Who Will Replace Spanos?

Could Jim Mora hire his new defensive coordinator from within or will he go outside his existing staff?

With the announcement of the Tennessee Titans hiring UCLA defensive coordinator Lou Spanos as their new linebackers coach, it leave some questions.

The first obvious question: Who will be the candidates to replace Spanos?

You have to first consider that UCLA's defense isn't going to change. The defense UCLA runs is the same defense that Jim E. Mora ran with the New Orleans Saints. That same basic defense UCLA Head Coach Jim Mora has been running for decades, with a few tweaks here and there, of course, but it's not going to change.

Mora will almost certainly interview his existing three defensive coaches, linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich, defensive line coach Angus McClure and defensive backs coach Demetrice Martin, for the DC opening. He probably will look around at other coordinator candidates in the NFL and college ranks.

Our sources, though, are indicating that Ulbrich is the early favorite to get the job. Ulbrich has never called plays, but he's a very quick study, according to people familiar with him, and with his NFL experience and innate coaching ability it wouldn't be much of a challenge for him to take that step.

We've actually heard that some UCLA prospects had been told for a while that Spanos was more than likely leaving and Ulbrich would more than likely replace him.

Spanos did a very good job while at UCLA, but the opinion of many in the program is that his heart was still in the NFL, and he was looking for an opportunity to return to the pros.

Spanos, to be candid, wasn't a great or very active recruiter, and this will give UCLA an opportunity to bring on a coach with more recruiting ability.

We've heard that Mora could hire a linebackers coach or perhaps a special teams coach, to take that responsibility off Ulbrich but he'd remain as linebackers coach.

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