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Oregon Football

Tim DeRuyter Introductory Press Conference

February 1, 2021

The coaching carousel has been a wild ride this offseason. With Andy Avalos choosing to return to Boise State, Mario Cristobal needed to find a new man to head his defense. Tim DeRuyter landed the job and spoke with the media on Zoom Monday for the first time since being hired. 

Opening statement

Really excited to be here in Eugene and work with Coach Cristobal and an outstanding staff. To get this opportunity to be at one of the few places in the country that have the opportunity to not only win a conference championship but to play for a national championship--with the support of the administration, the community, the facilities, the ability to recruit those elite athletes, and the culture that Coach Cristobal has created--I’m just really excited to be a part of it. I look forward to the challenge of competing at the highest level.

On why he chose Oregon

The driving thing was Coach Cristobal. I was really impressed getting to know him. I had some familiarity with some of the guys on the staff having coached with Ken Wilson and Jim Mastro. The type of program that he demands from everybody that works for him, the student athletes that we’re going to coach--the temperature that he sets for everybody. I just knew this place was a little bit different.

Oregon is one of those brands that is known across the country. When you make calls to coaches or recruits they’re gonna pick that phone up. It was too big of an opportunity for me to pass up.

On Oregon personnel and base front

I don’t know that we’re gonna have a base front. We’re probably going to do a lot of similar concepts to what they “based” out of in the past. In our “base” package we’ll have four down capability with KT and Mase and those types of bodies and outside linebackers as standup edge guys.

We’ll have a STAR position where we’ll have a guy as an overhang---someone who can be a physical guy, play the run, be able to bang receivers but also be able to run a little bit, more of the long safety body types but that have some cover ability. Typically we’ll play with two inside linebackers. That star along with four other defensive backs will be our “base” look. We’ll be able to bounce in and out of odd and even fronts. 

On plans for KT, comparisons

He’s probably the first person I’ve seen in a while that has that explosiveness off the edge like Von (Miller), the ability to run, the pass rush value. Really excited about him. 

We’re gonna move him around a bunch. I’ve already sat down with him and explained to him that we’re probably not going to have him playing a 4i at all. Because teams try to chip him and take him out of games, we’ll have the opportunity to run some false pressures and have him in coverage. 

On Oregon defense he’s inheriting

Particularly in our front seven you have some highly recruited guys, some guys that are elite players nationally. I want us to play as fast as we can possibly play. We are going to have a simple system. You can slow them down and make them play less physical if you overcomplicate things. 

On head coach experience at Fresno State helping him at Oregon

Being a head coach I understand how valuable assitants can be. You understand that role much differently after being in that role. I told Coach Cristobal I will always be a resource. You tend to look at things much more gloablly so you can help the team better. I think I can help during crunch time when it comes to managing personnel and helping decide who to take on the recruiting trail---things like that. 

On recruiting philosophy

Coach Critsobal is all about talent acquisition. You’ve gotta make it a 365 24/7 effort in recruiting to get those elite guys. It’s always going to come down to relationships. We want these guys to be outstanding citizens in our community and create value for themselves. I’m anxious to share things with them that will help them have a fulfilling life.

On defensive approach at Oregon

We are going to figure out the who the best 11 players are and attempt to put them in a simple system they can execute as fast as they can. Bouncing in between three and four down fronts. 

On preparing to face Oregon offense last year

I think Coach Moorhead does as good a job as anyone in this league. They do a great job of not giving tendencies and changing week to week. They stay true to who they are. You have tremendous skill everywhere and they can spread you out. They make it difficult to assess and contain all that. The Cal staff and I probably felt the least confident heading into the game against Oregon. 

On finding a coach to replace Keith Heyward

Coach Cristobal and I have been talking about a list of guys. We’ve started the process of going through a lot of high-powered names. We’ve gotta find a right fit as a mentor and coach for our guys, but also someone who can go out and recruit the elite athletes we need going forward. We hope to finish that up relatively quickly. 

On what his defense can do to prepare Oregon offense

I’ve always believed that iron sharpens iron. We’re going to have a ton of good versus good during the week. That’s what you have to do to play at an elite level. I think that’s going to be part of our recruiting pitch: that you are going to be able to line up against some of the best in the country. 

To be able to go against one of the elite playcallers in the country in Joe Moorhead is going to help me as a defensive coordinator.

On spring practice this year

I think it’s critical anywhere for the development anywhere, especially when you have young players like we do. We’re hoping it’s going to be close to normal. It becomes real when you have to get a guy on the ground. 

There is no more critical factor in football than turnover margin. Our job as a defense is not to wait for a turnover, it’s to take the damn ball away.


Tags: Football, Oregon
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