to Tallahassee to become the offensive coordinator in name only.
Article Originally Appeared on Gridiron Now: http://gridironnow.com/new-candidate-emerges-seminoless-search-offensive-coordinator