Here's more from new 49ers football coach Brad Lambert, in Q&A form, some from his news conference and some from a one-on-one interview I had with him later:
Q: What kind of offensive and defense will the 49ers play?
“Offensively, you’ve got to be able to throw the ball and spread it both horizontally and vertically. That’s what drives you crazy as a defense. But you’ve got to run it well. When I was at Georgia and we played Florida, what coach (Steve) Spurrier would annihilate us with was when they would run over 100 yards in addition to having a big passing day.
“On defense, we’re going to be an attacking 3-4 team. That’s primarily where we need to focus. We’ll look for a good nose guard and two outside linebackers. They can be undersized, but we can work with them.”
Q: You're a defensive guy. Talk about your philosophy.
"Our guys will play with great discipline, but they'll play like their hair's on fire. We want to play right on that edge. You can't get a personal foul, but you're right at that edge until the whistle blows. You can't go over the edge. We're gonna knock people down, help them back up, then knock them down again."
Q: And your philosophy with dealing with players as students and regular kids?
"We've got to have great communication. You've got to care about them more than just as players. You have to know that you can't just hope to motivate them at 2 o'clock on Saturdays before a football game. It takes work and it's not easy. You have to look at them as kids, who have problems like anybody else. It's easy to look the other way and not to get involved in their lives. But you can't say, Hey, make sure you play well and get motivated to be the best they can be, without being involved in their lives."
Q: What’s your biggest worry about the job?
“The unknowns that are going to come up. How are we going to handle these two years without games to coach? I’m asking guys like coach (offensive coordinator Jeff) Mullen to come and not coach for two years, but to be willing to be committed and take a little risk. August is going to come around and we’re going to say, ‘Where are the players?’ “
Q: How will you spend the time?
“The number one negative of our situation is not coaching for a couple of years. How are we going to deal with that? Well, in addition to recruiting, we’ll go out and study how other schools who are just starting football are doing it, like Texas-San Antonio, Georgia State and Old Dominion. Coach (Jim) Grobe told me, usually for a guy to be able to go and study how other people do it, you have to get fired to do that.”
Q: Where will your main recruiting areas be?
"Primarily in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. I'm thinking the recruiting guy we hire will have to be a guy with big North Carolina ties. That's big with me."
Q: What’s the main attraction in starting a program from scratch?
“It’s great to be able to start your own deal. You can put your fingerprint on it and look back 10 or 20 years from now and see if we built it the right way.”
Q: Can you talk about your decision to hire Jeff Mullen as your offensive coordinator?
"That was a complete steal for us. It's been truly fun to watch him coach over the years and watch him develop guys like Riley Skinner (at Wake Forest). Even at West Virginia (where Mullen was fired in December) they won a lot of games. He had, like, three quarterbacks in three years there."
Q: What do you expect in the first few weeks on the job?
"It's gonna be chaos! We have a lot media to do, going out and getting to know the community and I want my first staff (two others) hired by April 1. But I still don't know where our offices are going to be, things like that. But we need to make sure we get all that ironed out before (April 15) when we go out on the road (recruiting)."