Check out the latest batch of weekly answers…
1) Why don’t we run any WR, RB or F screens? Back when we last won 10 games in a season…screens to MJD and co always caught the over aggresive blitzing defenses of guard. – ET
Well, Drew Olson was very accurate, first of all, and UCLA hasn’t had a particularly accurate quarterback in a while. Second, UCLA hasn’t had a very good offensive line in a long time, and good screens are almost entirely about the blocking, both in the execution and in the “sell,” because you’re trying to fool them. Thirdly, MJD was MJD. Fourth, no idea. I’ve tried to figure it out myself. At least once in a while, no? No.
2) Dietrich Riley looks like a great tackler, why doesn’t he play on special teams? Since he hardley plays did we waste his Redshirt year? – ET
I think Riley is getting perfect experience, learning behind a couple of mature seasoned veterans, but getting his licks in, too. He is clearly something special, and while yes, he could stand to play more, the guys ahead of him are pretty good.
3) The offense appears to get timid on 3rd downs. Brehaut has shown ability and confidence to deliver the the ball to the WR’s yet he hesistates sometimes. I recall you mentioning this in your practice summaries too. What is his thoughts on practicing individually with the receivers like Carroll, Smith, Pressly etc and developing the chemistry needed to make plays, especially those crucial 3rd down conversions? Those guys can make it to the NFL but they need to help each other out and showcase their abilities during gametime. To circumvent NCAA rules on limiting practice times, Peyton Manning would call up his receivers “to hang out” at the local football field to go over routes, Clausen did the same inviting Golden Tate to spend summer in CA working on passing routes and learning where he prefers the ball thrown, timing, etc. There’s Westwood Park behind the Federal Building, a nice grassey field to practice timing & nuances that’s off campus. – MarchMadness
I know that Brehaut and some wide receivers, in particular Ricky Marvray, spent extensive time together during the offseason, and I have heard stories about spontaneous throwing sessions in the middle of the night in front of their dorms last year. It happens more than you’d think.
4) Is it fair to compare ucla football like the LA Clippers, meaning building equity is more important than winning? For ucla as a whole, this would mean they like using football as a revenue stream for other sports and since those other sports win, all is fine? – Anonymous
I think there’s some truth to the comparison, but I don’t think those running UCLA are anywhere near as incompetent as Donald Sterling. There is definitely a conservatism to the football program, seemingly from the top on down, that presents a tough wall to climb. It can be done in certain key spurts – 2005 was a magical culmination of several factors – but national success on a yearly basis, and I mean true national success, is probably unattainable unless major philosophical changes are made. I don’t think that’ll happen.
5) Can UCLA really win a division championship in the next 5 years being in a league with Arizona, USC and Utah? – EZ
Yes, but a heck of a lot has to happen in its favor. The way things are looking, 2012 is setting up to be a pretty good season. Experience at nearly every position, stars at several positions, a seasoned coaching staff. But things have to fall into place.