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A tough act to follow

Feb 22, 2012 -- 4:16pm

A tough act to follow

By TOM LEA
tlea@espnwisconsin.com

MADISON – Bradie Ewing was quick to point out how instrumental the coaching staff was during his time in Madison when he joined the Badger Hour Tuesday night. He attributed some of the success former walk-ons — like himself —  have had to the way the coaching staff demands personal accountability.

He talked about his growth throughout his time in the program and his rise from back up running back to scholarship fullback captain. He then mentioned how he couldn’t have done it without Bret Bielema and his coaching staff giving him an opportunity to succeed.

Ewing also mentioned how difficult it’s going to be for the Badgers to replace the six departed assistants that left the UW program following UW’s 45-38 loss to Oregon in the Rose Bowl.

“I know it will be a challenge,” Ewing said. “It’s tough, but I mean they have spring ball to adjust to that and I think Coach Bielema showed last year when he had the opportunity to bring in new coaches that he brings in good guys that are going to continue to (develop) their players.”

Matt Canada, Zach Azzanni, Mike Markuson, Ben Strickland, Andy Buh and Eddie Faulkner round out the new crop of assistant coaches that have the tall task of replacing a staff that helped guide UW to back-to-back Big Ten championships and Rose Bowl’s.

Former offensive coordinator Paul Chryst— and mastermind behind UW’s ridiculous 40-plus point average each of the past two years — has moved on to coach the Pittsburgh Panthers.

That, at least in Ewing’s mind, is going to be tough to replace.

“He’s great at using his talents,” Ewing said. “Guys have different skill sets and he finds a ay to make a personnel grouping or make certain plays to use those talents. I think he did that great with me. He’s a great guy to be around and I wish him nothing but the best at Pitt and I think he’ll have a very successful career there.

“He’s definitely somebody I want to stay in contact with.”
 

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