Friedgen Talks Philosophy as Rutgers OC

Newly hired offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen went in-depth on his plans for the 2014 roster during a Tuesday afternoon conference call. Friedgen returns to coaching following a three-year absence after his departure from Maryland.

The basic philosophies of the Rutgers offense are unlikely to change under new coordinator Ralph Friedgen, but the playbook is far from written with spring practice coming in six weeks.

Friedgen made no commitments to offensive style Tuesday afternoon in his interaction with the media since taking the Rutgers job. Five days of roster evaluation, meetings and recruiting is not enough to build an offense.

"It's a learning situation right now," Friedgen said. "I'm just meeting the players. In fact, I just came out of a meeting. I'm trying to meet each and every one of them – spend some time with them, get to know them. I'm evaluating them on tape on what they've done in previous years. It's really too early for me to even make an assessment of that."

Friedgen was known for run-heavy looks at Maryland, but also put out solid receiving talent at the NFL level. He did not go in-depth on the Rutgers quarterback situation, when asked, but was detailed in what he expected out of his offense.

The base offense will take shape later after more time for evaluation. Unlike many coaches that put players into their own scheme, Friedgen plans to build his scheme based on what fits the Rutgers roster.

"I don't believe in trying to do something that kids can't do," Friedgen said. "I try to find out what they can do well and build around that.

" … I do believe in having a balance between run and pass – not so much to be easily divided, but to have the ability to throw the ball just as well as you run the ball. Take what the defense gives you. I think if you can do that, you put yourself in the best chance to have successful play."

Rutgers committed 36 turnovers in 2013, which is a number Friedgen would like to see decrease heading into the Big Ten.

"The last thing I think is very important is you can't make mistakes," he said. "You have to eliminate the bad plays, the turnovers, the sacks. I think if you do those three things, you give yourself a chance to be successful."

Friedgen spent three years away from coaching after being fired at Maryland. Rutgers expressed interest during its last offense coordinator search, and coach Kyle Flood remained aggressive this offseason.

For a seasoned coach like Friedgen, the interview process was more about gauging mutual interest.

"When you talk to somebody who's done what Ralph Friedgen has done in this profession, it's not an interview process," Flood said. "It's really just a matter of seeing if he's interest in the job. And if he is, then speaking to him in person and making sure the fit is right."


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