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Football News & Notes

As we expected, Coach Neuheisel made a timely appearance at the basketball game last night (which ironically enough was against his former team). If you didn't see the game or his appearance, you can watch the CRN pregame interview thanks to grok451 here.

As usual, he hit all the right notes. Loved his comment about the "culture of UCLA," making specific references to our 100 NCs.

It was very cool to see CRN high fiving the Den and getting the students all fired up. Now, in terms of business, CRN mentioned how he might have his staff together by this weekend. There was some news on that front yesterday. As Perelman notes, he interviewed another candidate for the OC position yesterday:

The Times' UCLA football beat writer, Chris Foster, reports that ex-Baltimore Ravens assistant quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch will speak today or Friday with new UCLA head football coach Rick Neuheisel in Westwood about the quarterback coach and/or offensive coordinator position.

Fisch is at least the third coach to have a conversation with Neuheisel about the positions. Michigan quarterbacks coach Scot Leoffler and former UCLA and Auburn offensive coordinator Al Borges have both discussed the jobs with Neuheisel. Thus far, no discussions have been held or are said to be planned with Tennessee Titans (and ex-USC) offensive coordinator Norm Chow.
You can read Fisch's full bio here.

Something to note re. the OC position: Tennessee was also looking into Scot Leoffler. And they went with Dave Clawson from Richmond yesterday. So, it will be interesting to see where Leoffler ends up. Remember, wherever he ends up could have an impact on Mallett's final decision.

Lastly, CRN continues to keep the line of communication open with Ken Norton. I am interested in hearing your thoughts on Norton at this point. For me personally, needless to say, I have been bothered by some of the comments I have heard from Norton during the last few years regarding UCLA. However, at the same time, I think we have to keep in mind the context of the Norton-Dorrell/UCLA-Southern Cal relationship. There is a lot of he said/he said involved in this situation, and I am not sure who to believe.

That said, I am willing to look past some of Norton's previous comments about UCLA if he was basically following his employer's lines at the Trojan football program. Another point a lot of folks often forget re. Norton's decision to work for Carroll is that Norton also had a strong connection to Carroll from their days in San Francisco when Carroll was the DC from 1995-96. of the Superbowl winning team from 1994-95. [HT to UCLA4Life for setting me straight] So his decision to work at Southern Cal didn't take place in a vacuum. Moreover, I am not sure if Norton would be interested in working at UCLA if he really had hard feelings towards his alma mater. If he ends up here under CRN, and gives everything he has with his recruiting connections, championship experiences both as a player as a coach to help us take back the city and the Pac-10, I am not going to complain.


UPDATE: Another name emerges for OC. From Dohn:
UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel interviewed Cleveland Browns assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach Rip Scherer for the Bruins’ offensive coordinator job.
Scherer has extensive experience as an offensive coordinator, dating back to 1986 when he held that position at Georgia Tech. He also was the head coach at Division I-AA James Madison and Memphis, and spent the last three seasons on the Browns staff.
I have heard Derek Anderson, the Cleveland Browns QB really came around this year. Scherer sounds intriguing to me. CRN certainly seems to be going through a thorough process in putting together his new staff. GO BRUINS. -N