Bumped from the diaries. - N
Like so many other Bruin fans, I was bitterly upset at the Bruins loss in Seattle. I wanted to post immediately after the game, but realized my anger precluded me from being objective. Six days later, the anger has subsided, however, the doubt about the future of the program has blossomed.
I was a KD supporter until about 7:00 last Saturday. The following day, when I read his post-game comments about his "growing" team, it was haughtingly reminiscent of quotes from a slick-haired, snake oil salesman who masqueraded as our BB coach for 7 long years. I always interpreted Lavin's comments about his team being a "work in progress" as "we [coaching staff] don't know what the hell we're doing."
In KD's case, the coaching mea culpas are convincing evidence that the coaches are at a loss to deal with adversity. I was particularly upset about Walker's calling out of Rodney Van. I know why he did it, but I didn't like the why it was said. No one expects Van to say that his missed tackles were a result of poor coaching.
At this time, I believe the program could implode if we lose either of the next two games. There is a tremendous amount of pressure to win those games in dominating fashion. Let's not get carried away with the final score -- scoring 50+ points or pitching a shutout is not all important. Resurrection of a stagnant offense and validation of a stronger defense is paramount. There has to be a solid effort on both sides of the ball (I'm like a broken record) plus the game plan has to work and the coaches must make any necessary in-game adjustments. If we get this, the focus shifts to building off the solid effort the following week against the Wildcats.
Going back to the Lavin analogy, what appalled me most about his teams were the lack or preparedness and effort. KD's teams have not shown much of the latter,but plenty of the former. Nothing disgusts me more to see players blowing assignments or being out of position -- it usually goes back to coaching ...or lack thereof. We all bristled everytime Lavin dismissed blow out losses, joking that he coached the team to the worst loss in school history. I am growing increasingly displeased about KD's dismissive comments -- he is not exhibiting strong leadership and that filters down through his staff to his players.
The comparison to Lavin is indicative of the seriousness of the state of the UCLA football program. It is not my intent to be an alarmist but the warning signs are out there and we cannot ignore them. This website is filled with persons, like myself, who are genuinely concerned about the future of the program and the direction to which it is heading.
Fianlly, I'd like to make a comment about Ben Olson. In the Utah game we saw him making sharp, pinpoint passes to wide open receivers. Since then, when his receivers are blanketed in coverage, he has appeared confused and tentative. The refusal of Svoboda to call a pass in the endzone screams out that he has no confidence in BO. He is too worried about the pick in the endzone and, instead, calls either a running play or a pass underneath, neither of which is a good way of getting into the endzone, especially when the running game is impotent. BO gets a pass due to his "rustiness" but at some point he has to get it -- or will he? Could he be another Carson Palmer, who coming out of high school was a gifted athlete with chiseled physique but had a reputation for not being too bright, and who took four years to develop? Only time will tell, but I am concerned. How about you?
I do know one thing -- that once the ball is kicked off at the RB tomorrow nite, everyone here will put aside their gripes and concerns and will root balls out for the Bruins. The players deserve our support and we deserve a great win -- even if it is over what could be the worst team in Division IA. Think of it as the start of something big.
Wow, I feel some much better now that I've gotten that off my chest. Thanks for reading and .....GO BRUINS!!!!