Neuheisel ON:

I caught up with UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel with the OC Register’s Adam Maya at the Morgan Center today. Here’s what he had to say…

On Mike Johnson being hired as OC:
“All that went out yesterday was premature. Nothing can happen fast. I have a wide receiver job open and a defensive coordinator job open. I’ve talked to some coaches and certainly made a lot of calls and some ideas on the way things can work. And I’ve also talked about a redistribution of assignments within the coaching staff. I’m still toying with that idea. In trying to get this right I’m willing to look outside the box. With respect to Norm, Norm is a coach on our staff.”

On considering Chow as QB coach:
“I’m considering a lot of different ways to put the offensive staff back together as well as the defensive staff. Norm is a very talented coach. He can coach lots of positions. What’s best for us as I put the thing together is still to be determined.”

On running the pistol next season:
“Too early to tell. Too early to tell. There were lots of positives from the Pistol, in terms of the rushing yardage. But there’s also other talented guys in the program that need to be found ways to get the ball to. But how that will figure itself out will require a lot of guys that now know their roles, fitting together, putting it together and coming up with the best possible plan for our team. But again, I’m thrilled with what we have to work with. Whoever assumes the role, or assumes the roles, will be excited about who they get to coach.”

On announcing Mike Johnson as new offensive coordinator next week:
“No, that’s very, very premature. I’ve talked to Mike Johnson. Mike Johnson and I go way back. We coached together in Baltimore. I taught him how to throw a speed out years ago when I was playing in the USFL and he was trying to become a quarterback at Arizona State. Mike and I are old friends and we’ve had conversations and he’s interested in this wide receiver position. But it hasn’t been determined in what role he’d coach and how that would all get pieced together. And he’s still got a contract with the 49ers that he has to make sure he protects himself and his family. Those are things that cause this to be very, very premature.”

On the defensive coordinator secrecy:
“I have made a number of calls, but because of the sensitivity of the issue, most of the guys would like to remain anonymous, at least those who are employed, out of respect to their current situations. That’s understandable. I don’t want to name-drop, I don’t want to throw stuff at walls to see what our alums think. not that I’m trying to keep them in the dark, but these are good people and important decisions for people to make, and something that takes time to make a decision.”

On Randy Shannon:
“Randy is a great coach and I’ve gotten to know Randy. I wouldn’t rule him out, but I can’t tell where we are on the process.”

On a timeline for a decision on the offense:
“As soon as all the details are in. There’s lots going on. My primary focus right now is to have a great recruiting weekend.”

On potentially not having the staff in place before signing day:
“In coaching you can foresee anything. It’s all possible with coaching. Things happen. It doesn’t make anyone a bad guy, but things move quickly. Everyone needs to do what’s best for their particular situation.”

On Mike Johnson:
“Mike has been a coordinator, just one with the 49ers, and there’s no question he’s capable of that. To determine how the roles and responsibilities would work out here is still too early to tell. Mike is not hired here. He still has a lot of other offers out there. And Norm Chow is still on our staff. Absolutely.”

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  • UglyBruin

    I don’t know.. I know patience is key.. Right Jon? But come on I know we are eager, to have something to look forward to but again coach speak is CRN best skill. But I guess its like a White Elephant Gift Exchange, lets wait and see what coach is left on the table.. We have talent but need more recruits and it looks like its going to be lean year. And how about Mr. Tweeter?? No question on how a player can tweet, and get wings at the same time??? Just looking for something, cause we here are looking like the Gutty Lil Bruins for Life!! Baseball start yet?

  • Norm Chow

    Hey Slick,
    If you think I’m quitting, your mistaken. I will walk when you shell out that cool Million over the next couple years. I predict I will still be on the UCLA payroll after next season when you are no longer with the program…….

  • Norm

    I think you should stop using Tracy Pierson as a source. Next thing you know, he’ll be telling you I’m no longer Asian.

  • UB (Ultimate Bruin)

    Blah! Blah! Blah! What else can Rick say at this time?

    “Hey, look Jon and Adam, I’m glad you guys caught up with me. I’ve been meaning to tell you my short list for DC and OC. And, I wanted to get your opinion on this shift I am planning. I think if Johnson comes over, I can use him as “OC” but really he will be coaching a position, WR. I will call the plays. And then, if Norm doesn’t go to Utah or San Diego, maybe I can convince him to coach the QBs. Or, I keep Norm, I’ll still call the plays, and get Johnson for WRs. Hmm. What do you guys think. In fact, why don;t you ask your readers to chime in and I’ll consider their opinion, too. Gotta go now. Randy Shannon is on the other line . . . .”

  • Jimmy

    Too bad he cant teach Brehaut or Prince to throw a speed out.

  • Beach Bruin

    Dudes, look- -he is waiting for Chow to get his deal with Utah or wherever inked. THEN he can bring on Johnson. The talk of “not sure who does what” is if everything falls apart and he has to keep Chow- -in which case Chow will be the QB coach, Johnson the WR coach (co-OCs?), and Neu will likely call plays. And the DC thing probably involves Fangio, who is waiting on the Niners…but he may not get that spot. So Neu has to wait…and wait…

  • http://-1 MaddoxtoLaChapelle

    Thanks for the story Jon it was a long time coming, hopefully there will be more…CRN has had more than enough time to make decisions if he’s waiting to announce until NC is officially somewhere else that’s bs werepast thaqt point,were on the verge of the worst recruiting class in the history of our program we need a path, a plan CRN has had a horrible offseason so far and the recruits are proving it…relentless optimism isn’t gonna keep your job it obviously doesn’t win games it’s time to hold players(not just the qb),coaches,and yourself accountable grab your balls and make a decision dammit

  • Bill from RSM

    Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic

  • Anonymous

    Hey, I said that yesterday.

  • Anonymous

    I love being from Orange County when I can possibly claim voice of reason stuff from Beach Bruin, then I look down in shame when I remember how many fans of cheating trogans there are here after reading rancho santa margarita spam.

  • Bill from RSM

    Wrong. I have tailgated with the UBTA clan. I am just not a fan of rick and am ready to see the program go in a new direction. After this next season perhaps you will have similar feelings. OC rox

  • Anonymous

    bill, agreed that our feelings after this season will be similar, i’m hoping you will be the one with the change of heart … towards that end, go bruins!