Let's Take Advantage of His Experience and Contacts to Build a Truly Great Staff
RN should choose the staff he wants, not the staff that we want. And, that includes all of the positions, including the DC.
He was hired to be the HC of this program -- the CEO. Not the co-HC, the HC.
He is responsible for bringing back a program that has not shown excellence for quite a while. If he succeeds he will be a hero. If not, he will be gone.
He has a lot on the line. So do we. We should trust him to build the staff that he needs to bring us back to greatness.
I will support whomever he hires, but:
1. The DW Issue: I think it was generous and classy of RN to make the comments he did about DW; obviously, publicly, RN is trying to heal the perceived divide. I say perceived because, at the end of the day, there are 70,000 people at a game and a small fraction of them were in the battle that surrounded the selection of the HC.
The embers of the divide were fanned, shamelessly by a gaggle of msm members (can't really call them reporters or writers) trying to start a fire. They couldn't do it. And, now, it is RN's show. (Which by the way will be good for the gaggle because he is so charismatic that their jobs just got a lot easier. Soon, they will claim credit for supporting him during the hiring process and act like they've been BFF's all along.)
RN said what he had to say in public -- that DW is his first important recruit.
But, there are some things DW will have to say and do, both in public, but more importantly to RN's face, about the smear campaign he, his family, and his surrogates ran against RN. It was nasty. And, DW needs to do something to make RN, his potential new boss, comfortable with having him anywhere near him.
I would still prefer to see DW go to Washington. That's just me. But, if he stays, he has to be prepared to be a DC for a coach who will be far more involved in the team, and whose persona will be the face of UCLA football. Said another way, DW was in the spotlight a lot more under KD than he will be under RN -- and that's how it is supposed to be.
And, DW has to get over the rhetoric used by his supporters that somehow he is close to being a Co-Head Coach. He's not. He's a DC and serves at the pleasure of his boss, RN.
2. The Rest of the Staff: I think the retention of DW may be a political necessity. But, there is no excuse for demanding the retention of a staff that failed, consistently to have the team prepared to play well.
I was one of the strongest voices on this board in favor of giving Eric Scott "due process" and assuming the best not the worst about him. Yet, I do not want him to return. We had a talented group of receivers none of whom had a stand out year. Yes, the O sucked, but part of that sucking was the receivers.
3. Let RN Use His Experience: One of the great things about hiring RN is that he has been around long enough, at both the pro and college levels, to know who the great assistant coaches are. Why hire a new coach and then not allow him to hire great assistants and coordinators?
Do you really believe that KD was the sole source of our problems?
We underachieved at almost all phases of the game -- and I really don't think it right to call for RN to keep the coaches that KD hired. After all, one of our biggest complaints about KD was that he made weak hires. Are they any stronger now that he is gone?
4. Great Potential: For the first time since Tommy Prothro I am excited about the potential of this team. We will play to win. We will not play to avoid losses.
We need a staff that shares that philosophy and I trust RN to put that staff together.
I'm truly excited to see who we get for an OC, and a QB coach; and I know that as a QB, RN knows the need for a strong offensive line and a coach who can prepare it to protect our QB's; BO, PC, OR and the new kids must be thrilled by this hire -- they won't be easy targets any more. And, if DW chooses to leave, I'm sure we will have a strong DC.
I can't wait for today's pro games to be over and for RN to get to work. I can't wait to see who he brings in to rejuvinate our program.