News, Notes & Quotes - April 25

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday April 25, 2017


- Pat Fitzgerald has a new 10-year contract. Yes, 10 years.

ESPN first reported Fitzgerald agreed to a new deal through 2026. That’s the longest contract in FBS. It’s a private school, so details aren’t available. Fitzgerald made $3.35 million in 2014, the most recently-available info.

Years on a contract don’t always matter, but details such as buyout would be notable, though that’s unlikely to be made public. Fitzgerald has turned down interest for jobs in the past. Believe it or not, he’s still only 42 years old, serving as a head coach since 2006. But he’s obviously a former player, there are few better fits between a coach and school, and you can knock Fitzgerald off your coaching candidate lists moving forward.

- Thomas Dimitroff remembers when old scouts hated how hard he worked.

The current Falcons GM recounted the old glory days as a young coach driving across the western part of the country. But instead of staying in hotels, he do everything in his van.

“I used to love getting in my van — I had this Euro van with propane and a camper, and I’m making my rice and tofu at that time,” he said on NFL.com. “I remember traveling around, and I’d take off from Boulder, Colorado I did two loops, like most people do, in the West. I’d be in that van traveling all over the place, and I’d run into these old scouts, and they’d be pissed at me.

“They would basically say, ‘Look, you start doing that, and our bosses are going to expect us not to pay $120 at the Marriott, and they’re going to expect us to get a (trailer)'. I look back and think, it seems like yesterday.”

Now, Dimitroff is a GM, coming off a Super Bowl appearance.

- Willie Taggart is still defending the winter workouts that saw 3 players hospitalized.

Speaking to Fox Sports, Taggart said it was kids pushing themselves too hard.

“We know we didn’t do anything to try to hurt our kids. We’d done (the same program) everywhere we’ve been and never had a problem,” Taggart said. “I think our guys just overworked themselves and didn’t hydrate. … They were trying to impress the new coaches.”

As for former co-offensive coordinator David Reaves’ DUI arrest after that, Taggart said, “You’re like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ You know you’re going to have some adversity, but you don’t expect it to happen that quickly.”

- Barack Obama shared some good career advice on a panel about youth leadership.

There was no talk of political issues. Just advice he shared with students at the University Chicago.

“When I see young people or White House interns, I always tell them, worry less about what you want to be, and worry more about what you want to do,” he said. “When you’re more concerned with, ’I want to be a congressman,’ or ‘I want to be rich,’ then some people may succeed in chasing that goal, but when they get there, they don’t know what to do with it. And if they don’t get there, they don’t have anything to show for it.

“But if you worry about, ‘I want to improve education in low-income neighborhoods,’ or ‘I want to deal with climate change,’ then whatever you’re doing in pursuit of that goal, in and of itself, is going to be worthwhile, and it’s going to put you in position to have an impact. Then if it turns out as a result, then you also end up being successful in politics or whatever you’re pursuing, and it’s so much the better.

“The most successful business people I know — Bill Gates didn’t start off saying, ‘I want to be the richest man in the world.’ He started saying, ‘I think these computers are cool, and I want to write cool software.’ That’s what he wanted to do. It worked out well for him. If you’re focused on giving yourself to accomplish something, even when you fail at a particular objective, you’re still succeeding in learning about how you can accomplish those goals, and it doesn’t just become about you.”

- Herm Edwards shared a message for teams thinking about drafting a player with criminal or character issues.

As he put it, if they did something bad, there’s something behind it, and a team has to have a plan for the player. On NFL Live, the topic was former Florida D-lineman Caleb Brantley, who was recently charged with misdemeanor battery for allegedly striking a woman.

“It’s like people that say, they pulled me over for running the red light. It was just the first time you got caught,” he said. “When people do things, it’s (often) not the first time. When you strike a woman, to me, you have an anger management problem. I’m not saying he struck a woman before, but he’s got an issue. It’s come to light for everyone to look at. Now you make a decision, can you help him? What does the league do?

“They’re all worth helping. You can’t say he’s not worth helping. He’s a human being. You don’t want men to hit women. But if he comes in our league, you have to help him. That’s what you do when you draft a guy. What do we have to help this young man? If you don’t have a plan, shame on your organization if you’re going to draft him.”

Edwards once suspended running back Larry Johnson two games when he spitting a drink in a woman’s face. Edwards did that before the NFL determined its own punishment.

“I wanted to send a message to our football team, as well as the National Football League,” Edwards said. “I said I’m not going to wait on the league to do their due diligence. I had enough information. There were players there. They said this is what happened. I called the player in and said, ‘We’re going to deactivate you. You’re going to practice, but you’re not going to play.’

“I waited until the league did their deal. I told the league I was going to sit him down for two, you can do another two if you want. But he is not going to play.”

- Check out Miami safeties coach Ephraim Banda mic’d up in spring ball.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.