Art Kehoe talks to press

Art Kehoe was hired last week as the new offensive line coach at Ole Miss after 27 years at Miami. He brings with him a reputation as one of the best OL coaches in the country. Read his thoughts about Ole Miss and OL play inside.

For a long time around Ole Miss, Rebel Football Coach Ed Orgeron could lay claim to possessing the most national championship rings. Coach O has four.

His recent hire of Art Kehoe as the Associate Head Coach and Offensive Line Coach at Ole Miss knocks him out of that distinction. Kehoe earned five at Miami.

"I guess we will break them out when we have recruits in here to show them what we expect to accomplish around here and where we came from, but this is all about Ole Miss now," Kehoe said. "We want to add to our collection here.

"Coach O has a plan and a vision, one I am glad to be on board with. I think this is a wonderful opportunity for me."

Kehoe is caught up in the middle of the hectic recruiting schedule right now and is pitching in everywhere he can in that task while trying to get acclimated. He has not watched any film of current players yet, but was set to meet them all last night in a team meeting as second semester rolls around.

"We will have a team meeting tonight and I am looking forward to seeing them and getting started in the process," Kehoe noted.

Kehoe's coaching philosophy is based on getting the job done and keeping things simple.

"I'm very similar to Coach O. I'm passionate about football and I try to be as organized as I possibly can be when we hit the field," Art began. "I am very detailed, but I will try to keep everything as simple as I possibly can. We are going to run a balanced offense with lots of motions and personnel groups so defenses can't really dig into what we are doing, but we have to keep things where our kids understand what's happening up front.

"These days, defenses are moving their people around during cadence and all kinds of things to give them an edge. That means we have to be well-versed, technique-sound and try to get an edge any way we can. We have to use cadence, for instance, to get a DL off balance. At the same time, you have to keep it simple because five guys, and usually the tight end, have to work as one on every snap. There is no room for confusion. Whatever it takes to get on the same page, that's what we will do. Our deal is to use whatever techniques it takes as coaches to get the players to take a bite of what we are doing. Coach O's deal is ‘I'm In.' Well, I know I am and we'll get the OL in too."

Kehoe will use a combination of power and zone blocking schemes with some trapping and pulling.

"The power game is all about gap control and being able handle movement. The zone too. We will use both. We will have play-action off everything we do, whether it's dropback play-action or a naked play-action. We will also have three-step and five-step drops. (OC) Dan (Werner) likes the quick passing game, the bubble passes and quick screens. It's an excellent offense, but the guys up front have to be tuned in to make it work.

"We will try to find leverage and whip people up front. To me, running the football is the key to everything, especially in this conference. I want a philosophy on our OL of our guys running off the ball, stepping forward, going at the defense, regardless of whether there is motion or whatever we are doing. I don't want to give ground to get ground. I don't want to be moving sideways or backwards. When Miami played LSU in the Peach Bowl, and in watching SEC football through the years, defensive lines in this league are all tough up front and they come right at you and after you. If their philosophy is to penetrate and disrupt, then we have to be equal to the task. We will always talk about being in shape, finishing blocks and being tough and together. To me, the key to being able to run the ball is having great combination blocks whipping the main guy we are running at in order to get to the next level.

"We will trap just a little bit, but we will pull quite a bit – the long and short pull. Again, we try to keep that simple too for that puller. We want him to be a bludgeoning instrument where he's going to run his track, disrupt things and make a hole for the backs to gash."

Kehoe believes his previous, and special, relationship with Werner will help speed the process of building a quality offense along.

"It's essential. I know what Dan likes to do, how he coaches, the system, everything. He comes to me many times during a game asking me what I feel good about, what's working up front and so on," Art said. "Our relationship is pivotal and key.

"I also like what I have seen from the other guys on the offensive staff – Hugh Freeze, Frank Wilson and Matt Lubick. They are terrific people and I believe we will have a terrific chemistry."

Kehoe is like most OL coaches – he likes to see a team that can run the football.

"Running the ball every week effectively is the bottom line in big-time college football. If you can do that, coupled with the defense I know Coach O is going to put on the field, and everything else will fall in place," he ended. "I have a great feeling about what is being developed here and I believe Dan and I can be a positive part of making success happen as quickly as possible."

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