Sorry for the radio silence, but I was working on two non-UCLA related features/columns for the Daily News today that kept me out all day. I’ll have a column from this morning on the Dodgers tomorrow; if interested, check Twitter.com/TheCoolSub tomorrow.
Here’s where we’re at:
This morning, Scout.com’s Tracy Pierson wrote that UCLA has come to an agreement with former San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Johnson to take the same job with the Bruins.
As of now, UCLA is denying that a hire has been made, but sources have confirmed that that is the plan, and that the reason for the delay of the announcement was because of the uncertain future of Norm Chow.
Attempts to reach Rick Neuheisel and Norm Chow have been unsuccessful. I spoke with Chow’s agent, who said that he hasn’t been advised of anything regarding Norm Chow by Rick Neuheisel or Dan Guerrero, nor spoken to them in quite some time.
Yahoo.com’s Tom Reinhardt is reporting that Chow will accept the offensive coordinator position at Utah, but I’ve also been told that San Diego State was interested in Chow as well.
I don’t think Chow got a fair shake at UCLA given what he’s had to work with, but I understand why a change was thought necessary. I really wouldn’t be surprised if Chow had success once more – particularly at San Diego State, where he’d be working with fantastic QB Ryan Lindley – but things clearly are not/were not working with Neuheisel.
Regarding Johnson, he is an established offensive coach who most recently took over as 49ers offensive coordinator midway through the season, with middling results. Johnson has had several stops on his relatively brief coaching career, including stints as quarterback coach for Michael Vick with the Atlanta Falcons from 2003-05 and with Oregon State in the late-90s.
Johnson is said to be a talented, energetic recruiter, something that UCLA sorely needs right now.
Once the hire is official, I’ll have more thoughts.