Hunley: Bresnahan defenses make (stuff) happen
Want insights into new USF defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan? Willie Taggart's new assistants won't be talking to the media until his staff is complete, so until then, we're relying on people that know them best. We reached out to former NFL linebacker Ricky Hunley, a first-round draft pick who was Bresnahan's linebackers coach for his three years with the Bengals (2005-07) and on his defensive staff with the Raiders in 2011. Hunley was an assistant at Florida in 2001 before joining the NFL coaching ranks. Here's what he had to say:
Auman: Tell us about Chuck as a coach and what USF's players should expect from their new defensive coordinator.
Hunley: "Chuck is a very, very detailed guy. He comes from a military background (graduated from U.S. Naval Academy, coached there 1986-87) so he leaves no stone unturned. He's a very fun-loving guy, fun to be around. I think he makes it simple and easy for the guys so they can play football. You've got good athletes. You don't want to slow them down. You want them to play fast and use their God-given ability to make (stuff) happen."
Auman: We hear about him being a players' coach, someone players can relate to and get along with, beyond football.
Hunley: "Players, they love Chuck. Chuck's a players' coach. He's the type of guy who makes football fun. They're going to get an understanding of exactly what he wants them to do."
Auman: If I had to ask you for his defensive philosophy, to sum up a Bresnahan defense, what would that be?
Hunley: "He likes to put the players in position to make plays. Everybody wants to be a playmaker. He has a good eye to assess talent and determine who are those people that need to be in that spot to make the plays. He understands offenses, so you can do things to confuse a quarterback. He'll find out if it's a veteran quarterback or a young quarterback and prepare differently according to their abilities. Pressure breaks pipes, so if it's an inexperienced quarterback, he'll throw a lot of pressure at them. If you play a quarterback who can run and kill you with their feet, he'll box 'em in and make him beat you with his arm. If he has a good arm, you'll stay back and have more eyes on the football. Chuck has always been the type of guy who is like the philosophy of Sun Tzu: Know thy enemy like you know thy self."
Auman: It's been a while since he coached in college, going back to 1993 at Maine. How well do you think his coaching skills will translate back to the college level?
Hunley: "You don't forget how to coach. Me and Chuck work together in the summers with Football University, and you get a lot of talent from age sixth grade up to 11th grade to coach. With that, you have to keep it simple, make it fun for them. I've been around Chuck and he has a great personality. He can go into any home and chat. You're selling yourself, selling your philosophy, selling the university, and a lot of that's just having knowledge of your product. Chuck's a smart guy. He'll know the type of people he wants to bring in there and get them in the right place. Any young man that has the opportunity to play for Chuck, they'll find they'll be one of the top defenses around."
Auman: You live in Los Angeles now with your family, but just so I've asked, any chance to get back together with Chuck in Tampa?
Hunley: "I can be bought, if the price is right. You tell him that. The water is a little warmer out there."