Neuheisel ON: The Puzzle

Sat down with Rick Neuheisel for a long interview the other day, and here are some of his quotes…

In this part, I brought up a question I asked Neuheisel last year:
If putting a team together is like putting a puzzle together – open the box, pour out the pieces, turn them rightside-up, corners, sides, middle – what stage are you at?

So back to the puzzle metaphor, where are you now?
“You’re always looking, how do you upgrade your roster? The first way is you develop them, right? You do the very best with the kids you have on the roster.

That was 2008?

“Yeah, you build and you teach and you coach and you give them the tools to be successful, and the recipe hopefully for success. The next piece is you now incorporate, you bring more to the roster.

So that’s ’09?

“Yeah, as people leave the program, you have to upgrade. If you lose a great player, you need find a great player to take his place. You’re always looking to upgrade, and that’s all about recruiting. The people who make their money in such a business say we’ve done that well. The proof will be in the pudding as guys continue to develop and see where things are going. But I’m proud of the effort we’ve put in, and I think we can even do better. Then there’s also a research, to make sure you’re doing the right things schematically.”

That’s the Pistol in 2010?
“That’s why I keep saying the term research and development. We’ve tried to develop the skill level, and now we’re trying to do the research to see what we do with the skill will be put to the test this year.”

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  • d-ster

    Maybe b/c you cant compare a division 1 football team to a jigsaw puzzle. A fball team is more than putting some pieces together. The chemistry and timing aspects are absolutely imperative in getting ucla to the next level. Talent is coming in but having it all work cohesively is whats needed to take us where we want to be, above $UC.

    A puzzle?! Seriously?! I miss Brian Dohn!

  • Anonymous

    Dohn is gone and he’s not coming back.
    Get over it.

  • Anonymous

    d-ster: would having hundley make you feel better?

  • captainqtp

    Dohn was fine, but Gold is just as good if not better. Dohn never gave us the quality video reviews that Gold gives us now. If had to choose, I’d take Gold.

  • d-ster

    @ anonymous I: and you are…?

    @ anonymous II: hundley would make all bruins feel better

    @ cptqtp: think dohn would have done the same if technology allowed it when he was around. flipcams are pretty standard with lots of beat reporters now; even espnla’s angulo does it. and besides, its not about the videos, its about the content.

  • Dohn Junior sez…


    Are you still pining for your first flame in Junior High School or your date to the HS prom?

    To paraphrase Rick Pitino: Dohn is not walking through that door. And if you expect him to walk through that door, you’re going to be old gray.”

    Listen, I love Pop, but he can be a self-righteous touch hole…and all that crap about Rutgers… Rutgers???? UCLA would have been at .750 if it played the Big East schedule. Give me a freakin’ break.

    Jon does good work, and he should be detached from emotion that clouds too many of these fan sites.

    Oh yeah…what does the ‘d’ in ‘d-ster’ signify? DOUCHE!

  • I still haven’t slept….

    Though it is a pretty idiotic comparison, d-ster’s reasons why are just as idiotic. It’s more like a jigsaw puzzle that loses pieces every year and you get new pieces and try to fit them into spots they might not fit into. So then you have to cut the new pieces and try to shape them in a way that fits your old puzzle. And then the quarterback piece gets bent and you spill your Jeggermeister on the O-line pieces. Oh and the dog steals the Datone piece because the dog graduated sigma cum laude from USC and hats UCLA. Graduated third in its class actually. Oh so then you have to try and shape the new O-line pieces and the new qb piece and the new Datone piece so that you can fit them into your puzzle. At this point you’re pretty damn tired of shaping pieces. It’s supposed to be a freaking puzzle, but it’s more like arts and crafts. So yeah, a division 1 football team is more like arts and crafts time.

  • The Big Woof!

    Great post, “I still haven’t slept!”
    Hopefully, the previous responders can get your sarcasm, if they have more brains than the aforementioned dog, and realize they’re something more important than silly criticism of the interview subject or the interviewer. I started reading this blog at the very end of Dohn, so I have very little to compare, but comparisons are totally irrelevant now. IMO, not humble, Mr. Gold is doing a fine job of reporting, most of his interview questions are insightful and he has a better knowledge of football than most of us.
    Stop being picky and the name calling! As many have said, this is a free blog, if you don’t like it, stay away and let the rest of us enjoy it for what it is. If you have a real question or a positive suggestion, great, otherwise just stick to the usc site where being infantile is much more the norm (and no, when I use the word norm, I’m not referring to coach Chow.)