April 9, 2009
STARKVILLE -- Whether it''s coaching in the Ivy League or in the Southeastern Conference, football is played the same way.
Scott Sallach is finding that out as a member of Dan Mullen''s coaching staff at Mississippi State.
Sallach spent time as an assistant coach at Dartmouth (1998-02) and Princeton (2003-08) before joining the Bulldogs.
There are a few differences, but to Sallach football is still football no matter where it''s played.
"It''s still blocking, tackling, offense, defense, and special teams," Sallach said. "They just play a little bit bigger and faster (in the SEC). There are some changes, but in a basic sense."
Sallach first met Mullen during their freshman year at Ursinus College at football camp.
After graduating from Ursinus in 1994, Sallach got his first coaching job working with wide receivers at Hamilton College in 1994. He went on to hold the same position at Monmouth from 1995-97.
At Dartmouth, Sallach was the wide receivers and special teams coach and went on to work with wide receivers and quarterbacks at Princeton. Princeton made him passing game coordinator in 2008.
As Sallach adjusts to SEC football, MSU is going from the West Coast offense to Mullen''s spread attack. Sallach is teaching the tight ends what to do in the offense.
Tight end Austin Wilbanks know all of the Bulldogs, including Sallach, are learning on the job.
"It''s a lot to take in, but we help each other out and we''re getting there," Wilbanks said. "We''re used to being a power team, and now we are spreading the ball out and learning our signals and plays. We cram as many plays as we can."
Injuries have kept Sallach from having all of his tight ends on the field this spring, but he believes progress is being made and is trying to be patient as everyone learns a new system.
"Any time you get something new, it takes time to get adjusted to it," Sallach said. "From the first scrimmage to the second, I did see improvement. We''ve got a ways to go, but it was good to see improvement from one week to the next."
MSU returns to the practice field at 3:30 today. All sessions are open to the public.
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