Weekly Answers, Pt. 3

Check out the latest batch of weekly answers…

1) After three years I would grade Neu’s efforts at UCLA a “D”…. after 3 years what would be your grade? Injuries are a part of the game. Stanford has had injuries and youth Washington has had injuries and youth. After 4 seasons of Harbaugh, Stanford went from maybe the worst team in the nation with NO players to after 4 seasons a chance at the National Championship if the Ducks lose and Auburn Loses. Washington, after 2 seasons of Sark and a lousy bunch of players need a win next week to play a bowl game. Discounting the excuses that every team in America are subject to….youth and injury, why is UCLA football still below mediocre? – TruBruin
You’re going to hate my grade: “Incomplete.” College football is not the NFL, where you can judge a coach and staff by the team they assemble and the product on the field in three years. When a college coach takes over, his freshman need to be at least seniors to make an adequate judgment. That’s next year. It will be 90-percent Neuheisel’s team, 100 percent his doing. Given the injuries and attrition, but also given the multitude of big losses, I would put a theoretical grade at a C, leaning toward C-.

2) I’ll repeat my question from last week in a less menacing way so that you’ll be less afraid to answer. What did you see from Marvray in training camp that made you go gaga over this guy? All I see is a small, mouthy and undisciplined player who’s net contribution to the team is pretty close to zero. Time to admit you whiffed here? – localbruin
Sorry I didn’t get to the question last week, and it certainly wasn’t written in a menacing way. I still think Marvray is a capable receiver with tons of upside. I don’t think I ever wrote that he would be a superstar this season, only that he made a ton of plays in practice and was a high-energy guy. He plays and acts like he cares deeply about the game, and his role in the game. That’s what I saw. I’ll also say, that’s pretty quick to judgment on a REDSHIRT FRESHMAN.

3) What do you think of Chris Petersen as our next coach? – anonymous
The words “pipe” and “dream” keep popping up…

4) Sorry but I had higher expectations for the team than what they’ve achieved on the field. I think they should have been in a bowl game but the performance of the defense against ASU was pretty poor. To me they let the team down because the the offense scored more than enough points to win the game. What went wrong with the defense? Was it coaching or poor individual performances? – Anonymous
I think the scheme was clearly poor given the way a backup – and I don’t care how the coaches spin it, he’s the backup – torched them. I do not understand employing a bend-but-not-break mentality with a defense that breaks as often as UCLA does. But, on the other hand, that was a bad, bad defensive performance. The defensive linemen played patty-cake with the offensive linemen. I’m surprised one didn’t break a nail. Delayed reaction after delayed reaction by the defensive tackles; by the time they got off the ball, the offensive linemen were initiating contact. Numerous times I focused on the defensive line in particular, and on just about every play, across the board, the defensive tackle was stood straight up. That line has a lot of potential – but they were bad on Friday. That, of course, caused a trickle-down effect, and both the linebacker and defensive backs were left to be feasted on.

5) Looking to next year… It seems to me that Neuheisel has been bringing in solid recruiting classes that would fit well with a pro style offense but last years class has some exceptional athletes (i.e. Malcolm Jones and Anthony Barr) that don’t fit in a pistol offense. Do you see a change in our recruiting philosophy to find players that better fit our offense (Smaller but faster and more athletic)? or, is the pistol not a permanent solution and these players will eventually get to play the pro style ball they are better suited for? – Unreal…
I definitely think that is a concern that needs to be addressed, and I think it will take some creativity going forward to address that. However, I see no reason why both Jones and Barr, as you mentioned, cannot become viable offensive threats in the Pistol offense. Both are freshmen. Freshmen. Freshmen. See what I’m doing here. Freshmen. Freshmen. Just wait. Not every freshman has the means, talent or opportunity to become an instant star.

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  • doctorclark

    I propose we refer to this year’s defensive scheme as “bend-but-not-win”

  • Proudbruin

    Some commentators have stated that the Pistol
    is a formation, not an offense. ISTM that the offense is one-dimensional compared to OR’s spread, for instance. I would prefer that UCLA run multiple sets or Spread Offense. That would make it harder for a DC to load up
    with 8 or 9.

  • ohh yea

    Give us a break Jon. You’re seeing coaches orchestrate complete turnarounds in 2 years or less. Coaches who haven’t gotten the job done in 3 years are either on the hot seat (RichRod) or already axed (Shannon). I don’t wanna hear about any incompletes. That’s the coaching game. You only get that first year as a complete throwaway, after that you look for results. Going from 4-8 to 7-6 to 4-8 (5-7 if we’re really lucky) those aren’t the results we’re looking for Jon.

  • JoJoBruin

    Tom Cable…

  • samohopar

    How long did Wooden coach without winning anything?

  • Anonymous

    About as long as it took Sam Gilbert to show up.

    I agree with ‘ohh yea.’ Take off the kid gloves Jon-boy. Of course the team is going to have injuries and youth. Every effing college team has to deal with that! The rosters are smaller than pros and the players 18-22 years old! I guess we should wait until Neuheisel gets 22 redshirt seniors for him to have results.

    You want to know what I think of that youth crap? Tommy Rees. Notre Dame sucks just like UCLA, but because their quarterback doesn’t have a terrible coach, he’s able to carry the team to sights never or rarely seen for much of the past decade.

  • Mike H class of 90

    Actually, samohopar, it took John Wooden 1 year…he was 22-7 his first year at UCLA, I believe.

    In fact, please show me a year where Wooden was below .500 …did he even have any?

    He didn’t win an NCAA championship until 63-64, but in those early years I believe only the conference champ went to the tourney…

  • carlos Flores

    I think that the coaching has been a big issue this year – Norm Chow has lost his MOJO – and Chuck is just horrible. I feel that the ax will fall on coach Chuck and RN will bring in an aggressive DC. Chow might survive but just, but not by much….

  • kdl1984

    IMHO, I think the problem with the team doesn’t lie in it’s youth or injuries. I think it has to do with weak mindedness. I’m not talking about skinny, wimpy boys here. What I’m talking about it the psychy that’s required. I’m talking about the ones who put everything on the line for a victory. The ones that have moxy! They aren’t concerned with how “good” they look on TV, but more interested in winning. This whole season, I didn’t see one player who gave everything they had, sacrifice the body, take the best shot from the opposition. What I saw was weak minded, “not a care in the world” type players who were going through the motions. And this type of thing is like a fungus. Players stop playing hard because their teammates aren’t.
    Maybe it has something to do with the players RN is recruiting. Maybe we shouldn’t be going after the 4 and 5 stars that aren’t interested in playing at the college level, but more interested in their own hype. I don’t know. But, if you look at Boise State, you see the perfect example of how to win with the right type of players. They don’t get too many 4 and 5 stars, but they’re up in the rankings every year. Maybe it’s time for us to change the way we recruit. Personally, I’d rather have a 2 star guy who gives it his all, then a 5 star who mails it in.
    The same thing can be said of the basketball recruiting. We need to go after more guys like Alfred Aboya and Luc RMM. Reeves Nelson is the only one that fits that bill right now. The rest…not so much.