Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll.
Defensive line coach arrives for Hogs via New York Jets
Texas Tech defensive line coach John Scott, Jr. paces the sideline during the first half of a 34-13 loss to Texas on Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014, at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)
FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema announced Tuesday the hiring of John Scott, an assistant defensive line coach with the New York Jets, to serve as the Razorbacks defensive line coach.
Scott, 41, brings recruiting connections in the South and experience in the 3-4 scheme to Bielema's staff for new defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads.
"With our transition to the 3-4 scheme, John was a candidate that I came across early in the process," Bielema said in a news release. "After his interview and further research on his familiarity with the 3-4, he rose to the top and will be a great addition to our defensive staff."
Scott has signed a one-year offer letter that will pay him $340,000 per year through June 2018, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette learned through a public records request. The offer letter includes a noncompete clause with other SEC schools and has a buyout of $100,000 through Feb. 15, 2018. The buyout drops to $50,000 after that.
Scott replaces Rory Segrest, who had coached Arkansas' defensive line and specialists the past three seasons before being fired last week. Segrest was paid $300,000 last season.
"I'm grateful for the opportunity to be part of coach Bielema's staff and begin working hand-in-hand with coach Paul Rhoads and the rest of the staff on making this a great defense," Scott said in the news release. "I've been fortunate to have worked with Todd Bowles and Kacy Rodgers the last two years to enhance my knowledge and develop players in the 3-4 scheme.
"Over half of my coaching career has been teaching the 3-4 scheme and I'm excited to implement the knowledge I've learned in the pro and college ranks at Arkansas."
The New York Jets, running a 3-4 set as their primary defense, have been one of the NFL's top rushing defenses the past two years. They were ranked second in rushing defense and fourth in total defense, and led the NFL in fewest rushing touchdowns allowed and red zone defense in 2015.
Last season, the Jets ranked 11th in rushing defense and tied for 10th in rushing touchdowns allowed.
Scott, a native of Greer, S.C., played defensive end at Western Carolina (1996-99) and in the Arena Football League 2 (2000-01) before spending 12 years as an assistant coach at six stops on the college level.
Scott has coached against the Razorbacks on two occasions. He was Texas Tech's defensive line coach in 2014 when Arkansas defeated the Red Raiders 49-28 in Lubbock, Texas.
He served as outside linebackers coach at Missouri State in 2009. Arkansas defeated the Bears 48-10 in the season opener in 2009 at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
Scott joined the Jets in 2015 as a defensive quality control assistant and was promoted to defensive line assistant coach in 2016.
Bielema has made two of his most recent hires from the NFL's AFC East Division. Last year, he replaced offensive line coach Sam Pittman with Kurt Anderson, who had been the offensive line assistant with the Buffalo Bills, including a six-game stint as primary offensive line coach in 2015.
The Razorbacks are looking for one more defensive assistant to round out the staff. Bielema told WholeHogSports.com on Monday night he was looking for a linebackers coach to split duties with Vernon Hargreaves in the 3-4 scheme, with Rhoads expected to handle the cornerbacks and safeties as he did last season.
Sports on 02/08/2017
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