Yeap. Those are the unbelievable comments from senior strong safety Jarrad Page this morning. Apparently Karl Dorrell never figured they had to to work hard on coaching the special teams, until they got humiliated by Sooners (Perkins) in 2003. Here is Dohn:"We just didn't realize how important special teams were," Bruins senior strong safety Jarrad Page said. "Nobody realized it like we do now. Now, it's not a chore. Before guys were like, 'Oh, we gotta go on special teams.' "
Page said the coaching staff "didn't stress it as much" in 2003. Since then, many starters volunteered to play special teams.
"When guys come in as freshmen, I make a point; Page and myself are on it, so if we're on it, it sets a good example," UCLA senior linebacker Spencer Havner said. "Then, we tell them how important we think it is. We hang our hat on punt team." What is even more disturbing about this report that it is really seniors like Havner and Page are taking charge in installing the mentality among the younger players that this ... uhm ... this special teams thingy is kind of important. The article does mention that things improved a bit once Brian Schneider (the former LB coach) took charge of the entire special teams, things improved statistically, but it has no mention anywhere about whether coaches are stressing this aspect of the game. And, as this is disconcerting as O mentions our punting game is becoming a concern this early in the season.
A few bits more on this sidebar round up. Daily News has yet another writer (besides Dohn and Painter), covering UCLA. Walter Hammerwold hammers home (couldn't resist) the point that ... yes ... it is the Bruins' defensive line, who will have to put up a "brave front" against Adrian Peterson. Thanks for clueing us in Walter. Anyways, Walter manages to get in some classic Dorrell speak. Dorrell is feeling confident against the Sooners because the Bruins were able to contain the Rice rushing attack: UCLA coach Karl Dorrell oozed confidence Monday, asserting this UCLA defense is better against the run than the 2004 squad and noting the team's success against running backs its first two games.
"A year ago, Rice was the top rushing offense in the country and we held them under 200 yards and 255 yards of total offense," Dorrell said. "It's hard to do that versus an option team." Phew. I was worried KD. Now I feel so comforted. We are going to contain Peterson because we contained Rice. lol. Well for your credibility's sake, let's hope you are right.