It's All About Style

Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema believes that good coaches come from anywhere. So even after filling two of the six opening on his staff with 'spread coaches', Bielema, Matt Canada and Zach Azzanni are confident in their abilities to keep UW's traditional offense going.

MADISON - With two new coaches hired, Camp Randall is simply humming with excitement.

Wisconsin football head coach Bret Bielema has started to piece together his new staff by hiring an offensive coordinator — Matt Canada — and a wide receivers coach — Zach Azzanni — in the last week.

While they have each expressed their excitement to join Wisconsin, both coached in the spread offense last season — and have traditionally throughout their careers — and the transition to Wisconsin's pro-style offense has raised concerns.

Canada doesn't like labels.

"I love being a football coach, I've got the greatest job in America," Canada said. "There's nothing better than calling plays … and finding those match-ups with the talent you've got. I'm not really hung up on labels, but I understand that's something out there."

No matter what the offensive style though, the two have one main goal: get in the endzone.

"Score points," Canada said. "That's probably silly, but it's true. I've been very fortunate to work at great places with great coaches, with great players … the bottom line is I know what this place is about. We're going to come in here and we're going to run the football, we're going to be physical, because that's what the talent is.

"There's no question about the philosophy of Wisconsin, certainly the offensive philosophy."

Canada was the offensive coordinator last year at Northern Illinois and said he's been calling plays for about six or seven years.

Although he's confident the transition from the spread to the pro-style offense with be a smooth one, Canada knows that like any position in football, experience and practice helps you get better.

"Hopefully you get better at it every year," Canada said. "You certainly learn. We all have our nuances, the things we're comfortable doing. And I think it's something, we all have our own way of doing."

Bielema has no intention of changing UW's offense. He wants to maintain Wisconsin's signature style that helped lead it to two consecutive Big Ten titles.

"I wasn't interested in running the spread, I wasn't interested in running no-huddle and both these guys have experience in that," Bielema said. "But they also have [pro-style] experience. I think good coaches come from everywhere."

As Canada preps to take on UW's offense, Azzanni will bring an intense, high-energy style to the receiving corps — a style he's developed in his 13 hears in the business.

With his style in tow, Azzanni said he couldn't wait to get in contact with his players, specifically sophomore wide out Jared Abbrederis.

"I'm really excited, watching him play," Azzanni said. "I've been hitting my wife on the couch here, watching some games saying ‘look at this, he does everything. He's punt returning, he's blocking,' He's the kind of kid I love to coach."

With the likes of Abbrederis, sophomores Jeff Duckworth and Manasseh Garner and freshman Kenzel Doe, Azzanni hopes to mold his receivers to the best blockers in the league.

"We're going to block," Azzanni said. "We're going to be the best blocking receivers in the country and I know there are some other coaches around the country who might say that, but we're going to do that. You're going to turn on the film and see a relentless group of receivers blocking. The reason I believe in that is because it opens up the passing game for those kids later down the stretch of the game. And it's a team game."

Both Canada and Azzanni will surely bring new things to UW as any new coach would. Any new wrinkles they may bring to the program, Bielema looks forward to testing.

Throughout the entire hiring process, Bielema has accumulated new ideas and different things to try out.

"Any time you bring in a new guy, they're going to bring in a new way of coaching, a new philosophy, bring a new personality to the room," Bielema said. "When you're interviewing so many coaches, they all have great ideas. I've stolen things from coaches that aren't going to come anywhere close to this program."

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