3 possible candidates (article)

Link: https://www.seccountry.com/arkansas/thr … oordinator

I’m surprised, but I like all 3 of their candidates. SEC Country did good research into their relationships to CBB. If I had my choice, I would rank them like this:

  1. Partridge
  2. Rhoads
  3. Chinander

Almost all of Bielema’s hires have come from off the radar. If Smith leaves, I think the new defensive coordinator will be someone with a past in a 3-4 defense.

If that’s true, then Chinander would fit the bill. He worked in the 3-4 in college and in the NFL. He installed it successfully at UCF. Also, before reading this story, he would certainly be someone “off the radar” for me. I had never heard of him.

I can’t remember any of these possible candidate articles ever identifying the eventual hire. Bielema almost always draws on contacts from his past, but that’s an extensive list.

Bielema’s connections to his current coordinators were as follows:

Robb Smith was a graduate assistant at Iowa when Bielema was an assistant coach there.

Dan Enos was a quarterback at Michigan State when Bielema was a player, and later an assistant at Michigan State when Bielema was at Wisconsin.

One thing I have noticed is that several of his defensive coaches have had a connection to the Jimmy Johnson coaching tree through Dave Wannstedt or Butch Davis. Paul Rhoads and Charlie Partridge coached for Wannstedt. Chris Ash coached for Rhoads. Robb Smith coached for Greg Schiano, who coached with Wannstedt and for Davis. Vernon Hargreaves and Randy Shannon coached for Davis.

I don’t know why anyone would not want Erik Chinander unless it could be they would not want to share the spotlight with him. Erik certainly is a coach on the rise and all of the reports I have read about him leads me to think he knows what it takes to defend the spread attacks and the dual theat QBs that have given the Hogs so much trouble. We all know the current Hog coaches are almost clueless in defending it.

Perhaps it is not a case of “do not want”. It could just be a case of wanting someone else more.
You are right in there seems to be a lot to like about Chinander. But the same can be said for the other two too. They all look like step forwards to me.

Okay, but you have to admit that just about anyone would be a step forward. I am a fan of Charlie, as a defensive line coach. I have my doubts about Paul. Mostly about Paul I would like to know more of his role in this year’s total failure. About Erik I keep reading about the things he has done or is doing, things that Arkansas insiders are saying or hinting they would like to have. To me there are just too many red flags about Paul. The Arkansas DBs showed an almost total lack of good techniques. That is my biggest concern. Oh, I will add that I am not sold on the LB coach either. But his players seem to like him. Keep in mind that Erik’s hiring almost assuredly would lead to a complete overhaul of the defensive staff. Not a bad idea IMO.

All three of them are good candidates. I can see why you would want Chinander, but to think that Partridge or Rhoads couldn’t get the job done is not smart. Rhoads, for instance, had in nine years as defensive coordinator at Pitt and Auburn six teams rank in the Top 30 in scoring defense and yards allowed per game. Three of them ranked in the Top 12 nationally. I would rate him based on that more than one year as the secondary coach. Don’t believe Hogs would go wrong with any of the three, but if there is a replacement for CRS, then expect the unexpected with CBB.

SoArk, I didn’t say Paul couldn’t do it. I said he should have more red flags than the other two. Yes, he did have some good defenses, but they were against offenses altogether different than those he’d be facing now. Does that mean he couldn’t do it now? No.

I think Rhoads and Hargreaves get a bad rap because the defense is not designed for the talent we HAVE. Smith did not develop a scheme or adjust the scheme to meet the talent he had. You can’t coach speed but you can coach reaction so maybe Rhoads and Hargreaves are to blame to a degree. The problem is that both guys had weak talent to work with. I think the back 7 has very little SEC speed but the back 4 had pursuit angle issues as well. We did not have the speed to recover on press coverage except with Pulley. The back 4 have the least speed while LB has SEC speed in Greenlaw. Harris has pretty good size and speed at LB but as a freshman.

Smith’s defense is a gap control line that funnels plays to the LB with complex Key reads. The defense requires a scheme smart LB corp with SEC speed. Ellis had the smarts but Greenlaw had the speed. Our LB’s didn’t play good enough for the scheme so the back 4 had to clean up mistakes. Rhoads deserves a pass because of his secondary being put in bad positions from LB play. Ellis was smart and knew where everyone should be but he was slow. Greenlaw was solid as a FR because his speed bailed him out. Smith’s defense is based on complex keys so the LB and Safety have complex key reads and have to get everything aligned. The complexity means that we need an LB that is brilliant which also limits who can play there. The complexity means our players are thinking tooooooo much and reaction time is slowed-Is this why our secondary takes such bad angles?

We also found that Greenlaw’s speed may have bailed out Ellis when we lost Greenlaw against Bama. The LB’s caused some of the secondary’s failures and further exposed their lack of speed reacting to offensive players the LB’s let loose. It only got worse when we lost Greenlaw and played inexperienced Eugene and Harris.

The Dline was full of athletic fast twitch guys that were asked to be knuckle dragging pluggers. Agim, Ledbetter, Wise, and to some degree Johnson were asked to completely negate their top skills as run pluggers.

Evidence that the Smith Defense was wrong for our players was our bowl game against VaTech. The Mizzery loss was bad enough that Bielema forced a Def philosophy change for the bowl.
The VaTech game’s first half Defense Smith used an attacking front 4 and showed what Smith wasted all year. Ledbetter was a beast, Wise was active, and Agim was more active. The LB’s were much better with Greenlaw playing even though he was rusty. The back 4 played better because Greenlaw was not letting as many players loose and cleaning up Ellis’s lack of speed at times.

I wonder about Paul.

If he wasn’t associated with the defensive debacle this year I would have said he was a great DC hire.

But he was associated with historic D meltdown unless he had no say while an assistant.

I assume that Smith had control just like Enos, so I doubt there was much give and take. Rhoads is highly regarded as a DC. These guys make big bucks for their expertise so they saw all of this from the start. Hargreaves and Rhoads had to see what the defense was doing to their position groups, but the scheme didn’t change in 2015 or 2016. Bielema may be too loyal because he should have made Smith change after 2015.

How good of a relationship does Coach B have with Les Miles? Les was beaten out for some of the head coaching jobs he was going for…I know it would probably not happen, but what if he ended up taking an open DC position here. Good? Bad? thoughts on what kind of D he could establish or recruit?

Miles’ background is on offense. He was an offensive line coach for several years.