Do you think coaches can make the transition to the pros from college?
"I think this, and I'm speaking from experience, I do believe it would be difficult for most college coaches to make a transition to the pro level, from head coach in college to a head coach in the pros, without having had some sort of pro experience prior, whether that's coaching as an assistant in the pros, playing in the pros, coaching in some of those other leagues at the professional level where guys are being paid and they are older guys. Some of those experiences benefit a college coach without a doubt. Because they've been here before in this arena and they understand the pro locker room and the way of doing things and it's just simply different. That's not to say a guy can't come from college to do this in the pros. It can happen and it has happened before successfully. But, you get a jump start getting that experience. Steve (Spurrier) has had that experience as a player, as a coach in the USFL. He's had all that experience before. I thought, and I think I've said this publicly, that he would make the transition quickly, really quickly."
What about the different offense Spurrier runs?
"There are some of the same concepts. He's got some coaches with him that have been in the pros. He's a quick study. He's going to learn how his offense matches up with pro type defenses and how he's going to make adjustments and I'm sure he has already. The system he was using in college was by and large in some ways a pro system anyway. It worked at Tampa. He probably got some of his thoughts and concepts from when he was here as a player. It was a little bit like when I was at Cal. I was running the West Coast offense at Cal in college. We're running the same thing here. We're doing a little more because you have more time to teach, but it's really the same system, the same terminology. You can run some of this pro system stuff in college. And he did."
What distinguishes Spurrier's offense from what everybody else does?
"Some of the stuff is the same. Some of it is his way of preparing, his sort of shoot from the hip, sort of carefree, just go out and play and wing it around demeanor. He'll pass a lot, maybe more than some teams will. As far as concepts and utilization of his personnel, those things you see week in and week out. He might have a couple of wrinkles that are a little different at times. He's just going to play wide open football, throw quite a bit. I think when it's all said and done, his team will probably throw the ball more than anyone else this year."
On Lavar Arrington
"He lines up, in their base defense, over the tight end at times. Many times when he's over the tight end, he's rushing. But then when they are in nickel, they play him like we play Julian Peterson, where he's down as a defensive end. That's when we consider it a four down linemen scheme. But they move him around a little bit. That's why we practice with his jersey on, so we know where he's lined up and how to protect and that sort of thing. He's primarily, when he's down, on our right. He's a talented player. He's a guy that you have to understand how you're going to block him."
Do you prepare differently for him?
"Usually it's just schemes. It's not just because he (Arrington) is a good player. That's not the only reason. Some of our schemes will be affected if he's a backer or if he's a down lineman. Being that he's in both spots, we needed to note that and make sure that our linemen know that. It's not only because he's a great player. But when you're talking about a guy who moves positions, all over the place, that's when you focus on that one guy. That's how we play Julian. Sometimes linebackers that are good pass rushers will go down as a defensive end in their nickel schemes."