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Charles Fischer

Coach Boles: My Top Five Candidates to Become Oregon’s Defensive Coordinator

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Now that it’s official, and Coach Andy Avalos is set to become the new head coach for the Boise State Broncos, I first want to thank him for his two seasons as the Oregon Ducks defensive coordinator. Coach Avalos took the Oregon defense to heights that it had not seen in quite some time, all within a short amount of ...

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Mr. FishDuck

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I think we need to make sure that we get a guy that doesn't need a lot of time in "training" to be the DC and has the experience to do the play calling from day one. We already have one of our coaches in training for his job (our HC) and we can't spend a lot of years training a new DC. 

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That's an impressive list, Coach, getting one of them to join his staff would be a significant step towards his building of a championship team at Oregon. Muschamp is the biggest name,  Lupoi has worked with Mario at Alabama, and at different schools in the Pac-12, where he was an ace recruiter. The three others on your list also have solid credentials and would be a great addition to the team.

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44 minutes ago, 30Duck said:

That's an impressive list, Coach, getting one of them to join his staff would be a significant step towards his building of a championship team at Oregon. Muschamp is the biggest name,  Lupoi has worked with Mario at Alabama, and at different schools in the Pac-12, where he was an ace recruiter. The three others on your list also have solid credentials and would be a great addition to the team.

I live in South Carolina and have carefully watched Coach Muschamp over his tenure as a Gamecock. As his teams struggled, the sports media frequently questioned his HC skills, but continually noted his ability as DC referring to his great defensive mind. That may be so, but I have a hard time seeing him and his family adapting to Eugene and Oregon. Hiring Will Muschamp presents more risk than upside IMO.

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Solid list of coaches.

With the quality of the returning players, and the signed recruits coming in on defense, the Oregon job will be desirable. Therefore, I am not overly concerned about getting a quality coach. I know that if I was a candidate I would certainly take Cristobal’s phone call and listen. Cristobal wants coaches that also have recruiting chops.

Cristobal can recruit. Both players and coaches. 

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49 minutes ago, Drake said:

 I know that if I was a candidate I would certainly take Cristobal’s phone call and listen.

Agree, the job isn't like taking over the Duck defense after Helfrich's tenure. The right choice should have no problem making this group one of the best in the country.

I am grateful for what Avalos gave to the program, but the candidates should be making calls, not just taking calls for this job. 

I can actually imagine the next DC being a guy who actually calls Cristobal and inquires about the job. This would prove his recruiting chops and show just motivated he was to coach at Oregon.

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Is it presumptuous of us to think that we get to pick and choose? Is the Ducks' program that attractive to coaches who could go virtually anywhere?

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It seems a stretch that BIG/SEC coordinators would take a gamble on a sideways move to a conference in serious financial straits and broadcast windows that are a clear liability. If they were to get a P5 level experienced DC my expectation is that Heyward would be gone soon, so a safeties coach would be needed as well, which might be a good thing for the new DC to bring in someone who knows his system.

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We have Joe Salava'e and Keith Heyward on staff who are both Co-Defensive Coordinators with Joe listed as Co Associate Head Coach and Keith listed as Co Assistant Head Coach as well. Mario will probably be talking with both of them and could be promoting from within.

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1 hour ago, Notalot said:

I have a hard time seeing him and his family adapting to Eugene and Oregon.

A very valid concern, and probably a nonstarter in any discussion, if his family doesn't want to move to Oregon. 

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Nick Aliotti?...........................discuss.

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Solid list of candidates Coach. Tosh Lupoi would be my choice among them.  The dude can flat out recruit!  And he knows the West coast well.  

Thanks for the synthesis and analysis Coach.

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42 minutes ago, ICamel said:

Nick Aliotti?...........................discuss.

Love Alliotti, but he isn't the right coach going forward. It is interesting that he is still in the game after retiring from the Oregon staff.

Hire somebody from within, if Cristobal thinks they can elevate the program. If not hire somebody who will create synergy  and get JTT to commit, pretty simple.

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All your candidates would be nice except I doubt Muschamp would come here. Steele is a possibility. Tosh might come but wouldn’t stay (I always said Tosh is all about Tosh, no loyalty.) Heacock won’t come. He’d view it as a lateral move at best so why leave? Wisconsin’s DC will not leave. The Pac12 admin. has not done anyone any favors the last several years. This is the weakest I’ve seen this conference since the mid 90s. Christobal has a tough decision. If outside the program it definitely needs to be  a name guy.

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2 hours ago, jrw said:

Is it presumptuous of us to think that we get to pick and choose? Is the Ducks' program that attractive to coaches who could go virtually anywhere?

I guess we'll find out how attractive Oregon is, that is the process, and sometimes it works in strange ways. When the basketball team needed a new coach to replace Kent, Oregon went after Tom Izzo, Rick Patino. They weren't interested, so Oregon looked around, and found, Dana Altman. 

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2 hours ago, Haywarduck said:

Agree, the job isn't like taking over the Duck defense after Helfrich's tenure. The right choice should have no problem making this group one of the best in the country.

I am grateful for what Avalos gave to the program, but the candidates should be making calls, not just taking calls for this job. 

I can actually imagine the next DC being a guy who actually calls Cristobal and inquires about the job. This would prove his recruiting chops and show just motivated he was to coach at Oregon.

I like your attitude and agree with you.

If you are the right coach then you should aggressively go after it. 

 

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I think we need stability at DC. Muschamp and Lupoi won’t stay long...Heacock and Leonhard won’t leave...Steele will miss “southern cooking” and the SEC and head home. I like hiring from within (ex. Cristobal). Salave’a or Heyward would be good DC’s. Heads up to Eric...the 4-3-4/4-2-5 alignment is my choice for the future! Go Ducks!

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Coach Bowden said:

I think we need stability at DC. Muschamp and Lupoi won’t stay long...Heacock and Leonhard won’t leave...Steele will miss “southern cooking” and the SEC and head home. I like hiring from within (ex. Cristobal). Salave’a or Heyward would be good DC’s. Heads up to Eric...the 4-3-4/4-2-5 alignment is my choice for the future! Go Ducks!

 

 

You know if we do hire from within, Coach Wilson and Coach Chance are the ones with playcalling experience. I'm not at all saying that that the other two wouldn't be good choices though. I also have a coaching friend from Oklahoma that informed me that Heacock interviewed for the Ok St job when it was open, so I don't know that he wouldn't leave.

Edited by Coach Eric Boles
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2 minutes ago, Coach Eric Boles said:

You know if we do hire from within, Coach Wilson and Coach Chance are the ones with playcalling experience. I'm not at all saying that that the other two wouldn't be good choices though. I also have a coaching friend from Oklahoma that informed me that Heacock interviewed for the Ok St job when it was open, so I don't know that he wouldn't leave.

Do you prefer that stand up end that many DCs are using that have coverage responsibilities too, or do you prefer a more specialized DE?

I agree Coach that (projected) stability, the liklihood of continuing for 5+ years as Oregon DC, is one of the important screening variables for the hire. I would not have agreed with hiring internal staff two years ago, but after Avalos' impact, we may have a coach on staff who can be outstanding as DC.

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13 minutes ago, Coach Bowden said:

I think we need stability at DC. Muschamp and Lupoi won’t stay long...Heacock and Leonhard won’t leave...Steele will miss “southern cooking” and the SEC and head home. I like hiring from within (ex. Cristobal). Salave’a or Heyward would be good DC’s. Heads up to Eric...the 4-3-4/4-2-5 alignment is my choice for the future! Go Ducks!

 

 

Big Joe was not as open about seeking the DC position as Heyward when AA was hired, but that may be a matter styles. However, neither has actually called in-game defenses. I am still way too gun-shy from the Pellum & Hoke experiments in first time DCs calling plays to be sanguine about Heyward or Joe being bumped up to DC, and like our Hayward (duck) I'd just as soon pass on another episode of on-the-job training, particularly with the level of talent that we should have on defense next year.

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2 minutes ago, Notalot said:

I agree Coach that (projected) stability, the liklihood of continuing for 5+ years as Oregon DC, is one of the important screening variables for the hire. I would not have agreed with hiring internal staff two years ago, but after Avalos' impact, we may have a coach on staff who can be outstanding as DC.

I don't know that really guarantees a long term DC though. Coach Heyward wants to be a HC and is on record as acknowledging that the way there is to become a DC. His defenses could ballout for a year or two and he's moving on to be a HC. But, that's also not something that I think should be worrisome. The larger Coach Cristobal's coaching tree becomes, the more attractive an opportunity it is to coach for him.

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5 minutes ago, Coach Eric Boles said:

His defenses could ballout for a year or two and he's moving on to be a HC. But, that's also not something that I think should be worrisome. The larger Coach Cristobal's coaching tree becomes, the more attractive an opportunity it is to coach for him.

Very good point.

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I think it is great when one of our coaches is up for a move up the food chain. The last thing we want, a bunch of coaches nobody is interested in, and the reason why.

Cristobal's job is to put coaches and players in position to succeed. When a program has success putting kids in the NFL, elite talent often follows. When coaches have success meeting their goals, talent follow also.

For us fans it all leads to wins on the field and success in the big bowl games!

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Great article, thanks!

Here is an open question to the more knowledgeable folks in our community. Does my following theory make sense?

My theory:

If I were an Alabama/Ohio State, and could essentially draft the best players in the nation, I'd go with a base 3-4. Three defensive linemen who could truly be two gap defenders and get some pressure on the QB. Sort of like what we had back with Buckner, Armstead, and our nose guard whose name I forget. (To my shame!) That much talent on the line lets you get fancy with the linebackers.

At the next level, I'd go with a base 4-3 style defense. Maybe only two 2-gap types and the others try to penetrate or go around the edge. This is about where I think we are now, recruiting-wise.

At the level below that, if I could only get one 2 gap type reliably through recruiting, I'd go back to the 3-4 and put that one at nose guard.

Summing up:

1. Reliably able to recruit enough good DL so you can field 3 good ones all game, go with the 3 up front.

2. Only able to recruit enough to reliably field two, you go with the 4 up front, maybe moving around where they line up.

3. Only able to recruit enough to reliably field one, back to the 3 and put him in the middle.

This might be the dumbest post in the short history of this forum, but I am curious what people think about it!

As for the new DC, I think all of those seem pretty good to me.

 

Edited by FishIceCream
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3 hours ago, ICamel said:

Nick Aliotti?...........................discuss.

I loved Aliotti and would love to have him back, personally.

But is that an actual option or just a fun idea?

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