One of the downsides to Pac-12 Media Day is that, while the coaches are at the main podium, the players are off giving their interviews in other parts of the room.
Frequently, that means that someone covering media day has to choose between asking questions of a team’s coach or a team’s players. Well, Matt Joye of BruinReportOnline has posted a video of Josh Woods’ interview session from Wednesday. Thanks to Matt for sharing this.
In this interview, Woods discusses a host of topics ranging from coming back from his injury to adjusting to the tempo of Chip Kelly’s practices to the addition of Wilton Speight.
Meanwhile, there’s been big changes going on with Rivals’ UCLA site. It had been known as the Bruin Sports Report when Edward Lewis was in charge. But Ed left Rivals to become a producer with TMZ Sports and Rivals has brought back Rick Kimbrel to run the site, which has changed its name back to its old name BruinBlitz.com. Rick has been a respected recruiting analyst for a very long time and helped launch Rivals’ UCLA coverage. More recently, Rick ran another UCLA-focused site called BruinBru.com.
At media day, Rick caught up with Josh Woods and Theo Howard. Here is a video of Rick’s interview with Woods. Thanks, Rick! Welcome back!
In this conversation, Woods explains how the team is playing at a different speed than before including the need to get into the best shape while also being as strong as possible. He also spoke about the change to a 3-4 scheme and the need for better tackling.
Next up is Theo Howard. Matt Joye of Bruin Report Online shared this interview he shot with Howard. In the video, Howard talks about how he’s developed since Spring and the new strength program as well as his impressions of Wilton Speight and embracing a leadership role on the team.
Here’s what Howard had to say when Rick Kimbrel interviewed him. Howard tells Kimbrel that the biggest difference in the team offensively is the pace. He also says he has no regrets about choosing to come to UCLA even though the team has had some ups and downs.
We’re going to wrap up our coverage of UCLA Football at Pac-12 Media Day with the Bruins’ new head coach. Bruin Report Online’s Matt Joye also shared a video of Chip Kelly’s sit-down interview. Just a quick warning, though: There’s a lot a background audio which makes it a little hard to hear.
About midway through, Kelly explains why Oregon had so many receivers making catches when he was there. “We had so many guys catch balls because we were blowing them out,” Kelly said. “We were in the first quarter of a game and it’s 35-0. So, we’re like ‘Let’s get the backups in there.’” He also explained why you can’t just look at stats. “Teams that throw the ball a lot [do so] because they are losing....It doesn’t mean that they have a better pass offense than you. It just means that they are behind a lot.”
He also discussed how there isn’t a particular run-pass mix he’s looking for. Kelly explained:
It changes. I’ve been in games...we went back-to-back games in New Hampshire....One game, we ran it 66 times one week. The next week, we won throwing it 65. That’s what it took at each of those games to win. One of them was a really bad weather game and...we ran it 66 and threw it 7 and, the next week, we were in a shootout and we threw it 65 and ran it 40.
Kelly also spoke about the new redshirt rule that allows a player to play up to four games at any time during a season and still keep his redshirt. “I think it’s positive I don’t know exactly how we’ll implement it you know I think you have to do it on a case-by-case basis,” Kelly said.