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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

March 8, 2010 at 8:34 PM

March answers, volume one

Here’s the first set. …
Q: Will E.J. Savannah have a chance at free agency?
A: Technically, any graduating player does to be literal about it. Assuming you are asking if he has a realistic shot at getting signed. I’m assuming he will be at the Pro Day Wednesday, and that could tell a lot. Certainly, being the leading tackler for a Pac-10 team, as Savannah was in 2007, is worth a look, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he got signed.
Q: Who was the first coach in the PAC 10 to earn over $1 million a year? How long did he last before being replaced?
A: It may very well have been Rick Neuheisel at UW. If you recall, he signed a contract worth as much as $997,000 when hired at Washington in 1999, making him at the time the highest-paid coach in the Pac-10. I always figured he likely somehow earned another $3,000, be it in speaking fees or whatever, so he’s probably close enough to qualify (especially in 2000 when I would imagine he hit just about every incentive he had). If you’re reading this, you probably know what happened to him. If it wasn’t technically Neuheisel, it was probably Pete Carroll at USC in 2001 —- USC doesn’t make salaries public but I think he made seven figures from the start of his career. You may also have heard how his USC career recently ended.

Q: Do all the Pac-10 teams have a spring “game” to end their practice sessions? And what are their scenarios – 1’s vs 2’s, 1 offense vs. 1 defense?
A: Really no way to determine that exactly as schools can change it on the fly based on what they want to do depending on if they’ve had a lot of injuries during the spring or whatever. Recall how WSU technically cancelled its spring game a year or two ago and just held a normal practice, instead. UW has been all over the map on what its done through the years, and usually doesn’t determine its format until a day or two prior. That’s what most schools do — wait and see what makes sense a few days prior and then decide.
One thing to keep in mind is that a college football team’s roster is the smallest it ever is during the spring, so depth is always an issue. You don’t have all the guys who just graduated, and you don’t have all the guys who will be arriving in the fall. So if a few injuries hit at any position, a team can get thin in a hurry and that can change spring game plans.
UW did just a starters vs. backups deal last year, and generally that’s what the Huskies have done since I’ve been covering the team, which suddenly has been quite a while — back to 1997.
Q: Do we have any ideas what Stanford assistant coaches get paid? Is low salary the reason for limtied retention? Does Jim Harbaugh call the offensive plays throughout the game, or does he let his OC do that?
A: Like USC, Stanford is a private school, so it doesn’t release salaries. But it has always been reported that Stanford is on the lower end of salaries in the conference for its football staff, which is exacerbated by the fact that it costs so much to live in that area, making it kind of a double hit. Even with his recent extension, Harbaugh is thought to be making only around $1.2 million or so, which would be eighth in the conference — and salaries for assistants usually follow pretty closely in line.
So yes, that is often a reason guys leave Stanford for somewhere else (especially the NFL). As for Harbaugh and play-calling, I did a story last fall in which I asked all 10 Pac-10 coaches whether they called plays (offensive or defensive, depending on their area of emphasis). Harbaugh was the only one to give me a really vague response. But I think that he probably does call the plays.
More answers later.



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