Herm Edwards was easily the most interesting hire of the 2017-18 coaching cycle. And I’m not even sure there’s a close second. Edwards hadn’t coached at all in a decade and spent all of three years in the college game — at San Jose State from 1987-89.
And the Herm Era certainly got off to an interesting start in Tempe.
Anyone want to tell him? pic.twitter.com/ugrpCVNBY6
— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) December 4, 2017
The opening hoopla has subsided, though, and, in an interview with 1080 The Fan at Pac-12 media day, Edwards sounded like a coach perfectly comfortable with the nuances of the modern game (“You can’t get caught up in yards… no, no, no, it’s about possessions”) and his role in the program.
“The time limits you have in college are different than pro football,” he said. “It’s the 20-hour rule. How can you simplify things so the players can play well? You better be able to do that. I think, like any coach, you better be a good teacher. They all learn different, and you better be able to adjust to that. I think systems are nice to say, but I think systems are a part of the players you have and if you’re not willing to adjust your systems to the players you have, you’re going to fail, and the players are going to fail.”
The plan was to replace Todd Graham with Edwards and keep everything the same, giving coordinators Billy Napier and Phil Bennett total autonomy over their sides of the ball. But Napier got the Louisiana-Lafayette job and Bennett left for health reasons, so Rob Likens was promoted from wide receivers coach to offensive coordinator and Danny Gonzales was hired away from San Diego State to run the defense.
Still, Edwards will adapt to their schemes rather than the other way around.
“It was critical that I got two coordinators that have experience, because it’s easier for me to learn their systems than for me to sit there and say, ‘This is what I want,'” he said. “They’ve actually coached college football.”