Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Mora's staff taking shape
By Ted Miller
Jim Mora is quickly filling out his staff, and doing so impressively.
Three hires have been confirmed: Adrian Klemm (offensive line, formerly at SMU), Demetrice Martin (defensive backs, formerly at Washington) and Steve Broussard (running backs, formerly at Arizona State).
The LA Daily news has reported two others: Noel Mazzone (offensive coordinator, formerly at Arizona State) and Marques Tuiasosopo (tight ends, formerly an intern at UCLA who is presently serving as QBs coach).
Simply put: These are five extremely strong hires, both in terms of recruiting and coaching. And they each are college guys, though Klemm, Broussard and Tuiasosopo had solid NFL careers in the not-too-distant past. Mazzone also has coached in the NFL. Mora, an NFL lifer, will benefit from having staff members who know college football and the Pac-12.
Four of five, notably, are on offense. How Mora handles the defense will be interesting. He's a defensive guy, so he'll know a lot of NFL defensive coaches. But, as has been frequently noted, there are lot more funky offenses in college than in the NFL. Veteran NFL defensive coaches won't know as much about the no-huddle, up-tempo, spread and spread-option attacks that area all over college football and the Pac-12.
You'd think Mora would want a good mix of NFL and college guys on defense. That said, good defensive coaches can adapt -- see Clancy Pendergast at California and Vic Fangio at Stanford before he followed Jim Harbaugh back to the NFL. In fact, it seemed that USC's Monte Kiffin had a far better grasp of things in year two than year one.