Nicely, that probably wasn’t how Chip Kelly scripted his UCLA debut.
A robust dose of actuality hit UCLA with a season-opening loss to Cincinnati and because the Bruins stare down one of many hardest schedules in America, beginning with Saturday’s recreation at No. 6 Oklahoma, it doesn’t seem like it’s going to get a lot simpler.
However Kelly insists that the Bruins are a “forward-thinking operation.” So he’s not fretting about one loss. Everybody ought to give that concept a attempt.
In the long run, UCLA’s season-opening loss to Cincinnati might matter as a lot as UCLA’s season-opening win towards Texas A&M final yr, which is to say it won’t matter in any respect. Nevertheless it’s September so nobody is aware of the reply for positive. As Kelly stated this week: “I can’t tell the future.” I share that incapability with him. So let’s simply see how this seems.
As all the time, I welcome your questions for this weekly mailbag function. Shoot them to me on Twitter @thucnhi21 or by e mail at [email protected] Let’s get to the A’s to your Q’s.
Why was the tempo so sluggish towards Cincinnati?
— HouDini (@DhiniHou) September 5, 2018
UCLA ran a play roughly each 22.6 seconds (of recreation time) which isn’t too far off from UCLA’s Pac-12 main tempo of 22.2 seconds final yr. It may need appeared sluggish due to earlier expectations of what the Kelly offense was at Oregon, however this will’t be said sufficient: This isn’t Chip Kelly’s Oregon groups.
When he took over as Oregon’s head coach, Kelly had already been there two years. He had the personnel in place to run his offense already and he knew the gamers and their talent units absolutely. This can be a utterly clean slate for him at UCLA. It’s going to take time to construct as much as the tempo he needs.
Additionally, I spoke to Jonathan Vilma, Kelly’s former co-analyst on ESPN, for this story his summer time, and the previous Saints linebacker who confronted Kelly’s offense within the 2013 NFL playoffs additionally defined how Kelly makes use of tempo and the way he doesn’t truly play as quick as individuals assume: “Once they got the defense on their heels, he wanted to go quick. If he didn’t get their defense on their heels just yet, he still wanted to go quickly, but not as quickly, because he would wear out his defense. His defense would now be tired.”
In order that’s why it wasn’t quick: UCLA couldn’t get momentum on offense and with out momentum, there isn’t a sensible method to make use of tempo. That simply leaves your protection out to dry. Keep in mind in 2016, the misplaced Four-Eight yr, that when the Bruins determined to go up-tempo on offense, the protection collapsed. Vilma referred to as it a “cat-and-mouse game.” The important thing to stopping a Kelly offense is stopping the run. If defenses cease the run, then the offense can’t achieve momentum to then use up-tempo. Outdoors of Kazmeir Allen’s 74-yard landing run, the Bruins had simply 70 dashing yards on 30 carries. That’s not going to do something however get your protection drained.
DM query: If Wilton Speight is wholesome do you assume he begins? Who would you begin recreation #2 assuming all QB’s are wholesome?
However assuming all quarterbacks are 100 % wholesome they usually have the complete confidence of the medical and training employees that they might play successfully, then I might assume it might be established order: Wilton Speight will get the beginning and Dorian Thompson-Robinson is second. I don’t assume one recreation does a lot to erase a whole month’s work when it comes to what every quarterback did to make an impression on the teaching employees.
E mail query: No matter whether or not Wilton Speight is wholesome sufficient to play towards Oklahoma, do assume Devon Modster will get an opportunity to play subsequent week?
If Speight is wholesome, then I feel Devon Modster can be QB3. Until there’s a mixture of damage, blowout or surprising ineffectiveness, then I don’t see UCLA going all the best way to the third quarterback. If Speight isn’t wholesome, then Modster can be QB2 and I might see him enjoying within the occasion of an damage or a serious blowout, with the blowout being extra probably, contemplating the Bruins are enjoying Oklahoma. Kelly stated he needs to get Thompson-Robinson extra reps to develop his expertise, so I don’t assume the coach would play a dual-quarterback system with these the freshman and Modster splitting the reps if it was nonetheless an in depth recreation and Thompson-Robinson was going an honest job.
Why was Modster pushed right down to #three, is DTR the starter going ahead, and was DTR held again final Saturday?
— DandyDon (@GetPaidPicks) September Four, 2018
I feel Thompson-Robinson jumped Modster as a result of first-year coaches are likely to lean towards enjoying their very own guys, but in addition, I feel Kelly believes Thompson-Robinson is the long-term reply to what he needs to do at UCLA, so he selected to place Thompson-Robinson at No. 2 to attempt to get him slowly included to the school recreation. The plan modified when Speight acquired harm.
There’s all the time a risk of Thompson-Robinson hanging onto the beginning job if Speight is injured for a very long time. There’s a risk for something this early within the yr. If the freshman performs rather well throughout Speight’s hypothetical absence, then it will be robust to take again the beginning job. It’s just like what occurred at Arizona final yr when Khalil Tate took the beginning job from Brandon Dawkins. There’s no approach Wealthy Rodriguez would have benched Tate when Dawkins got here again wholesome as a result of Tate was enjoying out of his thoughts. If Thompson-Robinson takes benefit of his alternatives, he can maintain the beginning job. However that will depend on what he does on the sector.
I feel each a part of the offense was held again final Saturday. It appeared like a reasonably vanilla recreation plan. Nothing went down subject. Route ideas appeared fairly easy. There have been three performs with the unbalanced line that resulted in two lengthy runs and some occasions during which the quarterback lined up in pistol with stacked receivers on both sides. However these have been probably the most fascinating issues to return from the offense. The teaching employees have to be saving some tips within the playbook as a result of if that was the entire thing, then the Bruins are in for an extended, lengthy, lengthy season.
After his efficiency towards Cincy, how might the coaches justify beginning Speight once more?
— Paul Mohme (@pmohme) September 5, 2018
You’re going to write down him off after 12 passes in his first recreation in 11 months? Yeah, he wasn’t nice, however I feel it’s untimely to guage him on a quarter-and-a-half. Tight finish Caleb Wilson even stated he didn’t assume Speight received an opportunity to point out every part he might do earlier than getting harm. Wilson thinks Speight has extra throws he could make in his arsenal and is extra cellular than individuals assume.
Speight had 4 incompletions. One was the interception. Speight telegraphed the move, however the security additionally made a powerful play to safe the catch. Two have been throws Speight missed. The opposite was a miscommunication with Kazmeir Allen when the Cincinnati protection blitzed and Speight removed the ball to the open a part of the sector towards the strain, however Allen went the best way of the pre-determined route. If that’s all it takes to bench a quarterback, then nobody would make it via an entire recreation not to mention an entire season.
Speight additionally had one good scramble for 12 yards and confirmed good mobility when he side-stepped an unblocked rusher and located Kyle Philips for a 6-yard achieve. Once I noticed that outdoors linebacker coming free on the sting, I swear to you, Speight’s life almost flashed in entrance of my eyes. However he confirmed his veteran savvy by calmly getting out of hassle and getting constructive yards on it.
I truthfully don’t know who the “best” quarterback for UCLA is that this yr. It’s less than me. However I feel the teaching employees is aware of that it’s unattainable to utterly rule out Speight as a viable choice after simply 12 passes within the first recreation with an offense that’s nonetheless discovering itself.
Do you anticipate to see Soso get enjoying time as soon as he returns from suspension?
— Neil schoolnik (@Neilschoolnik) September Four, 2018
It is dependent upon how the teaching employees feels concerning the operating backs after this week. In the event that they present promise towards Oklahoma, it’ll be more durable for Soso Jamabo to work his approach again into the rotation for the Fresno State recreation, when he’s eligible to return.
However one thing Jamabo has going for him is his versatility within the passing recreation. He’s doubtless one of the best receiving again the Bruins have. We noticed some performs final week during which Allen ran a route out of the backfield. Twice, there have been miscommunications that led to incompletions. You’d anticipate that if a senior is operating these routes, the prospect of incompletion is much less simply due to his expertise on the school degree, regardless that the quarterback is totally different than in earlier years. So Jamabo does have that talent that makes him distinctive among the many operating backs.
@thucnhi21 has Chip talked about something a few contact rely for the upcoming recreation? I do know Soso was suspended final recreation and Kazmeir went 5 for 103 and a TD. You assume we’ll see a better contact rely for KA after final recreation?
— Will Weggeland (@wweggeland1) September 6, 2018
Right here’s a direct and full quote from Kelly on Wednesday.
Query: Do you assume (Allen) will get greater than 5 carries this week?
Kelly: “I don’t have any predictions on the carries people get. So. (trails off)”
So, no, Kelly didn’t say something about contact counts. So far as if I feel he’s going to get extra carries, I don’t know. It’s not my choice so I don’t hassle take into consideration what is going to occur. However you must keep in mind that 97 of his 103 dashing yards got here on the identical unbalanced formations. He can clearly do nicely in that formation, however he can’t probably solely run behind a line that has Andre James blocking as a strong-side tight finish each time. So perceive that a few of Allen’s early success might have been because of the particular play-calling and that if he will get into extra regular conditions, the typical will probably go down. Then individuals will all of the sudden be calling for him to get fewer touches.
Which true freshman on protection do you assume will play probably the most snaps this season?
— Nico Gervasoni ??? (@nicogervasoni) September 5, 2018
In all probability Atonio Mafi. I assumed he struggled at moments in his school debut, however the truth that the coaches selected him to start out speaks extremely of their perception in his expertise and the way completely he matches this scheme. The true freshman defensive backs gained’t get a ton of snaps as a result of they’re enjoying in probably the most skilled place group on the staff and never solely is it stocked with three returning starters, however there are additionally some redshirt freshmen in Elijah Gates and Jay Shaw who’re able to play. The one freshman linebackers are Elijah Wade and Bo Calvert, who’re each nursing accidents proper now, so we don’t understand how lengthy they’ll be out.
What’s up with Mique Juarez? Is he not a viable choice to play linebacker? Dude was all all the things, I’ve by no means seen him make a deal with for the Bruins.
— Freddy Cantarero (@FreshDarko) September 5, 2018
Ah, nothing alerts the start of a brand new soccer season just like the Mique Juarez questions. I’ve been answering this query for 3 years now. So I’ll let Josh Woods reply this one:
“Things are not as easy as you thought they were going to be,” Woods stated at Pac-12 media days of Juarez.
Issues aren’t straightforward transitioning from highschool to school and Juarez had a harder transition than most as a result of he additionally turned a father when he was a freshman. He performed particular groups final yr and in addition ran a pretend punt for a primary down within the Cactus Bowl. This yr, he’s in one of the best form he’s been in since first arriving to UCLA, however he’s additionally acquired to ensure he’s in a great psychological state to play soccer and study a brand new protection.
He had been training nicely throughout coaching camp and was listed with the No. 2 outdoors linebackers for the season opener. However he appeared to endure an damage throughout Monday’s follow and was chatting with trainers within the medical shed. He didn’t look like at apply Tuesday or Wednesday. So don’t maintain your breath for him this weekend.
DM query: Do you assume Mique Juarez can be moved to center linebacker? If he was, how do you are feeling he would do?
I talked about this in final week’s Q&A and within the one earlier than. When requested about Juarez shifting to inside linebacker, particularly with the shortage of depth on the place, Kelly stated final week they hadn’t tried Juarez out at that spot. So if the Bruins aren’t going to maneuver him in such a determined time (keep in mind that they had solely two inside linebackers for one follow) then it’s probably not going to occur.
E-mail query: I was disenchanted within the play of Tyree Thompson and Krys Barnes as they missed a number of tackles. Additionally they seem “undersized” to me. Why gained’t the coaches put the larger Mique Juarez at ILB? Additionally, why not attempt Marcus Moore at ILB since Tyree and Kris are smaller than Mique and Marcus?
Krys Barnes is definitely a good-sized inside linebacker at a sturdy 6-foot-1, 235 kilos. When you’ve ever stood subsequent to him, you’d see that he’s not undersized. Thompson is on the lighter aspect at simply 220 kilos, although, and did say that adjusting to the physicality of the FBS degree has been probably the most troublesome factor. I anticipated that he may wrestle in his first recreation due to that transition interval.
However the inside linebacker place on this protection isn’t about measurement. It’s about velocity.
Once I spoke to Nick Aliotti, the previous Oregon defensive coordinator, he stated that at Oregon, the within linebackers might be smaller as a result of they’re “protected.” The defensive linemen are chargeable for holding the road, which is why they must be massive and powerful in a two-gap scheme, after which the linebackers come and clear up the tackles. The dimensions isn’t as a lot of a problem as simply executing deal with. Each Barnes and Thompson struggled to complete tackles, however I wouldn’t say that’s all measurement.
I’ve already talked about Juarez’s prospects on the inside linebacker place on this Q&A and all the opposite Q&As this season already.
Marcus Moore is just not fitted to the within linebacker place. He doesn’t transfer in area that approach. If there was even a touch of a risk that he would transfer to inside linebacker sooner or later, he would have been designated as an outdoor linebacker when the brand new teaching employees got here in. As an alternative, he stayed with the defensive linemen though he’s fairly undersized for the standard defensive lineman on this scheme. Moore was in comparison with Takk McKinley final yr. There’s no approach McKinley can be enjoying inside linebacker anyplace.
DM query: How a lot enjoying time do you assume the gamers coming back from suspension will see?
Of the three gamers eligible to return this week, Osa Odighizuwa, Moses Robinson-Carr and Mo Osling III, I might assume that Odighizuwa and Robinson-Carr are the almost certainly to play vital snaps, however I don’t see any of them contributing that a lot. They have been all second-string choices to start with, in order that they weren’t going to get the lion’s share of the snaps even when they weren’t suspended for the primary recreation. Odighizuwa and Robinson-Carr have a greater probability of enjoying extra as a result of the defensive position switches extra typically than the secondary and it’s thinner.
E-mail query: Did Colin Samuel play Saturday? Is he in a yellow or purple shirt throughout follow?
He wasn’t listed on the participation report for Saturday’s recreation. He isn’t in a yellow jersey at follow. It’s attainable he was in a pink jersey (symbolizing the scout group), however it might be arduous to know precisely as a result of gamers in purple who weren’t quarterbacks this week have been sporting numbers of the opposite workforce.
Do you discover a distinction in how the gamers discuss chip vs how they converse/spoke about Jim mora? In that case in what method?
— James Lee (@micki_bruin) September 6, 2018
There doesn’t appear to be a distinction of their general respect for every coach, however they spotlight various things about every coach that they like. Many might think about Jim Mora as a “players’ coach.” He handled them like they have been his personal youngsters. He was very protecting about them. For instance, he by no means revealed suspensions earlier than the sport and he not often addressed them afterwards. I feel he did so as a result of he didn’t need to embarrass them.
Kelly nonetheless cares for his gamers, as any coach does, however he’s maybe a extra tough-love sort of father-figure. He suspends gamers and speaks about it publicly after which makes use of it as a educating software. The gamers speak about his business-like strategy and the way he harps on taking good care of the smallest particulars day by day, whether or not it’s sleeping a full seven or eight hours an evening or consuming sufficient water after apply. Additionally they speak about how he needs to enhance the camaraderie and belief among the many gamers as a result of he believes it’s going to assist win video games. So maybe Kelly is the kind of coach whose fixed reminders of consuming water and consuming proper appear annoying and bizarre at first, however down the road, when there are outcomes, gamers look again and say “thank you for teaching me when I didn’t even know what I needed to learn.”
DM query: Is there any hope to save lots of the season and any probability towards OU?
To reply the second a part of your query first: So long as the Bruins present up on Saturday, there’s all the time a mathematical probability towards Oklahoma. Is it excessive? In all probability not. Is it even middling? In all probability not both. However there wasn’t a superb probability the Bruins have been going to return again towards Texas A&M final yr. Bizarre issues occur typically.
For the primary half, it is determined by what concepts of the season have been initially and what precisely wants “saving.” The one factor that’s completely gone and may’t be saved is an undefeated season. That’s undoubtedly out. However I suppose there’s technically hope for the whole lot outdoors of that.
To be trustworthy, I don’t know what you need me to say. No, there’s no hope. They don’t have sufficient expertise and Chip Kelly took us all for a experience considering he was going to show UCLA round. Let’s simply all give up and go residence. Or sure, they’re going to go undefeated the remainder of the best way. Chip Kelly has the Midas contact and he was simply enjoying possum on that first recreation.
This will or is probably not what you have been in search of, however I’ll say this: It’s not going to be straightforward this season. Individuals ought to have recognized this from the beginning. The expertise is just not as robust as prior to now. The teaching employees doesn’t have the fitting personnel in place but. The quarterback state of affairs goes to be questioned for at the least have the season (if the Bruins are fortunate). However UCLA is enjoying the long-game with Kelly so for this system, it’s not about simply hope for this season, but in addition hope for future seasons.
DM query: What was your win/misplaced complete to start out the season? And has your win/misplaced complete modified after seeing the primary recreation?
I had them profitable six or seven video games and going to a low-tier bowl recreation. I assumed Cincinnati was going to be a type of wins. It’s going to be robust to make that one up with the schedule, so I assume I’ve to routinely deduct one win.
In the long run, it is determined by how the opposite groups look as properly. I can’t inform the longer term. I don’t actually understand how good Colorado, Cal or Arizona State might be later within the season. We additionally don’t understand how UCLA will develop this season. It’s solely been one recreation.
Probably the most troublesome factor is that the Bruins have all their hardest-looking matchups at residence with Washington, USC and Stanford, which primarily eliminates any attainable “home field advantage.” In order that they need to be actually good on the street to have an opportunity. UCLA hasn’t gained a street recreation since BYU in Sept. 17, 2016, although.
What number of wins do you assume the Bruins get this yr and probably subsequent yr ?
— Chet Donnelly (@gooch1234567) September 6, 2018
See above query for response to what number of wins this yr.
And for subsequent yr? We’re onto that already? We haven’t even watched a second Chip Kelly recreation but. Nevertheless many video games they win this yr, add at the very least one. I feel they’ll be higher subsequent yr, however I don’t even know what they’re this yr not to mention subsequent yr.