Former Alabama All-American: Scott Cochran will ‘undoubtedly be successful’ as UGA assistant
A former Alabama great expects Georgia fans to enjoy having Scott Cochran as special teams coach.
“I’ve seen him interact with players,” Mike Johnson said this week on DawgNation Daily. “I know he’ll eventually undoubtedly be successful in that role.”
Cochran’s departure from Alabama — where he served as strength and conditioning coach — generated a huge reaction from media, fans and former players alike. It also produced at least one big question: How will Cochran perform as a special teams coordinator given he’s never been in that role before?
Johnson — who won a national championship and earned All-American honors as an offensive tackle with the Crimson Tide in 2009 — says Cochran might have more experience in that aspect of the game than some realize.
“Going back to my time at Alabama, he was always involved in special teams,” Johnson said. “I think that’s what a lot of folks don’t understand. He was the kind of guy holding up scout team cards. He helped out with special teams during practice. I think that’s why Kirby sees what he was doing in Tuscaloosa and feels comfortable moving him into that role.”
However, Johnson did admit that until Cochran actually gains experience it’s impossible to know what his true value to UGA will be.
“Right now, I think it’s a much bigger loss for Alabama in the short term than it is a gain for Georgia,” Johnson said. “It’s a dagger for Alabama because he’s one of the best strength coaches in the country”
Johnson’s reasoning for saying Cochran’s departure will hurt Alabama is based on witnessing firsthand Cochran’s value behind the scenes.
“For all intents and purposes, he was the offseason head coach at Alabama,” Johnson said. “You don’t see Nick Saban on a day-to-day basis when you’re down in the weight room or when you’re running sprints. It’s Scott Cochran. When Nick Saban is off recruiting or when some of those coaches have time off in the summer, It’s Scott Cochran… I think his personality allows him to develop those relationships with players.”
Those relationships with Cochran apparently don’t end even when playing careers are done.
“He’s not going to BS with you,” Johnson said. “He’s going to tell you how he feels and what you need to do to be great. I think that’s why so many guys connected with him. There was no facade.”
Johnson believes Cochran’s ability to connect with players will aid him in his new job.
“I think that’s why Kirby feels comfortable moving him to special teams,” Johnson said. “He can touch every position group on the team and continue to develop those relationships much the same way he did as a strength coach.”