Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N
The season’s not over and I’m still holding out hope that we’ll get bowl eligible. Having said that, what transpires or fails to this offseason will dictate what UCLA FB looks like this decade. As the leader of our FB program, CRN will have some critical decisions to make. Some decisions are obvious while others are quite complex. CRN is not on the hot seat yet but he needs to make decisive decisions before he loses the fans and team.
1) Coaching staff
Chucky needs to be shown the door. Setting aside his incompetence, I don’t want him to mess up the Owa/Marsh/Zum/Dietrch/Olaniyan/Jefferson/Epenesa/Willis/Hillard/Graham’s on our team. As you can see, these guys have talent and with the right coaching, they will become a menace to deal with. Moore is the other obvious coach that needs to go. I’m dumbfounded by the inability of our WR’s to get separation, get off the line, run precise routes, track the ball, attack the ball, quit the drops, etc. Besides the glimpses we saw from Rosario at the end of last season, I don’t see improvement. I like Lea for what he provides in the recruiting game but Love’s failure to get on the field is very concerning. We can all see that Westgate is overwhelmed yet we have a 6-4, 220 lb LB who can run sitting on the bench. Is it because Love doesn’t have the defense down (this is Lea’s job) or is it another perceived favortism/seniority thing? Hundley shouldn’t feel so comfortable too considering the disappointing performance by our secondary this season. I’ll get to CNC a bit later.
2) Pick a QB
It’s obvious to me that RB should have been our starter against KState and Cal. You can tell the ball has that extra zip and he is definitely more accurate. Give him the time that KP had and I’m confident that this kid will develop into a more than capable QB. Unfortunately, I don’t think the fanbase will be as patient with RB as we’ve been with KP. Patience is something that we don’t have much of.
I have nothing but great things to say about KP but as a program, we cannot afford to rely on a QB that is injury prone. We witnessed the havoc it causes to an offense when we try to execute with a QB that hasn’t practiced. The timing is off and there is no repore with the receivers.
Flipping back and forth is not helping either of our QB’s. It is stunting their development IMO. CRN needs to pick one guy to lead this team and build the offense around the QB’s talent. To me, the choice is obvious and it’s Brehaut.
3) Pick a Offense
This goes to my second point. Others have posted whether we should let CNC go and go get an OC who understands the Pistol and use the money to get a top notch DC. Sounds good but only if we stick with the Pistol.
I’m not sold that we should be running the Pistol. In general (without getting into the details), we switched to the Pistol offense to spark our running game due to the issues on the OL. But we are now left with a poor passing game that looked like it was developing at the end of last season. So, is it really worth it? The counter is…wait till the staff gets used to it, players get used to it/experience, we get better personnel that fits the Pistol, better OL, etc. Well, isn’t it reasonable to conclude that when we get the players some experience, better personnel and a better OL, then our previous offense would have become pretty good. The guy running the offense has a track record of producing prolific offenses.
This decision isn’t easy and may not even be made by CRN. Whichever QB CRN picks, he needs to pick the offense that best suits the QB’s skillset. KP can run the Pistol more efficiently but do we really want to bank our season on him staying healthy when the offense dictates that the QB take hits? If KP is the choice, RB’s development is further stunted and the choice will affect UCLA FB for more than next season. I think Brehaut with time and practice can run the Pistol. However, he is better suited for the Pro Style offense that CRN and CNC favors.
Instead of forcing RB into a system that he isn’t a fit for, we should switch back if CNC stays. Until we find that elusive balanced offense, we’ll continue to be a schizophrenic team. Pick the QB and pick the offense that best suits him and lets get to work.
4) Develop UCLA FB’s Identity
CRN needs to determine what he wants our program to be known as. When you think VaTech, you think great defense and special teams. Oregon? Explosive offense, Alabama? Defense, etc. Unfortunately for us, UCLA FB is known as soft. Whether we like it or not, that’s the local and national perception. Getting run over by Edgerrin James and Ron Dayne doesn’t help our national perception.
Right now, we are an undisciplined team that lacks focus. I’m sure part of this is still due to our relative youth. But that doesn’t make it right. Top programs have coaches that are anal retentive about every minute detail within their program. The yapping you see after a routine play, the missed tackles, the suspensions for team violations, etc are all an extension of the HC and program. If CRN is going to deliver on his talk about attending Black Tie Events and contending for Pac 10 championships, he needs to get serious about what type of program he wants to run.