Pac-12 football: Coaches used spring to blueprint season

2013-05-07T00:00:00Z Pac-12 football: Coaches used spring to blueprint seasonPatrick Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
May 07, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Mike MacIntyre spent his first spring at Colorado teaching a new culture.

"The Four Fs," he said. "Foundation, family, future, football.

"We go over that quite often.

"We have a whole meeting scheduled to try to teach that."

The new Buffaloes coach knows it's important to be clear about his expectations.

He learned the "Four Fs" from Duke boss David Cutcliffe.

"It's giving a blueprint of what we want," he said Monday, when Pac-12 coaches discussed their spring practices on a teleconference. "If you can't see it, and we don't preach the different aspects of it continuously, then they don't get it done."

But what happens when the culture doesn't need an overhaul?

New Oregon coach Mark Helfrich is replacing Chip Kelly, who went 46-7 in four seasons before taking the Philadelphia Eagles job this offseason.

"Beside the fact the offense was great and the tempo was tough to deal with … there's decisions not everybody's going to make," Stanford coach David Shaw said. "When to go for it on fourth down, when to go for two, when to onside kick it.

"Mark might have a different view of those things.

"Those are big decisions that play huge dividends, but if they don't work, they can hurt you."

Helfrich said he's not sure how he'll handle those decisions yet, if he'll be more conservative than the freewheeling Kelly.

He was given the same advice by the Ducks' previous three head coaches.

"Be yourself," Helfrich said.

Shaw said Helfrich deserves credit for not overhauling a successful program just to put his stamp on it.

"That's how the team becomes your team," Shaw said, "because they believe in the coach and believe he's going to do what's best for them."

Position battles

The league's third new coach, Cal's Sonny Dykes, believes the adage that a team with two starting quarterbacks really has none.

"If you have three," he said, "that means you really don't have any."

That's the case at Berkeley, where Zach Kline, Jared Goff and Austin Hinder, exited spring practice with a chance to claim the starting job in the fall.

Dykes, a former UA assistant, hopes someone emerges quickly - by fall practice No. 12 or so.

At USC, coach Lane Kiffin said he wouldn't set an artificial deadline to name the QB winner from among Cody Kessler, Max Wittek and Max Browne.

"Whenever it shows itself, it will show itself," he said. "Obviously for us, the earlier the better, but we want to make sure we're making the right decision."

He said all three "feel like they should be the starter, which is good," and that "all three had great springs."

Extra points

• Anthony Wilkerson and Tyler Gaffney will get the bulk of the carries in replacing Stanford star Stepfan Taylor, Shaw said. "I believe they can handle it," he said.

• Washington State coach Mike Leach said he was "happy for" Dykes, a former Texas Tech assistant who joined Cal from Louisiana Tech in December.

• Neither Cody Vaz nor Sean Mannion gave Oregon State coach Mike Riley "negative surprises" during the spring, and remain neck-in-neck for the starting job quarterback job.

"They both are good enough, from their past, to say they can both start and win games for us," Riley said.

• Eagles quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor worked out USC quarterback Matt Barkley privately before selecting him in the fourth round of the NFL draft, Kiffin said.

Kiffin said while some might be surprised Kelly didn't select a running quarterback, the Eagles are "a great organization for Matt."

Contact reporter Patrick Finley at pfinley@azstarnet.com or 573-4658. On Twitter @PatrickFinley.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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