The Reasons Behind A "Dire Situation"At OL

Kevin Pearson from the Press Enterprise doesn't mince words while explaining why UCLA finds itself in a "dire situation" at OL:

UCLA is in this situation in part because of former coach Karl Dorrell and his staff.

For several years, Dorrell decided not to redshirt some of his top offensive line prospects, instead choosing to use them during their true freshman seasons to block exclusively on PAT and field-goal units.

By doing so, it flushed out a group of linemen that could have included former starters Chris Joseph and Brian Abraham as redshirt seniors this season. Combine that with some suspect recruiting by former offensive coordinator and line coach Tom Cable and the Bruins are in a dire situation for the next several years.

Would have been nice if Kevin had made those observations couple of years earlier as all of this was unfolding in front of our eyes. More from Kevin who correctly analyzes that we shouldn't be expecting any quick fix:

Typically, offensive linemen are the least ready to play immediately and often need two years in a program to develop physically. Combine that with a weak offensive line class in the West this year and little help appears to be on the way.

UCLA has signed just three offensive linemen in the past two recruiting classes, and neither of the two signed in February are expected to contribute this season.

All of that came from Pearson's UCLA preview, the rest of which (along with a video blog from Kevin) can be read here.

Right now all we can hope is that Neuheisel, Chow and Palcic find a way to salvage the best out of a horrific situation. As Dohn mentioned below these kids have been mentally battered through 5 years of inept offensive coaching. To their credit they are saying all the right things as exemplified by Bell's comments re. the inexperience at OL:

"There is definitely going to be a learning curve and there will be a time when things are going to happen to where they will either get frustrated, I will get frustrated or the quarterbacks will get frustrated," starting tailback Kahlil Bell said. "But these guys have been playing football their whole lives and it's not like you wake up one day and are like, 'Damn, I forgot how to block.'

"Why would I worry? Because they hadn't played? There was a time when I hadn't played either, but everyone has to start somewhere."

Unfortunately for us we are starting at the bottom and it's going to take a while for us to get back to where UCLA football needs to be (which is regularly compete for Pac-10 titles and get to the Rose Bowl/major bowl games with the same frequency before this millenium. For now though Pearson's frank report provides another necessary reminder (aka dose of reality) re. why it will be unreasonable for anyone to expect quick fix heading into this season.


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