Bumped. Despite the reflections from this past weekend I agree with everything 66 laid out below. GO BRUINS. -N
In fact, when this crew took over the bus it was abandoned, at the side of the road, and had no wheels on it.
I think it is healthy to question authority. I grew up wearing a button that said so.
So, I appreciate the constructive dialogue about the coaching staff though I disagree with much that has been said. In the context of what we have and where we are, I think the coaches are doing a good job of using the talent on this team.
What I don't think is fair are the unsubstantiated attacks, particularly on CNC, that he is "too old" (Uh, maybe that one hits a bit close to home for me) or that his prime has past.
Now, two days after a disappointing loss, I think it is time, once more, to reinforce many of the posts of the weekend by reminding all of us, including me, where we were just a few years ago.
Our program was a complete disaster -- abandoned by the side of the road, no wheels on the bus, no replacement parts in the garage, and no mechanics qualified to fix it.
CTS and his crew destroyed this program. We had no offensive scheme for our players to learn. We recruited poorly and foolishly did not make sure we were bringing in players to fill all of our needs. The so called "skill players" found themselves without those who make them look skilled.
In came the new crew, CRN and CNC -- both of whom had very successful records and, as coaches, solid reputations. (As one who explored the "charges" against CRN, I will not concede that he had stains on his record.)
At the time, they were jumping in to rescue a program that was in disaster. It takes courage and commitment to do so.
They could have gone to fully functioning programs that gave them the resources to succeed from the get go -- sort of like buying a fully functioning well maintained bus. Doing so would have obviated the need to do all the hard work that makes rescue projects so much more than maintenance or improvement projects.
Rescue projects are tough. Rescue projects take time. But, rescue projects are rewarding. It takes special people to take on the challenge and CRN and CNC are special people.
I think we all agree that they want to win. And, are passionate about both UCLA and bringing us back to our rightful place in the universe.
Where we disagree is that I am a lot more hesitant to question their qualifications to do so or some of the decisions they have been making.
No one predicted a winning season. Most of us thought we would be 5/7 or maybe 6/6. We will be.
We thought we might lose a game we should win, and if we played better than expected, win a game we should have lost.
We are right on that projection.
Our first two games were games we projected we'd win. And, we did. Tenn was a game which, in all fairness, we projected we'd lose. We won it. We are one up.
Then, on the road, and without our starting QB, we played a Stanford team that was probably a pre-season push, but until last weekend looked good -- and lost.
I don't think anyone projected an Oregon win. It is simply too good a team. I have no idea why they stunk up Boise, and I watched the whole game, but they rebounded strong and are a genuine top 10 team.
That, after these games, we think we could have/should have won each should inspire us to support our coaches. They got us where we had to be -- playing with mostly untested parts that have not really worked together enough to create a strong working whole.
There are all these rumblings that we should give up some chance of winning to develop our younger talent.
We are playing our younger talent -- not in an effort to create a development year -- but because we have no choice.
On O, with very few exceptions, we are playing first year people. The only area where we are not is at receiver and I think the concerns expressed by many here are valid. But, because we may not be pleased with the play of a couple of seniors does not render the coaches subject to criticism for not giving young guys, across the board, a chance to play.
We are shaky at QB because had everything worked out for us, we would have had a senior QB.
KC was never projected as a starter. The fact that he is our most experienced QB does not mean he has the skill level to succeed in this league. But, he has the heart and plays to his full potential. I think he is a warrior and will always be on his side. In fact, in some ways, I think we have the best chance of winning when he plays. I choose experience over RAW talent. But, the coaches disagree and I respect them.
So, what are they doing? They are going young at QB. Just what people are demanding. And, when you go young at QB, you run the risk that an offense won't work -- not because the OC can't make it work, but because a young QB can't make it work. Holding the ball too long. Throwing to the wrong guy -- into coverage -- inexperience.
You cannot blame the coaches -- especially those of you who want us to play young -- for trying to put those young players into positions where they can succeed by dumbing down the playbook.
And, as much as I appreciate the rousing debate on which young QB should play, frankly we've not seen enough of either to second guess the coaches. (Those on BN who have attended practices seem to be supporting the coaches' choices.)
The D, has more experience, but still has some young guys starting or playing a lot of minutes. Losing Hester was huge for a young, inexperienced team. I am not a big fan of this D -- it was DW's D, but I must concede it played better against Oregon and I was really pleased to see it do so. Yes, we still have tackling issues. But, we did cut down on destructive penalties.
We are a little less than half way into our season. We are in a competitive conference. We have not rolled over in any of our games and that is a sign of growth. Even in losing, we are getting better. I still believe we will win 6 games (including a win over sc) and a bowl game.
The coaches are stocking the garage with parts and rebuilding the Bus as best they can. Unfortunately, they can't keep it in the garage until it is perfect. They have to take it on the road, every week. They have to make it run as best they can until they have everything they need to make it run well.
When it is restored, when it looks like the classic Bus that was once UCLA football, if we maintain it, it will run forever.
And, we will be singing the praises of CRN and CNC in the same voice we do with CBH. We gave CBH time to get his wreck back on the road. And, we must do the same for CRN and CNC.