Marrow To Stay At UK

Marrow To Stay At UK

Submitted by Brian on January 4th, 2015 at 10:03 PM

A couple of Kentucky outlets are reporting that Wildcats TE coach Vince Marrow is staying with UK; this one in particular was accurate about things being up in the air when others were reporting that he was a goner:

This is a much bigger deal for Kentucky than it was ever going to be for Michigan, as Marrow was connected to about half of their recruiting class—Michigan is going to do just fine on the recruiting trail under Harbaugh either way.

SEARCHBITS XXXII: FALLING INTO PLACE

SEARCHBITS XXXII: FALLING INTO PLACE

Submitted by Brian on January 3rd, 2015 at 12:32 PM

DURKIN STUFF. He's coaching Florida right now, for what little a January third bowl game as an interim means. Expect him to be announced tonight or tomorrow; Florida players aren't happy he's leaving:

"I think he's an amazing coach," safety Keanu Neal told The Sun. "I hate that he's leaving, but it is what it is, it's part of the business. But he's been the same. He's been coaching his tail off, like he would have if he had a job. I'm surprised that he's doing that. He's really doing a good job."

Durkin did special teams before he got elevated to DC and may be able to chip in some there, especially with Mattison sticking around.

1370412[1]

DREVNO STUFF. Allen Trieu pings various Scout analysts for information on new Michigan OC coach Tim Drevno and comes back with a mixed bag on his recruiting but a highly positive take on his coaching skills. USC folks didn't seem blown away by his salesmanship, but at Stanford—where Harbaugh had coaches recruit their position no matter where the recruits were geographically—this list of names is stunning:

He had David DeCastro, Jonathan Martin, Kevin Danser, Khalil Wilkes, Sam Schwartzstein, David Yankey, who were really big ones, all guys who were the backbone there, and he was the point person or the initial evaluator on those guys and developed a few before he left with Harbaugh. Decastro was a top tier guy, Martin was a three-star, Yankey was a three-star out of Georgia, Wilkes was from Georgia, so they were identifying guys and he developed them and was the point person there and he contributed a lot to the outstanding offensive line they had under Harbaugh and the early part of David Shaw.

I've started going over old Stanford games and it's boggling to watch a team in 2010 just mashing opponents off the ball with power, power, power.

NO FERRIGNO. Michigan's worst-performing assistant will not return.

Under Ferrigno, Michigan special teams were dismal. Their archaic punt formations cost them return after return, lanes on kickoffs and punt returns were nonexistent, and fielding eleven players was a challenge not always met.

Meanwhile Michigan's tight ends improved in no way whatsoever. Even the much-maligned Darrell Funk saw his OL take a major step forward this year.

vincemarrow[1]

MARROW ON THE CLOCK. In related news, multiple outlets are reporting($) that Kentucky TE coach Vince Marrow has an offer in hand from Michigan and should decide on it by Monday or Tuesday at the latest. The Michigan side of things is confident here, with rumors that it was Marrow reaching out to Michigan rampant and Sam Webb saying a friend of Marrow pegs it at 98%($).

Kentucky folk are relying on Marrows long association with Mark Stoops, but even if they make the money equal a guy like Marrow—who was a GA as recently as three years ago—is probably going to consider job security highly, and even though Mark Stoops is doing pretty well for himself the flameout rate of Kentucky coaches is near 100%.

THIS PERSON ISN'T ACTUALLY A COACH BUT HE'S CLOSE I GUESS. Longtime Harbaugh associate Jim Minick will be Michigan's director of operations. As of 2011, Minick was working as a Marine recruiter in a 14 state area—he's a retired colonel. Minick and Harbaugh go way, way back. Like third grade way back. In fifth grade, meanwhile:

And we were playing football in the front yard. You know, my brothers and Jim and John, and we were arguing over a call, Jim and I were. Jim and I are – I guess from our parents’ side, unfortunately – very much alike. So we’re arguing over a call, and his dad and my dad just kind of look at each other and go, ‘Damn it, that’s enough. You two fight.’ So right in the front yard, our parents had Jim and Jim square off in a fistfight, just to quit arguing about calls. And sure enough, that’s what we did. And I caught him real good. I caught him right in the mouth, cut my hand open on his tooth. Blood’s everywhere. And at that point, they broke us up. And the funny thing about it is, because the fight was called because my hand was bleeding, Jim claims he won the fight.

Minick should bring some stability to the football ops spot after it's seen five different people occupy in the years after Brad Labadie was fired for his role in stretchgate. I imagine a retired Marine colonel will manage to get his paperwork done.

ETC.: Nebraska hires 49ers OL coach Reggie Davis, so he won't be joining Harbaugh at Michigan.

SEARCHBITS XXXI: Assistant Time

SEARCHBITS XXXI: Assistant Time

Submitted by Brian on December 31st, 2014 at 2:28 PM

dj-durkin-florida-gators-defensive-coordinator[1]

no jerkin' Durkin around

DURKIN SEEMS IN. 247 reports that Durkin has turned down an offer to be UNC's DC and will almost certainly be announced at Michigan in the near future. This is not really news—Durkin's name has been rumored for two weeks now—but it seems likely he's announced ASAP here and starts pounding the recruiting trail. There are reports he's already talking to recruits about coming up to Ann Arbor.

We'll have to wait a few days for it to be official since Durkin is Florida's interim head coach and the Birmingham Bowl is on January 3rd. But that appears to be done-done-done.

MARROW DEFINITELY IN PLAY. Depending on who you listen to, Kentucky TE coach Vince Marrow is either not about to leave Mark Stoops…

…or very much open to the idea of moving.

One of the first assistant dominoes may fall within the next 24 to 48 hours, as Kentucky tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow has been contacted by Michigan and would take a job with the staff if offered one.

Either way it seems likely that chatter about Michigan going after him is accurate.

MICHIGAN MEN OR HARBAUGH HOMBRES? FWIW, soon-to-recommit TE Chris Clark:

That's good news for current 49ers, less so for Erik Campbell and Jeff Hecklinski. Exactly who these guys might be is still murky—Harbaugh has a lot of affiliates after his days at San Francisco and Stanford.

INCOMING GOOD IDEAS. The Sacramento Bee threw out a couple of new names:

Several of his long-time allies, including 49ers receivers coach John Morton and Tim Drevno, a former 49ers offensive line coach who last season was at USC, are believed to be joining him in Ann Arbor.

John Morton is currently the Niners WR coach; before that he had a number of roles with USC. He started as a WR coach, added "passing game coordinator" for a couple years, became the bonafide OC when Steve Sarkisian took the Washington job, and then went back to position coaching when Lane Kiffin came in. He was a WR coach a few places before that. He's a Michigan native who went to Western.

123113-drevno-hdr[1]

remember mapquest you guys

Tim Drevno is USC's OL coach. Drevno is a longtime Har-pal, having coached under him at San Diego, Stanford, and with the 49ers. Drevno was the OL coach for Stanford's two excellent Harbaugh offenses, forging the ass-kicking OL that Stanford came to be known for over the past half-dozen years. At San Francisco, 2012 saw all five(!) 49ers OL selected for the Pro Bowl. His line at USC last year featured three true freshmen and zero seniors; while they did give up a butt-ton of sacks USC's main back hit almost 1500 yards this year at 5.4 a pop.

Drevno was awarded the title of running game coordinator at USC, part of his reason for moving on and  may require a similar title at Michigan. If Michigan is offering the same title that might close the door on Ty Wheatley some since it's been reported he wants to move up in the ranks if he's going to come back to Michigan.

A final cherry on top of this potential hire is that Drevno called USC his dream job less than twelve months ago.

WHEATLEY? The Bills are ominously "evaluating" all their assistants. If Wheatley gets pushed out of there you might as well put him in pen in Ann Arbor.

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR? Henson says Greg Roman, his current OC with the 49ers. That would make sense. Guy needs a job, knows Harbaugh well, etc. Not sure if that's happening-happening or just a guy who looks like a likely fit. Roman has been exclusively an NFL guy save for a single year in HS and two years with Stanford as the TE/OT coach, also during Stanford's nascent ass-kicking phase.

Roman is in contention for the Bucs' OC job and there's been chatter that he actually prefers the NFL, unlike Harbaugh. His coaching history suggests that. One thing that's not happening: sticking around the 49ers.

WHAT IT MIGHT LOOK LIKE

A guess at the moment:

OFFENSE Coach confidence DEFENSE Coach confidence
OC Greg Roman low DC DJ Durkin lock
QB Harbaugh lock DL Durkin lock
RB Ty Wheatley maybe LB Greg Mattison probable
WR John Morton probable DE/OLB Roy Manning low
OL Tim Drevno maybe DB Greg Jackson none
TE Vince Marrow maybe Spec. Teams N/A none

OTHERS IN PLAY: Erik Campbell (WR), Jerry Montgomery(DL), Andy Moeller(OL), Fred Jackson(RB), Mike Hart(RB).

One problem with this alignment: it only has four defensive coaches. There are five on offense plus Harbaugh. If both Morton and Drevno do come I think that might mean Marrow is staying at Kentucky.

SEARCHBITS XXX: THAT'S WHAT MY JUG SAYS TOO

SEARCHBITS XXX: THAT'S WHAT MY JUG SAYS TOO

Submitted by Brian on December 27th, 2014 at 4:04 PM

large[1]

via Jon Malone

HOLDING STEADY. I haven't gotten anything that would change my stance her\e since yesterday. That, of course, is this:

harbaughhomecoming.0

I did get a terrifyingly titled email ("John Harbaugh –> Jim To Oakland = $5 million") that turned out to be a third hand report that if Jim wanted to go to the Raiders the 49ers were planning on extracting the full freight of his contract from him. I have lectured this person on titling emails.

Other than that it's just more of the same. I can't quite say it's a done deal but I would be shocked if this did not happen.

THEY'RE OUT THERE. Feldman reports that Michigan officials are going to be in San Francisco today and tomorrow.

I've heard this is not so much a negotiation as just picking him up. Terms are settled.

ANOTHER MOVE. In the last couple days, even Rivals—the most cautious of the three paysites—has moved off their 50/50 and declared things to be 85% likely, and then said they'd call it if it was election day, and then that "this is happening" which HEY BUDDY THAT'S OUR PHRASE TO FLOG INTO THE GROUND. Balas now says it would be "beyond surreal"—squared!—if it did not happen.

In any case: the most conservative set of Michigan insiders has the lampshade on its head and is trying to drink shots through it.

INCREMENTS. Webb to 90. Lorenz says it would take "something catastrophic" for it not to happen.

ANOTHER REPORT? It's unclear whether this report from Harbaugh's (currently) local ABC station is independent or not. It uses SOURCES in its title (#sources) but the text is may only be referencing Joe Pequeno, the Arizona sportscaster who is this search's most random insider. This may be actual SOURCES, though:

Friday night, the unconfirmed reports began surfacing that Harbaugh will meet with representatives from the University of Michigan and one source says that a deal is already done.

The phrasing there makes it hard to tell if they're actually talking to people or just taking other stuff and not mentioning or linking it because BLOGS. Take it FWIW. Local news is not often the kind of place that breaks these things, but if San Francisco-based folks are hearing the same things Michigan-oriented ones are that's another quality sign.

Meanwhile, Pequeno:

That was just a few minutes ago and did not spur the ABC report.

THEY DON'T WANT TO GO ON THE CART. Rapoport raporeports that the Raiders are going to try.

(Rapoport knows the Raiders are always in the Bay Area. Also, check the extensive reply lists on those tweets for a quick compare/contrast with the La Canforas and Kawakamis of the world. Rapoport doesn't seem to have the best sources here but at least he's a professional.)

I don't think that's going to change much of anything. While the Raiders have been restricted by NFL tampering rules it's not like Harbaugh doesn't know they're interested and prepared to hand him full control. I don't buy the random tweet claiming a Sirius XM report that the 49ers have given the Raiders permission to contact Harbaugh, since it hasn't been replicated anywhere credible. Radio is always the worst for breaking news. Half of it is bunk and the other half is misheard. In this case, that would be tampering.

If Michigan wasn't already operating like their guy was in the bag I'd be more concerned, but with the entire department and folks like DJ Durkin acting like it's a fait accompli this looks like the Raiders trying to save face with their fanbase. Or just doing the usual Raiders stuff and having no idea what the score is.

STAFF STUFF. I'm pretty confident that Greg Mattison is indeed going to be part of the new staff. I've got multiple reports that he's planning on staying in town and would like to continue, and Mattison has a long history with various Harbaughs. DJ Durkin seems all but assured as well given what we've heard about him, but I don't have anything that's been shared with me privately to add to the obvious. Scout has a freebie with some pretty strong indications that Durkin's on his way:

Word from a rival SEC assistant is that scenario [Durkin to M] is much more than rumor.

“He is waiting for Harbaugh to call him within the next 24 hours to make him the defensive coordinator at Michigan,” the assistant said.

I'd also bet a dollar that Ty Wheatley joins the staff as a RB coach with something like "run game coordinator" or "co-OC" tacked on and a salary bump from generic assistant coach.

[NOTE: Last time I bet a dollar in searchbits (on Mullen being plan B) a number of people thought this was a coy way to say "this is a lock"—it's not. It just means I bet a dollar. I have reason to think that thing is happening but would not bet, say, the MGoWife on it.]

Past that I don't have any names that I think are particularly likely. Mattison sticking might be bad news for Roy Manning, who is a LB coach by trade. Mattison and Durkin are both capable of handling LBs, and Mattison fills the ace recruiter and holdover the guys trust roles. I still think Manning's got a shot since every staff needs a guy on it who knows what this means…

…but I haven't heard much about him sticking.

247 brings up an interesting name($): Vince Marrow, currently the tight ends coach at Kentucky. Marrow's had a deeply weird career, with a few years as a fringe NFL player followed by short stints in NFL Europe as a player and coach, a year in the Arena league, a year as Toledo's TE coach, a singe year as a HS head coach, a TE coach job with the Omaha Nighthawks(?!), two years as a GA at Nebraska, and finally his three years at Kentucky under Mark Stoops as the TE coach/recruiting coordinator.

Why is a guy like this on the radar? Kentucky's Ohio recruiting. Kentucky has been killing it in the state under Marrow, beating out Big Ten teams not named Michigan or Ohio State for prospect after prospect. With Harbaugh likely to be the QB coach Michigan has a spot to play with for a guy like Marrow.

Rivals just brought up Stanford DC Lance Anderson as a likely staff member, but getting both Durkin and Anderson seems extremely far-fetched. Anderson's unit kept Stanford afloat this year, so he's not getting a demotion. Durkin seems all but certain, so is he really coming for a co-DC slot? Is Durkin? Are we not even handing Mattison title frippery appropriate to his station? There are obviously a number of connections between Anderson and Harbaugh, but unless Durkin's waiting on a DC spot that's not guaranteed to be his—highly unlikely—that fails common sense checks.

WHY. The NFL doesn't understand this.

That's why it's happening.

ETC.: Utah's coaching staff has been raided over the past week or so and now a local radio guy says it's "highly unlikely" Whittingham returns. Weird stuff, though radio disclaimer applies.

Colin Cowherd tweets out Seth's Harbaugh photoshop, hopefully teaching Seth to watermark things in the future. Iman Marshall interested? Stability a good thing, and a thing the Raiders aren't into offering.

Harbaugh on Brisco County Jr., because we all need to be reminded of these things.