Clemson AD shares his candid thoughts on staff changes
Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips shared his thoughts on the recent staff changes at Clemson with the Post and Courier.
On Sunday, Dabo Swinney announced that offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Billy Napier and running backs / special teams coordinator Billy Napier would not return to the staff.
Phillips indicates Swinney and Napier were not on the same page, philosophically. He also took a shot at some coaches by adding that Clemson’s 9-win team of 2009 (ACC Coastal Champs) had some great players that camouflaged the coaching deficiencies.
Regarding the relationship Swinney had with Napier, Phillips said, "It's hard for me to say. I'm not over there sitting in the meetings. I know off the field they had a very good working relationship. It wouldn't surprise me if there were some differences philosophically; you have that in the best of circumstances. In 2008, when Dabo took over at midseason they had reasonable success, they had some good wins. I think they felt comfortable that they just needed to try to improve upon where they were when they meshed together in that interim period. Of course the next year we had some players that were maybe able to gloss over some deficiencies.”
So what happened to this year’s team that finished 6-7?
Phillips said, "We did lose some key players, C.J. (Spiller) and Jacoby (Ford), two players Dabo recruited. I think the game at Auburn put a little dent in us. That's a game we all recognize that's one of those 'shouldas' against a team that might win the national championship. We lost a very good running back (Andre Ellington) that could have helped us down the stretch. We didn't quite have the receivers we have had. ... and we all know the kicking game."
No mention of Napier or Powell being a problem in THAT answer.
At FootballScoop, we always back coaches. We don't like to see coaches being let go and we dread reporting the news when good football coaches lose their jobs.
We also leave our opinions off the table. We just report the information and let you form your own opinion. In this case, however, we believe Dabo and Terry Don should talk less in 2011. You don't have to explain every single thing you do inside your program.
Sure, as leader of the organization, there are times when you do have to talk. With that being said, the more you talk, the more you open yourself up to criticism.
Quick Hits: Bo Davis, Nick Aliotti, Hank Hughes
Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti talks about preparing for Cam Newton: "I've been sleeping like a baby: I wake up every two hours and cry."
Bo Davis describes interviewing with Mack Brown: It was very thorough and kind of surprising. Coach Mack [Brown] asked a lot of questions - which were good questions - because they check your character out and see what kind of person you're getting to come work with your kids, and I think that's very important. It was very thorough.
“Even when we talked about contracts and all that, I said, 'Coach, me personally, they don't even have to have a contract with me. You can walk up and shake my hand. I'm an old country boy. You shake my hand and give me your word, that's what I go on.' I don't get into how long are you going to be here and is this going to determine my fate if I come here. I don't get into that. To me that's not important. The opportunity you have to come to a great university like the University of Texas - that's what I care about. And getting a chance to coach some young, great players you guys have here. That's what I like to do.”
UCONN interim head coach Hank Hughes wants the job: "In this business, you're combat ready. We didn't bat an eye. Obviously, there was some conversation. [But], you move on.”
"I'll say this, coming as an assistant coach moving up to be the interim head football coach: I know two programs that have had a lot of success promoting from within — Texas Christian, TCU, and Boise. They moved the program forward by continuity. I talked to [Hathaway] the other day and let him know I want to be the head football coach here.”
Stanford Cardinal - Orange Bowl highlight film: You can see Harbaugh's locker room speech at the 6 minute mark.
The coaching profession...how times have changed
We’re sitting around here at FootballScoop Headquarters discussing the various openings when one of our guys, who is soon to receive a raise, brought up an interesting point.
His point involves Bill Cowher and the Carolina Panthers job.
It seems from the outside that Cowher and the Panthers would be great for each other. Carolina is a really good job. As one of our guys explained, “Any job that pays a couple of million sounds good to me. And you are coaching football and working for an owner that isn’t exactly some jackleg like Al Davis.”
While the Panthers have only been to the playoffs 3 of the last 8 years, the organization did play in the Super Bowl under owner Jerry Richardson in 2003. In 2005, they returned to the NFC championship game.
The Panthers have DeAngelo Williams, who was a legitimate MVP candidate late in the 2009 season. More importantly, when they select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the #1 overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Panthers will have a franchise quarterback.
Somewhere, Jaws is saying, “And the National Football League is a quarterback driven league.”
Did we mention that Cowher, a multi-millionaire who could live anywhere, already resides in Raleigh, North Carolina?
From the outside, it appears Cowher isn’t interested in the job because Jerry Richardson won’t pay $4 million + for a head coach. At the least, we’ve heard ESPN analysts say that Richardson won’t pony up the big bucks for a guy like Jim Harbaugh.
So, is money keeping Cowher and Richardson apart? As brought up in our discussion, “What’s really the difference in $2.3 million and $4.3 million? How is that going to change the way you live?”
How times have changed in the coaching profession!
Rovell: Michigan should hire this guy to announce coaching decision
Consider following @darrenrovell on twitter. The CNBC sports business analyst usually has some pretty good stuff. At this point, over 47,000 people have chosen to follow the often witty and funny analyst.
Moments ago, Rovell tweeted, “Michigan should hire Ted Williams to announce final coaching decision. It will sound good no matter what he says!”
Who is Ted Williams? He’s not the former baseball player. He is a homeless man with an interesting story. Williams has a “golden voice.”
In fact, thanks to the Columbus Dispatch, Williams has a bevy of new job offers and will soon have a new house. This is a good story, so check it out.
Mark Richt makes decision regarding his coaching staff
Mark Richt just wrapped up an extended post-season press conference. Richt will not make changes to the Georgia coaching staff and he will not be more involved in the offensive play-calling.
Richt said, “If you just change for the sake of changing, then all of a sudden you’ve gotta learn something all over again. Do I wanna confuse Aaron Murray? … We’re not looking to blow anything up. In my opinion we’re very close.”
“Mike Bobo’s the coordinator, Mike Bobo’s the quarterbacks coach. Stacey Searels is the running game coordinator,” Richt said. “And they’ve done a great job.”
Georgia finished this season 6-7, losing to UCF in the Liberty Bowl by the score of 10-6. The Bulldogs' offense averaged 32 points per game, which was 31st nationally. The defense finished 23rd nationally in total defense.
Georgia will open the season against Boise State in Atlanta. The Bulldogs will then host South Carolina the following week.
The SEC West cross-over games are at Ole Miss and at Vanderbilt. The non-conference schedule includes Coastal Carolina, New Mexico State, and at Georgia Tech.
Quick Hits: Leach, Jerry Kill, Jon Embree, and Harbaugh
Mike Leach felt good about his interview with Maryland, but didn’t have much to say about the process: "I don't really have much comment on the process or any of that. I think Maryland is a good job and I think my record speaks for itself over 10 years. Clearly no one's got a graduation [rate] that even approaches 80 percent, which is what we had at Tech.”
“When you get into a deal like this you don't know all the characters involved and what their motivations are and what they're looking for. It's kind of like there's a certain amount of mind-reading if you're guessing what exactly they're looking for. I've got 10 years that speak for itself. We won 85 games and lost about 40. Won more bowl games than in the rest of their history combined."
Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill has interesting way of explaining things: "There's nothing special about me. There are high school coaches who could do my job just as well, I really believe that."
"People ask that about me all the time -- can I adjust to the Big Ten? I'm more worried about continuity, and about sticking with what works. People need to understand, it doesn't matter what level you're at; the principles are the same. It's still football."
Colorado head coach Jon Embree explains his recruiting philosophy: "I'll go get a player from there (outside the region) if he recruits me. So if it's player X and he's saying I want to go to Colorado and he comes out here on his own on an unofficial (visit) at some point and he shows he is truly interested, yeah, I'll recruit him.”
"But I'm not going to go out there looking for those guys because you fly over a lot of good players to go get this player. Then what do you have to show for it? You're wasting resources. You're wasting time. Then you get a kid who comes out here and he's dealing with being homesick, he's dealing with it being different. It's a different culture and all that stuff."
"That's what I've told these guys on the staff. If we ain't selling his jersey in the bookstore, then we shouldn't be wasting our time on this guy. That's how you've got to look at it. That's me. That's my philosophy."
In case you missed it, Jim Harbaugh wasn't in the mood to answer questions about his future:
Randy Edsall talks about leaving UCONN for Maryland
Randy Edsall just wrapped up his introductory presser at Maryland. We thought the highlight of the presser came when AD Kevin Anderson responded to a question about not naming a big-name that would create buzz on the east coast.
Anderson emphatically responded, “I would say, ‘We got a damn good football coach here.’ The reason why I know is because of I have a bunch of friends that know football and I’ve gotten a bunch of emails from them. There is no question in my mind that I hired somebody that is going to win.”
Edsall explained, “I came here to win championships. I am a coach and I want to win at the highest level. Every year, our goal is to win the ACC championship. If you don’t, there’s no sense for me to be here. There’s no sense to coach. Every place I’ve been, we’ve won.”
Edsall added, “Life is about opportunity. You can’t be afraid about winning championships. You can do that here at Maryland. You can’t be afraid to talk about it and say it.”
How did you tell the UCONN team you were leaving?
“I tried to do the best I could, given the situation. I would have liked to have seen those young men to tell them. I thought to do the next best thing and got on a conference call before the announcement, there were probably 40 of the kids on the phone and I tried to express to them that certain things happen in life. I tried to explain to them that they will opportunities to do what is best for them and their families. I told them I loved them and wished them good luck.”
“It's tough because there was no way…our kids weren’t on campus. They don’t go back to campus until after Martin Luther King’s birthday.”
How do you plan to increase the fan base?
“The way you do it is you become visible. You go out and speak. You go spread the message and spread the word. You have to get out into the community. Winning is a big part of it, but there are other parts as the head coach that I have to do as the head coach and I plan to do that.”
Edsall closed the presser by talking about future scheduling.
“We’re Maryland. We ain’t playing 2 for 1’s. We are Maryland. We don’t have to bow down to anyone.”
Charlie Weis explains his situation, no mention of happy hour party
Charlie Weis is not too happy with reports of a rift between he and head coach Todd Haley.
"I almost get offended when people say that. But this decision had absolutely zero to do with relationships in Kansas City.’’
“When you’re the boss, you’re the boss. When you’re an assistant, you’re an assistant. He’s definitely the boss and I’m definitely the offensive coordinator. I think we had a very good understanding of what our roles were without any reservation.’’
So how long until Weis joins that Gators? According to Ray Lewis #52, you’ll see him in Gainesville by Monday. Weis says he’ll be with the Chiefs as long as the organization is alive in the playoffs.
Since the Chiefs host the Ravens at 1 pm EST on Sunday, Weis could join hundreds of coach at the FootballScoop Coaches Happy Hour at the convention on Monday night at 5 pm in Dallas. You never know.
Weis didn’t mention the happy hour, but he did explain, “I’ve done it before. It was even worse then. I was recruiting from 8 to 11 every night but working up until 8 and on until 2 afterwards to do my job with the Patriots.’’