Weekly Answers, Pt. 3

Check out the latest batch of weekly answers…

1) From your view as the beat report, are UCLA football fans suffering from premature optimism or is there a real sense that the Mora hire is a real, though unproven, turning point? – Anonymous
I think the recruiting has quite frankly better than anyone imagined, so I understand the optimism. But I would need to see how they look in practice under Mora before I can call it a turning point. My issues with the way the previous regime ran practices was well-documented. I’m interested to see how things change.

2) Do you think some recruits treat the recruiting process as a game to attract attention from different schools by committing and then backing out of their commitment? Do you believe any of UCLA’s recruits will renege on their commitment before signing day? Thanks for your excellent work. – anonymous
Absolutely recruits treat the process as a game, and I think it’s pretty understandable. Would you want people to stop wining and dining you? There are always some surprises on signing day, and while I think UCLA has done a remarkable guys locking guys up and firming commitments, I wouldn’t be shocked if there were some shenanigans come next week.

3) How are Will Oliver and Conor McDermott and some of our other projects doing? – Vvvbj
Can’t really say too much because I didn’t get to see McDermott and Oliver is a work in progress. He’s at least a few years away.

4) Are switching to a 3-4 defense? Can you run a story on the change? – CodeMonkeyBruin
They’re planning to run a hybrid defense that they like to say “doesn’t have a name.” And yes, I’ll be doing a story on that at some point.

5) Is Anthony Barr moving to OLB? Especially with the change in offensive and defensive philosophy any other position moves you have heard about? – codemonkeybruin
Barr will at least get a good, hard look at linebacker in the spring, but we’ll see how it works out. As of now, haven’t heard too much about guys flipping sides of the ball.

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  • localbruin

    Your practice observations? Seems to me you thought Datone Jones was practicing just fine. Hahaha. Please pass the very large grains of salt.

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/ucla Jon Gold

    YAY THIS AGAIN! TONS OF FUN!

  • Anonymous

    Jon is fat and stupid!

  • BruinFaithless

    This blog’s comment section = populated by utter dickheads. That’s not even taking into account all of the “Anonymous” posts on here. Like, “the regulars,” are all a bunch of unfunny simpletons. Except for Michael Ryerson, who seems level-headed and thoughtful. Hats off to you, Jon, for patronizingly putting up w/their gormless questions/comments.

  • Anonymous

    Any news on UCLA putting a new practice field?

  • MichaelRyerson

    lovely comments. I’m always pleased to see the nurses are letting some of these mooks use the dayroom computer. That said, there is one simple change that needs to be made at UCLA in order to actually turn the corner. One simple, albeit painful change. Players who fail to perform need to sit. Regardless of how highly ranked they were coming in, regardless of what their ‘potential’ appears to be, players who fail to live up to their responsibilities need to sit. They need to give way to more motivated underclassmen who remember their assignments, run the routes, catch the ball. The idea that we somehow owe a starter the kind of patience that allows him to continue to play in the face of blown assignments, to the detriment of equally talented freshmen and sophomores, is just plain wrongheaded. Down here (in SEC-land) every year brings stories of some highly regarded five star quarterback transferring out because he couldn’t cut it. Patience is seen as weakness. As soon as they realise their playing time (and ultimately their scholarship) is at risk, it concentrates their mind wonderfully.

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/ucla Jon Gold

    Thanks!

  • relentlesslypositive

    Incredible what passes for sage advise around here. Sit players that don’t perform, run the routes, catch the ball, blah blah blah, score more points than the other team…. maybe ruin fans need to be told to show up for games. I think I counted 12 at the coliseum.

  • MichaelRyerson

    you know, ‘relentlesslypositive’, real quick before your mommy calls you up for dinner, tell us why you spend so much time here. it’s apparent your life is a wasteland and for that I’m sorry but, really, you should consider doing something with your time that would break this pattern of self-loathing. you’re not funny, your offerings lack wit or humor and what little you know about football or div 1 athletics generally puts you at a deep disadvantage around here. really, for your own sake, run along.

  • Anonymous

    Anyone who followed the blog last year heard all about Jon’s skepticism about the way practices were run and players were given reps. Datone Jones was a freak case of a player who bulked up, but then massively underperformed on the field. I’m looking forward to your analysis this year, Jon.

  • Boston Bruin

    @MichaelRyerson

    I so agree with you!!!

    If Mora is anything like Bill Belichick as far as playing the best/most prepared players at game time, he’ll make a major change to the environment.

    Regardless of what one thinks about Belichick as a person, a case can be made that he doesn’t worry about ‘favorites’ who aren’t serious about playing to their ability.

    1) Had a great relationship off the field with Randy Moss…brought him on the Pats, Moss played well for two seasons and then in the third reverted to his egotistical self. He was benched and eventually fired outright. Why? Becuase he was poison in the clubhouse and a horrible downfield blocker.

    2) Gave Lawrence Maroney years to stop fumbling and missing assignments until BB had an alternative; then benched Maroney and eventually fired him. Why? Becuase Maroney became poison on the field…could not be trusted.

    3) Chad (Ochocinco) Johnson buddies with BB. Came into ’11 camp all full of his usual ego-driven hijinks, didn’t learn the playbook, and as a result didn’t play much. While he became a media non-entity by mid-season, he still has seen limited action becuase he hasn’t learned the routes.

    4) ’11 Rookie RB Steven Ridley worked his way up to get a good number of carries by end of season. He fumbled once in the last game of regular season, then fumbled again in the Denver game. Was on the inactive list for the Ravens playoff game. Obviously Bill doesn’t care about Ridley’s feeling of self-assurance.

    My point is this…these kids have been playing FB for years, their talent has allowed them into the airy atmosphere of D-1 football. While many have been coddled for those years, it serves them ill to worry about whether their egos are bruised becuase a Coach benches them for not performing well.

    Analogy…my college professors didn’t give me an “A” in a class for which I did “C” work (whether through inability or inattention) becuase of worry about my psyche.

    To paraphrase the old commercial…UCLA football players should see their reason for being on the field is becuase according to the old fashioned way – they earned it!

  • Anonymous

    If Oliver is at least a few years away…and he redshirted last year….hmm he’ll be lucky if he still has a scholarship in a couple years. Good luck to him.

  • MichaelRyerson

    I might be a little hesitant to put Bill Belichick on the sidelines coaching 18-19 year olds but your point is well taken. Complacency, lack of self discipline, sense of entitlement, you can call it a lot of different things but it all boils down to, get your head in the game or take a seat. I’m also tired of being told that ‘he gives us the best chance to win’ when questioned as to why some undisciplined prima donna who dropped three or four critical passes last week is starting yet again. Anyone else remember the opening series at Kansas State in 2010?

  • Anonymous

    You sound like a pompous blowhard

  • MichaelRyerson

    I feel your pain.

  • localbruin

    FUN??!! FUN??!! Who said anything about FUN??!! (doing my best Mora Sr.)

    Jon, this is Ucla football. We don’t do FUN here. We suffer and grind our teeth. If you wanted fun you came to the wrong place my friend.

  • localbruin

    Hey A-mous, Jon whiffed on Datone and it wasn’t cuz he’d “bulked up” (Datone, not Jon). Jon knows what he done.

  • Isaac Kaufmann Funk

    I just commiserated with my colleague Adam Willis Wagnalls and have decided that we will add a second definition of douchebag to the current itemization:

    1) Someone who has surpassed the levels of jerk and asshole, however not yet reached fucker or motherfucker. Not to be confused with douche.

    2) Anonymous 4:25 pm on “Inside UCLA,” a blog that stays on top of all UCLA sports with up-to-the-minute information and insight from Jon Gold and the rest of the Daily News sports staff for having the inability to differentiate his childish petulance between “MichaelRyerson” and “Boston Bruin” on substance or generally insouciance.

  • Jim

    Good news from Shaq Thompson its a 3 dog race between Cal, UW and UCLA with UCLA coming strong. Bad news he is not going to declare on NLOI day. He will visit with UCLA unofficially sometime in Feb.

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    Isaac: Your take reads like a mother-fucking douche bag.

  • BruinFaithful

    localbruin:

    Jon is a reporter, not a F’n Talent Scout.

    His job is to report what he saw on the practice field. And what he saw was a “Practice All-American” who couldn’t cut it on the playing field. Now, is that more Jon’s fault? Inoke’s fault? Tresey’s fault? or Datone Jones fault? Think about it.

  • localbruin

    BF, this is old water ‘tween Jon and me. He knowd what he done. No use you trying to defend him. He’ll be carrying this load the rest of this natural born life, thanks to me.

  • Anonymous

    Ucla fans against the fat liberal named Jon unite!

  • BruinFaithful

    localbruin:

    Jon is a reporter, not a F’n Talent Scout.

    His job is to report what he saw on the practice field. And what he saw was a “Practice All-American” who couldn’t cut it on the playing field. Now, is that more Jon’s fault? Inoke’s fault? Tresey’s fault? or Datone Jones fault? Think about it.

  • Amillennialist

    No one expected the team to play as poorly as it did this year. Is it a surprise that anyone on this year’s team failed to live up to expectations?

    Leave Jon alone.

  • Reformed Droog

    ‘He’ll be carrying this load the rest of this natural born life, thanks to me.”

    LOL at localbruin thinking Jon gives a shit what you think!

  • bibs

    People resort to profanity when they have nothing intelligent to say.Jon does s great job with this blog bringing us information that helps keep us up to date.It’s too bad that he is unable to censure the posts that contain meaningless drivel and profanity.I would guess that a lot of the idiocy comes from SUC dropouts.

  • bruinbiochem06

    Jim,

    That Shaq is not signing on Feb 1st has to work in UCLAs favor. We have some ground to make-up.

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    Bibs: Befour u go flyin intoo some-won on dis site, u shud reely b sher yer spellin, punkuashun ‘n sentench strukshurs eqwal da intellijence u demanned yersellf.