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Pac-10 Media Day (Bruin) Round-up

We will start again with the best beat reporter covering UCLA - Brian Dohn - from the Daily News. Dohn has this on Junior Taylor saying the obvious that, despite that 10 win season, Dorrell's Bruins still have lot to prove to earn respect:

Respect - or lack thereof - was a motivating factor throughout 2005 for the Bruins, and it sounds as if it will be a primary theme again.

Despite a third-place finish in the Pac 10 last season, Taylor said UCLA will not gain national credibility without a marquee win. He cited Oct. 21 at Notre Dame and the season finale against USC as the best chances to do it.

"We're not going to get respect until we beat a powerhouse ... ," Taylor said. "Even when we beat Cal last year, we didn't get respect. It was, `Cal is banged up. It was lucky."'
Well, Cal was banged up, playing with it's backup QB who was impersonating Ryan Fien at the Rose Bowl. The OC Register also leads with the point that the ND and USC games are the marquee games which folks around the country are going to pay close attention to. As for us, we realize the ND game is going to be a huge challenge at South Bend, but a victory over USC is a must if Dorrell and his troops are looking to get respect from Bruins Nation. Speaking of QB, it looks like KD is doing his best to make Olson feel not very secure coming into the training camp:
Non-committal at QB: The expectation is that redshirt sophomore Ben Olson will be UCLA's starting quarterback, but Dorrell continues to say Patrick Cowan can win the job.

"There's a lot of anticipation that (Olson) is going to be the guy, but he's got to show it to the team that he is the guy," Dorrell said. "But that's easier said than done because the other guy (Cowan) is pretty good, too."
All this is really probably just motivational ploys we regularly see from football coaches. What we hope is that Dorrell is honest and forthright about the QB situation with both of his QB, otherwise, it will blow up in everyone's face. For his part, BO is working hard to get in rhythm:
[O]lson said that he can feel the improvement in his pre- and post-snap reads and getting through his progressions on a particular play, which has been his focus through the summer.

"A lot of it is trying to get everything to become second nature, where you're not thinking about the offense and what people are doing, where it's just you know it," Olson said.

"If you can do that, you can get to the point where you can just look at the defense and that's all you're worried about. When I first got here, I didn't know what my guys had and then you had to put the defense on top of that. Now, I'm getting to the point to where I feel very comfortable with the offense and be able to focus on the defense and what they're trying to do." [...]

And the Bruins have been throwing four days a week - up two from this time a year ago. They have had junior college teams in for seven-on- seven matchups.

Olson also has been spending an additional hour or two each day reviewing the playbook and watching film - he got a start on Utah, the Bruins' opening opponent, months ago.

"I've seen big improvement," senior split end Junior Taylor said. "It is coming more natural. In the spring and early on, he struggled because he was making the calls, the checks and then all of a sudden the defense started moving and he wasn't prepared, then the play clock was winding down. Now he's starting to get more confident and more smooth with it, making the adjustments and at the same time reading the defense."

He is closer. But the pieces do not yet fit seamlessly, which is important in an offense in which routes pop open in sequence. Staying in rhythm and on time is crucial.
Well, it will be up to the coaches to make sure that Southpaw Jesus is ready for the season when the training camp opens in less that two weeks (August 6):


The LA Times, of course, doesn't have any major stories on the Bruin football team. They are all over PC's pop sicle as usual. Although T J Simers does manage to get in some sweet zingers in today's column (emphasis mine):
Time to talk college football in L.A., and do you realize that not only the Raiders, but the Kansas City Chiefs approached our coach a few months back about leaving to become an NFL head coach?

Scary stuff. We came that close to losing Karl Dorrell.

I mentioned that to the other football coach in town at Thursday's Pac-10 media confab, and asked if anyone had called him, and Pete Carroll said, "They lost my number."

That's what happens, of course, when you end the season a loser, but I was still surprised no one had called Carroll, and that's when he said, "I wouldn't tell you the truth if they had called."

"So what else are you hiding?" I asked, knowing now some of the crazy things that were going on at USC that were kept quiet until eventually exposed.

"There's a lot," Carroll said, and I believe he was joking, but it might be worth a phone call to see where the parents of John David Booty are living these days.
I like this guy, and you gotta love that reference to other NFL teams being "interested" in mighty Karl Dorrell. rofl