Q&A time

Almost forgot about the Q&A this week. Send in the queries by 8 a.m. Friday, and I will have the responses later throughout the day.

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  • UCLA Tripod

    Brian, if you had your choice to see any college football game this year at any venue (all expenses paid) which game would you choose and why?

  • bruinmanny

    Brian , after Sept 1st hits , who do you think UCLA will tender football offers too ? I know a few kids are waiting to hear from the coaching staff . Thanks .

  • SnailOfWestwood

    Get new shoes yet? I heard Coach Neuheisel called you out on your Rutgers ones.

  • Fan4Life

    Which Bruin is badder than old King Kong and meaner than a junkyard dog?

  • SnailOfWestwood

    If we had landed Donnovan Edwards, would he be starting right now?

  • DoubleBruin

    I dont remember it well but in 2006 a few of our opponents coaches werent happy with the blocking technique our OL was using. They said we were basically chop blocking and getting away with it. Cable claimed that it was a legal technique and very effective. Was that the case? If so, can a similar technique be used now to compensate our inexperience on the OL?

  • Anonymous

    If Hale ends up beating Ayers for the last LB spot how much do you think Ayers would play? Would they still share time or would Hale take most all the snaps?

  • Anonymous

    Not much was written about Aaron Hester during fall camp? How did he perform and is he likely to see playing time against UT even w/o injuries to Norris /Viney?

  • Anonymous

    How does Ketchum’s absence in the UT game affect the rotation at WR? Is it now going to only be Johnson, Everett, and Austin or will some of the freshmen now play more than backup roles?

  • Anonymous

    Do you have a general sense for how the UCLA coaching staff feels they are recruiting in basketball this year – if they’re happy/concerned/anything else with the direction it’s going?

  • Anonymous

    How do you see the Safety poistion being handled after the return of Brett Lockett? Do you think Moore could take his job away?

  • Anonymous

    What do you think will be the top 5 college basketball programs for the next decade?

  • VB (THE Video Bruin)

    1) As far as our offensive line woes, is a lack of strength, intelligence, or skill? Because as far as offensive line “skill” goes, it seems as though all linemen need is to be strong and know their assignments. What seems to be the problem?

    2) Okay… Okay.. I know it’s only junior college. But how did Craft throw 175 million yards and 44 TD’s last year at Mt. Sac, but can’t seem to muster a single TD pass in a Division 1 scrimmage? The guy MUST be decent. What seems to be his problem thus far?

  • BRUIN NC

    (1) Do you know if any of the top OL target recruits are more interested now because they see early playing time as a possibility?

    (2) Where do we stand with Shaquelle Evans and Kennard?

    (3) Is Snaer still a target for hoops?

    (4) Do we have a legit chance to flip any committed recruits from other schools?

  • BRUIN NC

    Do you believe recruits like Brehaut and Golper can convince other top talent to come here?

    How impressed have recruits been with the pace of practice and the coaching staff when they’ve visited?

  • TheBarsh

    Yo Brian! Are we ever going to get the forward and backward tabs back? Its especially annoying on Fridays, when I’m going through all the questions & answers and have to go back to the home page.

  • Stan

    This may have already been discussed, but wasn’t one of Dorrell’s recruiting classes for offensive line ranked pretty high a couple of years ago? If so, where are those players now.

  • sactownbruin

    Brian, I know you are not a UCLA “fan,” but would you like to join a fantasy football league for UCLA fans?

  • Rob

    Do you think the hiring of RN may jeopardize DG’s chances of being NCAA president assuming any whiff of impropriety is found with the program?

  • Ri-L

    What’s the status of some of the tech requests that you were checking on? A lot of people wanted links to previous post/next post at the top, for example. Any answers from your tech guys?

  • Anonymous

    Who do you think would be a better QB: Sig, Phil, Jonathan, or Keith?

  • True Blue

    I have heard that 65,000 tickets have been sold for the Tennessee game. Is that a correct amount? Thanks for your hard work and continuous updates, great job!!!

  • mbruck

    Brian,

    During a “dead perior”, are schools completely barred from contact with recruits? Can they still offer scholarships?

  • Anonymous

    If none of the UCLA QBs have a breakout season this year, what is the percentage chance that Brehaut will be the starting QB for the opener in 2009?

  • Mario DiLeo

    With the O-line being decimated, has there been talk of using Christian Yount in a capacity other than that of LS?

  • ScottBruin

    Any resentment from Walker for losing some defensive guys to the OL? How exactly does the process work?

  • Anonymous

    Last week I asked about how dire the OL situation is and responded “very dire”. I know the offense is just starting game prep for Tennesee, but did you see much in the practices to date on how Norm Chow is going to deal with this significant weakness? Should we expect to see a lot of screen passes, quick slants or maybe even some Bob Toledo style trick plays? How does the inexperieicne at QB affect the situation? I am looking for a ray of sunshine in this dismal forecast, is there any?

  • Anonymous

    I saw on scout.com that Derrick Favors was interested in UCLA. what do you know about this and do we have a shot at him?

  • Anonymous

    if howland picks up stovar? do you think he can also pick up smith the year after???

  • Anonymous

    Do you think UCLA +7 will cover the spread ?

  • miguelito

    what is the biggest difference you see between Dorrell’s offense and Chow’s offense.

  • Javier

    Brian,

    What’s the story with our recruitment of 2008 SG Gerardo Suero from NY. Considering that he would have to enroll in about a month, is his recruitment pretty serious?

  • Anonymous

    How has Aaron Ware looked in training camp?

  • Anonymous

    a couple years ago verner was a freshman standout in camp, and that immediately translated onto his play in the regular season. is there a freshman this year who had a similar level of camp, and who you expect to breakout right from day 1?

  • Anonymous

    you’ve made quite a few notes about andrew abbott in the last week weeks. Is this someone who you expect to contribute this year, or is he another chris meadows, someone who made the papers and blogs during camp last year but hardly saw the field during the season?

  • Anonymous

    Andy Keane was the #1 center coming out of high school three years ago, possessing the same ranking as guys like Jeff Byers and Kris O’Dowd in their respective years.

    What has happened to him? Especially with all the mixup along the line, why haven’t we heard his name once this summer? Any word on him transferring?

  • amegoro

    Coach Howland recently offered Matt Vogrich (2009 SG from Illinois) and he is scheduled to visit next month. Is he the fallback option if ucla doesn’t land avery bradley or michael snaer? Or would ucla like to sign him no matter what?

  • amegoro

    Michael Phelps vs. Usain Bolt – What’s your take on who was more impressive?

  • BW

    Recently during radio interview, Coach Neuheisel said that Taylor Embree will get recognition before the season end. It seemed to me that Taylor Embree won’t be redshirting this year. Given the depth of our WR, who do you think will end up redshirting?

  • SnailOfWestwood

    Do you see Ben Olson seeing playing time when(if) he comes back from surgery?

  • BW

    Do Brett Downey and Austin Hill have a chance to backup this season or they’ll redshirting?

  • Tony

    Coach Neuheisel seems to be very confident and somewhat cocky. At the same time he seems genuine and possesses a good sense of humor.
    What is your sense of his personality, and will he be a great recruiter?

  • bbntp

    Hi Brian,
    I remember (I believe) your comment that Tennessee would win a close game. Do you still think so?
    I admit to being a “glass is half empty” kind of guy but I’m thinking it will be closer to a 42-10 defeat, and a probable 1-3 or 0-4 record to start the season.
    Comments?

    Bob

  • Buster Bruin

    I was surprised that Sean Westgate was listed among the freshmen who may play this year since he is currently undersized for a linebacker. Does he not need to get much bigger and stronger before he can make a significant contribution at linebacker?

  • Buster Bruin

    Why does the coaching staff think that Jess Ward is talented enough to compete for a starting position on the offensive line? Has he ever actually practiced with the offensive line before now?

  • Buster Bruin

    Now that Mike Harris has returned to practice, do you think he has the talent and ability to wind up as a starting tackle? Has the time he has lost to injury significantly disadvantaged him in competing for a starting job? Is he now at full strength or is he still favoring the ankle?

  • BRUINzor

    something i always wonder about is how much (or little) prestige is associated with ucla football in the eyes of the rest of the country. what does your unbiased opinion say about it? like oh i dunno, purdue or clemson, i dont know anything about them, nor do i care, theyre just whatever, but somewhere in the country theyre probably thought of as an awesome football skool. are we a whatever skool to the rest of the country? are we a purdue? who are we like? (i think like michigan, but im biased lol)

  • BRUINzor

    concerning the offensive line and what youve seen, matched up against our already extremely low expectations of them, if you had to choose between the two, which outcome for the o-line would you predict for the tennessee game:
    1) pleasantly suprised
    2) disgustingly dissappointed

  • Buster Bruin

    It seems that Sonny Tevaga has been playing with the first team offensive line for most of the last couple of weeks. Do you think he winds up as a starter over Darius Savage? What are his strengths and weaknesses?

  • http://Illegalpat@aol.com Legalsean

    Do you think it was an odd move to have Ward go to the O-line, when the team has depth problems at D-tackle and Harwell has been injury prone? Why do you think the basketball team has been struggling getting 2s and 3s in the class of 2009?

    Pat

  • Buster Bruin

    It seems that the first team offensive line gets overwhelmed when competing against the first team defensive line. Are they at least able to perform effectively when going against the second team defensive line?

  • Buster Bruin

    Before the start of fall practice, you opined that the defensive backfield was the biggest question mark of the defense. After observing the defense for the past two weeks, is there now more reason for optimism? Has anyone apart from Verner, the lone returning starter, stood out at practice?

  • Buster Bruin

    How has Nate Chandler looked at offensive tackle? What are his strengths and weaknesses? Do you think he winds up starting for the opening game?

  • theilan

    Last week you said you had much more confidence in Bob Palcic than in Bob Connolly. Why is that? What are the differences in their backgrounds / coaching styles?

  • Anonymous

    is it possible we redshirt both Dye and Hester? In that case what does the secondary look like behind Verner and Norris? There’s Viney, and who else?

  • Anonymous

    i remember when neuheisel was hired, the a.d there, that guerrero dude, made some ridiculous comment about minor recruiting infractions only being minor recruiting infractions if you get caught doing them.
    is rick and his staff making good use of this leeway in recruiting? shouldn’t they have a lot more five-star type recruits given their license to cheat?

  • Anonymous

    i see that the quarterback ucla has a commitment from for 2009 is rated as one of the top five in his class. i’ve always been skeptical of those recruiting rankings, do you put any stock into them or do you think they’re just a bunch hooey put out by people who don’t really know what they’re talking about.
    i mean, the people who do those things, they’re not really coaches are they? they’re probably a bunch of non-athletes who have convinced people they know what they’re talking about. what do you think?

  • Anonymous

    Is quarterback kevin newsome a possibility for UCLA? It says he has an offer from UCLA and hes interested?

  • Anonymous

    Is Howland a yeller in practice, like a Carlesimo or Majerus who is very hard on his players, swears a lot, etc?

  • Greg Manning

    Now that UCLA Basketball is in the Final Four on a regular basis and u$c football is in the BCS on a regular basis, do you sense that college sports are “back to normal” again? I get the sense that UCLA takes football a lot more seriously than u$c takes basketball (with the exception of the Galen Center). What is your opinion?

  • Tyler Durden

    brian, I’ve noticed a HUGE amount of tix on sale on stubhub etc in Ucla sections for the tenn game….barf.

    what % of the crowd for the game do u think will be Ucla fans? 50?

    what do u think it should be?

    how badly do u think the espn/abc crew will mock n ridicule Ucla when tenn is there in bigger #s?

    and do u think the level of abuse will be warranted?

    what affect will the mocking n a likely loss do to Neu’s recruiting 1st class?

    KD kad an ugly 1st season on o n his recruiting never caught fire….i guess recruits have memories of oliphaunts.

  • Anonymous

    I’d be curious to read your take on the quarterback situation. It seems to me that if Craft gets hurt, it could get very ugly. Do you think that it’s possible teams like Tennessee will try to come after Craft, knowing the cupboard is kind of bare thereafter? You have written that the running game has really struggled this summer, so isn’t it imperative that the passing game really excels to take the pressure off the signal-callers?

  • Ri-L

    Hey! Did you just change your bio to reflect a new season? Now it’s six years covering UCLA? How about changing the RU stuff to more accurately reflect their last season? 8-5 isn’t the same as 2006′s 11-2.

    Notwithstanding our own 6-7 of course!

  • http://wernerman13 wernerman13

    hey brian, how come UCLA does not try again to built their own football stadium on campus? i mean i live in rancho cucamonga i would to drive to campus every saturday to watch my bruins play. whats stopping them from building a football stadium?

  • Anonymous

    There was an article about Chow giving Olson a book titled ‘The Inner Game of Tennis.’ I’ve been reading the book and found it very interesting. Has Chow also assigned the book to Craft and Forcier?

  • Anonymous

    Brian, Christian Ramirez is one of my favorite on the team how is his attitutde, during the scrimmage it seemed he was fired up on the sidelines it must be hard to be in his situation?

  • haskies

    is EJ WOODS likely to redshirt because he is “behind” strictly from a FB perspective OR is it a “personal” issue that u cannot comment on? We do not here much about Mr Woods and i will assume it is for good reason…

    P.S. How much will Rutgers beat/or be
    beat Fresno St by and why?

  • Anonymous

    How come the Bruins never went after Jordan Hamilton?

    Is Michael Snaer’s delaying his decision a sign that UCLA is now a stronger look?

  • Anonymous

    Where does the term “red shirt” come from? I know the “non-contact” guys in practice wear red jersys, but they can be injuried or protected skill players (like the QBs) and are not necessarily sitting out a year.

  • Anonymous

    Will all the practices from now on be closed?

  • UCLA ’64

    Soooo … Here’s the really big question for you this season. Are your Rutgers Scarlet Knights going to defeat those Bulldogs of CSUF?

  • lbcbruin

    What school do you think might challenge the Bruins for a basketball pac-ten title this year?

  • Nathan Exp

    There seems to be a consensus that Coach Walker is a top defensive coordinator. Yet it seems to me that teams that run the spread offense have enjoyed great success against the Bruins D during Coach Walker’s tenure. Do you think Coach Walker’s defensive schemes will match up better against spread offenses this year?

  • SnailOfWestwood

    Base on what you’ve seen of him, if Brehaut was on the team this year, would he start ahead of Craft and Forcier?

    How do you pronounce Datone Jones’s first name?

  • Anonymous

    Where does the term “red shirt” for a player that is sitting out a year come from? I know injured and selected skill position players wear red “no hit” jerseys in practice. Is there a relationship or does the term come from something else?

  • PUSC

    Why are they having so many concussions? Hopefully it’s from real hard hitting.

  • Mark

    Are you getting any feeling as to how long Chow will stay at UCLA?

  • Mark

    Where would you rank our defense in the Pac-10?

  • Mark

    Do you see guys like Embree and Abbott eventually getting scholarships?

  • Mark

    Joshua Edwards looked pretty big at the scrimmage. Do you see him having a big year?

  • Mark

    From what you’ve seen, do Bradford and Baca have the ability to help us out in 2009?

  • Mark

    From watching practices, do you see a big improvement in the quality of coaching over the previous regime?

  • Anonymous

    Taylor Embre was not in the list of freshmen you posted. What is his status?

  • sandiegobruinfan

    Thanks Brian for the good work as always.

    1. The coaches have made several comments about C-Force taking what he’s learned and applying it in practice. Is this a polite way of saying he needs to work harder on knowing the playbook?

    2. Has C-Force looked more comfortable making his reads and checkdowns in the pocket (assuming he has time to make the checkdowns)? Or is he prone to get skittish and run if his first option isn’t there?

    3. What has been the biggest issue with Craft’s turnovers in practice? Is it a result of wanting to go downfield too often and not taking the checkdown?

    4. I see C. Harkey cracked the 2-deep at TE. Did Moya get hurt? Or did Harkey just simply surpass him on the depth chart?

    5. Although UCLA seems to have a stout interior with Price and Harwell, who stands out to you as the best passrusher(s) on the team?

  • Buster Bruin

    How did Brandon Bennett look in his stint with the first team offensive line?

  • Anonymous

    what’s the deal with darius savage? by my and most media’s observations he is easily the most dominating OL on our team and one of the few with NFL potential but it seems that he has plummeted down the depth chart at least behind tevaga and ekbatani (if he plays og). is it still just an issue of his assignments? have me and others just caught him on his best days and missed the bad ones or are we missing something?

  • Buster Bruin

    I noticed that Reggie Stokes did not make the two deep at defensive end. What is holding him back? I thought he was supposed to be good at putting pressure on the quarterback in passing situations.

  • mike04

    Brian, I think it’s pretty clear that the big question marks are the OL & uncertain QB play, along with the uncertain & young secondary. However, over the last few weeks, can you describe any positives & strengths we have to look forward to seeing on Saturdays?

    Also, do you see any player who you think will surprise people and exceed expectations based on what you’ve seen at practices/scrimmages (a la sleeper?)?

  • Buster Bruin

    Why was Darius Savage not in the two deep at offensive guard at the end of camp? Is he performing poorly?

  • Anonymous

    In last week’s Q&A you said Darius Savage had NFL potential on the Oline. What has he done to not even be mentioned on the 2 deep, especially when there’s a list of scrubs in front of him?

  • Anonymous

    What happened to Moya? He was ahead of Logan Paulsen as a freshman, and now he’s not even on the 2 deep? I know he needs to improve his blocking, but apparently so does Harkey. So what’s going on over there?

  • Anonymous

    Harkey is a bit of a surprise on the 2 deep as a freshman. Is his surprise performance part of the reason Chandler was moved to the Oline? Would Harkey have beaten out Chandler had Chandler stayed at TE?

  • ubcrluain

    Brian, you mentioned that Standback did not like how he was treated by Howland during his year at UCLA and was close to leaving UCLA mid-season. How close was he? What was it that he did not like? Howland’s coaching style? Lack of attention during practice? What Howland expected out of him?

  • ubcrluain

    Don’t you find yourself exhausted in trying to remember so many players on the UCLA football roster? I know you don’t memorize all of them but I no longer try to remember many of the players simply because there is too many of them. Basketball, on the other hand, is much easier. Less stressful it seems.

  • Anonymous

    What is Karl Dorrell doing now? Has he gotten a new coaching job?

  • ucibruin

    Is there any chance that both Theriot and Chane Moline are used in the same offensive play?

  • Anonymous

    I haven’t heard much news regarding Dominique Johnson. Is this going to be a break out year for him or do you see him as a guy with great size and potential who never really pans out (a la Brian Poli-Dixon)?

  • Anonymous

    You’ve said that 6 or 7 wins is all that should be expected out of this year’s team. That being said, if the bounces go the Bruins’ way (similar to ’95), what is the best case scenario as far as wins and losses?

  • Anonymous

    For the record, on the previous comment I meant ’05…

  • Anonymous

    Since it’s inevitable DeWayne Walker will have a head coaching gig in the near future, do you see his replacement as A) Someone within the program, B) A veteran, respected defensive coach with no head coaching aspirations, or C) A relative unknown who’s considered a rising star (like Walker was when he was hired)?

  • Anonymous

    Do you know if Darius Savage has pro potential in track and field? Are the coaches worried he may leave football to concentrate solely on track and field or will he do that after his college football career is over?

  • Anonymous

    Did you say you were going to get croc shoes instead of the rutgers shoes?

  • Anonymous

    Looking into your crystal ball 3 seasons from now, between RN, DW, & NC, how many of the three will still be on the coaching staff? If the answer is only 1, how much urgency does that put on RN to put a winner on the field in the next couple of seasons?

  • EXbruins

    So I noticed how much smaller chase moline has gotten at practice and checked the roster and he is now listed in the 240s. Is that weight still accurate? How can the coaching staff expect him to contribute at d-tackle at that size? Thanks

  • EXbruins

    It may be too early to tell but, in a goal line situation, will the coaches let Bell run the ball into the endzone or just put Chane Moline in and let him plow in there? Also, in a non-redzone situation, will Dean be the 3rd running back or would it be Moline and then Dean?

  • Fred

    Jake Dean and Micah Kia were 4 star recruits according to Scout.com. Many of our other linemen were 3 star recruits. Why is it that they lack so much skill at UCLA?

  • Steven

    Hey Brian,

    Currently Tennessee is favored by 7 points over UCLA in Vegas. Based on your in depth reporting of the team, do you see UCLA staying no more than 7 points behind the Vols at the end of the game?

  • ucibruin

    during the fb press briefings for which you have been posting audio, are you usually the one asking most of the questions?

  • Anonymous

    Do coaches pay any attention to various recruiting rankings?

  • Tony

    I read that Norm Chow will not be on the field during the Tenessee game but will upstairs.
    Is that normal protocal and will Norm be calling all plays from the booth?

  • ubcrluain

    Brian, whose idea was it to have Q&A. Your editor? Blog visitors? Yourself? I must say that this is the time of the week on the web that I look most forward to.

    Keeping with the Olympic spirit, here is a list of visitors by country on this blog:
    United States 79.3%
    Germany 4%
    Great Britain (UK) 1.9%
    Italy 1.5%
    Canada 1.5%
    India 1%
    Other 10.8%

  • Anonymous

    you said knox lacks speed and so did markey. can u compare the 2 just on speed so to get an idea of knoxs speed

  • WIUbruinfan

    Let’s hypothetically say I’m a 4 star legit recruit from the area. I have some interest in playing for and attending UCLA, but I’m worried the coaching staff other than Neuheisel won’t be around that much longer. What is going to persuade me to go gold and bruin blue?

  • Mike B

    Brian–two questions.

    What is the chemistry like between the all the coaches especially Rick and his two coordinators Norm and DeWayne?

    What does Rick do during the practices? He is hands on and does he work with the defense as well as the offense?