On Schedule

Forget the young players for a moment; how are the established guys handling their offseason and their roles?
UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel: “I think all of them are on schedule. It’s difficult to know where they are until we play again. You can look at their productivity in the weight room and say, ‘They’re engaged, they’re working.’ I mean, we don’t have a guy in the program who was climbing the ladder and was on schedule, or even ahead of schedule, and is now turned and is going south. We don’t have that, ‘What’s wrong with him?’ Whether they’ll take the next incremental leap as players, a lot of that now is how much time will they spend to really become an expert at their position? Because we can’t spend with time with them talking ball until spring starts, we don’t know. We’ll have to watch and see. Are you really making this more than just something you do well? Is this going to be something that you really are craving to know everything there is to know about? Those are the special players. They say about the NFL, it’s a league of overachievers. It’s kind of strange-sounding because it always seemed like it was just the best athletes. And certainly it has a ton of great athletes. But the ones that stay around for a long time are the ones who make this the most important thing. They’re going to know everything there is to know. How many experts are there in this profession? That’s where you hope guys will gravitate towards, and that’s what my coaches have to do, create an eagerness to always want to know more.”

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