Cignetti Q&A, Part II

In the second of ScarletReport.com's two-piece Q&A with new Rutgers offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti, he talks about quarterback Tom Savage's future with the program, the challenge of turning around the Scarlet Knights and why he has been at six schools in the last seven years.

New Rutgers offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti spoke to the media today for the first time since being hired last week. Here is what he had to say in the second part of the Q&A:

On looking forward to turning around Rutgers' offense
I look forward to every season. One thing that drives me. I'm very passionate about this game, and I firmly believe in how to play this game, and how to go about it every year. I believe with change it gives you an opportunity to do things better than you did in the past. So, yeah, I tell you what. I'm excited to get going here."

Did you talk to quarterback Tom Savage yet?
"I talked to both quarterbacks. I talked to Tom and Chas (Dodd). I had two very good conversations with both young men. I'm very excited to work with them."

Has Savage given an indication of what his plans are?
"Tom has not given me any indication other than he wants to be here at Rutgers University. I think this is a great opportunity for both young men. "These guys have hopes and dreams of playing in the National Football league one day.

"Most importantly, you have to get your education because that's going to a lifetime, but one thing I can offer these young men is I've coached in the National Football League with three teams, I've coached quarterbacks in that league, and what we're going to do at Rutgers University will maximize their potential as a quarterback because we will train the quarterback in an NFL system and it will give them the best opportunity possible to play in that league."

Can you explain why you worked at six schools in seven years?
I try to explain that to me wife (laughing). Here's how I explain it. Really, who I am, I'm a man of faith, and I'm a man of family. Ya' know, I have a tremendous wife, I have three beautiful little girls – 11, 8 and 6 – and my wife is expecting our first son any day here. And what we're trying to do is find stability in an unstable profession. I want to do what's best for my wife and kids, first and foremost. That's what made Rutgers so attractive.

"Other than the leadership of coach (Greg) Schiano, the location for us, as a family, is outstanding, because my wife is from Philadelphia. Now, she's going to be close to home. We vacationed the Jersey Shore, both of us, our whole lives. Now, we're by our vacation spot, and then obviously, the New Jersey high school talent makes it so attractive.

"To explain each move …I'm coaching out in California, we have a chance to come back to the east coast, to the University of North Carolina, it was a great family. It didn't work out. The best opportunity I thought I had was to go back to the National Football League to coach quarterbacks with the 49ers, so I go out to the 49ers. I have a tremendous year.

"It was a great growth experience for me because I got a chance to go into the digit system, learned another way of looking at the passing game, but I always knew I wanted to get back to college football and be a coordinator.

"So, I had a couple of opportunities. We felt like our best opportunity was go to Cal-Berkeley with coach Jeff Tedford, because we knew he offered us what we wanted as a family. He had stability and we could be there.

"Next thing you know, coach (Dave) Wannstedt calls out of the blue. I didn't know coach Wannestedt. My communication with coach was, ‘Hey, I'm not going to just go to the University of Pittsburgh because it's my home. I have to make sure the leadership is right and we've got a chance to win.'

"So, when I spent a couple of days with coach Wannstedt, I felt like, hey, we have a chance to win here, we have a chance to get back home, we truly thought it would be for the long haul, for the journey. As you know, that didn't work out. So, here we are at Rutgers University.

"I feel the same way I felt when I went to Cal-Berkeley and Pitt, that the head coach is going to be here for the long run, the leadership is in place to be successful, and the family …we want to find a place where we can settle in and raise the three daughters and the son that is on the way, and give my wife and kids what they deserve, and that's some stability."


Scarlet Report Top Stories