When asked about potential coaching changes in the off-season:
Everyone is always wondering about staff and this and that, I don't worry about that stuff. It is at a point now that is the players no matter who you have in the staff you have to have the coaches and the players have the same mentality as the head coach about what you are trying to get done. And the players need to know that. It isn't bad players, or guys who can't produce. They just aren't fitting my mentality as a head coach. And you need to have the same mentality as the coach.
Citing his days working under and with former Hurricane head coach Jimmy Johnson and why he has confidence in his coaching staff:
When I worked with Jimmy (Johnson)…When he was the coach, he would let the coaches, coach, but he'd be on his coaches. But, also Jimmy always had this thing, when you sat around the draft table, and he'd say "do you like this guy?" – even if it was your first round pick – and then he'll ask you one question, "will he start?" If you say, "no," he'll go to the next guy and he'll go around the room because he wants to know your opinion. But, if you say, "yes," he expects you to get it done. And that is what I expect from this staff to do their job and get it done. That is why I have confidence in this staff.
Using starting quarterback Kyle Wright as an example:
When you think about Kyle (Wright)… I look at he is a guy that has had three different coordinators, three different offenses and three different quarterback coaches, and I get on him hard because I expect a lot out of him, but I really respect him, because he took a beating in a lot of games this season, and he keeps coming back and he keeps trying to produce and trying to work at it.
It is a shame that he hasn't really had a chance to have a coordinator or quarterbacks coach to work with him for more than a six month period. It isn't making excuses for Kyle, as you see some things he can really do, but it is a shame what has happened over his period of time (here). I think people need to know that and I think I need to know that myself.
On differentiating styles of coaching:
(For example) everyone has different philosophies as a QB coach. Someone's reads may be different; someone may tell him to read the corner, someone may tell them to read the safety, someone might say read the triangle, someone might say read from low to high. There are a lot of different things that are a part of it.
When I think back, and as I evaluate over the season, he (Kyle Wright) did during the season, he was doing a good job and then he got hurt and came back and struggled and it comes with the rhythm. But every six months he changed QB coaches it seemed like. Dan (Warner), Todd Berry, (and now Patrick) Nix. No stability at that position for him.
On the importance of stability and getting the group to understand the leaders mentality:
The stability factor plays into a lot, I think in accomplishing what you are trying to get done. You are going to have bad times and everyone wants to point the fingers at the coaches and all that, but the first year is always going to be the difficult part, staff and the kids have to understand what we are trying to get done as a staff. You need to let chemistry build in and next season it gets even better.
Why is it important to build a foundation at a program?
If you look at any first year head coach who came into a program or organization that started out rough, for the long haul their program was probably more successful, rather than guys who start out fast, and then try and come back.
When you start off fast, there is nothing, no foundation to build on, the level is already (high). When times are rough and you come back the next year and you aren't where you want to be at, now you have to go back and figure out what you need to do. It all goes back to the year before and what you have to before and build that foundation.
Citing examples of where stability in a coaching staff equals success:
The more you get stability in the staff that is one of the things I like when looking at staffs, Bobby Bowden at (Florida State) when they were rolling, their staff never left, they had (Mark) Richt, (Chuck) Amato, and the strength coach was there, they were on a roll. When USC had nobody leaving, they had stability, but when everyone left (you see what is happening now)...that is stability.
Remember when the Pittsburgh Steelers, were doing well? They had stability. The New England Patriots haven't changed that much. (They had) stability. And that is the key, stability. Stabilize.
(Pittsburgh's) coach (Bill Cowher) kept the same offensive staff all of these years, all they've changed was their defense. Now they have stability on defense. That is how I look at things, stability wise. Every other year you can go in and fire somebody and bring a new guy in…the fire someone, and bring a new guy in…the fire someone and bring a new guy in…but you will always go up for a little bit and then come back down. You need to build that foundation on what you are trying to get done (so you can stay up)
So, what will the staff look like next year?
You always have to have your staff intact. What, do you want me to say, "no, I don't want the staff intact?" Come on. Do you want your staff intact at work? That is the whole point, you need to get stability.
Now, I am not saying that other guys on this staff won't leave to take other jobs to be coordinators and whatnot. That stuff happens, I can't prevent those things. But if they are here, they are here.