Check out the first batch of weekly answers…
1) Two-part question: 1) How do the UCLA football players respond to the coaching they are provided. 2) What is your assessment of the quality of coaching they receive? – Blue BruinThis is a really tough question, but I’ll try to explain it the best I can. The players respond individually how they should respond, given both their physical, emotional or, umm, excuse-worthy limitations. For example, you take a guy like Sean Westgate. He is often in the right spot, at the right time, as Clark Lea has taught him to be. But he’s also undersized for a linebacker, and a pulling guard weighing 295 pounds will sometimes run over him. Can’t do much about that. He was in the right spot. For some guys, you can’t make them care about football more than they will care about football. Some people bleed for the sport, it oozes out of their pores, it just defines them. I think of Patrick Larimore, and I think of a guy who truly “is” football. That has nothing to do with his talent, his skill, his size, his strength, etc. He’s just a football guy. UCLA doesn’t have enough “football guys” at the moment, I think. The last three classes have added some, but at this point, I don’t think there is a prevailing “football guy” attitude on the team. I don’t even need to define who is or who isn’t – you know them already. You know the term “baseball guy?” Always wears a baseball cap, always dips or chews or spits seeds, always in that mode, cares about the purity of the game, etc. There are football guys, too. Just not enough right now who are of age and talent. As they mature as players, and as UCLA adds more of them, the team will improve.
Regarding the coaching they receive, I think the scheme is more an issue than the individual coaching.
2) At what point will UCLA have to break down and schedule an FCS team to pad its schedule and make its W-L line cosmetically better? – Wes Covington
As soon as possible. It’s a joke that they don’t do it now. UCLA needs to start padding its win totals, just like everyone else. Talk about a built-in disadvantage in the BCS era.
3) After Brehauts bad performance(pre concussion) and kevin prince’s uncertain return, do you feel Brett Hundley’s chances to start from day one are growing? And do you think Bruin fans’ criticism of Neuheisel/Chow will factor into the decision(maybe giving the job to Hundley shows they are trying to move forward)? – Bruin1496
Growing, yes. Of course they’re growing with every bad pass and poor overall game. But I still think it’s very difficult, bordering on impossible, to expect an 18-year-old kid to come in and beat out a 20-year old, unless that kid is spectacular. Not just good. Not passable. Spectacular. And even at that, it takes a risky coach to pull the trigger, and I’m not sure UCLA has that.
4) You are Tony Parker: Eva Longoria or Brent Barry’s wife? – Inawe
What a rude, disrespectful, simply inane question. You should be ashamed. Eva Longoria, obviously. What kind of question is this?!?
5) At this point, Neuheisel surely has to re-consider bringing back Chow for next year, right? Where do you think Chow stands and what do you see happening? – Anonymous
I think there needs to be a lot of soul-searching this offseason, and I think they really need to examine the fit. I have no doubt that Norm Chow is an offensive genius, but I also look at the numbers, and they are appalling, and can’t be ignored. I’ve said it a hundred times – you CANNOT ignore the injury situation this year, and you CANNOT ignore the youth. But to have not given Richard Brehaut meaningful snaps in a blowout loss to Stanford makes no sense to me, much less starting an injured Kevin Prince in Week 1 with very little practice time. To have not prepared Darius Bell earlier in the season, knowing that Nick Crissman was done and UCLA had only Bell as an emergency plan, makes no sense to me. I’m not saying the offensive failures were avoidable, but the lack of looking ahead just baffles me.