Dual Q&A with Mike Johnson & Joe Tresey, ctd.

We’ve seen many different package groups during spring; is that a product of just getting to know them as players, or do you expect to play more situationally that UCLA has in the past?

Mike Johnson: “You have to change personnel groupings to make a defense defend all. The more guys we have who can do more things, the more personnel packages you can use. It is my job as offensive coordinator to put these guys into position to succeed, to not ask them to do things that they’re not capable of doing. We have to find roles for our players, and they have to understand what those roles are and how they fit. That is what we are trying to do. We’re using a lot of guys right now, trying to find out what they do well. As we get to training camp, get closer to the season, now you see who the playmakers are and taper it down just a little bit. My job right now is to find out who can do what.”

Joe Tresey: “The fresher they are, the faster they can play. To me, the perfect world is having eight defensive linemen, with minimal drop-off between all eight. Now if you want a certain group to rush, we’ve all done it. We’re going nickel and we’re going Bruin, well that’s one set of defensive linemen. You can evolve to that.

But what I think is more important is developing depth. I call it the next man in – you’re not a two, you’re the next man in. Is the next man in as good as the guy who’s already in? Because if he is, that’s going to keep the man in motivated. There’s competition. Then you have faith you can do what you want to do.

I just think developing 22 guys that can play on defense – with some multiple packages, and they all know it, they can all play fast – if you get that, that’s the perfect world. You’re able to play faster, you’re healthier, you’ll have less bumps, everybody’s playing. There are less reps, but they’re better.”

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