home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


January 24, 2014

Charles Huff

THE MODERATOR:  We have Charles Huff with us.  Coach Huff will coordinate the special teams and also coach the running backs.  Coach?
CHARLES HUFF:  Good afternoon.  Thanks everybody for being here.  Thank the administration and Coach Franklin for allowing me to be here.  Just a little bit about the special teams.  I've been asked numerous times what kind of identity, what kind of special teams are we going to be?  Our special teams here at Penn State will have two distinct characteristics.  One is a nekton mentality.  I'm not sure how many science teachers are in the building.  But a nekton is a living organism that can flow freely through water not affected by the current, and it's always attacking.  The most reasonable example will be a great white shark.  A great white shark will eat and eat and eat until it dies, and it won't say I'm full.  That's how we'll be on special teams.  We'll attack, and attack, and attack.  Just because we block the punt first time out doesn't mean we're not coming after it again.
The second characteristic will be a pre‑Fontaine pace. ¬†Steve Prefontaine was a 1970s long‑distance runner who died a little before his time.¬† But he coined the term of "suicide pace."¬† So from the time the gun went off, he was sprinting.¬† From the time we come off the mat, we'll be flying around.¬† Any person that steps on the mat that is a special teams player here at Penn State will be flying around from the time, if we make a mistake, we're going to make it a hundred miles an hour.
Suicide pace, we'll be the first‑‑ and Coach Franklin talked about it a little bit‑‑ we'll be the first fast‑paced, no‑huddle, special teams you've seen.¬† So that's how we're going to be.¬† It will be fun and exciting.¬† The fans will love it.¬† Coaches will love it.¬† I'll love it.
Coach Donovan told me I didn't have to work on punt because he was going to go 100% on third down, so that made it easy.  Coach Shoop told me we didn't have to work on punt return because he was going to get picks and turnovers.  So all we have to work on is kickoff and field goals, so it's easy.  Any questions?

Q.  The last staff here didn't have a special teams coordinator.  Why is that important and what element does it bring to have the benefit of having that position on staff?
CHARLES HUFF:  I think having a special teams coordinator brings an identity to the special teams.  When you break it up as a staff, it works for some people, but I don't know if you have a true identity.  You have one voice speaking to every unit.  Even though our staff here will be very involved, each coach will be very involved in helping with the special teams, I think you need one voice to stand up in front of the team and present whatever it is for that week to keep it consistent.
Our staff here is brand‑new, so that means our guys will be learning three different philosophies, offense, defense and special teams.¬† So it's my job to keep it all simple so what they're learning on defense doesn't flow every on special teams and same as offense.¬† So you need that one voice to present it at the front of the team.

Q.  Following up on that, how does that work?  Will each unit have a coach working with them?  Or will you be the only assistant coach working with each unit?  How do you divide the time between units?
CHARLES HUFF:  Each of our coaches on staff will be helping me.  I'll oversee it all and start the base plan.  Each coach will have a certain segment that they're responsible for.  I do know offhand that Coach Pry and I will work closely on kickoff because that is kind of his deal.  But I'll be responsible for making sure that the meetings are prepared.  The film is broken down.  The players have their scouting reports or books for the week.  Then what I'll do is what once I've got what the other team is going to do, I'll get with each coach and come up with the best game plan for that week.

Q.  Can you describe your reaction when you were presented this opportunity?  Why did you want to come here, not only for Penn State, but to coach with Coach Franklin again?
CHARLES HUFF:  The first reaction was thank you, when can I start?  I was overly excited.  Coach Franklin and I have worked together before.  Like I said before, he's kind of my professional dad.  I respect him a lot.  He's taught me a lot that I've learned over the past, then you put that together with the opportunity to work at such a great university here at Penn State, I almost dropped the phone when he asked me the first time.  Then when I said if I drop the phone he's going to think I don't want the job.
But it was an unbelievable opportunity.  I can't wait to get started.  I'm champing at the bit just from being on the road the last week.  The love for Penn State is unbelievable.  I'm excited to take this program to the next level with the rest of this coaching staff.

Q.¬† You mentioned fast‑paced, no‑huddle special teams.¬† Can you elaborate on it?
CHARLES HUFF:  That's it.  Get set, snap the ball, kickoff, get set, get ready to go.  Play as fast as you can.  Play as fast as you can.  Try to eliminate the thinking, make it simple.  You're out there for six seconds.  Special teams is not where you get first down, second down, third down.  You're out there for six seconds, come off the ball and make it happen.  Flying around, trying to keep it as simple as possible to let these guys run around and have fun with being fundamentally sound and making sure they're where they're supposed to be.

Q.  Along those lines of aggressiveness, there might be decisions there that are more Coach Franklin's, but expect more maybe fakes and that type of thing and aggressiveness in that way too?
CHARLES HUFF:  You're good.  You're good.  We'll have fun, I'll say that.  We'll have fun.  Part of having fun is keeping the guys interested.  So all of the good plays and the fakes and all of that, if they're there, it will be something that we'll do.  We won't force the issue.  We'll take what they give us and make sure that they're fundamentally sound on the other side of the ball as well.

Q.  Have you had a chance to watch any of the film yet on the running backs?  If so, what are your impressions?  If not, when do you plan to get to it?
CHARLES HUFF:  I have.  On the road like Coach Franklin said, we did download some of the information.  I had the opportunity.  I was lucky enough to work with two unbelievable running backs with the Buffalo Bills, Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller.  Both Bill and Zach have some of those qualities.  It will be interesting to see how far I can take them from where they are to where they're going to be.  Coach Donovan and Coach Franklin's system is set up for these two type of acts.  So it will be exciting once they get their feet wet and understand the system where they'll be.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297