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UCLA Football: Chip Kelly Questioned About Jerry Azzinaro’s Performance

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Chip Kelly claimed this week that he has “zero restrictions” on his assistant coaches speaking with the media.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: AUG 29 UCLA at Cincinnati
Chip Kelly faced a series of questions about Jerry Azzinaro’s job performance as UCLA’s defensive coordinator.
Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Let’s take a few moments while we wait for tonight’s UCLA game to look in on the video interviews from Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

With the team off to a second straight 0-3 start, let’s turn to Chip Kelly’s interview from Wednesday first.

In explaining the state of the defense, Kelly said, “We’ve got to improve the pass defense aspect of things and it will be a big challenge this week playing Washington State who does throw the football.” Well, that might be the understatement of the week.

Ben Bolch of the LA Times wrote an article Wednesday on Bruin defensive coordinator Jerry Azzinaro, which detailed Azzinaro’s performance as a defensive coordinator and asked Kelly some very direct questions during Kelly’s interview that morning.

“You don’t hire people on their rankings,” Kelly said. “You hire people because of the type of teachers and the type of scheme and it was the scheme we ran at Oregon. Azz had a real big input when we were at Oregon.”

But things got especially antagonistic at the 5:27 mark in the video when Bolch questioned Kelly about “his policy” of not letting assistant coaches meet with the media.

Bolch said to Kelly, “I tried to talk to Gerry because I’m writing about Gerry was told he was not available. Can you explain your policy....” Before he could even finish the question, Chip abruptly cut him off and said, “That’s not me. That’s his decision”

“But we’ve been requesting your assistance for two seasons now. I’ve not gotten one of them,” Bolch replied, referencing the assistant coaches.

Kelly then claimed, “I have zero restrictions.”

So, let’s get this straight. This is the same head coach who closed Fall Camp to everyone claiming he has “zero restrictions.”

That just doesn’t fly.

Thanks to UCLA Athletics for the video of Kelly’s media session. As you watch, be warned. Chip’s incessant swaying seems to result, literally, in a blurry image. It seems ironic that it’s a video of one of Kelly’s press conferences, which seem to try to make everything blurry to the media and fans alike.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday after practice, Boss Tagaloa and Devin Asiasi spoke with the media. Here is the video of their interviews, also courtesy of UCLA Athletics.

After practice on Wednesday, UCLA Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson and linebacker Josh Woods both met with the media.

Here’s the video of these two players’ interviews from UCLA Athletics.



Go Bruins!