New Ole Miss football coordinators hold news conference

Mike MacIntyre and Rich Rodriguez were recently hired by head coach Matt Luke.

Posted: Jan 9, 2019 7:43 PM
Updated: Jan 9, 2019 8:02 PM

Mike MacIntyre – Ole Miss Defensive Coordinator

Opening statement:

“First of all, my family and I are really excited about being back at Ole Miss. We left here 16 years ago and are back now. When we got back here we had a three-year old, a six-year old and a two-week old. Now they’re 26, 23, and 20. But I’m really excited with working with Matt Luke again for the third time and he is an awesome coach and a super person that I am really excited about helping him with his program. I’m excited about where we’re going and where we’re headed, and very fortunate to be here and honored to be coaching at Ole Miss. I loved my time here before, absolutely loved it and I know I’ll love it again and honored to be here.”

On adjusting back into a coordinator role:

“I’ve always been involved in the defensive side of the ball quite a bit and always been working with the secondary in practice too. I’ve always done drills with practice and secondary meetings and that type of thing. So I’ve kept my hand in there hard understanding that. We would also have different clinics and different things at the University of Colorado and we’d bring in other defensive staff, so I feel like I’m pretty much on the cutting edge of that and understanding. I have been heavily involved with the defensive side of the ball.”

On the talent of this team:

“I watched quite a bit of film on Ole Miss and I think they have some good football players. I’m excited to get out there and work with them and seeing their maturity, and see them work and see them do it. So hopefully we will be able to do it better, be able to stop people, and win football games. We got some new guys coming in. I think the exciting thing to me his having a full allotment of 85 scholarships. We have a lot of guys that are coming in January that will be out there in practice. So I think with that influx in talent as well as the talent we have that we will be able to keep improving and get better.”

On his 3-4 scheme:

“I’ve been 4-2-5, 4-3, 3-4. When I was with the Dallas Cowboys we ran a 4-3 with Mike Zimmer and we did really well. And then Coach Bill Parcells has always been a 3-4 guy and after switched it going into our third year. So I saw that whole development how they draft it, how they work it. I did the same thing when I was with the New York Jets. I like the 3-4 principle for a lot of different reasons, No. 1 being all these spread teams it would clog up the b-gaps, make the ball bounce, it can allow edge pressure. I call the outside backers ‘quarterback disruptors.’ Not only can they confuse the offensive line because they don’t know who’s coming, but they can also act like they’re coming, they can Hollywood, get in passing lanes, they can help in an RPO system. I think what we’ve developed is taking the pro system – it’s the exact same system the Chicago Bears run – and taken that system and developed it for college. A lot of times we’ll have outside backers, but it’s really a safety-type guy because everybody is in three-wide and four-wide, and only have one true outside backer at times. But I think it also helps you pass rush when we go four down. Your outside backers are really your outside rushers. We develop it to fit a 3-4 scheme to fit college football, which is more of a spread game. The thing I think it also does is when you recruit you have more bodies that are 6-2 to 6-4 that are 220-250 pounds that can play on all your special teams too. And so now that helps your special teams and I think that’s going to be big as we keep evolving this. I’m excited about some of the guys that played last year more as an end type that really could play an outside backer spot, their body type, their size, their athleticism so I’m excited with working with those guys.”

On who plays outside backer:

“I think we’ll find the guys that fit into the outside backer spots and the guys that can fit into our inside tackle spots. It’s like a four-I end type of thing. We also do some movement type things which helps if they’re a little bit smaller. It helps them so they can still be very gap sound. As spring evolves I know what we want to do and exactly how we want to do it, then as (time goes on) I’ll know what we’re best at and I’ll emphasize what we’re best at and start to be the best at we can be starting in the fall.”

On why he chose Ole Miss:

“There were a lot of things that went into it, but No. 1 of course Matt, us knowing each other so well and wanting him to do well. He’s the type of coach, the type of person that his passion for Ole Miss that I want him to be successful. The second part of it is was we absolutely loved our time here at Ole Miss. My wife loved it here, my kids loved it here. They’re excited about visiting it, coming here, and being around. Third I thought about the SEC, I’ve been west for a long time so I wanted to get back south and east. So excited about doing that too and this is a great opportunity to coach in the SEC and help Ole Miss be successful and get better.”

On filling in needs early:

“Looking at what Matt and his staff had recruited I got in here at the very end of it and we had some really good players. We’re looking at a couple defensive linemen, outside backers, and maybe a secondary guy. They’re also looking at guys on offense. We’re kind of looking at (those) areas. One thing I wish being a defensive guy is I wish I had spring practice right after the last Signing Day and got it done before the next Signing Day so I had a better idea of what our true needs are. I think we are on track with some guys and it fits into some very specific needs we need to get (fixed).”

On timetable for improving…

“The first game, that’s what you got to do. There’s not much time in college football. Hopefully we’ll make strides each week and hopefully we’ll play well coming out of the gate. I think Memphis is the tenth scoring offense in America so we better know what we’re doing and be ready out of the gate to play better and to play well.”

On his message to returning guys:

“My message to them is I chose them. You know they didn’t chose me, I chose them. I’m excited about being here to be able to help them, and want to be able to help them to be the best that they can be. And I believe in them, I really do. I haven’t met them all, but I already believe in them. For me to give them confidence and knowledge of how we are going to play the game, make it simple for us but very complex for the offense … So I’m going to dive into them and hopefully give them energy, excitement, and confidence – because when they have that they’re going to understand it and they’ll be able to play fast, and play with passion. That’s what I’m wanting and going to try to do with them.”

Rich Rodriguez – Ole Miss Offensive Coordinator

Opening statement:

“I’m really excited for my family and I to be a part of the Ole Miss family. This opportunity came up and Coach Luke called me. I didn’t know Matt (Luke), but I knew some of the guys on his staff. After just two minutes of conversation with Coach Luke, I wanted to look into this further and have the opportunity to talk to him about it. It worked out great. Just in the few days I’ve been here I feel great about the community, the staff, the athletic department. It is a great opportunity for me. I am happy to be back on the grass working again and coaching again. It has been a long year or so. Hopefully I can bring some success to the program. I am excited for the program and the direction where it is going and where it will be in the future.”

On being a coordinator:

“Most of my career I have been blessed enough to be a head coach. I was the youngest head college coach in the country at age 24 and I was the youngest when I was fired at 25. When I was an assistant for four years at Tulane and Clemson I really enjoyed it. It was some of the most enjoyable time of my life. Maybe as a former head coach I can give Matt and the program a kind of a world view of everything and I’m sure Mike MacIntyre can as well. I have a role and because of the respect I have for Matt, Ross (Bjork), and the department I don’t think that will be difficult. Being around the coaches these last few days I know this will be a lot of fun.”

On the personal and his system:

“There are a lot of really good players coming back. I think it is an awesome opportunity for some of the guys that haven’t played very much and for the guys that we are bringing in to play as well. We’ll figure out who will be playing. Scheme wise, I don’t want to fit it into one category. We have to be able to adapt to the skills of our players. It isn’t just the quarterback even though that is a part of it. I’ve had running quarterbacks and I’ve had guys that were stronger throwing the ball. What we will do is evaluate it in camp and see what our guys do well and what we have got to do to win games. Our job is to get the talented players here and to help them execute well. It is a spread-based system.”

On the origins of the spread offense and its evolution:

“We started doing this way back in the Glenville State days. A couple things were different. One, it was shotgun based and two, the tempo was different. We would run a two-minute drill the whole game. When I went there, they got shut out seven or eight times the year before and scored 20 points the entire year and didn’t win any games. So, it was the perfect job to take because the expectations were so low. We would get a standing ovation for a first down. I was a defensive guy, but I was head coach so I was going to go on the offensive side and thought about what was the hardest thing to defend as a defensive coach. At the time I thought it was the two-minute drill. I said alright, we are going to run the two-minute drill the whole game. We put this in there and it evolved into the zone read and some other stuff. It didn’t really get too much attention until we were over at Tulane where a few games were on television and then more at Clemson and West Virginia. It has evolved from college and now the NFL so it has gotten more attention. There are no patents on schemes. Nobody has all of the answers. But for me, at least I am comfortable in that world. To me it is comfortable because it’s all I’ve done for 20 years.”

On keeping things fresh and coming up with new ideas:

“You really just watch. I’ve probably watched and learned as much from watching high school programs in the country. Those are the ones that have to be the most innovative because they’ve got what they’ve got, they can’t go to recruit. They have to do more with less and be creative with what they do. As coaches we always try to make things more complicated but I tell people that is checkers not chess. At the end of the day you have got to be able to play physical. One thing we have always taken pride of in the past was that we might be spread, but there is no such thing as finesse. If you give us the right angles we are going to try and run. If you beat us on that we will try something else. We are going to do what it takes to win games. Some games we may throw it 60 times and other times we may throw 30.”

On Matt Corral:

“I remember him from high school. I remember him being a really good player and one that I would have liked to recruit. When this opportunity came up I told Matt (Luke) that I know he has a really good young quarterback on the team. He was the first player on the team that I reached out to. I am really excited to get to work with him. He has the kind of skillset that I think is going to be perfect for what we want to do.”

On Mike MacIntyre:

“Tremendous respect for what he did. I have known him throughout his career. I knew him from before Colorado and you know guys from coaching but also as a person. Great coach, great person to be around, great staff guy and really sharp. He did some phenomenal things. I saw where he took that program from where they were to where he took them. Matt has a great staff put together. I am as energized as I was when I went to Glenville State.”

On common traits he looks for in a quarterback:

“You don’t have to be the fastest runner but you have to be a willing runner. The certain traits are being competitive, loving football, being able to execute certain plays. You don’t want a recruit that likes football, you want one that loves it and needs it. A guy that likes it as a hobby won’t have nearly the success as someone that is absorbed by it. You want a guy that loves to compete all the time.”

On having a young team:

“I think close to a third of the roster will be freshmen or redshirt freshmen so there are going to be some young guys that have to play. Part of what we have to do is be freshman or rookie-friendly because I don’t want talented guys on the sideline being redshirted.”

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