Check out the latest batch of weekly answers…
1) If you were Rick and you could land any of these guys at Defensive coordinator…who would you hire and why?(Vic Fangio,Rocky Long, Randy Shannon, Mike Singletary, DeWayne Walker) – ET
Pretty much that in that exact order, minus Singletary, because that’s a pipe dream.
2) Are there any developments with the coaching staff that we just aren’t hearing about or is it really going this slow? I understand it takes time and UCLA is not the only school going through transitions. Do you get a sense CRN is waiting on particular people to finish their respective seasons? – Mike04
Neuheisel is waiting on the NCAA and NFL seasons to play out to make any decisions, it seems. A lot of rumors are flying around, but until there is some actual movement of other coaches, I suspect we won’t hear anything.
3) You’ve complained frequently how you are unhappy about the negativity of Bruin fans. You say that you didn’t see that in your previous jobs covering SDSU and others. Could it be that maybe it’s just different covering big time athletics than a mid-major school and this just comes with the territory? Do you believe it’s any different at Florida State or Texas A&M? – Anonymous
That’s a very good point, and something I do not take into consideration enough. But from what I’ve heard from other beat writers and admins, UCLA fans are a particularly expectant bunch. I don’t even have a problem with that kind of hope, but more the knee-jerk reactions and calling for heads. Not everything is so black and white. But as I’ve been told by many non-reactionary UCLA fans, that’s a small group that just happens to be particularly loud.
4) You give a lot of honest takes on things. How hard is it to strike a balance between giving honest–often critical–opinions of coaches, players, etc and still working with them to get interviews, insights, and access in general? That is, how often do guys say, “you called me a no talent ass clown; why would I give you an interview?” – Wyatt
Well, first off, I’ve never called someone a no-talent ass clown. I wouldn’t insult clowns like that. Even if they do scare me. Second of all, I’ve been surprised by the overall sense of ownership by most UCLA players and coaches, and I’ve only had a couple issues. One was with Bullough, who called me into his office a couple months ago after my harsh criticism of the Oregon defensive game-plan. In it, I wrote extensively about the lack of blitzing. To be honest, I was pretty nervous going into that office. But he could not have been friendlier and we had a great conversation about football and life and my job and his job. I try not to go too far in terms of opinion on the blog, because I am a newspaper writer who happens to have a blog, not a blogger who happens to write for the newspaper, but it’s all about being fair, and I try to be fair and honest. Hopefully, they recognize that.
5) Given that the point guards out west available are not highly rated the next couple of years, what do you think Coach Howland is looking at as far as options? – John
He’s definitely in a weird situation, and it doesn’t appear to be getting any easier. There just really isn’t a good crop over the next two years, but the worst thing Howland can do is offer a guy he doesn’t have full faith in. I think he did that with Matt Carlino, and luckily for him, that ended quickly.