Chow-UCLA Talks Heat Up

As expected, the Titan's firing of Norm Chow has really heated up the Chow/UCLA discussions in the local media. From the LA Times:

UCLA wants to talk to Norm Chow, and the chances of a significant conversation between Bruins Coach Rick Neuheisel and the veteran offensive coordinator increased dramatically Tuesday when the Tennessee Titans fired Chow after three seasons with the NFL team.

Chow, who interviewed to become UCLA's head coach in December, acknowledged Tuesday night that UCLA had contacted his oldest son, Carter, who is his agent. Chow, 61, has two years left on a contract that will pay him more than $1 million a year. UCLA is believed to have between $300,000 and $400,000 available for an offensive coordinator.

Asked if he was interested in joining the Bruins staff, Chow said, "At this point in time, I'm going to sit back and stay home and walk the dog and think about some stuff. My wife and I have been apart for three years and we're going to enjoy being together."
It is more than understandable on Chow’s part for wanting a little room for reflection. However, reading today’s stories, it certainly sounds like CRN will make a full court press. From the same article:
Neuheisel had said he would call Chow after being hired on Jan. 5. But Neuheisel was holding off on naming an offensive coordinator this week until he had a chance to talk to Chow, a source familiar with the situation said. Neuheisel is believed eager to make a hire in a short time frame.

If Chow were to take another job, the Titans would only be responsible for the difference in salaries.

Neuheisel was considering Jedd Fisch, former Baltimore Ravens quarterbacks coach, and Rip Scherer, the Cleveland Browns' quarterbacks coach, for the job.
More from Brian Dohn in the Daily News who reports that Chow’s family is pushing him to consider the UCLA job:
Chow, the offensive architect during USC's recent national title runs, was fired by the NFL's Tennessee Titans, setting up the pieces for the Bruins to land the long-time offensive coordinator.

Chow still owns a home in Southern California, where his family remained even while he worked in Nashville. Also, sources said family members are encouraging Chow to take a strong look at the UCLA job.

Chow's interest level in UCLA is uncertain, and messages left at his home were not returned. But early in the day he told the Tennessean, "I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm disappointed. I didn't see this coming."
Again, the thing to keep in mind is that money is not going to be an issue in this scenario. Also from Dohn in today’s report:
Chow has two years remaining on his contract with the Titans, paying him approximately $1 million annually. Any salary Chow made in the next two seasons would be subtracted from the salary Tennessee owes him.

According to sources, UCLA is contemplating approaching Chow with a back-loaded multi-year contract that would enable Chow to collect much of his salary from the Titans over the next two years, then be paid most of his money from UCLA in a possible third year of a contract.
However this scenario turns out, we can count on CRN giving an all out effort. I think we should also consider that if CRN’s wasn’t patient during the process of assembling his coaching staff, UCLA wouldn’t be in this position to have any discussions with Chow. If CRN hastily named an OC early in the process, we wouldn’t be having these discussions today. And I think we have to give him credit for having the vision and moxie to think big when he got here saying right off the bat that he would make a pitch to have someone of Chow’s caliber on the Bruin staff.

It may not all work out in the end. Chow may decide to just take a year off (remember, because of his severance package, he can collect his millions without working) and do that proverbial recharging the batteries thing. But, in the meantime, you have got to admire CRN for having the vision and self-confidence necessary to dream big and pursue a dream scenario of Chow to UCLA. Plaschke certainly took note of the signs we have been seeing ever since CRN arrived in Westwood. The game is changing little by little in LA.

GO BRUINS.
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