Weekly Answers, Pt. 2

Check out the latest batch of weekly answers…

1) Do you think any coaches will get the boot? Which ones do you think should get the boot or are on the hot seat? What are your opinions on if UCLA should keep the pistol next year or should go back to a pro-style offense with the pistol mixed in? – poorandunfortunatesoul
I don’t think it’s fair to speculate on a coach’s hiring or firing like that as a beat writer. I think the numbers are quite evident, and however Rick Neuheisel chooses to move forward is his call. All I can tell you is there’s a lot more in play than just the results on the field on 11 particular Saturdays so far in 2010. Regarding the Pistol, I would stick with it and count on the personnel getting better over the next few years. I would not have installed such an offense without the pieces in place, or I at least would’ve had a ready-made backup plan, but I can also see how not having the scheme in place and still trying to sell recruits on it would be difficult.

2) Hi Jon, appreciate all your efforts to make this blog one of the best places for Bruin news. My apologies if this has been addressed elsewhere, but has Chow provided any opinions on the nature of the sanctions at SC (and whether he feels guilty at all for the punishments)? Given that he was intimately involved with the program at the time when a lot of the questionable practices were occurring, I’m just curious whether he has made any comments on the subject, or if he thinks they got what they deserved. I’m a Chow supporter, but guess I’m just surprised by how under-the-radar he has been through the whole fiasco. – Anonymous
Chow has been very under-the-radar on this, and it’s by design. He wisely has not opened up about his time at USC, though we wish he would.

3) You said in a recent post that UCLA football would not become regularly competitive until there were some philosophical changes. Anything specific there? Higher academic standards than what the Pac 10 requires? Coaching salaries? Other things? – tim warren
Those two, specifically, but more than that. There seems to be a thought of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts when it comes to UCLA athletics, that overall success – and even big-time success, because let’s not forget the basketball team’s Final Four run nor the baseball team’s CWS trip last year – is desirable, while football success would perhaps be the cherry on top, but not the ice cream. Now, I’ve voiced my opinion on Rick Neuheisel and what I think appropriate results should be from here. I made my preseason doubts quite clear, and given all of what has happened this season – and not just at UCLA, but across the Pac-10 with Stanford’s rise and OSU’s fall and Washington, Cal and USC all falling short of expectations) – I don’t think this has been a normal season by any stretch. But I can say that a kneejerk reaction based on a disappointing season just won’t happen at UCLA, like it will at, say, Miami.

4) I have heard many times that “UCLA is not committed to football”. Please explain to me what that means? and what it should mean to me as an alum and a die-hard? – Anonymous
Pretty much answered the first part of the question above, but I’m intrigued by the second part. I think one part that I’ve struggled with as the host/writer/whatever of this blog is understanding the average UCLA fan’s viewpoint of the team. I’ve never been a particularly enthusiastic college sports fan. I followed both LA teams growing up and the Pac-10 in general and then covered San Diego State and the Mountain West and subsequently worked in two MWC towns, so I never formed any true allegiance. So really, I don’t have a horse in the race. I’ve always tried to be a sports realist, particularly with the teams I do care for, including the Denver Broncos. I thought they would suck this season, and they do, though I didn’t expect to be legitimately embarrassed to be a fan. And perhaps that’s how you folks feel, so part of me does relate to the feeling. However, I look at the respective futures of both teams, UCLA football and the Broncos, and I see a brighter future for the Bruins. I’ve said in chats and in Q&As here that I don’t think some of UCLA’s losses this season are “acceptable,” in terms of realistic expectations for the team. But I don’t think there is denying that the talent base is growing, and that’s a big part of the deal in college football. So what should it mean to you as an alum and a die-hard? Be frustrated, but don’t let those frustrations get the best of realistic judgment and analysis of the team. Oh, and be happy Kyle “I can fill up Jon’s fantasy stats but not win games” Orton is not your quarterback.

5) UCLA is up 17-0 and then gets blasted. What went wrong? – Anonymous
You mean besides three 70-yard plays and another 70-plus touchdown return and an inexcusable inability to score from about a foot out of the end zone and worse tackling than an office flag football game? Besides that?

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  • Keith

    A question for you guys on the blog with experience in the matter–is poor tackling more a technique issue or a strength issue? It seems to be a re-occuring problem for the Bruins.

  • UCLABZ

    I think the biggest cause of missed tackles is trying to over-extend yourself. The player is trying to make a big play instead of ensuring that the tackle gets made. It takes time to line up a tackle and you have to play softer if you are trying to prevent being sidestepped. That means loss of yards, softer hits and less of a likelihood of causing fumbles.

    I guess I say it is an issue of technique and managing emotions during the game.

  • Reformed Droog

    It was always taught to me that positioning is 50% of tackling.

  • Anonymous

    chow’s gone. He and RN are no longer speaking. Bullough should be as well