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UCLA Football: Kenny Churchwell Tears His ACL & Azzinaro Tears Into The Defense

UCLA’s starting quarterback is still not known, but Bruin DC Jerry Azzinaro made it known that the defense will do things his way.

Defensive Coordinator Jerry Azzinaro made the defense run sprints yesterday.
Joe Piechowski

Last night, we found out why Kenny Churchwell has not been seen in practice over the last week. It turns out that Churchwell tore his ACL during practice last week. He tweeted the news out last night.

Bruin defensive coordinator Jerry Azzinaro was not pleased with the effort level from the defense during practice yesterday. Ben Bolch of the LA Times describes what happened:

Several players were dragging a bit early in practice, sparking a reprieve from Jerry Azzinaro. The fiery defensive coordinator made the players run a series of sprints and loudly informed them they needed to do things only one way — his.

Meanwhile, Thuc Nhi Nguyen of the LA Daily News describes it a little bit differently. She writes:

The defense got an ear full from defensive coordinator Jerry Azzinaro during the individual drills. He was either displeased with their effort during the drills or on the previous drill (which was punt return) and he made them run gassers. It’s nearing the end of camp and it seemed that the defense started to take its foot off the gas. Azzinaro will have no such thing. Before letting them go on to the next drill, Azzinaro shouted that if they were going to do things, they would be doing them “MY WAY!” I added the emphasis, but the caps are appropriate for his tone of voice.

Honestly, I have to say that I like Coach Azz’s approach here. Maybe I like it because that’s how my high school coaches would have responded.

Krys Barnes discussed it during his post-practice interview. “We came out kind of slow today in the beginning and Coach Azz wasn’t having it,” Barnes said. He continued:

So, we had to get our minds right and we had to fix it with some runs. No one wants to do that. So from that point forward it’s between us now and the people on the field. We’ve gotta lift each other back up as individuals and going into team periods and we did that. So we finished on a high note today.

Thanks to Matt Joye of Bruin Report Online for sharing the video of Krys Barnes.

Meanwhile, Christian Pabico met with the media for the second time since camp started. He was asked about the quarterback battle. “I wouldn’t go as far as to say that someone has separated,” Pabico said. “I think all the quarterbacks are doing a really good job and, ultimately, that’s going to be up to Coach Kelly anyway. So for me, I’m just going about focusing on what I can control.”

The video of Christian Pabico was also shared by Matt Joye of Bruin Report Online. Thanks, Matt!

Expect Chip Kelly to provide an update on players like Soso Jamabo and others who have missed recent practices this morning when he meets with the media before practice.

Go Bruins!