So lets talk about our receivers (and I will combine the depth chart for both our receivers and TEs in this discussion since pass catching TEs figure so prominently in an efficient and effective WCO).
Unless you have been living under a rock you'd know this bunch despite being deep with serviceable talent was the most disappointing unit in Dorrell's pathetic WCO last season. To solve the problem Dorrell decided to scapegoat his receiver coach who apparently was putting players he wasn't supposed to in games and using a mind numbing hockey like rotation, totally failing to make use the talent UCLA had on its roster.
And then Dorrell went on to bring in a "receivers coach" with a stained resume featuring 4 arrests and 3 convictions, and zero experience as a college coach.
Needless to say there is going to be intense pressure on Eric Scott and most importantly Karl Dorrell whose resume was hyped with supposed experience as an "NFL WR coach" to put forth a receiving corps who are going to make plays, move the offense, and most importantly score TDs from the red zone, reducing the Dorrell version of supposed WCO's reliance on kicking game to points.
So with that in mind lets take a look at the current depth chart:
|9 Marcus Everett (6-1, 203, Sr.)(8)||1 Brandon Breazell (6-0, 160, Sr.)(10)||86 Logan Paulsen (6-6, 250, Jr.) (12)|
|10 Gavin Ketchum (6-5, 202, Jr.)||26 Joe Cowan (6-4, 219, Sr.**)||48 William Snead (6-5, 40, Sr.**)|
|19 Dominique Johnson (6-3, 210, So.)||4 Terrance Austin (5-10, 165, So.)||15 Ryan Moya (6-4, 229, Jr.)(3)|
|11 Osaar Rasshan (6-4, 212, So.**)||6 Jamil Turner (6-1, 198, So.*)||83 Adam Heater (6-5, 245, Fr*)|
|2 Ryan Graves (6-1, 170, Jr.**)||87 Tyler Holland (6-4, 241, Jr.**)^|
|92 Travis Martin (6-3, 239, Jr.**)^|
Obviously Moya is out as he has not been able to recover from the injury (broken leg against Oregon) he suffered last year. And also note Osaar Rasshan is sitting out with a 'mild concussion' for few practices and should be back in days.
Here are the numbers from last season:
|Joe Cowan (05)||35||469||13.4||91 (td)||3|
Couple of jarring notes that stick out:
*Our leading receiver in terms of receptions only had 31 catches in 13 games, second behind Markey (35 reception).
*Collectively this bunch had 11 TDs (apologies for the mistake)
6 total TDs (not counting Cowan's production in 05).
That is still pathetic
just disgraceful considering the physical talent in this roster. I'd think if coaches like Tedford and Bellotti got their hands on players like Ketchum, Austin, Taylor, they wouldn't have them stand on sidelines in favor of walkons like Baumgartner. Anyways going back to the rotation.
Everett can make plays. No doubt about that.
He just needs to able to do that (not necessarily taking it to the House every game but making receptions and then piling up YACs) on a more consistent basis.
Breazell can also get it done:
He was second
the team leader among receivers in TD receptions with 4 scores last year. It is a little disappointing to see Breazell not being able to put more weight on after four years at UCLA which features Doc Kreis's vaunted training regimen. He has the speed to make players out in the open field, but often he gets out muscled by defensive backs.
I'd think Cowan is going to push Breazell hard at the flanker spot. He has all the tools to emerge as an effective weapon in his senior season just like Kevin Jordan (I know it is too easy and convenient to bring up names like Danny Farmer and Sean LaChapelle). Cowan should be well versed on the WCO playbook and have the routes down, getting himself in position to make plays where he can rack up a lot of YACs.
I mentioned above how the coaches totally failed to utilize the talent of Kethcum and Austin last season. Dorrell and Norvell will have to find a way to get these kids involved in the game plan. That means no heaving passes on 3rd and long (after running up the middle on first and second down) asking these guys to make difficult catches time after time.
It will also be interesting to see how Rasshan and Johnson perform during Saturdays. We have heard a lot of hype about these guys (specially about Rasshan) doing well during practices. And at least on paper they appear to have the physical tools to be imposing presences in a well run WCO. But again it all comes back to game planning doesn't it.
As for TE given Moya's injury, Paulsen is the only player who saw extensive action last year. However, we know Snead can make some players. We all remember the ND game really well. His first catch was a TD against the Irish. You'd think with another year under his belt he should be ready to make some more contributions this coming season.
Adam Heater is a pretty decent recruit who was also pursued (offered) by Pac-10 programs such as Oregon and Arizona State. So I'd take it he has the talent to make contributions at a D-1 program like UCLA.
Then again this is all about the system. If a head coach truly has a solid foundation of a WCO offense in place (in the 5th year of his tenure), it shouldn't matter who he plugs into his offense. He should be able to step in and produce.
And given the talent in these rotations, there should be no excuse for another pathetic year from this bunch in 2007.