The first coaching staff for Darrell Hazell is now complete with the recent hire of Rubin Carter on the Defensive Line and today's hire of Jim Bridge on the offensive line. Bridge is a replacement for Bollman, who was at Purdue for all of a month before jumping to Michigan State to be offensive coordinator. That move was actually labeled as a good one by Ohio State fans, who have suffered under Bollman before:
Given that Bollman often under recruited the offensive line while at Ohio State and even worse, failed to develop the four/five star types he did get into viable professionals with but a few exceptions, he as a position coach hire was suspect enough. But now that Bollman is expected to step back into the role of play calling, something any Ohio State fan would tell you more often than not left you tearing at your own flesh just to feel something, anything. Well, it's certainly not a tremendous day to be a Michigan State football fan.
So, yay us!
Purdue's fine history of developing NFL-caliber defensive linemen is important, and now that will be Rubin Carter's responsibility. Carter comes to Purdue after coaching at Towson on the FCS level. He had a good defense there in one season, but most of his experience has come at the NFL level. He's been a defensive line coach for the Broncos, Redskins, and Jets in addition to coaching at New Mexico, Temple, Maryland, San Jose State, and he is a former head coach at Florida A&M.
As a player, Carter was an All-American in 1974 at Miami (FL) before The U was The U. He also played in a pair of Super Bowls during a 12-year career in Denver in the NFL.
The choice was well-received:
Hazell appears to have made a very good choice with Carter, who will oversee a group that underachieved in 2012 and loses its biggest piece in tackle Kawann Short. Carter's extensive experience around the country also should aid Purdue's recruiting efforts. He'll be the third defensive line coach the players have had in as many seasons, so it'll be important to make the transition as smooth as possible.
I like Carter's experience. He knows what it takes to be a winner at all levels and was a hell of a player in his own right. He'll be right at home with plenty of talent to work with, too. In addition to Ryan Russell There is still Bruce Gaston, Greg Latta, Ryan Isaac, Michael Rouse III, Brandon Taylor, and Ryan Watson.
Since Michigan State stole Bollman from us we stole Bridge from Illinois. The Fighting Illini hired Bridge on January 23rd, previously working at North Carolina State in the same capacity. At NC State he developed a line that pass blocked for over 310 yards per game, which are definitely more Purdue-like numbers. Considering that Danny Hope was in charge of the Brees line (probably the best in Purdue history) it was always disappointing that his lines as head coach did not perform better.
Our friends at the Champaign Room have already commented:
So, yeah, that's awesome. Just when you thought the coaching staff was finally complete, Bridge leaves on the first day of spring practice. Tim Beckman now needs to overhaul the overhaul of his coaching staff.
Needless to say, this puts a bit of a damper on the natural optimism that occurs when spring practice begins. I was a big fan of the Bridge hire when it was announced he'd be replacing Luke Butkus, and now here we are without an offensive line coach yet again.
So what do we take from this? Well, Purdue again has an edge on Indiana and Illinois in the Leaders Division and Penn State is ineligible again. Ohio State comes to Purdue, where we own them, so it's once again Wisconsin or Bust to win the division!
UPDATE: Jim Bridge yells at things in meme form.