After true freshman quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson struggled badly last week against Fresno State and with Wilton Speight still “day-to-day”, many UCLA Bruins fans were hoping to see Devon Modster finally get a start at quarterback next Friday against Colorado.
So much for Plan C.
This afternoon, Modster announced on Twitter that he has decided to transfer schools.
Excited for a new chapter❗️ pic.twitter.com/YLiTN3ilqP— Dèvøñ Mödśtēr (@DModster) September 21, 2018
The complete image reads like this:
I can’t say that I blame him.
The fact is that Thompson-Robinson has played like a true freshman who chose to stay in high school rather than enroll early to participate in Spring Practice and, frankly, should have been benched after his performance in Week 1 against Cincinnati.
The fact that Chip Kelly didn’t bench him in the middle of his worst performance yet last week against Fresno State pretty much made Modster’s transfer inevitable.
And, you can now add Devon Modster to the long list of former blue chip recruits who have left the program under Chip Kelly.
Meanwhile, earlier this week, Kelly responded to the tweets from Michael Robinson during the weekly Pac-12 coaches conference call. Thanks to Matt Joye from Bruin Report Online for sharing the audio of the call.
I have no response. I mean, everybody’s entitled to their opinion, that’s the great thing about sports. When you win, people say good things. When you don’t win, people don’t say good things. That’s life, you know? We all have to play better here. On the offensive side of the ball, we didn’t do a very good job on Saturday. So we’ve got to call better plays and execute better. We’re all in this together.
The discussion of Robinson’s tweets begins at the 0:31 mark.
The Bruins have used this week as an “improvement week”, according to Coach Kelly on Wednesday.
In his interview before practice on Wednesday, Kelly was asked about balancing the need to win now versus preparing for the future. “It’s got nothing to do with putting anybody in position for the future,” Kelly said. “Everything’s about winning now. Everything we do is...we look at things on a daily basis and, then, whatever week we’re on, we’re on ‘improvement week’ this week. And, starting Sunday, we’re on Colorado and our whole focus is Colorado. So we’ve never talked about, ‘We’re building something for the future.’ We’re trying to win right now. And, if you win right now, then you are building for the future.”
In light of today’s announcement by Devon Modster, it seems like this statement is the first real example of “coachspeak” we’ve had during the Chip Kelly era because if Kelly and the staff were really trying to win now, they would have played Modster during one of the first three games.
Kudos to Matt Joye of Bruin Report Online for sharing the video of Coach Kelly’s interview.
Another perspective on that comes from freshman running back Martell Irby, who was asked about what it’s going to take to get the offense going. “I feel like all we have to do is continue to buy into what coach Kelly is saying,” Irby said. “It may be a little bumpy right now, but we’ve just got to keep pushing...keep working through the nooks and crannies. Coach Kelly always talks about ‘the process’ and not focusing so much on the results, but focusing on every single little thing that we’re doing wrong. And, once we correct that, then we’ll start getting the results. Meanwhile, we’ve got to focus on the seeds that are being planted and, then, we’ll begin to bear fruit. So, that’s just kind of what I’m focusing on. I hope that’s what my team is focusing on, rather than ‘Oh, we’re doing bad.’ If we look at the positives, I feel like we’ll be straight, to be honest with you.
Martell Irby’s interview is also courtesy of Matt Joye of Bruin Report Online.
In his first interview since joining the team this year, Kyle Philips spoke about how the feedback loop works on the team. He was asked if Coach Kelly meets with players individually. “He mostly talks to us as a team then here and there he’ll talk to a few players,” Philips said. “But, mostly, it’s our position coaches that talk to us. So, each time after a game, we’ll meet with a coach one-on-one and we’ll say how we feel we did and what we need to fix and they’ll say the same.”
So, contrary to what Chip Kelly told the media on Wednesday afternoon, it seems like this is not a team trying to win now and the decision by Devon Modster is just another indication that this is probably the case.
Next Friday, we’ll find out if Chip Kelly will have lost as many games in four games in Westwood as he did in four years at Oregon.