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Dorrell Fires Blanks at the Pac-10 Media Day

Two years ago, there were rumors that the UCLA athletic department shelled out some $ to improve Coach Karl Dorrell's PR skills. Perhaps a good project for an investigative reporter is to find out how much UCLA does spend to teach it's young-coach-in-training of a high profile program to perfect his (or her) public relations skills. Anyways, judging from Dorrell's latest public speaking performance, it doesn't seem like it has been paying off. Dorrell is either a very slow learner (in case he did get special PR training), or he loves to use coachspeak full of meaningless sentences that tell us nothing.

Here is the summary of what Dorrell had to say in today's Pac-10 media day:

UCLA Head Coach Karl Dorrell: "We're eager and optimistic about our season going into 2006. We had a tremendous season last year and it was fun to watch our team grow and mature. The team made some great steps and there were seniors that stepped up to make tremendous years for themselves. Those guys are now gone and the challenge for us now is to figure out who to replace them with. This 2006 team is a very close-knit team. This team will grow so much from last year, just from one season of winning and knowing what it takes to be a contender. I expressed the optimism of the season last year and we narrowly accomplished what we were trying to do. This year is no different, we are very capable of taking a big step. We have new faces, both in the coaching staff and who you will see on the field, but we are capable of doing things at a very high, competitive level ... We have to challenge ourselves each and every week ... We play all nine Conference members this season and everybody is fair game and has the opportunity to prove their worth."
Where to start?

Let's start with the part about last season's team being a contender. This is, of course, just silly. We won 9 games in the regular season, playing a schedule which was one of the easiest in last 30 years. The games against Arizona and USC made it emphatically clear UCLA had as much chance of being a legit championship contender as our boys finding WMDs in Iraq.

As far as all the feel good namby-pamby of this being a "close knit" team, we hear that from every coach during every season. Actually, we have been hearing about this kind of "close knit" team-chemistry BS for the last seven off-seasons.

And, lastly, Dorrell talks about taking the "big step." What the heck does that mean? Going to a bowl game that is not as meaningless as some boring bowl game in Texas border town named after a hair care product, playing against some shitty team from the Big-10? Does taking the "big step" mean more than 8 regular seasons games including ending that 7 game losing streak against USC?

Guess we will find out the answers on the field this season. But, judging how far he has advanced (to use the term generously) even after all the $ UCLA athletic dept. spent to work on his PR skills, it doesn't give us a lot of confidence that a Dorrell coached team will not be firing blanks on the field in 2006.

By the way, compared Dorrell's remarks to the ones Howland make in his press conferences. Night and Day. Just like the state of the two programs at this point of time.