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Spaulding Roundup: The Uploading Of Chow's 'Total Offense'

Ok. Let’s get back to our football team and the talk is all around our offense.  Going through today’s papers, you can easily sense the Chow effect. Chris Foster from the LA Times reports how Chow is working away to put together a "total offense" with the idea of making the opposing team cover 53 1/3 yards on every play:

Total offense is the plan for UCLA this season.

That desire has been evident through the first two days of training camp, as running backs and tight ends are more involved with the passing game than they were last season.

"It's tough to cover everybody," offensive coordinator Norm Chow said. "Teams do a nice job of covering receivers, so you got to get the ball to your backs. We need to force teams to cover 53 1/3 yards on every play."

The passing game has been a sideline-to-sideline show thus far, with a large cast, something that seemed missing last season. […]

"There are more route combinations that make the back the primary receiver," tailback Kahlil Bell said. "I think we do have a lot of talented people in backfield as receivers. Any chance we get to touch the ball, I'm all for it."

That idea is being uploaded into the decision-making by quarterbacks.

"Coach Chow is emphasizing, 'If nothing is there, just give it to your back,' " said Bell, who had 13 receptions for 93 yards last season. "We'll try to make something happen."

Just for Marcia: Bell wears number 36. Marcia did know about number 86 and he figures to get lot more action this season under Chow compared to his previous ones in Westwood:

"Maybe for the defense (there was an element of surprise)," Paulsen said. "Chow has a higher standard compared to last year and the year before.

"There's that gold standard that Coach Chow brings. Last year we (the tight ends) were maybe underutilized a little bit."

Paulsen added that by spreading things out, the offense has bought into an unfamiliar scheme more quickly. The senior had just 12 receptions in 2007 after catching 27 passes as a sophomore.

"That's really a surprise," Chow said. "I don't know what happened in the past."

Paulsen, though, is not thinking only about numbers.

"I'm looking to be more of a leader. I was voted team captain a month ago," Paulsen said. "I was a little surprised. It kind of told me I can't just worry about myself. I have to make sure everyone's on the same page."

For reference Logan and our other TEs caught only 15 passes in 2007. The running backs caught 25 passes in 2007. Those are numbers we need to keep a close eye on this season.

Now it’s not just about dumping off the ball to our backs and TEs. Coaches are working to make sure the QBs deliver the ball with precise timing and at the same time keep the defense off guard without showing any kind of predictability. One way to get that done will be to vary the snap counts (per Dohn):

One of the many changes for the Bruins' offense is the addition of multiple snap count, which, remarkably, did not happen last season.

After the offensive line had trouble with varying snap counts in training camp last season, players said the coaching staff decided to go on the first count all season.

And, it didn't take long for opposing defenses to figure it out.

"As an offense, we have to use everything to our advantage to be successful," UCLA quarterback Ben Olson said. "The defense doesn't know what your snap count is, and it keeps them off-guard if you change it up. If you go on the same thing, linebackers time up their blitzes and it makes it harder on everybody.

"As a game wears on and on, the defenses figure it out. They're not dumb."

Players said former coach Karl Dorrell signed off on the idea.

"You can't do that because that's predictable," Bruins receiver Marcus Everett said. "People get jumps. You definitely have to give some change-ups. Changing it will help a lot. It starts from there."

I don’t need to add any snark to follow that up. But it’s kind of amusing. Isn’t it? We blogged all of those issues concerning the offense being predictable and the defense knowing exactly where our offensive guys were going to go last few years. Yet, we are seeing this now in published reports in the traditional media. It would have helped if those observations came through Dohn and other’s reports two years ago and Bruins would not find themselves as big as hole they are in now. Whatever. We are happy to move on but can’t help make a note when the traditional media opens up old wounds.

Anyway, let’s go back to our offense LAT reported how Bell is excited about the RBs getting more involved in the new offense. Besides Bell Bruins should have few other options to from the backfield to stretch out the offense. And according to Foster they are making an impression on CRN:

Neuheisel continued to be impressed with the incoming freshmen, particularly running backs Aundre Dean, Johnathan Franklin and Milton Knox.

"They all have electric legs," Neuheisel said. "It's fun to watch."

Electric legs?

Must be the Chow effect.