Weekly Q&A

Fire away with questions for this week’s Q&A. Please don’t post new questions on the answers section, because I don’t always check the comments. Save them for next week.

Thanks
Jon

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
  • Resource Guy

    CRN mentioned that the Pistol was implemented in order to improve the running game. Do we need the pistol because to O-lin is not good enough or is it an excuse and this is the offense he is sticking with? Is there a reason that you know of that we can’t run a 3 or 4 WR set with the tailback lined up directly behind the QB?

  • bruinpride

    It appeared that the coaching staff has favored prince over brehaut for whatever reason the past couple years. Since you see the players on a regular basis, do you sense the players favor one QB over the other? Are the other players frustrated with the indecision at the QB position?

  • bruinpride

    I am unfamiliar with how football practices are run. You have mentioned on a few occasions the need to tackle better and the lack of tackling in practice. Is the lack of tackling in practice a common philosophy amongst college football teams or is this a CRN decision that differs from top programs? Do most other Programs continue tackling past spring and fall camps?

  • Anonymous

    How does Neuheisel expect Brehaut to develop any rhythm in the passing game if the offense calls 1 pass play for every 4 run plays (even in 2 min hurry up offense)? Has he completely given up on trying to keep the opposing defenses guessing or is he just playing not to lose (even when he’s down) and keeping the clearly exposed UCLA defense off the field?

  • hogsman

    Having grown up in the South, I know that athletes there have to train in more challenging weather conditions, especially during summer (extreme humidity and more heat and precipitation) than do athletes located in Southern California. I believe that situation, in many cases, helps them develop more stamina and determination, translating into an advantage on game day — what do you think?

  • Anonymous

    Jon, What’s your best estimate on the amount of input each coach has in calling a game, between Neuheisel, Johnson and Mastro? Fifty-fifty, Neu-Johnson? One-third apiece?

  • Robert B.

    Hi Jon. A lot of the criticism about Neu and this year’s team has been about the schemes and play calling. I’m not going to defend the play calling, but what about deeper things like fundamentals and team discipline? I see a team whose real problems have little to do with the scheme and mostly to do with fundamentals (tackling?) and discipline (penalties on third downs? unforced turnovers?). If we even made half the tackles we’ve missed this season so far, we’re 3-1. If we made half the tackles we missed, and had no stupid penalties or turnovers, we’re 4-0 right now. How do the good teams that play fundamentally sound and disciplined football practice that UCLA isn’t doing? Are these things major priorities for Coach Neu? Because it doesn’t look like it.

  • MaddoxtoLaChapelle

    After watching a few Oregon games this year I’m convinced we are deeper and more talented than them offensively but they’re 4th and were 42nd in the nation in total offence..how do you think our guys would perform under a Chip Kelley, or any coach that actually plays to win?

  • BruinBall

    I always thought Prince was Norm Chow’s guy, but even this year Neuhesial was reluctant to give reigns to Brehaut. So is it really more of a game management issue or what the real scoop with the QB controversy?

  • UCLA Med

    What is the cause of the conservative play calling? If you know conservative play calls leads to a lackluster performance (both in wins and losses), why do they keep doing it? At best, it seems you barely win (Oregon State), and at worst you get blown out (Texas).

  • MaddoxtoLaChapelle

    Will we ever play a hurry up, no huddle offense? We don’t run enough plays for all the playmakers we have there’s so much more we could do offensively and we are 2 deep now on D to combat quick 3 n out drives..your thoughts??

  • MaddoxtoLaChapelle

    The worst part of being a fan this year is hoping we are just bad enough to have the admin get rid of scared,bland,conservative CRN..if we are lucky enough to get a new coach will DG get a third chance or is it his job also??

  • MaddoxtoLaChapelle

    How much say does our boosters have in the head coaching job? We don’t have a T Boone Pickens type figure or do we??

  • gsrbruin

    How come we rarely see our Defensive lineman attempt to bat down passes at the line of scrimmage? If the opposing QB is getting the ball out in 1.3 secs its impossible to get to him at least make it harder of him to fit the ball in there. Do they not practice this?

  • Lu Valle pizza

    Coach Neuheisel often micromanages the offense from the sideline. The 3rd-and-1 to 3rd-and-6 fiasco during the Texas game is a prime example; there were similar moments against Oregon St. My question is: is he doing this in concert with the OC or is the OC being overruled after calling a play? Is UCLA’s bulky, three-headed offensive braintrust limiting their game-planning and playcalling efficiency and bringing the offense down with it?

  • Anonymous

    Jon,

    Optimistic synario:
    1) Brehaut wins the job in the Spring and is named THE Starter
    2) Kip Smith makes the short FG and PAT in Houston
    3) Brehaut plays the entire game against Twxas
    Are we 4-0?

    PS What do you think about the price of Gold?

  • Kbruin

    Why do you think the coaching staff so conservative in their play calling? Both on offense (e.g. only 11 passes) and defense (e.g. soft corner coverage on 3rd downs)? Do you think this mindset will change at all this year (or even next year)? Does the coaching staff lack that killer instinct? I seem to recall CRN’s early days as a coach pre-ucla he was a lot more of a gunslinger, what happened? What has made him now so gun shy?

  • Anonymous

    We Bruins like to think that our football recruits are academically a cut above those from institutions like USC and certainly the SEC. I’m talking about academic standards coming out of high school (SAT/GPA). Is that really true? Is there data to back that up?

  • bruincheerleader

    Jon, my question is, if we the Bruin fans see that our pass defense plays too soft and gives up easy yardage, why cant the Defensive Cordinator see this?…Why would any defense play so soft against passers such as Houston had and now Stanford has…passers that can pick apart soft-zone defenses…they will take the 5 or 6 yards we give them every throw…why is this allowed to happen?

  • Anonymous

    Jon,

    Westlake 38, Thousand Oaks 6. What happened?

  • chunk_e_bruin

    What is your take on the team (specifically the offense) not knowing which qb will be the starter if its week to week and how will that impact chemistry between qb wr/te. players develop rythm and timing with qb’s in practice why split the snaps between qb’s with the first team?

  • Spencer

    JJ Stokes made an interesting comment during the broadcats on Saturday. He said that UCLA needs to bump receivers on the short crossing routes. Can you ask Neuheisel and Tresey about this? What do you think? Is that something they need to be doing defensively?

  • Larry

    What are the pre-season basketball rules concerning exhibition trips/games? I noticed some teams played pre-season b-ball games in China, Italy, etc. this past summer (i.e. Oregon, u$c, Georgetown, UCLA Women, etc.). Seems everyone would want to do this if you get “extra” playing time and experience as a team together.

  • TruBruin

    Jon,
    As a big supporter of Neuheisel getting hired, I now feel differently, This team has the talent to win but they preform like a poorly coached team. We have seem many in game mistakes this year in losses. Saturday just before the half was a prime example of poor coaching and game mis management. My question is, How does a coach who openly and very verbally questions his players about their in game decisions on the field expect his players to buy in to what he is saying when he himself has made very costly decisions and poor in game decisions?

  • Anonymous

    I think everyboday except Neuheisel knows that Brehaut wasn’t given a 50/50 chance at winning the starting QB position during fall camp. With the week-to-week BS it looks like he’s the QB because Prince is not 100%, not because he has earned it. Brehaut hasn’t been spectacular but he hasn’t done anything to not to deserve to be the starting QB. Why the reluctance on handing the rein to Brehaut and have Prince actually really earns his starting spot back? My prediction is that one bad game from Brehaut and Prince will be named the starting QB for the rest of the season (or until he gets hurt again).

  • Rob M

    Is it funny to you that people don’t seem to remember when we couldn’t run the ball to save our lives (as recently as 2 years ago), yet now complain that we run too much?

    Since Datone Jones disappeared for the first 4 games of the season, is it safe to say that he’ll stay next year? Do you think he still might turn into a monster through the rest of the season and consider leaving early?

    Is the conservative offensive playcalling an indictment of how bad the defense has played this year? ie. trying for ball control/less possessions? Do you think the offense is potent enough to try to “outscore” teams (a la 90′s Bruins) without a second thought to our defense?

  • Anonymous

    What is the latest status of Brandon Willis?

  • Bruin78

    Why isn’t Albert Cid starting? It seems like when he comes we’re really able to move the ball (running wise) right up the middle or off tackle quite easily. What do you think?

  • Pyperkub

    I noticed again that the front seven, and in particular the defensive line appeared to be doing a poor job of holding the edge on outside runs. Is this something that is just not being practiced/taught well, or is it players trying too hard to get upfield/crash inside/stunt and not playing disciplined?

  • Bruin JD

    Any chance (short of hell freezing over) that we win at Stanford? How are the dining options looking in Palo Alto?

  • Anon

    What do you think is the cause of the lack of defensive penetration?

  • INawe

    If Jonathan Franklin and Derrick Coleman are “Franklin and Bash,” what does that make the rest of the backfield?

  • aBruininUT

    I think the key to this team is letting them loose – in other words, opening the playbook and letting players do what they can on the field and make plays (it works for the nine year olds in soccer). If this, happens, rather than the ‘game management’ approach, could 8 wins be possible? On another note, same outcome as several years ago for UCLA when they visit Utah in November or different outcome?

  • Miss UCLA

    Jon,

    Could you please check the video on Damien Holmes. It currently says “video not available.” Thanks so much.

    go Bruins!

  • PGbruinfan

    I don’t know about everyone else, but the kool-aid is tasting a bit sour…Some people say we could easily be 4-0 with a field goal at Houston or starting Brehaut for Texas…but with our play calling I think its more likely that this team could easily be 0-4…What am I missing? Neuheisel has been known for dynamic offenses in the past and nothing about Mike Johnson screams conservative football, yet the playbook is always open to the same 4 pages. Is there something behind the scenes that we don’t know about? Brehaut has looked quite capable of making the throws when given the opportunity (see ridiculous 3 play scoring drive). Is it Neu’s lack of faith at QB or the receivers or something else that is leading to this conservative play on offense?

    On the defensive side of the ball, the team seems to take every 3rd down off giving up a 15 yard cushion on 3rd and 6′s or longer. In your estimation, is this a personell issue where the defensive backfield is playing to cautious not wanting to be the guy that gets burned for the 60 yard score, or is it on Tresey and his schemes?

  • Anonymous

    “Rick Neuheisel called Derrick Coleman the team’s most valuable player through four games, and it’s hard to disagree.” – Jon Gold

    Derrick Coleman, a CKD recruit. – Ray

  • Dan

    Obviously no one outside of the UCLA family respects the Bruins. If there was ever a time for team to pull one off it’s this week. Do you think the Bruins have a chance?

    INSIDE SLANT
    Stanford continues its soft early-season schedule with an Oct. 1 home game against UCLA, and although the Bruins showed some life in their 27-19 road victory over Oregon State on Sept. 24, there are several reasons the Cardinal should blow by the Bruins.
    Against UCLA, the Cardinal figures to rediscover its identity as a physical running team, because it should be able to bulldoze the Bruins defense the way Texas did when the Longhorns piled up 284 rushing yards against UCLA on Sept. 17.
    UCLA may have gained some confidence by beating Oregon State, but the Beavers are in a serious downward spiral that mitigates some of UCLA’s accomplishment.

  • U$C_cheats

    Jon, I seem to remember that last year or the year before that, you said that Neuheisel had a “plan” and that it would take 4-5 years to implement. Do I remember correctly, and if so what is that plan, if you can share with us? p.s., love the videos (especially the, um, “out of shape” guys talking football).

  • Anonymous

    Jon,

    Can you please elaborate on the financial benefits of the new television contract signed by the Pac 12 for the UCLA Athletic Program. Is it true that it would enable the school to spend and compete as far as salaries for coaches?

  • Anonymous

    Pure, continue to love the blog, man….you’re so money you don’t even know you’re money.

    Here’s my deal: lavinheisel has NOT increased the talent level of the program. Here are the guys that are at Ucla because of KARL DORRELL and his staff. Notice that these guys are playing A TON, and represent the only PLAYMAKERS that Ucla has. And yeah, many of them are NOT playing well…they are, after all, Dorrellian:

    Sean Sheller (starting OL, out for year with injury, played pretty well this year)

    Glenn Love (starting OLB…not playing well)

    Justin Edison (starting DT…not playing well)

    Mike Harris (starting OT, playing pretty well)

    Nate Chandler (two-deep at DT)

    Aaron Hester (starting CB, “sudden saturday in March 2007″ mass commitment package…not playing well)

    Corey Harkey (starting TE, committed in June 2007…blocking ok, not getting many passes, has had catching problems in the past)

    Damien Holmes (starting DE, mediocre play)

    Datone Jones (starting DE, “sudden saturday in March 2007″ mass commitment package…not playing well)

    Derrick Coleman (co-starting RB, committed in June 2007…playing pretty well)

    Donovan Carter (two-deep at DT, committed in June 2007…not playing well)

    Jeff Baca (starting OL, committed in June 2007, playing ok)

    Jeff Locke (excellent punter)

    Jonathan Franklin (co-starting RB, “sudden saturday in March 2007″ mass commitment package…playing well)

    Nelson Rosario (starting WR, committed in summer 2007…makes some horrible plays and some huge plays)

    Patrick Larimore (starting MLB, committed in April 2007…not playing well)

    Tony Dye (starting S, “sudden saturday in March 2007″ mass commitment package, family hosted BBQs to solidify recruiting class…not playing well)

    I know the “media script” is “Lavinheisel has raised the talent level of the program!”

    But when you look at the guys that The N Word has been 100% responsible for bringing in…the talent is lame.

    There are only four guys who show any NFL promise:

    Anthony Barr (H-back, playing a lot, not much impact)

    Cassius Marsh (starting DT, playing ok to not great)

    Chris Ward (starting OL, playing ok)

    Brett Hundley (QB, not playing)

    If Lavinheisel’s guys are SO GREAT…why are Dorrell’s guys still playing????

    BruinMBA

  • localbruin

    Jon, has Datone Jones made it over the 5 tackle mark on the year yet? If he is still on the team, would you at least try to shame him into playing better please?

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    After race & religion, LOL how a little politics spiced things up too.
    Your colorful examples are so refreshing … please, don’t stop!
    OK (sticking to Tea Party theme) which happens first:
    A). Palin for president
    B). Denver Broncos in playoffs
    C). UCLA wins a bowl game

  • http://1x57.com Steven Mandzik

    What happened to the secondary letting up all those middle of the field passes on 3rd down? With little blitzing and good penetration, how did the linebackers leave them wide open so much?

  • bibs

    Jon,
    I enjoyed the large amount of questions you answered last week.How is U$C able to carry over 100 players when their scholarships have been cut?Rich kids paying their own way?

  • Anonymous

    Does Prince have naked pictures of Neu or something? He seems to refuse to commit to Brehaut even the results on the field say it all.

  • Anonymous

    Every UCLA offensive lineman wears a knee brace. I assume this is to prevent injuries since I don’t think they have all had knee problems. While I see the knee braces on the offensive linemen of other teams, it does not seem like they are used 100%. Can you shed any light on why all the knee braces? Could the knee braces affect their play?

  • Anonymous

    Dorrell was fired in Dec 2007. All of these players are Dorrell recruits.
    Position… Ranking …….Player………………………. Commit Date
    RB……….. 55…………….Johnathan Franklin………. 03/08/2007
    S…………. 2………………Rahim Moore………………. 03/08/2007
    S…………. 9……………..E.J. Woods………………….. 03/08/2007
    CB……….. 9……………..Tony Dye…………………….. 03/08/2007
    CB………..19……………Aaron Hester………………… 03/08/2007
    WR………. 43……………Antwon Moutra……………… 03/10/2007
    DE……….. 6……………..Damien Holmes…………….. 03/10/2007
    MLB…….. 18……………Patrick Larimore……………. 04/29/2007
    QB……….. 9……………..Nick Crissman………………. 05/04/2007
    FB……….. 3……………..Derrick Coleman……………. 06/10/2007
    OG………. 36……………Jeff Baca……………………….06/10/2007
    OT……….. 81……………Connor Bradford……………. 06/12/2007
    SLB………18…………….Donovan Carter…………….. 06/22/2007
    TE……….. 47…………….Cory Harkey…………………. 06/25/2007
    P…………. 1………………Jeff Locke……………………. 07/26/2007

    Locke is saving CRN’s a&&

    These are all of CRN recruits after taking over for CKD
    Position… Ranking …….Player………………………. Commit Date
    WR………. 57…………..Jerry Johnson……………….. 01/22/2008
    S…………. 83…………..Sean Westgate………………. 01/27/2008
    QB……….. JC…………..Kevin Craft……………………. 01/28/2008
    WR………. 41…………..Nelson Rosario………………. 01/29/2008
    RB……….. 6…………….Aundre Dean………………….. 01/31/2008
    QB……….. 40…………..Kevin Prince…………………… 02/05/2008
    RB……….. 30…………..Milton Knox……………………. 02/06/2008
    DE……….. 23…………..Datone Jones…………………. 02/06/2008

  • Bruin678

    It seems like whenever UCLA puts together a decent offense, their defense will always disappoint: 1998 and 2005 come to mind. Is this just coincidence, or is there some law of physics preventing UCLA from being good on both sides of the ball at the same time?

  • BE REAL

    Is this the closest to the score contest you have ever waged?– I counted about a dozen guesses that were very close, but bruinwin beat out all of them with an incredible guess of 28-20 instead of 29-19 (the actual score).

  • Anonymous

    Jon, it’s all speculative to sit here and ask who the next coach will be for UCLA football when Rick still has the job. But how realistic would it be to think that if Rick is to leave, a coach like Urban Meyer or Chris Petersen would come to UCLA? I feel like getting a big name like that to come coach here is a pipe dream, regardless of the money offered. Your thoughts?

  • Rob M

    I am going to venture into answering the two Anonymous questions regarding Dorrell vs Neuheisel recruiting.

    Are you serious?!?

    Those were the most misleadingly selective and incomplete lists I’ve ever seen. Don’t post a table of info trying to pass it off as fact if you aren’t going to be completely honest. Is your whole premise solely based on the transition year between KD and RN? If anything, your argument should be centered around the fact that those players named are seniors vs RN’s recruits are still underclassmen.

    I don’t want it to sound like I am throwing previous Bruins under the bus because they played their hearts out for us, but honestly, the skill level (and/or) size (and/or) speed of the Dorrell recruits are not as good as RN’s 2008-10 classes. (I can be selective too: ) Chane Moline or Malcolm Jones? Brandon Breazell or Devin Lucien? Patrick Cowan or Brett Hundley? Not to mention that Dorrell left a HUGE hole in our OL that has only started to heal FOUR years later. Or do you not remember using converted TEs as OL in 2008/9?

    Dorrell had some big gets in his tenure (MJD, Brian Price, Akeem Ayers) but his OVERALL recruiting was horrible. Thank goodness DeWayne Walker coached the hell out of the Defensive kids during that time.

    So far, Neu has DEFINITELY recruited better, but he absolutely needs to “coach up” the talent to get us out of mediocrity. Sadly, he has not shown that yet.

    Look at the classes yourselves:
    http://rivals.yahoo.com/ucla/football/recruiting/commitments/2011/ucla-64

  • Anonymous

    Jon whats it like blogging to the nations most depressed fan base? haha but mainly my question is, how are the Shabazz sweepstakes since Andersons commitment? And also how are the Barry Sanders Jr sweepstakes?

  • Semi-Pro

    Jon, are you ever going to make a political reference again? 40+ comments last time you did…

  • Anonymous

    Rob M:

    Didn’t Dorrell have to play TRUE FRESHMAN KEVIN BROWN as an OL because the OL Toledo left behind blew so much??

    Talk about selective memory…laughable.

    Patrick Cowan or Kevin Prince? again, completely laughable. Cowan led a huge upset over sc…Prince is a complete bust. Thanks, Neu….for nothing.

  • BruinPain

    AmilleBlah,

    What are you rambling about? Seriously. Others are talking about a conservative run oriented offense while you’re wishing you could find the President’s birth certificate, birthplace, and hospital…on a Bruin’s sports blog. When reminded of that this is a sports blog and their are more appropriate forum for your political beliefs, you reply that I’m one of several on his site who slander you…with impunity no less.

    In your first comment you state “Obviously, “. . . idiots” has been brainwashed by America-hating, Church-hating, historically-illiterate, fascist liberals. He must be a college graduate.” Aha, this is just a short excerpt of your initial mudslinging and you have the temerity to cry wolf when other posters point out your inappropriate behavior on this SPORTS blog? You have the audacity to say you have been slandered after your comments on this post?

    No, you have not been injured sir. Rather your views are neither welcome nor appropriate for a sports website. If you feel slandered then go among your kindred where you won’t feel that way. Meanwhile, I’d like to see this return to the matters of Bruin football. We have enough trouble with Neuheisel.

  • Anonymous

    It appeared clear to me that the reason that OSU was so successful with the passing game was that the pass rush was non-existent and Mannion could have his way with the secondary. Am I missing something?

  • Anon

    How is Willis looking in practice?

  • Rob M

    @ Anonymous (again)

    Now you want your argument to go as far back as Toledo? You are reaching now. Again, your argument should be ‘starting an underclassman vs. starting a senior’ (even if he is a “Dorrellian”). Remember 3 years ago, RN started the young kids and we were supposed to be reaping the benefits in years 3 and 4 (meaning: right now)? I think the real problem is RN has not been able to maximize that talent on the field.

    I share the frustration too. But RN DID CORRECT the gap in recruiting. What he did not correct is the gap in coaching. The argument can be made that Dorrell did more with less, while RN is doing less with more. Either way it equates to mediocrity. (And don’t get me started on the Dorrell stoicism/coaching style or his offense). RN has the reputation of being a snakeoil salesman, but at least he’s not a robot. My patience is thin too, but I won’t call for RN’s head ’til next year.

    ALSO: I was being selective intentionally, its called *sarcasm*. I was also being polite in not naming Ben Olsen. Nice kid, snake-bitten to be sure, but nowhere near the 5star savior he was supposed to be. Instead, I choose Patrick Cowan, who had a courageous performance in the 2006 rivalry game, but the REAL reason we won that game was the defense holding $UC to 9 points.

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    Given the amusement and volume of comments after something you write regarding race, religion or politics, can you somehow work tree-hugging into your gamer just for kicks? It’s good reading after changing diapers.

  • Anonymous

    Datone Jones lack of production is puzzling. Have you seen anything to make you think Datone Jones is injured? There are a million examples, but recently Chargers didn’t disclose anything about Antonio Gates, said the ball simply didn’t come his way, etc., and then the next week he’s out indefinitely with an injury. It’s the only explanation I can come up with. Any thoughts?

  • Anonymous

    What’s going on with the defensive cordinator? I thought RN was bringing in a coach that put a ton of pressure on opposing offenses to cause turnovers. So far I haven’t seen any pressure, any takeaways caused directly by his scheme, or any adjustments throughout the game. We seem to be playing this soft zone throughout the entire game with not much change. I feel like Saturday’s game is going to feel a lot like our game against Houston where we just get picked apart the entire game with short crossing routes, quick passes to receivers that have the corner playing ten yards off, and consistent five yard rushes. To be honest our defense looks helpless. What’s the deal?

  • UCLABZ

    Watching your video, I was struck that you look more like a Jonah Hill and your co-host looks more like a Jon Gold. Have you considered switching names?

  • http://amillennialist.blogspot.com Amillennialist

    (BruinPain’s in such a stupor, he double-posted on two different posts.)

    BruinPain, it’s only “rambling” to someone who can’t read.

    You admit in your own post that my comments were in response to someone demonizing a large percentage of the American people as “idiots.” And the Obama comments were merely a recounting of an unfortunate series of facts offered in reply to more defamation from Marc, who brought up citizenship here in the first place.

    Blame him. And try reading. Goodness.

  • Anonymous

    Jon, how is Neuheisel doing with HS football recruits THIS year? Doesn’t seem like UCLA is on track to sign a class respected by the internet gurus (not that they get it right more than half the time). What do you think of the talent that has verballed to UCLA so far?

  • Semi-Pro

    Jon,

    Wilner of the SJ Merc recently said UCLA not offering Keith Price 3 years ago was a huge recruiting mistake, considering how well he is doing at UW now and that he is currently better than the QB’s UCLA now has. But, 3 years ago, Price was a lower-tier QB prospect and UCLA already had #6 QB Richard Brehaut committed.

    I think Wilner’s off his rocker. What do you think? Would you call that a “recruiting mistake” as well?

    Can you really call a team’s inability to look into a crystal ball and know who’s going to be a diamond in the rough 3 years later a recruiting mistake?