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Dog and Pony Show

Who is in control?

Brian Dohn writes how there is not going to be any more dog and pony show wrt our wide receiver rotation this year:

UCLA's receiver rotation last season maddened fans, caused head-scratching among the players and seemed like something out of the playbook of Los Angeles Kings coach Marc Crawford.

The hockey-esque changes included shuttling players in and out on nearly every play, with three distinct groups of receivers often on the field for only a play, be it run or pass, before coming off. It meant proven veterans and playmakers such as Junior Taylor and Marcus Everett were on the field as often as walk-on Andrew Baumgartner and freshman Terrence Austin.

UCLA's new receivers coach, Eric Scott, said he will not employ the same philosophy as his predecessor, D.J. McCarthy, who left for LSU after oneseason in Westwood.

"It's going to be a single receiver rotation, one guy coming out at a time," said Scott, aformer UCLA receiver. "We need guys to get rhythm. That's a normal rotation. It's just like a running back. A receiver has to be in there."

McCarthy's philosophy didn't take into consideration down or distance, or the game's situation. On several key third downs in the Emerald Bowl loss to Florida State, Taylor and Everett were on the sideline while Baumgartner and freshmen Jeremy McGee and Austin were in the game.

"You watch any football game, you watch a running back, and the No. 2 guy, he gets a couple of plays," Scott said. "But the No. 1s get more than the No. 2s, the 2s get more than the 3s. Not everybody is going to get the same amount of plays."
Wow. A coach should always give more time to his most talented athletes on the field! Now that sounds like a really earth-shattering concept from Scott. While (indirectly) disparaging the former WR coach DJ McCarthy (a much hyped hire from more than a year ago), Dohn fails to point out how the circus around our WR rotation was even more disturbing considering that the head coach, Karl Dorrell, was a former WR, and supposedly earned his meal ticket in the NFL as a "wide receiver" coach.

Last year's fiasco wrt the wide receiver rotation might have been an indictment on the former WR coach, but IMHO it was a more damning indictment of the (lack of) leadership from the team's head coach, who supposedly got his bread buttered because of his experience as a player and coach at the position of WR. If KD is indeed a leader, why didn't he exercise leadership, step in, and correct the rotation problems at WR?

WTF was KD doing last year? Was he waiting till the season was over, not caring at all whether we would end up playing in some shitty bowl in San Francisco? Is he afraid of hurting his assistant coach's feelings, or is it that he doesn't have any clue what is going on with various units in his program?

To me, Dohn's story once again points to the story of a head coach, who is a hapless "CEO type" of leader (a bull shit phrase I heard a lot about during the 2000 Presidential campaign when the blowhards in the so called liberal liberal media were talking about a hands off type of leader who is not obsessed over details ... but I digress) who is out of touch, aloof, and clueless about various parts of our program. It paints the picture of a head coach who has no sense of leadership and is always dependent on the visions of his assistant coaches. No wonder when you see people talking up Dorrell, they are not talking up his qualities as a head coach, they are talking up his assistant coaches.

Case in point. Check out this ranking of Pac-10 coaches from TSN's Todd Dienhart. No Dorrell is not in the top-3 of Pac-10 coaches. He gets slotted in the 6th position not because of the kind of leadership he shows on the field, but because of the assistants he has hired at Westwood:
6. Karl Dorrell, UCLA. There's a buzz around Westwood because of Dorrell, an alum who knows what it takes to win here. Now, he must get his offense and defense both to play well together. Look for new coordinator Jay Norvell to do for the offense what coordinator DeWayne Walker did for the defense last year. This ought to be fun. And it's because of Dorrell.
Ooooooooh. So we are supposed to be excited that KD is not one of the four worst coaches in the Pac-10 because he has brought in some retread OC from Nebraska (who didn't have much control over play calling) and some DC who still hasn't shown any clue on how to stop dynamic college offenses. Woot!

Once again, the question any reality-based UCLA football fan should ask is who exactly is in control of our football program?

Anyways, for more notes on spring football, here are the notes from LAT. Olson strained his right hamstring. He sat out during the practices this weekend, but he should be ready to go Monday. The sixth best head coach in the Pac-10 says the problem should affect BO since they are still installing the new offense. He and his new brilliant staff will be doing their evaluations based on the first scrimmages which will be on next Saturday.

They know they will have to get things right. Their margin of error is closing. And if they don't bring home the Pac-10 title next season, they will probably have to take their dog and pony show (if the same shit happens this year what we have seen in last four mediocre years) somewhere else besides Westwood.