Aug. 18, 2015

Mike Denbrock – Associate Head Coach/Wide Receivers Coach

On first-year offensive coordinator Mike Sanfordââ’¬¦

“It took about five minutes to realize what an asset he would be to what we are doing. Even though he’s 33 years old, he’s got a good experience and a good depth of knowledge of coaching the game of football, even in his career. It was another piece of the puzzle we could add to just make our overall football team that much better, so we went ahead and did it.”

On bringing someone in from outside head coach Brian Kelly’s circleââ’¬¦

“I think we played pretty solid offense last year, barring the mishandling of the football, which was ridiculous, but if you look at the way we played and some of the ways we were able to move the football on a consistent basis, I think that was a positive thing. But I think if you know one thing about Brian Kelly, he’s never going to change for change’s sake, but if there’s an opportunity that he feels like is out there to improve the status of the football program or the staff or whatever it happens to be to put us in a better position to have success, he’s going to take it. I thought that was very clear once we made contact and got an idea that Mike [Sanford] was willing to come and be a part of what we were doing, then it was a pretty easy decision to try and talk him into being here.”

On what Mike Sanford brings to the table schematicallyââ’¬¦

“There are certainly things that he’s brought, and it’s all kind of developing as time goes on, as well, with the three of us [Kelly, Denbrock and Sanford] sitting around the table and everything we do offensively kind of gets thrown against the wall and we dissect it and analyze it and tweak it. There have been ideas that Mike has brought to our offense, that we’ve tweaked and changed from the way they did them at Boise (State), but they fit better into what we’re doing now with our overall offensive scheme.”

On the development of the offensive over the course of the springââ’¬¦

“One of them is that we’re able to line up and play at a lot of different speeds offensively. Last year and in the years prior to this, we’ve really kind of played at one speed. It really hasn’t been a situation where we had the ability to go at warp speed, if you will, as fast as we want to go all the time. We didn’t really huddle, but it was kind of somewhere in between there. Now, we’ve really got four or five different tempos or speeds that we can run at offensively, depending on whether we want to step on the gas or slow the game down ââ’¬¦ there will be times when we play fast and there will be times where we kind of pull the reigns back a little bit and slow it down depending on situations or how much time is on the clock and those types of things.”

On providing coaching stability for Malik Zaire, who has had three quarterback coaches in three yearsââ’¬¦

“Coach Kelly usually sits in on all the quarterbacks’ meetings. He’s always very close to the quarterback position and that’s his specialty, as well as Mike Sanford’s. I think when we were talking with Mike and first visiting with him and talking about the structure of what we were going to do ââ’¬¦ it was more around, ‘Who do we feel like has the background and the teaching that can make our quarterbacks better fundamentally and who can help develop those guys?’ Mike was a clear-cut favorite from the very beginning, so it really started there. I think Coach Kelly was very comfortable with Mike’s teaching methods, his fundamental development and the things he was going to do with the quarterbacks, so that made it twice as easy. Even when [Kelly] can’t be in the meeting room, he knows what the dialogue is like and what’s being said.”