Dorrell Talks About Cable, Hires

Head Football Coach Karl Dorrell had a good number of questions to answer on a press teleconference, talking about the departure of Tom Cable, where he'll look for a successor, and the other recent coaching hires...

Karl Dorrell's initial statement:

"Well, it's the day after the busiest day of the year...

"This happens in coaching quite a bit. Guys getting opportunities to further their careers. When you're an assistant coach, and I was one, too, and you get the opportunity to coach at the next level, it's an exciting opportunity. This year, with the success we've had, and the training they're getting in our program, it's going to be a part of it, that guys will get a chance to further their career. I think of it as a good thing. Maybe it's me earning my stripes, putting out coaches that are NFL caliber. It's certainly more work for me, though, going through the process now of trying to hire the right people. But this how this profession works. With EB (Eric Bieniemy), Jon (Embree) and now Tom (Cable), this is what's going to happen when you're successful."

When were you aware that Cable was leaving the program?

"The Atlanta Falcons called during the middle of the week, and they knew were close to closing out the recruiting season. They called me Wednesday night and asked if they could talk to him and I said, 'Why not?' It's a great opportunity for him. So, I talked to Jim Mora yesterday evening and he wanted to visit with Tom, and that's why it happened so quickly.

"It was a huge year for coaching changes in the NFL. I think there were nine (head coaching) jobs open. There was a lot of movement and a lot of opportunity, for college coaches. Tom has always wanted to be an offensive line coach in the NFl. He was looking forward to it sometime in his career."

Have you talked to the committed offensive linemen?

"Not all of them. Maybe four or five of them so far. It happened so quickly, it's something we couldn't do last night. But we'll be in great shape. I'll hire another great line coach, and we'll keep massaging the staff to be a great staff like it once was."

What about the offensive coordinator position? Will you look outside for a candidate?

There are some capable coaches here. I have to find the right line coach first, then we'll determine the offensive coordinator soon after. But we have capable guys on the staff that can do that job. We'll start the search (for the offensive line coach) immediately. That's why we moved spring ball back a couple of days to February 23rd. We knew we'd have to find a replacement first."

So, are you saying you might just look inside for the OC and not outside?

"Yeah, I might. There are some capable guys here. I don't want to overlook those guys. We'll see what happens. The key is getting the right fit for us, and understanding the things we do. We have some capable candidates right here on staff."

Are you one of those capable candidates?

"Yeah. I wasn't really counting on myself, though.  We also have coach (Dino) Babers and coach (Jim) Svoboda, both guys who have done it before in their past. I like to promote from within, particularly if we have those type of people that are capable."

Do Babers and Svoboda have enough experience in the type of offense you run to be the coordinator?

"I think so. This is their first experience in it, they've been in it two years, and it's been two years of learning the offense. But it's not anything special to learn. We have two very capable people, and obviously I'm still going to be involved. It will run the way it should be. We'll be utilizing our resources and productivity. This is one of those things that you keep moving on and training the right guys to continue the consistency of the last two years. The biggest thing is continuity, particularly in our offensive line positions. We have capable people who have been in this system before, so they'll be the target guys we'll look at first."

You don't think you need to push back spring ball any more?

"We're going to be fine. I'm not going to move it any further. We made the decision yesterday (to move it back two days) for the defensive staff, to get themselves ready to be productive in spring practice. We have enough offensive coaches, and we'll be fine. We're still two and a half weeks away."

With Cable leaving, are you worried a little about the perception, that maybe some would think you were waiting until after the signing signing period began to announce it?

"I'm not worried about it, no. It's just the timing of things, when things happen, sometimes it's hard to deal with. I'm at least excited that it did happen at the time it did, that it didn't affect our recruiting.  So, I'm not concerned about perception. We've had a year with a lot of change, and a lot toward the better. Coaches getting NFL jobs, that's always good. We had a good recruiting year. The momentum in the program from last season has started new progress in our program. My job is to keep building this program through recruiting, players and coaches. This is going to happen [losing coaches to the NFL], when you run systems that we do, and you do it well, and you have a good year, this is a by-product of what happens."

Do you anticipate any more change?

Anticipate? I hope not. It's difficult. My job is a lot harder. I'm busier than I would be if we didn't have change. We're still in the process of finishing up with looking at defensive candidates. So we're getting closer on that side. It's been a busy process for me. One of the necessary things you have to do as a head coach, to get quality coaches for our players."

Will DeWayne Walker have the title of assistant coach, or coach the safeties?

"He'll coach the secondary, along with coach (Gary) DeLoach. He's going to be the lead person back there, and it's good that Gary and DeWayne have experience in both areas. He feels great about Gary, his experience at both corners and safeties."

In regard to the linebackers coach, was it important to get someone with NFL experience?

"He was a pretty impressive guy. He played in a pretty competitve conference, the Big 10. He had NFL playing experience. He trained as a coach in the NFL under good defensive coaches. He's had experience coaching different positions. I really like Chuck (Bullough) in that respect. He brings a certain level of intensity and toughness, things that will complement what DeWayne is trying to build on our defensive side."

Was it a connection to him through you or DeWayne?

"We researched him together. He never coached with DeWayne.  I knew of him from a few coaches at Chicago [Bullough coached with the Chicago Bears], and DeWayne knew about him through his experience in the NFL. A lot of good coaches are known about in the industry, and that creates interest. Then when you visit with them it validates those attributes."

How have the players responded to the changes?

"They're pretty upbeat. The defensive guys that have met coach Walker, they're impressed with what they've seen so far. They're excited about what he's bringing in, and the other coaches that will be here on Monday. Today, though, was a surprise for the offensive players, with how quickly that worked out for Tom. Tom visited with those guys this morning, and I don't think they were anticipating that. The circumstances happened quickly, so I think they were shocked at first, then they understood. Tom all along said the only thing that could take him away from UCLA is an NFL OL job or a head coaching job.

"I'm really happy about yesterday and how recruiting finished up. I believe we have another opportunity to build another great staff. As head coach, you need good coaches to keep building and be successful, and this is another opportunity to get great coaches and bring our program back to the forefront."

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