O-line coach Alex Mirabal talks spring game expectations, working with Cristobal
Offensive line coach Alex Mirabal and head coach Mario Cristobal go way back. They’ve known each other since freshman year of high school in Florida, with Mirabal estimating that to be around 34 years. The two appear to have a good, competitive working relationship, which has helped them prepare for Saturday’s spring game.
Mirabal spoke to the media today. Here is some of what he said:
Q: When you have a head coach that’s also the position coach of the offensive line, how do you divide up the duties?
A: “However he wants it. He’s the boss. He’s the head football coach. It’s just something that, it’s a feel thing. … If I see him on the right side of the offensive line I’ll just line over to the left. If I see him on the left I’ll slide to the right. It’s really my job to play off of coach Cristobal. It’s something that, I’ve known him for a very very long time, so it’s really fairly easy.”
Q: What does it mean to reunite with Mario?
A: “It means a lot. It means a lot to me because my relationship with him goes beyond football, and my sole purpose is to see him be successful. I will do anything in my power to try to help our head football coach be known as a champion.”
Q: Did you guys talk about being football coaches when you were young?
A: “It’s just something that happened. I was going to be an engineer. That lasted about a semester. Then I became a social studies high school teacher for 16 years; I was blessed to do that. I know he wanted to be a secret service agent. That lasted until he got into the coaching ranks. He went through the coaching ranks as a graduate assistant. I was a high school coach for 16 years. After that happened, when he had the opportunity to be a head coach about 12 years ago, he asked me about my opinion on that position that he was going to take, and I said, ‘Man, I think you should take it.’ Then about a day later he says, ‘Well, will you join me?’ … So from there it just kind of happened.”
Q: What are you looking for in the spring game?
A: “Just continue to execute and get better — fundamentals, techniques. Keep Herbert from being touched. That’s one of our jobs. Just continue to establish the mentality of toughness and physicalness and technique, and just our part to try and help the Ducks become champions.”
Q: An interesting contrast when you’re out there with the O-line, the big guys.
A: “Everybody always asks me about my height. Heck, I’ve been this height almost forever, so, you just do it, you know? I wouldn’t recruit myself to play o-line. To me, your job is to teach. … I think initially they’ll think, ‘Hey, there’s this short guys coaching the offensive line,’ but once you open your mouth and you teach them something that works they’re OK. I think once you teach them something that works and makes them better, that’s all that matters.”
Follow Jack Butler on Twitter @Butler917
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