Q&A with Kerwin Bell

[MEDIA:32872]<BR> UFI caught up with former Gator great Kerwin Bell. He talks about his days as a pro, his new coaching job, his offensive philosophy, Coach Spurrier in the NFL and much, much more.

Kerwin Bell's rise to the starting quarterback at the University of Florida was a remarkable story.  He lives as one of UF's best ever and has gone on to have a good professional career with both the NFL and most notably the CFL.  He is now back in the North Central Florida area doing what he loves...coaching football.

Brady Ackerman:  How would you characterize your playing career professionally?
Kerwin Bell: Long and fun.  It has been a great experience and the competition in both the NFL and CFL was very rewarding.  I just felt it was time to get into coaching and be around young people as well as my three children.(2 boys/1 girl).

BA: Where could you have coached?
KB: I had an offer from Winnipeg to be the offensive coordinator in the CFL, but I wanted to get back here and I was offered the head coaching job at a new private school in Ocala-Blessed Trinity Catholic High School.

BA: New school with new challenges right?
KB: Yes... we were just JV a year ago and this will be our first varsity season.  We did go 7-0 last year but we do not have any seniors yet so we are young.

BA:  What kind of offense will you run?
KB: I like to call it 33% of Lindy Infante's, 33% of Coach Spurrier's and 33% of my own stuff.  Their all great systems and I just combined them to form one complete one.

BA: Can high school kids learn that?
KB: I believe so... I mean why not?  They learned 7 protections that we ran in the spring jamboree alone.  I think it is up to our staff to teach it to them.

BA: Speaking of staff there are some pretty impressive names on it?
KB: Yes, well Ricky Nattiel coaches receivers, David Williams the offensive line and Jarvis Williams is my secondary coach and co-defensive coordinator.

BA:  How do they like working for you?
KB: We work together, but Ricky likes to call me the "dictator" because I always take charge.  I was like that in
college as well... kind of the guy who got everything going.

BA: Which offense is better, Infante's or Spurrier's?
KB: Infante's is a horizontal offense while Spurrier's is a vertical offense. No one throws the ball down the field like
Coach Spurrier and I was fortunate to learn both and incorporate certain aspects into one system.

BA: You were a graduate assistant under Spurrier in 1990 and you played in the NFL.  Can his system work?
KB: Yes... the key is skilled players. He has a great running back and if his wide receivers are good then he will be hard to stop.  The key is speed.  In the NFL, if they don't respect your speed, they will roll up and force tough throws.  With his offense, everything is predicated on timing and when it is thrown off it put's a lot of pressure on the quarterback.  If you look at his offense at Florida, his best years are when his receiving corps was deep and talented.

BA: How do you think Coach Zook will do?
KB:  I have talked with Coach Zook several times and I think there are some things he will do better than coach Spurrier.  I don't think he will win as much as Spurrier but he will work hard, recruit well and get good players to the University of Florida. It is a tough act to follow.

BA:  Did you know in college you would have the type of relationship you have had with Ricky Nattiel?
KB: We were close and we have a special relationship.  It is great to be working with him coaching and he was always there when I needed him for a big play at Florida.

BA: You mean FSU in the rain?
KB: Absolutely... he made me look good didn't he?

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