Pac-12: Reggie Davis

Riley makes changes to Oregon State staff

March, 21, 2011
3/21/11
2:09
PM ET
Oregon State has hired two new assistant coaches, but the bigger news is Greg Newhouse is out as linebackers coach.

Newhouse, who's been at Oregon State for 14 seasons, "was offered another position within the program, but elected to pursue other opportunities," according to a news release from the school.

Defensive coordinator Mark Banker will coach linebackers next fall. He supervised the safeties last season. Cornerbacks coach Keith Heyward will now be in charge of the entire secondary.

Meanwhile, Chris Brasfield was hired as running backs coach and Brent Brennan has been hired to coach receivers.

Brasfield, a defensive graduate assistant for Oregon last season, takes over for Reggie Davis, who left for the San Francisco 49ers. Brennan coached receivers at San Jose State last season. Beavers assistant head coach Jay Locey coached receivers last fall but will be in charge of the tight ends this season. Graduate assistant Robin Ross, who was hired for a full-time post at UNLV, coached tight ends in 2010.

Brennen had been at San Jose State since 2005. Before that, he spent four seasons as the wide receivers coach at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. A former UCLA receiver -- he played on the 1994 Rose Bowl team -- he previously was a GA at both Washington (1999) and Arizona (2000).

As for Brasfield, prior to arriving at Oregon in March of 2010, he spent three years as the running backs coach at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. He was a receiver and return specialist at TCU in 1994 and ’95 after transferring from UTEP, where he played from 1991-93.

Here's the Beavers updated coaching roster under Riley: Jay Locey, assistant head coach/tight ends; Mark Banker, defensive coordinator/linebackers; Bruce Read, coordinator of special teams; Danny Langsdorf, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks; Chris Brasfield, running backs; Brent Brennan, wide receivers; Mike Cavanaugh, offensive line; Keith Heyward, secondary; Joe Seumalo, defensive line; Alan Darlin, graduate assistant/asst. linebackers; Mitch Meeuwsen, graduate assistant/asst. secondary.
Oregon State seems to have a lot of lingering questions before spring practices begin on March 28 -- a "dark cloud" even -- but Beavers coach Mike Riley told The Oregonian that he's feeling "energized."

Still, Paul "Sunshine" Buker pointed out that the Beavers have significant issues. From his story:
1. Jacquizz Rodgers opted to skip his senior year and come out for the NFL draft, and this team has no featured running back at the moment.

2. Starting quarterback Ryan Katz is still rehabbing a broken bone in his throwing hand -- a slow-healing broken bone at that -- and could miss spring football.

3. Slotback Jordan Bishop, who figures to be one of the team’s top receivers next fall, is still having problems with an ankle he sprained in January.

4. The status of star wide receiver/kick returner James Rodgers, who has been out since suffering a serious knee injury last Oct. 9 at Arizona, remains in question with Rodgers currently in full rehab mode at home in Texas after a second procedure on his knee.
[+] EnlargeMike Riley
Kirby Lee/US PresswireMike Riley said he feels 'energized' by the challenges facing the Beavers.
That seems like a unhappy handful of hits to an offense that's trying to rediscover its mojo: The starting quarterback, two best skill players and a likely starting receiver.

Still, there is an optimistic counter.

  1. Jacquizz Rodgers made the right decision. He's not going to improve his NFL stock with another year of college ball, and running backs have a short shelf life. It was smart to enter the draft.
  2. Katz's injury might limit him for all or some of spring football -- and that's not good -- but the most urgent issue is improving the running game and the offensive line in general. One of the priorities of spring is a establishing pecking order at tailback because of Rodgers departure. And, by the way, getting backup quarterback Cody Vaz some quality work isn't a bad thing either.
  3. Jordan will be a redshirt junior this fall, so he's mostly a known quantity (though it's time his athletic ability spawned greater production). A key this spring for the Beavers as far as the passing game goes is taking a measure of its young receivers, which will be even more important if James Rodgers isn't ready to go this fall.
  4. There's no way to spin the potential loss of James Rodgers: He's a playmaker as a runner and receiver and return guy. Everybody's crossed their fingers, hoping for a full recovery.

The story provides the most complete picture so far on where Rodgers stands in his rehabilitation after a second surgical procedure.
[Riley] re-iterated that it’s true the Beavers can’t be 100 percent certain Rodgers will come back as the same player.

But Riley said speculation that Rodgers is done, that he isn’t coming back to school, “is absolutely false. … there’s (speculation) going on out there that isn’t true.’’

Said Riley, “the second surgery was delayed for a number of weeks, which was disappointing and I think it made James very anxious. … I talked to him last Friday and he sounded great. He was in rehab, he said he’s got very little pain, and things are going well. … they cleaned out some scar tissue that was causing the majority of his flexing problems. That was the delay into getting into the second surgery. … and evidently the repair (to the ACL) went fine.’’

Riley cautioned, “I don’t want to assume anything yet. All I know is, James is trying to be ready for the season. We all know how James will prepare for it.''

And Riley said that he won't play Rodgers unless "he is really, really healthy."

Riley also told Buker that he is close to naming who will replace Reggie Davis as running backs coach.

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