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Jim Bridge Hired as Illini Offensive Line Coach

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Old Jan 23, 2013, 08:50 AM   #1
Dan
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Former North Carolina State O-Line Coach Has 21 years of Experience



University of Illinois head coach Tim Beckman announced the hiring of Jim Bridge as offensive line coach on Wednesday. Bridge comes to Illinois after spending the last six years at North Carolina State, where he served as both offensive line coach (2011-12) and tight ends coach (2007-10).

"I'm very excited to work with an outstanding coach and man in Tim Beckman," Bridge said. "Illinois is a great fit for me, personally, and Coach Beckman has assembled an outstanding staff. As a coach, you always look forward to competing in a premier conference like the Big Ten and at one of the nation's great academic institutions such as the University Illinois. I can't wait to get started with the members of our team and especially our offensive linemen."

http://www.fightingillini.com/sports...012313aaa.html
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 08:55 AM   #2
PaytonHighstep
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Welcome to the Illini Coach Bridge!
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:06 AM   #3
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He's orginally from Cleveland, so you'll see him recruit Ohio, a lot. He also has pretty good connections in NC, SC, and in Georgia.

Now, im just waiting on GHD to break down how good his OL have been.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:08 AM   #4
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No idea what kind of personnel he was working with but his NC State O-lines werent terribly effective at running the ball or protecting the passer. They tied with us for 115th in the nation with sacks allowed at 39
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:09 AM   #5
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He's orginally from Cleveland, so you'll see him recruit Ohio, a lot. He also has pretty good connections in NC, SC, and in Georgia.

Now, im just waiting on GHD to break down how good his OL have been.
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Originally Posted by Groundhogday View Post
Looking through coaching staffs that have been recently dismissed, here are some guys that we might go after:
NC State: Jim Bridge (TE/OL, coached with Beckman at Bowling Green, many years with O'Brien at BC and NC State, strong recruiter)
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Another long shot: Jim Bridges, the NC State OL coach before being fired last month, coached with Beckman at Bowling Green. It seems that he has been a TE coach for most of his career, so I'm not sure that is a good fit.

Jim Bridge NCSU profile
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Yes, there aren't many obvious replacements for Butkus. Bridge, Ricker, Peterson, Bollman? Most of the OL coaches Beckman worked with previously have really nice jobs (e.g. Studwara and Hevesy).
Well, the jury is out on Bridge at this point. He coached TE for most of his career, so I'm not sure we will have a lot of data points on his OL coaching ability. He is a very strong recruiter, as is also the case with Cubit. So while we are making changes, that remains a high priority for Beckman in making his hires.

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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:12 AM   #6
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Looking up his recruiting Bio and he did a decent job.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:13 AM   #7
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Bridge's Coaching Career
Year(s): Team - Position
1992-93: Bowling Green State - Graduate Assistant
1994-95: Virginia - Graduate Assistant
1996-99: The Citadel - Offensive Line/Recruiting Coordinator
2000___: Bowling Green State - Tight Ends
2001___: The Ohio State - Graduate Assistant
2002___: Eastern Michigan - Offensive Line
2003-06: Boston College - Tight Ends
2007-10: NC State - Tight Ends
2011-12: NC State - Offensive Line


I don't know that he has ever coached in a spread offense (was let go by Bowling Green when Urban Meyer was hired). Mostly a TE coach/recruiter. Did have a long run with O'Brien who is someone I respect.

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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:16 AM   #8
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To me this is a pretty uninspiring hire. For as bad as our line was last year we needed someone with more experience. Looks like a strong recruiter but we need to see alot of improvement in the line play if we are going to have any type of offense. Hopefully I am wrong(which happens alot)
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:17 AM   #9
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No idea what kind of personnel he was working with but his NC State O-lines werent terribly effective at running the ball or protecting the passer. They tied with us for 115th in the nation with sacks allowed at 39
Yeh, though you don't know the situation, I'm not doing cartwheels over this hire. Coached the OL for 4 years at the Citadel, 1 year at Eastern Michigan and 2 years at NC State. Played TE in college. The tight end coaching position is usually where you park a recruiter.

John Peterson (former OSU TE/tackles coach, current UAB OL coach) has a lot more OL coaching and playing experience (Miami, OH had great lines) but his UAB line this past year was awful.

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Last edited by Groundhogday; Jan 23, 2013 at 09:21 AM.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:19 AM   #10
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To me this is a pretty uninspiring hire. For as bad as our line was last year we needed someone with more experience.
He has more experience. Our last OL coach had ZERO YEARS experience.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:35 AM   #11
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Apparently he is not quiet As NC State's SB Nation Blog shows us.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:58 AM   #12
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Eek, I'm not so sure about this hire. Gave up 34 sacks in 2011 and 39 in 2012. Averaged 104 rushing yards in 2011 and 111 yards in 2012. Numbers quite similar to ours the past 2 years.

Anyone got better numbers to make me feel better?
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 10:20 AM   #13
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Apparently he is not quiet As NC State's SB Nation Blog shows us.

The pics in that thread are hilarious. Nice find.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 10:37 AM   #14
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Apparently he is not quiet As NC State's SB Nation Blog shows us.
I love the one with Crean.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 10:38 AM   #15
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Eek, I'm not so sure about this hire. Gave up 34 sacks in 2011 and 39 in 2012. Averaged 104 rushing yards in 2011 and 111 yards in 2012. Numbers quite similar to ours the past 2 years.

Anyone got better numbers to make me feel better?
18th overall is passing yards a game. 7th most pass attempts is FBS. When you pass that much you are going to give up sacks. NC st played some good pass rushing teams like Florida st and Clemson. Plus, Cubit has a quick passing offense which should help the o-line.

http://espn.go.com/college-football/...assingAttempts

Last edited by CUWPC; Jan 23, 2013 at 10:50 AM.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 11:08 AM   #16
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NC State F/+ offensive rankings
2012: 74
2011: 56
2010: 58
2009: 19
2008: 22
2007: 86

The "story" was that O'Brien's recruiting fell off and that seems to be supported with the offensive statistics. Still, their offenses were substantially better than ours the past two years.

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Old Jan 23, 2013, 11:16 AM   #17
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18th overall is passing yards a game. 7th most pass attempts is FBS. When you pass that much you are going to give up sacks. NC st played some good pass rushing teams like Florida st and Clemson. Plus, Cubit has a quick passing offense which should help the o-line.

http://espn.go.com/college-football/...assingAttempts
Their QB, Glennon is also being projected by some as a first round pick. The passing attempts makes sense though.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 11:17 AM   #18
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The thing I like is that Beckman, Cubit, and this guy should fit better together than the former staff.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 11:39 AM   #19
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18th overall is passing yards a game. 7th most pass attempts is FBS. When you pass that much you are going to give up sacks. NC st played some good pass rushing teams like Florida st and Clemson. Plus, Cubit has a quick passing offense which should help the o-line.

http://espn.go.com/college-football/...assingAttempts
Interesting, but do we have a quick passing QB?
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 11:47 AM   #20
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I don't know that he has ever coached in a spread offense (was let go by Bowling Green when Urban Meyer was hired). Mostly a TE coach/recruiter. Did have a long run with O'Brien who is someone I respect.
I was off by a year. Per fightingillini.com, O'Brien coached under Urban Meyer for a year at Bowling Green.

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Old Jan 23, 2013, 11:48 AM   #21
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Interesting, but do we have a quick passing QB?
Scheelhaase has a quick release and is pretty accurate when not getting pounded.

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Old Jan 23, 2013, 11:53 AM   #22
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Last year's OC/OL combo Beatty/Butkus had combined 6 years of college experience. Replaced with Cubit/Bridge, 53 years at college level.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 12:08 PM   #23
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^^ This. As I've harped on repeatedly, the OC, QB and OL coaching positions are the most critical to the offense.
  • Our OC had never been a D1 OC and had only coached at the D1 college level for 6 years (and only one more year at a lower level).
  • Our QB coach had never before coached QBs at the D1 level (1 year at a lower level).
  • Our OL coach had never before coached OL at the college level (and never been THE OL coach at any level.)
That was just way too much inexperience at key positions, and it showed. Butkus with an experienced OC and TE coach with OL coaching experience might have worked. Beatty paired with an experienced QB coach and OL/co-OC might have worked. But what we had clearly didn't work.

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Old Jan 23, 2013, 12:10 PM   #24
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While the hire may not be a homerun. I'm definitely looking at it as a step in the right direction.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 12:24 PM   #25
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The "story" was that O'Brien's recruiting fell off and that seems to be supported with the offensive statistics. Still, their offenses were substantially better than ours the past two years.
Seems to have been up and down the whole time he was there.

NC St's Rivals Team Ranking (ACC Rank):

2007 - 10th
2008 - 5th
2009 - 10th
2010 - 6th
2011 - 12th (Last)
2012 - 9th (So far)

In Bridge's years he has brought in the following recruits:

2008 - (2) 4* and (3) 3* Recruits - Named one of Rivals Top Recruiters in Nation
2009 - (6) 3* Recruits
2010 - (1) 4* and (1) 3* Recruits
2011 - (2) 3* Recruits
2012 - (4) 3* Recruits
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