Mackovic at media day

John Mackovic's move from the broadcast booth back to the sidelines was a popular topic of conversation at Wednesday's Pac-10 media day in Los Angeles. Mackovic's move garnered more questions than Pete Carroll's move from the NFL to the NCAA.

"I had a great year last year, I didn't lose a game," Mackovic joked. "I made a lot of great calls. For three years I was considered a football expert."

Because of his affiliation with the boys at Bristol, the press grilled Mackovic on the so-called "East Coast bias" against the Pac-10.

"I can only speak for ESPN, I can't speak for the New York Times, but in my opinion ESPN went out of our way to get West Coast stories. On the Sunday morning Sportscenter I tried to get at least one West Coast game in the three or four I would cover."

Mackovic then gave the attending Athletic Directors and Sports Information Directors some advice on getting coverage.

"It's a time frame manner. Make sure you have your web pages updated as soon as you can, they look at those things. Don't just fax in half-time stats, fax them every quarter."

Mackovic and safety Brandon Nash were both asked about the presence of the basketball team and the pressure or lack there of it may create.

"It's great that our teams do well," Mackovic said.

"We also have a softball team that's very good," Nash said. "We're all friends so it's good."

Mackovic also discussed the new offense and the problems that installing it posed.

"The quarterback has to learn why we do things and where we do things," Mackovic said. "It will take our team the entire season to get the full flavor of the offense. That's not to say that we won't score points, it just takes a while to figure out the brain and style of the architect.

"If there is a brain," Mackovic deadpanned.

Mackovic was quick to give praise to the players as well as the coaching staff.

"Every week I watched Arizona games and saw how hard they played," Mackovic said. "In the spring I saw the kind of people we have and how they play. They have a commitment to excellence. The defense did a great job."

Defensive coordinator Larry Mac Duff received high praise, as did the unit as a whole.

"There are some who feel I can't spell defense, much less coach it," Mackovic joked. "That's why I hired Larry Mac Duff from the New York Giants. We should have a real good balance.

"When I came to Arizona this time, I had a coach tell me that the defense was overrated, that I should change it as soon as possible."


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