The intensity that occurred on Florida State’s practice field daily during the 2013 season wasn’t frequently matched on Saturdays. As defensive line coach Odell Haggins recalls, every practice was ‘a war’ as the Seminoles’ stellar trench play forced competition on both sides of the ball.
Practice hard or get embarrassed.
Haggins, FSU’s defensive line coach since 1996, has been a coach on some dominant teams including a pair of national champions. On the 10-year anniversary of FSU’s undefeated 2013 season, Noles247’s On The Bench podcast has been interviewing former players to relive their memories from that season of dominance.
We talked to Haggins late in the offseason, and figured airing the interview would be fitting as this current FSU team – ranked No. 3 – heads to Boston College for a September contest with high expectations. As FSU treks north this weekend, it feels appropriate to mention that 2013 game up there when a Top 10 Seminoles squad was ambushed in the first half to fall behind 17-3 during a September contest in Chestnut Hill. FSU went on a 35-3 run – including a miraculous Hail Mary throw by Jameis Winston to Kenny Shaw before half time – and never trailed again the remainder of the regular season
“It woke us up,” Haggins said. “We weren’t playing gap-sound football at the time. We talked to them, we settled them down. Once we settled that team down, we understood what we was trying to do, put them in the best situation.
“Boston College, the first quarter now, they ran up and down the field. Like trying to hold water in our hand.”
“Those guys took it upon themselves in the second half to come out and say, ‘nah, this is not happening.’ And we put it together. …That was a big turning point, we made some changes on our defense for the betterment of the players to put the right pieces in the puzzle. When that happened, you see what happened after that.”
The interview also includes Haggins thoughts on the culture of that team, adjustments made in the national championship game, and the fun he had being part of that defensive coaching staff.
Plus Haggins discussed some of the players along the defensive front.
Timmy Jernigan was “violent” off the snap and “I’m using that word lightly. When he used to come off the football, you could hear it.”
Eddie Goldman became a technician by Year 2 and turned into a dominant defender.
Mario Edwards Jr. was keeping up with QBs running a 4.4 and was a “mean football player” as well as intelligent.
“On that championship team, guys that played their roles, that was one of the most important things. Doing your job, doing it for each other, not for thyself.”
Also, you can watch the show on YouTube now. We’ll do live streams as well, and you can get notifications on when we’re live by subscribing to our YouTube channel.