Our team is playing in the Final-4 tomorrow but I still cannot get enough of the spring practice reports. Thanks so much to matsumoto720 and Steven for sharing their impressions on the first day of CRN era at Spalding Field.
There are some interesting notes and quotes from first day practice. Let’s get right to them. Chris Foster has this report on the state of our OL:
"I think we can be better than we were last year," Scott Glicksberg said. "There is so much opportunity and motivation for everyone. The competition has gone through the roof."
The opportunity led Glicksberg, a tight end last season, to try to beef up to 300 pounds and move inside -- "I'm about 280 right now, but I'll get there. I room with a couple linemen and I eat like a horse."
The holes in the line also have Darius Savage putting his track and field season on hold so he can compete for a starting spot at guard. He is UCLA's top discus thrower but will miss four meets this month, including the Texas Relays, where he won the discus competition last year.
"If I missed spring, I wouldn't see them again until June or July, and with the new coaching staff, it would be like being an outcast," Savage said.
Only three players returning had playing time on the offensive line during the 2007 season, though Glicksberg said, "I don't think it's a weakness for us. I think it's a place where we'll show a lot people they were wrong."
"I'm old school, a blue collar, shot-beer guy, no champagne. I believe in teaching good fundamentals and keeping the system simple -- don't think, use athleticism and play hard."
Whomever emerges will have to master Chow's offense, which is said to be similar, but simpler than what UCLA ran last year.
"A lot of what we're doing now is very similar to what they did before," Chow said. "For example, we have a play we call 16, they called it 96. But what we're trying to convince them of now is if we call 16, don't say 'OK, 16 is like 96'
"Just learn 16 as 16. Just like when you learn a language, you don't want to say OK, in English this word means this."
Said Cowan: "It's just 'Do what you need to do, but understand why.' That's his way of teaching us, and I like that."