New Haven Coach Bill Ianonne on Phil Bogle

Chargers Update had the chance to speak with New Haven Offensive Coordinator and Offensive Line Coach Bill Ianonne for an EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW regarding Phil Bogle, an offensive tackle who projects to guard in the NFL. Bogle was signed by the San Diego Chargers just after the 2003 NFL Draft.

As per the usual Coach Ianonne was very interested in how Phil Bogle was coming along in his quest to learn the Pro game. I explained how Bogle seemed to be getting more coaching than any other guy on the line and I attributed that to the time Coach Houck spent looking at Bogle before the Draft.

What can you tell us about him?

"I coached him for only one year, we were a new staff here last spring, but obviously he is a tremendous athlete for a big guy. He was a pleasure to coach, he is a great kid. Works real hard and really cares about the game and his teammates."

During the Cactus Bowl, an all-star game for Division II seniors, Bogle won the Jim Langer Award for most outstanding offensive lineman in the game. In the 10 years of the award, Bogle became the first player from the East Coast or the Northeast to take home the hardware.

Were you surprised he went undrafted?

"I was a little surprised to be honest with you that he didn't get drafted, but in a way I think it was better for him. I spoke with Coach Houck on the phone probably a month before the draft and actually right before he worked him out, out here. He came out to New Jersey to work him out. I am glad he ended up there because I know Hudson is one of the best in the league.

"The way the draft works with who needs what and if they think they can get somebody unsigned. I was surprised really with the Chargers because I thought they really liked him. I thought they would take him even if it was later rather than risk losing him in free agency."

I know he was scouted heavily by the San Diego Chargers, were other teams interested?

"We had, probably, in the fall at least 20 scouts came through here and watched tape on him and watched practice and spoke with the Head Coach, myself, and the trainer."

Bogle is a NY Giants fan having grown up in New York.

"He went down and worked out for the Giants, had a workout down there and he had a workout up here at Yale and there was probably 10 other teams at that, some for the second time seeing him. There was a lot of interest in him. He is without a doubt the best player I have coached and I mean in terms of raw talent. And I told this to Hudson. I told him his upside is tremendous. I won't be surprised when he is a starter in that league."

Bogle's estimated weight was 330 pounds at that time, and we mean estimate because the meat scale they had to use only went to 325 pounds, so he literally tipped the scale. He ran a 5.19 in the 40, had 27-inch vertical against a wall, which we equate to a normal 30-inch vertical, benched 21 times, had an 8-foot-6 in the long jump and ran a 4.5 in the short shuttle.

Can he play multiple positions on the line?

"He took a few snaps at guard (down in Texas at the Cactus Bowl) and I watched a little of the game on tape. Played most of the game at right tackle because I guess there wasn't a lot (of right tackles). There were a couple of left tackles so he got a lot of work in that game. I think that game was a real eye opener for him. He realized then that certainly the level of competition that we played at was high.

"I mean we played against great players every week. We played the number two ranked schedule in the country in Division II. He played against great players every week but I think going to that that thing and getting some work at guard he saw how much easier it was a guard to pass protect number one."

Bogle is famous for telling a reporter he would rather block Warren Sapp then Simeon Rice.

"He is strong. He has meat hooks for hands. He has tremendous power. Once he learned the Pro game, since it is obviously different then college, where the emphasis are and the number of quality players obviously I think he will be fine."

What would you say Phil will have to work on considering your offensive scheme at New Haven?

"We are a spread offense, one back. We threw the ball quite a bit. We probably threw the ball 40 times a game. We were a one back run team so we probably only ran it 20-25 times a game. If there is an area he needs to improve on it is probably that. Which is probably different then most guys coming into the NFL. Most guys are better at run blocking than they are at moving their feet and protecting against better athletes.

"Phil can dunk a basketball; he is never on the ground. Just great balance."

How is Bogle's blocking in space?

"Very good. I think he was very good at that. He moves really well. He changes direction unusually well for a guy that is 330 pounds. Like I said, he just has such great balance and foot speed that he is able to adjust. He can flat out run too. He made a game saving tackle the first game of the year on an interception and ran him down on the sidelines. There are not many better athletes because I have been to enough NFL camps. I know Jim McNally with the Giants. There are not many better athletes at that position.

"He was a defensive tackle at Syracuse originally. So that is the kind of athlete he was coming out of high school. I guess when he got here the need was for him to be an offensive lineman. It only benefits him in the long run anyway."

Strange circumstances led Bogle from Syracuse to New Haven.

"Very strange. Once I got the whole story from him he must have been crushed. I can't imagine going through that because he was in camp with them practicing and he got pulled out of there. But to his credit and his dad been a real big influence on him. His mother died when he was young, but his dad told him ‘Hey you got to make the best of the situation. You will be a big fish in a small pond and you will still be able to get where you want to go."

Bogle actually was a member of the Orangemen. He was there for three weeks, participating in two-a-days and preparing for the season opener against nationally ranked Tennessee. Then he got a call from the NCAA with the bad news. Syracuse officials had told Bogle what "core" courses to take in high school to become eligible for a Division I school. He took and passed them. Unfortunately, two incorrect courses were placed on his transcript. The discrepancies caused him to leave Syracuse and join New Haven.

Can we expect more offensive line prospects from New Haven in the future?

"Replacing him is going to be tough. He is the only starter that we lost. There is no Phil Bogle's on the horizon. There are a couple of guys that are three years away. We don't have the great numbers of guys but the guys we have are very good. I guess that is a blessing."

Bogle was originally courted by New Haven before committing to Syracuse so going there was not that far a reach.

"He helped me move out here when I moved down here so he is a class act.

"He has never been hurt. He is a tough kid and plays through the little dings that you get playing on the O-line. I think we are thrilled to death for him and hopefully in the next few years we will see him be playing a lot."

Now the transcript on Bogle is being written anew. This chapter of his life is now fully controlled by him and not some registrar. He plans on making the most of it.

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