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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.”

Quick Hits: Les Miles, Randy Edsall, Paul Johnson, David Lee

Quoting LSU head coach Les Miles: “The perimeter of perception is not really what’s going on.  I just think we were very, very close to being the style of football team that we want to be.”


Quoting Maryland head coach Randy Edsall: “The bottom line is, in coaching and in life, it’s about taking people’s talents and getting the most out of them with what their strengths are in order to win, and that’s what we did." 


Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson blames himself: “The bottom line, when it’s said and done, I’ve got to do a better job. We’ve got to do a better job as coaches to make the thing happen.”

“I think we had some kids who were talented, but I think you have to mesh together as a team and you have to gel. That’s why I said during the year that I was frustrated because I’m accountable for creating that and I didn’t create it for whatever reason.”


Quoting Ole Miss offensive coordinator David Lee: “My best friend in this world is Houston Nutt.”

“My philosophy is to be diverse.  The defense has the advantage when they blitz.”

“I’m not being critical of Urban Meyer, I love him, but it looked like they tried to put a square peg in a round hole this year.  We have to find out what we can do best.  We have to find out who is going to be our quarterback.”

(on fast tempo) “We called it “Red Ball” with the Dolphins.  The defense can’t huddle.  They gotta get a call.  I think it’s here to stay.”

“I’ve been around a lot of great head coaches, Houston Nutt is the best motivator of men I’ve ever been associated with.  His Thursday night meetings, he won’t let the coaches in there, but they’ll be climbing the walls.”

(on if he will call the plays) “Yep.  100%.”

“I don’t know what’s fair to expect.  I asked Houston if we have enough.  He said, ‘I believe we do.’  That’s what the SEC is all about.”

David Shaw: 2 years of good football is not enough

Stanford head coach David Shaw wants to make the program a consistent winner, not just a two-year wonder.

During his introductory press conference on Thursday, Shaw stated, “We’re not there yet.  Two years of good football is not enough.  We’re aiming for consistency.”

“Our schemes are going to be the same.  We will be a physical running team once again.”

“Take the 2010 season…outstanding, phenomenal. We’re going to put it in a box.  We’re going to put a ribbon it and put it on the shelf.  We’re gonna let everyone else talk about that.  We’re going to get back to work.  Our goals are not met.  We did not win our conference.  Oregon did that.  But now, going into the Pac-12, our desire is to be the first champions of the Pac-12 conference.”

Here's the video of Shaw's introductory presser:


New coordinators David Lee and Geoff Collins hit the Mississippi airways

New Ole Miss offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach David Lee and Mississippi State co-defensive coordinator / linebackers coach Geoff Collins both hit the Mississippi airways this morning.

Lee appeared Reb Sports Radio and said, “I have never had more fun and meshed better with a coach than Houston Nutt.  This will be our fourth time together.”

“The system won’t change too much.  These players and coaches have been in the system for a long time, so it wouldn’t be smart for me to come in and change 90% of the terminology.  I’m not going to bring in our terminology from Miami (Dolphins).  I do, however, want to work with the new receivers coach, whoever that might be, on some passing route combinations.”

Collins told host Matt Wyatt with First Call, “I got here about 5 AM this morning and I’m ready to get going.”

“Our expectation is to be the best defense in the country and the best group of linebackers in the country.  You have to set goals.”

“At the end of the day, you are only as good as your players.  I absolutely love recruiting.  Some coaches look at it as a pain or evil.  I am passionate about it.”

“4 things…Playing hard, having a nastiness, being physical, and the fundamentals of tackling are really, really important.”

“Before I got to FIU, they played MTSU with Dwight Dasher and allowed 369 yards on missed tackles. Then my first year against the same team with Dwight Dasher, we had just 4 yards of missed tackles.”