It's official FIU has a new offensive coordinator in Bill Legg, who was Purdue's co-offensive coordinator last season and you the GPP faithful can eyeball here what BL & MC talked about in a phone interview just a couple of hours ago.
The hiring became official late Sunday night when BL arrived in Miami to sign on the dotted line. Before the GPP spoke to both MC & BL, the new O-coordinator was watching some FIU game tape. Nothing like a new hire that's jumping to get to work and not waiting around until March 25.
By the way, with Legg, FIU now has three former offensive linemen as coaches: MC, O-line coach Greg Laffere and Legg, who played center at West Virginia (drawing, above left).
MC said on Monday that FIU Spring Practice begins Tuesday, March 25 and the Blue/Gold Spring Game is Friday, April 18 at the FIU recreational fields behind the parking garage facing SW 8 Street. MC has yet to determine how many of those practices will be open to the public. When there is more info, it will be posted here.
MC said he interviewed more than 10 candidates for the OC job.
"We wanted to make sure we found the right guy for the job," MC said. "It was a very difficult decision, because we have some great in-house candidates and as well as guys from the outside. With Coach Legg, this was the way we wanted to go."
GPP: So what made BL the choice to lead the FIU offense?
"He's a dynamic leader and extremely knowledgable," said MC. "He's been at places where he's done awesome things and he's very experienced. He's seen and done it at the highest level. He'll help takes us to the next level."
MC added that FIU will still run the spread, but "an enhanced version". What's enhanced?
What did MC like about the Purdue offense so much that led him to BL?
"Explosiveness and a balanced attack," MC said. "Guys knew what they were doing and where they were going and got there fast."
BL on the phone line now....Congratulations on your new job.
GPP: So what's your offensive philosophy?
"On offense, just take the ball where they are not and don't be afraid to do what it takes to get there," BL said. "I'm sort of country so that may sound a bit too simple. We'd like to spread the field as much as possible and expose the defense at their weakest point."
GPP: How much did you know about FIU before taking the job?
"I knew a little bit about FIU," BL said. "But enough that when the job came available that I became very intrigued. There's no reason why FIU can't be a great place for football."
Wanted BL to assess the FIU quarterback situation, but like it was written above the new OC has yet to see much game film. All of which should make for an intriguing 15 spring practices.
Yes, the hire of BL was a great one, but let's not all go crazy and say FIU will win 8 games next season. Remember, a coach is only as good as his players. Forget for a second the recent cheating of Bill Belichick. When he was the head coach in Cleveland, no one was mistaking BB as a great coach. Now put him in New England with Tom Brady, Laurence Maroney, Randy Moss and a terrific defense - B.E.M. - Before Eli Manning and suddenly BB is a great coach.
The point is FIU and BL still need to find that every down workhorse, game-breaking speed running back that the Golden Panthers have been missing since Rashod Smith. Also FIU has to settle the QB situation, develop a downfield receiving threat and get more production from the O-line. Don't mean to rain on the parade, but the Panthers are a work in progress.
FIU Fanatic: Spoke to an Orlando writer that covers UCF and the word is Alphonso Bryant could be headed to FIU, but his grades are a major concern. The writer told me that Bryant is currently not enrolled anywhere and has a lot of work to do to get his grades up to par.
Baltimorepanther: Director of Basketball Operations at FIU will sort of be like a general manager.
fiufannn: Welcome to the GPP. Since he took over at FIU, MC has always said that the offensive coordinator will also be the quarterbacks coach so that there is no miscommunication.