Tension in the Training Camp?

Well the way Dorrell has handled QB competition over the years this was probably inevitable. Frustration may be building in the training camp over the QB competition coaches have imposed during firs 10 days. Olson hints a little bit at that frustration in today's the LA Times (emphasis mine):

Another football season, another quarterback battle at UCLA.

Although it was considered a given that Karl Dorrell would replace one Olson (Drew) with another (Ben), the coach has seemed determined to keep his options open by making sure that Patrick Cowan was in position to challenge for the starting spot since practice began earlier this month.

"The coaching staff has chosen to handle the situation the way they have chosen to handle it," Ben Olson said in something of a verbal shrug. "I can't control what they do. I can only control my attitude and the things that I can control. That's the mind-set that I'm taking.... It's a it-is-what-it-is type of thing. You have to somehow handle it and compete."

Drew Olson (no relation) had similar things to say a year ago when he, as the incumbent, had to share the practice snaps with newcomer Ben.
And Drew Olson knows this is not a fun thing to go through with a coaching staff, which often has no idea how to handle public communications. More from the DO on the current QB situation at UCLA:
Across the country, at the Baltimore Ravens' training camp, Drew Olson has been trying to keep on top of the battle because he knows what both quarterbacks are going through. In two of his three seasons playing for Dorrell, Olson had to compete for the job.

"It can be a good thing and it can be a bad thing," said Olson, who signed with the Ravens as a free agent. "I know both of them and they both are real competitive. That should bring out the best of both guys.

"But I feel that the downside for a quarterback is that you never get a sense that it's your team. I feel that I had a huge advantage last year because I was a senior. I felt like it was my team all along. As a quarterback, you always want to feel like you have ownership of the team, yet you don't really have it when you compete in training camp."
This coaching staff really doesn't have a great track record when it comes to handling this kind issues in a public manner. Actually it doesn't have a good track record handling any PR related issues, latest example being how it was able to turn Baumgartner's feel good story into a PR nightmare for everyone associated with UCLA. Anyways moving on.

The coaching staff completely botched the QB competition between Moore and Olson in 2003. Remember in 2003 it was Moore who had the better training camp. All the posters in message board were in love with Moore. Even though it was Olson who had showed most poise necessary to handle himself as a team leader on and off the field. But Dorrell wasn't able to get a handle on the situation resulting to a bitter transfer of Moore to Oregon State.

Last year it was Drew Olson getting frustrated with coach's lolly gagging over the naming of a starter. The situation got "resolved" eventually because Ben Olson suffered a freak injury in the training camp. Now it seems like it is Ben Olson's turn to get somewhat irritated with what this coaching staff is doing re. the QB situation. We will see how this turns out. We will know the warning signs if this staff somehow decides to go with a 2 QB platoon system.

FWIW Olson is keeping a positive attitude despite some letdowns in practice. From the OC Register:
Ben Olson had a better day on the practice field Wednesday than in the previous few days, and he said that his comfort level with UCLA's offense is good.

But his recent struggles with reads and throws as more of the offense is installed have left their mark on the quarterback..

"It's been a little frustrating, to be honest," Olson said Wednesday. "But it's part of what the coaching staff is choosing to do, so I have to support that. And I'm just trying to keep a positive attitude, trying to work every day and get better and trying to execute the stuff that we're putting in as an offense. ...

"We install every night, so we're putting new stuff in all the time. It takes time to get it, and that's what practice is for, to put in all the new stuff that we're doing and to come out here and try to learn it. A lot of people are going to make mistakes, but better in practice (than a game)."
Again if we just went by practice results, it'd be Matt Moore who'd be in position to lead the Bruins coming into training camp last year, not Drew Olson. So I wouldn't get too swayed by the blowhards on the message boards who have roller coaster reactions every day based on daily practice reports. After it is all said and done it will be Ben Olson leading the Bruins. If for some reason Dorrell decides to go with Cowan, he will be playing with fire, because after the first sign of struggle from PC, there will be immense pressure to put Southpaw Jesus in, leading to a messy QB situation, that may tank the season like it tanked Tennessee's season last year.

Elsewhere Dohn has a report on receiver Ryan Graves who apparently is making some serious strides in practice, and in his daily blog he writes about the latest trend in UCLA injuries - hamstring injury. Still nothing to serious. Injury excuses will simply not fly should this team underachieve this season.

Lastly, the official blogpoll is out. Bruins check in at no. 30. No worries. I fully expect us to be in the top-20 after the first five games provided Dorrell and crew are on their way to meet the minimum expectations for this season.

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