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Clemson: "We're the total package"
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D-II version of "Evolution of Dance"

James Franklin makes soft guarantee during halftime speech

At halftime of the Vanderbilt basketball game on Wednesday evening, new head coach James Franklin addressed the crowd.

Franklin said, “We have a plan.  We have a vision for what this program can be.  But we can’t do it alone.  We need everybody’s support.  We need this community, this campus, to come together and be united more than it ever has before.”

“Thank you so much.  I can guarantee you that there are bright days ahead.  We have a very specific plan.  Failure is not an option.  Go Dores!”

We were bracing for an explosive and bold statement such as, "I am hear to tell you that we will own this state and have no plans to lose to Derek Dooley ever."  Unfortunately, Franklin didn't say that, opting for a much more conservative approach.

Franklin did explain to the television audience shortly thereafter, “It starts first with the administration.  We’re willing to do whatever it takes to win.  We have a very clear vision with what we’re trying to get done.”

“The important thing to me is that we are aggressive.  We have to take advantage of our strengths.  We have to hide our weaknesses.  We’re not going to be afraid to make mistakes.”

Franklin will coach his first game when Vandy hosts Elon University in early September.  Other non-conference games include UCONN, Army, and at Wake Forest.


Al Borges: I'm on the Brady Hoke page

As Michigan’s new offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach, Al Borges says, “I’m on the Brady Hoke page.”

Borges, who led the Auburn offense during their undefeated season in 2004, couldn’t wait to follow Brady Hoke from San Diego State to Michigan.

Borges says, “It doesn’t get much better than this.  This place is the best. To be here is a little surreal.”

“I’m on the Brady Hoke page.  Toughness is critical.  There are a lot of people coming off the ball.   You start with toughness and great effort.  Offensively, there has to be a premium on execution.”

“I was once told a great coach make the kids do what he wants them to do.  And that’s what we’re going to do.  We’re going to hard coach them, love ‘em up and we’re going to make it hard on them sometimes.”

During his career, Borges has served as the offensive coordinator at Portland State, Boise State, Oregon, UCLA, Cal, Indiana, Auburn, and San Diego State.  In his four years at Auburn, the Tigers were 41-9.


Quick Hits: Mattison, Pasqualoni, Minter, Morris, Spurrier

Greg Mattison explains decision to leave Baltimore for Michigan: “The biggest reason is Brady. I know he's going to win. Michigan is a special place. The longer you're away from it, even when you're in the NFL, it's still Michigan. Every Saturday when we're in our rooms relaxing before the Sunday games, I always watched Michigan. That doesn't leave you."

"When Brady got the job (at Michigan last Tuesday), I said to myself, 'If I'm going to do this, I'm going to do this with Brady. I wouldn't have gone to any other college team. I wouldn't have changed what I was doing for anybody but Brady.


UCONN head coach Paul Pasqualoni explains his offensive philosophy: “The philosophy will be to score, kick or punt the ball over the opponent's 25-yard line every time we have it.”

“It's a complementary game. So I want the offense complementing the defense and I want the defense getting the ball and putting it on a short field for the offense. If you pay attention to those things, you have a chance to have great success. And we'll pay attention to those things and especially turnovers and ball security, because those are big factors in determining winning and losing at any level.”


Rick Minter remembers when Rex Ryan served as his defensive coordinator at the University of Cincinnati: "It's really his bravado that you remember most about Rex. He had our players believing nobody could score on them. There's a fine line between confidence and arrogance, but Rex really doesn't care what other people think. It's just an honest trait, and he has that confidence. He can also laugh at himself."


Tampa Bay Bucs head coach Raheem Morris says Rich Bisaccia left to help him become a head coach: "That shouldn’t surprise anybody. Rich has been one of those fence guys for the last five years. I’m leaving, I’m leaving, I’m leaving, okay, I’m staying.”

"I don’t know that he wants a change of scenery, he wants to be a head coach. In order to do that, he thinks he’s got to go and meet other people, get involved with different organizations. There’s nothing else, I guess, he can do from Tampa. I think it’s a really good move for him.”


Spurrier doesn’t believe his team deserves “much preseason ranking” : “Our guys are not good at handling a lot of success, that’s for sure. I don't think that (USC) coaches will tell them they’re that good. I hope they don't believe it after the last game, and the way we played the last two games, we don't deserve much preseason ranking, I don't think.”


Is Dabo saying Clemson may win the national championship?

Early in the 2010 season, Dabo Swinney witnessed first-hand the problems of defending Gus Malzahn’s offensive scheme.

After finishing the season with a 6-7 record, Swinney went out and hired perhaps the offensive coordinator who most closely resembles Malzahn’s scheme.

With the hire of Tulsa offensive coordinator Chad Morris, Swinney is hoping his Tigers can replicate the recent success of Auburn.

Dabo explained, “I’ve talked to Gus several times at length about Chad.  I think it’s important to note Auburn won seven regular season games last year.  We won six.  They were 3-5 in conference play last year, we were 4-4.  This year, they won a national championship for the first time since 1957.”

Morris told The Post and Courrier, "Gus and I go way back. I'm very honored that he lent a helping hand when I was kind of down. Coaches borrow. My philosophy is a lot of what Gus has believed in."

Clemson hosts Troy and Auburn to start of the 2011 season.  The Tigers will host Florida State and UNC, but do travel to Virginia Tech.

Jedd Fisch lands coordinator job without knowing Al Golden

When Miami (FL) head coach Al Golden contacted Seattle Seahawks quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch about the Hurricanes’ offensive coordinator position, Golden had never previously talked with Fisch.

Fisch, who is highly regarded amongst the NFL circles, told the Miami Herald, "I never met Coach Golden prior to our phone conversations, and I couldn't be more impressed. Obviously, it's not an easy decision to make when you're in the middle of a playoff run."

Si.com writer Peter King explained, “Jedd really is a highly regarded NFL assistant.  I think he is good.  I was really surprised that he left, even to be an offensive coordinator at Miami because I think his star was on the rise in the NFL.  I think it is a very good hire by Miami.  I think if he had stayed at Seattle, he was going to be an offensive coordinator in the NFL soon, so I am scratching my head a little bit, but I think it is a good hire for Miami.”

In his first year in Seattle as the quarterbacks coach under Pete Carroll, Fisch previously worked in his career with Spurrier, Mike Shanahan, and Brian Billick.  So who is Jedd Fisch?

The Hurricanes’ 2011 schedule includes non-conference games against Ohio State, Kansas State, Bethune-Cookman, and at South Florida.  The conference road schedule is tough with games at North Carolina, at Florida State, at Maryland, and at Virginia Tech.


Video: Billick 101: QB Progression

Quick Hits: Kevin Wilson, Larry Fedora, and Vandy assistants

Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson says he will start out in charge of the offense: “I’ll be a little bit more involved with offense initially just making sure the logistics and communications. Someone’s going to be in charge, and offensively starting out it’s going to be me. We’ll delegate who’s going to be a play caller if it’s me or someone else or who’s got final say.”


Larry Fedora compliments his defensive coordinator Todd Bradford, who accepted the linebackers job at Maryland: "First of all, I'm torn. I'm happy for Todd. He feels like this is a move he needs to make. I'm just thankful for the job he did while he was here. He worked extremely hard, he was very loyal and he did a heck of a job. I'm sorry to see him go. If he feels like this is the best opportunity for him, I wish him the best and we'll move on from here."

(on his search for a new defensive coordinator) "It's more about the right coach. We were multiple. We were based out of a 4-3, but we dropped into the 3-4. Just about everybody runs a 4-3 and has a way to slide into another scheme. That part of it is not so much important as it is finding the right coach."


Vanderbilt offensive line coach Herb Hand says the program is not far off: "If you go through and look at what happened last year in our season, there were seven games where things could have went either way. That's something James and I have talked about, that we're not that far off. We're not that far away. It's not like we're just starting a brand new program.”


Vanderbilt quarterbacks coach Ricky Rahne says QB recruit is top priority: "(Recruiting a top quarterback) is critical. It's evaluation. No one thought Jay Cutler was Jay Cutler before he got here. No one thought Josh Freeman was Josh Freeman before he got there (to Kansas State). Nebraska was recruiting Josh Freeman to play tight end. It's evaluation. You go get something you want. One man's diamond is another man's coal."

Quick Hits: Chizik, Spurrier, UCONN assistants, Strausser

Gene Chizik talks about staff stability: “We're pleased to move forward with a coaching staff that will remain intact for a third straight year. Our staff retention was a huge factor in our National Championship run and will be important as we prepare for 2011 season."


UCONN defensive backs coach Darrell Perkins describes the coaching profession to the Hartford Courant: "Nothing is ever promised to you, and that's just kind of how I live my life. You never take anything for granted. As I always tell my players, just do your best and let God take care of the rest."


UCONN offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead told the Hartford Courant he is still in limbo: "You have a mortgage to pay, bills to take care of, a wife and three kids to provide for, and you just want to make sure as the sole provider to your family unit, you're doing right by them.”


Quoting Steve Spurrier: "We thought it was a good year, but not a great year."


Boise State offensive line coach Chris Strausser has high praise for grad assistant Jeff Cheek: “Like any profession, it's hard to get a job right now. I think he'll have some opportunities over the next few months. He's a very employable guy, and he'll get a job when the right time comes.” 

Paul Pasqualoni and Bill Blankenship describe their plans

Quoting UCONN head coach Paul Pasqualoni: “Offensively, the goal will be to be balanced.”

“We can talk about all we want about football, but it’s about PLAYERS not plays.”

“I wanted my kids to grow up on a college campus.  I didn’t get married until I was 48.  I’ve got an 11 year old, a 10, and 8.  I couldn’t be happier for them to grow up in this environment.”

“We’ll be in Canada recruiting.  We’ll be in DC, Dade & Broward counties.  We will develop every possible prospect from this state.”

“I assured Jeff Hathaway we would sit down every member on this (current) staff.  I have a high regard for these men.  At that point, we will then go out and formulate the staff.  There are coaches out there that I have been in contact with.”

“You’re as old as you feel.  I feel like I have more juice today than 10 years ago.  I feel great.”


Quoting Tulsa head coach Bill Blankenship: “Let me first thank my bride, Angie.  I am in the club that completely outkicked my coverage with my bride.”

“Todd Graham has taken this program to a new level.  There is no anticipation or expectation of trying to keep up with that.  We’re going to take it to the next level, take something from good to great.”

“Now that I have the job, I’m not trying to butter up anyone on this, if you haven’t seen the changes (in our administration), that leadership has taken us to another level.”

“I was determined if I got in the batter’s box and was going to swing for the fence.  I knew it wasn’t up to me, but I thought I did well enough (in the interview) to be considered.”

(on the overall program) “It will be more similar than different.”

(on the offense) “It’s going to be up-tempo, exciting, balls in the air type of offense.  That’s how I’ve always done it.”

“We have the guys in place to take the #24 ranked team in the country and move forward.”