Check out the latest batch of weekly answers…
1) While developing a quarterback and receiving corps capable of regularly converting half to three quarters of third down opportunities regardless of the “system” or “scheme,” offense or O.C. may arguably be the most important development of the off season, what do you see are the keys in terms of recruiting, current personnel, coaching and scheme to developing a run defense adequate enough for UCLA to win or compete for winning the PAC-10 — which seems to be one of the Coaches goals. – la steve
Really, I think the pieces are in place for a very good defensive line in the future, and perhaps a great one, but at this point, there’s no “quick fix.” I think having Brian Price spoiled everyone at UCLA, because he was absolutely dominant, and I think going forward it needs to be more of a collective effort. But next season, Jones and Chandler will be seniors, Holmes will be a junior and Marsh, Epenesa and Graham will be sophomores, plus you add Brandon Willis. I think things get much better next year.
2) Jon, there was an article that said prior to the Washington game CRN sent Chow, Palic, and Moses to meet with Nevada Coach Ault to discuss the pistol offense. Also, CRN said, “it was also an opportunity to give them some of our problems and see what the solutions are.” What do you think about this? – Anonymous
I think it was a little late.
3) If it werent for all the attrition on the offensive line our offense would have been much much better. You agree? – Maltbaa
Well, yes, certainly. But I also think the line played up to its capabilities this season, and that was an indication of the talent drop-off. Have to think how things would’ve played out if just Xavier Su’a-Filo returned. He was fantastic at pass protection last year, and the depth would’ve been crucial. Just another what-if, though.
4) This isn’t even a joke or me ripping on you. After the game, in his press conference, when asked why Franklin didn’t see time after his fumble, Neuheisel said he didn’t know, that Wayne Moses handles that, and he had no idea if Franklin got dinged up or not. Doesn’t this seem like deflection to you, putting that on Moses? If not, isn’t it alarming that a coach (especially an offensive minded one) doesn’t know why his starting running back has been pulled? That seems wrong to me. – FedUp Bruin
It’s very alarming, and I was actually pretty shocked when I heard that. If that’s the real answer – that he didn’t know – then he should’ve known and put Franklin back in. If he was just trying to smooth over the answer with the media, that’s another thing. But as I’ve written, no excuse for Franklin to see such little action in second half.
5) Really appreciate the time and effort you put into this blog. Recently, ESPN’s Doug Gottlieb said the following about Reeves Nelson: “Reeves Nelson is a fierce offensive rebounder and scorer, however he is one of the most selfish players I have seen play for Ben Howland. He is constantly hunting shots, will turn down Smith in the post and generally the offense ends when he touches the ball…My opinion is that Nelson wants to leave for the NBA, especially with the Weir twins eligible next year, and he is trying to “get his” in front of the NBA scouts.” What are your thoughts? – Chris M
Nelson has been brilliant offensively at times this season for UCLA, but his defensive effort and his attention to detail are sorely lacking. Lacking, almost as in non-existent. I don’t exactly know where Nelson fits in the NBA, so the idea of him trying to leave early is a bit…confusing…to me, but I think Howland needs to nip it in the bud now, before Nelson starts affecting other guys on the team.