Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Coaching search, the binoculars edition

Got family business to attend to in the next couple days, so this could possibly be my last look at potential candidates before one is on board. I've mostly used Dash and Radi's "hot board" to gleen from as they offered a full rundown of potential candidates. Here's some thoughts.

- As I've mentioned before, one of the more intriguing things about this search is fitting two coaching hires into what amounts to three positions - a quarterbacks coach, and offensive line coach, and a coordinator. Maybe even four positions, technically, if you believe there's a chance Richt might hire "co-coordinators".
- Mike Bloomgren's name received a lot of traction yesterday before rumors began to die down. A lot of people aren't sold on Stanford's production last year. I try to frame that fairly, considering the offenses that Bloomgren's stats are being put against. But still, hard to wrap my head around finishing next to last in scoring and total offense in the Pac-12.
- However, those numbers may not be reflective of what he could do in Athens with the talent that is already on the roster. Stanford had a lot of holes missing due to attrition and injuries this season. And I think he'd be a great fit for the offensive line. Plus. I keep coming back to MaconDawg's post on how nicely Bloomgren fits, from offensive style and game planning to recruiting.
- Kurt Roper's name has cooled some, but he is one that has gained an interview. Many are perplexed by his inclusion in the pool. I'm not of of those. The guy convinced Trevon Harris to sign with Florida at the last minute, so he can recruit. And then he used Harris several months later to help amass 418 yards rushing against a very hot Georgia defense, so he can gameplan.
- Being from the Cutcliffe "coaching tree" definitely slides Roper's name in a positive direction for me. And if Richt thinks he's a good fit and can find ways to give Chubb and his Committee room to run, I'm all for his hiring.
- Another Cutcliffe fallen apple is Randy Sanders. The longtime Volunteer assistant has spent his long career in the southeast, landing in Tallahassee after a few years in Lexington. His style suits our current personnel well. And if the news of Jameis Winston seriously considering returning for his junior season are true, then that may be enough to make him take a cut in pay just to alleviate the headache.
- All kidding aside, not sure exactly why Sanders just doesn't wow me. He is a bit older than some other names that have been mentioned. But mostly I think it's the fact that his quarterbacks have never really developed into much, have they? At least until he got to FSU.
- Brian Schottenheimer's name appeals to me very, very little. In fact, I'm only interested to see if Richt brings him in for an interview. Richt has been enamored with NFL experience before, enough so to make me a little uneasy. Schottenheimer might be a great offensive mind, but I have serious doubts as to how well he'd recruit. And Bobo left a void in the southeast that must be filled somehow.
- The person I've been most intrigued with from the start of this is Billy Napier. He's Saban's wide receivers coach and has experience calling plays at Clemson. He's also had a lot of experience as a quarterbacks' coach and is an accomplished recruiter. He has ties to Richt, as his son Jon signed with Clemson while Napier was there.
- What's so compelling to me about Napier? Probably a lot has to do with the fact that he's at Bama, I won't lie. That's not just a Saban thing, it's also a recruiting thing. Georgia has become much more aggressive on the recruiting trails since Pruitt arrived and I bet Napier would fit nicely into the role Bobo left. But it also has to do with the fact that he's young and has experience that would seem to jive with what his predecessor was trying to do (pro style with some spread formations) and the personnel that is currently on roster.

It sounds like at this point only Roper and Bloomgren have been interviewed. I'd like to see Napier get a sit down at least. Regardless, we're either nearing the end or about halfway through. Translation, we may be putting the binoculars down in favor of the microscope soon. So stay tuned.