Tag:Chip Patterson
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:32 am
Edited on: January 13, 2012 11:54 am
 

Alabama's Sal Sunseri to Tennessee as DC

Posted by Chip Patterson

Alabama assistant coach Sal Sunseri will be Tennessee's next defensive coordinator.  Early reports from GoVols247 and the Tuscaloosa Bureau were confirmed in an official release from the school on Friday.  Sunseri replaces former defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, who accepted a position on the Washington coaching staff in September.
 
"The chance to work with Derek Dooley, who has been around championships and knows what it takes to build an elite program, combined with the rich tradition of the University of Tennessee, makes this opportunity so exciting to me," Sunseri said in the official release. "I am fired up to work with all of the young talent on the defensive side of the ball, and I can't wait to get up to Knoxville and coach them."

After winning two national championships in three seasons on Nick Saban's staff at Alabama, Sunseri will be in good company with head coach Derek Dooley. Dooley spent five years as an assistant to Saban at LSU, then two more on his Miami Dolphins coaching staff.

Like Dooley, Sunseri's family has been surrounded by college football. His oldest son, Tino, is the starting quarterback at Pittsburgh (where Sunseri was an All-American linebacker in 1981) and his youngest son, Vinnie, recorded just finished a 31-tackle freshman campaign as an Alabama linebacker.

"Sal has had unparalleled success over the last decade in not only contributing to team and unit success, but also in his ability to motivate and develop elite individual talent," Dooley said in a prepared statement. "His combination of defensive knowledge, recruiting success, high-energy personality, ability to connect with players, and personal integrity and character make him an exceptional fit for Tennessee."

Sunseri is Dooley's second hire of the week, looking to fill the positions left by other departing coaches. On Thursday Tennessee announced former North Carolina assistant Sam Pittman as the new offensive line coach. Pittman replaces Harry Hiestand, who left to take a job on Brian Kelly's staff at Notre Dame.

For more information on Tennessee's recent coaching hires, follow Daniel Lewis and the Volunteers RapidReports

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Posted on: January 13, 2012 10:54 am
 

Maryland DC Todd Bradford won't return for 2012

Posted by Chip Patterson

After just one year on the job, Maryland has opted not to retain defensive coordinator Todd Bradford for 2012. The school announced on Friday that Bradford received an undisclosed "negotiated buyout," and head coach Randy Edsall offered some words of thanks for his services.

“We appreciate Todd’s efforts this past season and wish him well in his future endeavors," Edsall said in the official release. "It is the right time for us to move forward in a different direction.”

Bradford was hired from Southern Miss after former defensive coordinator Don Brown left to join Paul Pasqualoni's staff at Connecticut - Edsall's former employer.

The Terps ranked dead last in the ACC in total defense this season, giving up 457.2 yards per game. In addition to the poor statistical showing, Maryland defense displayed an inability to close out games that cost the team at least two potential conference upsets. After blowing an 18-point third quarter lead to Clemson at home, Maryland finished the season by allowing NC State to overcome a 41-14 third quarter deficit to win 56-41. It was the biggest Wolfpack comeback in school history, and possibly the nail in the coffin for Bradford's time in College Park.

After a tumultuous 2-10 start, Randy Edsall gets to hit the reboot button in 2012. With Gary Crowton and Bradford out, the reprise of Edsall's start will be with offensive coordinator Mike Locksley and a to-be-named defensive coordinator. Competition to fill that spot will be hot in the ACC over the next several weeks, as Clemson will also be in the market to replace Kevin Steele.

Just a hunch, but it would not surprise me if former Miami head coach Randy Shannon is a name that pops up as a potential candidate for both positions. Shannon was an extremely successful defensive coordinator for six years under Larry Coker before being promoted to head coach in 2007. He has been out of coaching since his dismissal in 2010.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview. Like us? Tell our Facebook page.
Posted on: January 12, 2012 1:50 pm
 

MSU's 'strategically' placed billboard in Oxford

Posted by Chip Patterson

Since his arrival in Starkville, Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen has made a point to throw some gas on the fire in the Ole Miss rivalry. At this time last year, Mullen made headlines for a massive billboard campaign that welcomed visitors to "Our State." This year, the billboard efforts to fuel the in-state rivalry are less aggressive and more calculated.



(Billboard image via Clarion-Ledger)

The billboard, which features Mississippi State players holding the Egg Bowl trophy after the Bulldogs 31-3 win over Ole Miss on Nov. 26, is featured in five different locations across the state of Mississippi. The billboards went up Jan. 1 and are scheduled to come down Feb. 1; which happens to be National Signing Day.

One of those five billboards is located in Oxford, on Jackson Avenue near Ole Miss campus. A Mississippi State athletic department spokesperson acknowledged the advertisement was "strategically placed" in a response to the Clarion-Ledger.



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Posted on: January 12, 2012 1:14 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2012 1:56 pm
 

DC Kevin Steele will not return to Clemson

Posted by Chip Patterson

Clemson defensive coordinator Kevin Steele will not return next season, the school announced on Thursday.

“I have had a great experience at Clemson and feel good about what we have accomplished the last three years,” said Steele in an official release. “But, there are some other coaching opportunities I wish to pursue at this time.

“It has been rewarding to see this program grow to the point of winning Clemson’s first ACC Championship in 20 years. I want to thank the coaches and players who worked so hard these last three years. Clemson is a special place and I wish the program and the players continued success.”

Steele has served as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach since 2009, and is considered one of the ACC's better recruiters. But Clemson's defensive performance in 2011 was less than ideal, coming to a head in the record-breaking 70-33 Orange Bowl loss to West Virginia.

No defense in bowl history has allowed 70 points in a game, especially on a national stage like the Orange Bowl. As West Virginia rolled off touchdown after touchdown - including five second-quarter scores - Steele stood on the sideline as the center of attention for an angry and frustrated fan base.

The Tigers ranked 81st nationally in scoring defense (allowing 29.2 points per game), only better than Duke and Maryland in the ACC. This coming just one year after leading the conference in the same category, and with all-conference defensive linemen Brandon Thompson and Andre Branch in the lineup.

“Although we were inconsistent at times with a young defense this year, overall we have been one of the best defenses in the country the last three years under his direction, head coach Dabo Swinney said in a prepared statement.  "I thank him for his hard work and dedication to our program and wish him nothing but the best.”

Steele is considered one of the bright defensive minds in the game, serving as executive head coach and linebackers' coach for Bobby Bowden at Florida State and two season's on Nick Saban's Alabama staff before arriving at Clemson. But Steele's schemes did not seem to work with the Tigers' young personnel, and Clemson was repeatedly burned for big plays in 2011 because of breakdowns in the linebackers and secondary.

Follow Travis Sawchik's Tigers RapidReports for more on this story, including potential replacements for Dabo Swinney's staff.

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Posted on: January 12, 2012 12:02 pm
 

Toledo WR Eric Page entering 2012 NFL Draft

Posted by Chip Patterson

Toledo all-purpose wide receiver Eric Page has had a change of heart, and plans to enter the 2012 NFL Draft. After the Rockets' 42-41 victory over Air Force in the Military Bowl on Dec. 28, Page gave the impression that he would return for his senior season. After receiving more information on his potential draft position, the 2010 All-American return man has decided to forego his senior season and turn pro.

“It’s always been my dream to play in the NFL and I think right now is a great opportunity for me,” Page said. “This would have never been able to happen without my teammates, coaches and my family.”

CBSSports.com currently has Page listed as the sixth-best wide receiver in the 2013 class, but the junior informed the Toledo Free Press that his projection is between the third and fifth round in the 2012 NFL Draft. All-purpose threats like Page often can improve their draft stock in combines, using their speed and athleticism to wow NFL scouts.

Page leaves Toledo as the school's all-time leading receiver with 306 career receptions, tied for most in Mid-American Conference history with Jordan White (Western Michigan 2007-11). He earned All-American honors in 2010 as a returner and was a 2011 finalist for the Paul Hornung Award, given annually to the most versatile player in college football. Page averaged over 172 all-purpose yards per game this season, finding the end zone 12 times in 13 games.

Get caught up on the early-entry announcements HERE, and all the latest rankings, mock drafts, and breaking news check out the NFL Draft Home

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Posted on: January 11, 2012 11:01 am
Edited on: January 11, 2012 11:03 am
 

All-ACC RB Andre Ellington returning to Clemson

Posted by Chip Patterson

Clemson running back Andre Ellington has decided to return for his senior season. CBSSports.com's Travis Sawchik reports the all-conference running back announced his decision after a team meeting on Tuesday.

"Last year's success has me excited to enter the 2012 season as a Clemson Tiger," Ellington said.

Ellington rushed for 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2011, good enough for second team All-ACC honors and moving to 10th place on Clemson's all-time rushing list. The junior submitted paperwork to the NFL Draft advisory committee, but upon receiving a response has elected to put one more season on tape.

One factor that may have led to Ellington's return is the hope for a full season of health. Ellington missed four games in 2010 with a foot injury that later required surgery, then was nagged by an ankle injury during conference play in 2011. When the speedy running back is 100 percent, he is one of the most explosive running backs in the conference. But the injuries could be enough to keep NFL scouts wary if Ellington made the jump this season.

With Ellington back, 2012 will be the first time in school history the Tigers return a 3,000-yard passer, 1,000-yard receiver and 1,000-yard rusher from the previous season. All factors contributing to Clemson's Top 15 ranking in Brett McMurphy's way-early Top 25 ranking for 2012.

Check out the rest of McMurphy's Top 25, and follow Tigers RapidReports for more updates on Clemson's outlook for 2012.

Get caught up on the early-entry announcements HERE, and all the latest rankings, mock drafts, and breaking news check out the NFL Draft Home

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview. Like us? Tell our Facebook page.
Posted on: January 11, 2012 10:19 am
Edited on: January 11, 2012 10:24 am
 

Florida hires Boise State's Brent Pease as new OC

Posted by Chip Patterson

Florida head coach Will Muschamp was reportedly blindsided by the news that Charlie Weis was accepting the head coaching position at Kansas. On Wednesday, the Gators' head coach filled that opening on his staff with the hiring of Boise State's Brent Pease as offensive coordinator.

Pease, who will also coach the Florida quarterbacks, spent the previous six seasons on Chris Petersen's staff at Boise State. The 47-year-old assistant started his coaching career after a stint playing quarterback in the NFL, serving as an offensive coordinator at Montana, Northern Arizona, Kentucky, and Baylor before joining the Broncos' staff in 2006.

“I’m excited to join the University of Florida football family and The Gator Nation,” Pease said in an official release. “I’ve always had the utmost respect for Coach Muschamp and the UF program and I’m honored to have the opportunity to work at one of the premier institutions in the nation.

"I look forward to working with a tremendous coaching staff and, from what I hear, a great group of eager, young football players. Coach Muschamp and I share a lot of the same philosophies so this was a perfect fit. I want to be multiple in our offensive formations and have a balanced attack with tempo. I firmly believe in being fundamentally sound and red-zone efficient. I want to develop our players in a pro-style offense that can help them at the next level. ”

In his time at Boise State the Broncos posted a 73-6 record, won four conference championships, and made six postseason appearances - including two Fiesta Bowl wins. After coaching the wide receivers for five seasons, to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks' coach before the 2011 season following Bryan Harsin's departure for Texas. Under Pease's guidance, Maxwell Award winner Kellen Moore finished off his decorated career as the winningest quarterback in FBS history.

There will be high expectations for the entire Florida staff for a bounce back in 2012, but especially for the offense. The Gators were ranked tenth in the SEC in total offense in 2011, only better than Ole Miss and Kentucky. The unit was not helped by a revolving door at quarterback and injuries to key playmakers, but the fans in the Swamp are not used to performances like the 184 yards of total offense in a 21-7 loss to Florida State at home.

Muschamp will speak to the media Wednesday afternoon to discuss the hire, be sure to follow Gators RapidReports for further updates.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview. Like us? Tell our Facebook page.
Posted on: January 10, 2012 6:44 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2012 7:45 pm
 

Jeff Casteel joining Rodriguez at Arizona

Posted by Chip Patterson

Since Rich Rodriguez was hired as the next head coach at Arizona, is has been widely speculated there would be some familiar faces joining him on the Wildcats' coaching staff. According to a report from the Tuscon Citizen, Rodriguez will announce West Virginia's Jeff Casteel as his defensive coordinator on Wednesday.

Rodriguez indicated in his introductory press conference that he would reach out to former colleagues to join him at Arizona, but did not know if they would be interested in leaving their current posts. Casteel was on Rodriguez's staff at West Virginia from 2001 to 2007, serving as defensive coordinator for the Mountaineers since 2002.

Casteel has reportedly been Rodriguez's top target since his hiring in late November. The defensive coordinator is a West Virginia-native, and his 3-3-5 scheme was a pivotal part of the Mountaineers' three BCS bowl wins since 2005.

Following West Virginia's record-breaking 70-33 win over Clemson in the Orange Bowl, Casteel dodged the questions regarding a potential reunion with Rodriguez in Tuscon.

"You know what I think, the kids have worked hard, they just won 10 games," Casteel said from the Sun Life Stadium locker room. "To put the emphasis on the speculation - I'd rather just focus on what I think the kids deserve and that's what the focus should be on."

Popular belief among the West Virginia media following the conclusion of the game was that Casteel was out, and it was just a matter of time before the announcement was official. CBSSports.com's Patrick Southern suggests that cornerbacks coach Dave Lockwood and defensive line coach Bill Kirelawich may follow Casteel, filling the last two defensive holes in Rodriguez's Arizona staff.

UPDATE: While the school hasn't issued an official release, we're guessing that by having Jeff Casteel on the school's website, it's now about as official as official can get.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview. Like us? Tell our Facebook page.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com