Big Ten: Hudson Hauck
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Minnesota's return to its roots as a power run team began the moment head coach Tim Brewster picked up the phone to call Tim Davis.
An accomplished offensive line coach for teams like USC and Wisconsin, Davis did things one way only, and that's exactly what Brewster wanted for the Gophers. Hired days after the regular season, Davis, who previously served on Nick Saban's staff at Alabama, made an instant impact on the Gophers' offensive linemen during their preparation for the Insight Bowl.
The full effect of his presence likely won't be felt until the 2009 season, as Minnesota shakes things up with a new offensive coordinator (Jedd Fisch) and a new philosophy. Fisch will call plays, but Davis will coordinate the rushing attack. It will be interesting to see how the two men work together.
I caught up with Davis earlier this week to discuss his vision for Minnesota and the outlook for the future.
Coach Brewster hired Jedd last month. How have those meetings gone so far?
Tim Davis: Jedd's been awesome. He adds a lot to it. I appreciate his experience and everything that he does. He's been good.
How close are you two in terms of offensive philosophy, background, what you look for?
TD: We're actually pretty close. They ran more of a power offense at Baltimore [Ravens] and then he also ran the zone offense at Denver [Broncos], and I've done both of those. So all the schemes and stuff like that are real close. What he does and what he says, it's all been pretty good. It's coming together nicely.
How much of the run game are you overseeing in those meetings, or is it more him and you're contributing?
TD: He kind of leaves it up to me, and then I draw from his experience and my experience and we're putting it together. He's obviously the offensive coordinator, so it's got to roll off his lips. He's got to be able to call it. I've got to be able to install the run, which I think is good for what we do and what we can do. And then he adds the real technical part of how to fit it in with the rest of the passing game. We're working together real good.
I tell him what I think we should run, he draws from his background, we tweak it over here, we tweak it over there, and then off we go.
How much of what you wanted to run were you able to install before the bowl game? I know you arrived at a bit of a strange time [late November].
TD: It was kind of tough. I put the whole thing in, and then I added to the [coordinator] who was already here, Mike [Dunbar]. And we changed a little bit from what they were doing. But it actually ended up being a little bit of each, what he was doing and what I was doing. What you can't do is put the kids into a situation where it's so new that they become the third-best thing about it. The coaches understand all of it, but you've got to make sure that the kids do. You'd love to jump in with both feet, and I'm one of those guys, but you have to temper that.
When did coach Brewster first approach you about the job?
TD: First he called Nick [Saban] and Nick came and talked to me and then he called me and I knew a guy that we both have a connection to. Hudson Hauck worked with me with the Miami Dolphins and Brew had worked with him with the San Diego Chargers. That's how Brew got my name. And then I talked to him and I immediately liked him on the phone. I immediately thought, 'God, I can coach for this guy.' He sounded like me. So I was really fired up, and I still am. He's brought a lot of energy to this program, and he's really easy to work for.
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
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