When I first heard Charles Kelly speak, I knew Florida State's defense would be fine. The three seasons since have proven that assumption.
Back then, Kelly had just ascended to Florida State's defensive coordinator spot after Jeremy Pruitt left for Georgia when I heard him speak at the Angelo Football Clinic. Since then, the 'Noles have won 33 of the 40 games in which Kelly has led the defense, including an ACC championship and a trip to the College Football Playoff in 2014 and a 10-3 mark with a near-miss of eventual national champion Clemson and an Orange Bowl victory over Michigan while playing most of the season without their best defender.
Speaking to a backed ballroom of coaches at the AFCA Convention in Nashville earlier this month, Kelly shared the following thoughts.
On why he loves coaching: "We influence more young men in a year than most people do in a lifetime."
On shutting himself off from outside voices: "I don't look at anything on social media, I don't read anything in print. It's either going to make you feel too good or too bad."
On working for Jimbo Fisher: "What I love about Jimbo, he's going to back his coaches and players to the tilt."
On the nature of coaching: "This is a work business. People like to hire people and work with people that like to work."
On his goal for the pass rush: "You don't alway shave to sack the quarterback, but you have to affect the quarterback." (FSU led the nation in sacks per game last season.)
On emphasizing third down: "We take a certain part of the week and spend nothing but time on third down." (FSU finished 17th in third down defense last year.)
Speaking of his weekly schedule, Kelly shared his in-season practice plan, which we've provided below.