Multiple reports are saying that UCLA Defensive Coordinator Jeff Ulbrich has accepted the job as linebacker coach of the Atlanta Falcons. It was first reported by BruinReportOnline.com and is also being reported now by Jack Wang of InsideSocal.com and Chris Foster of the LA Times.
Breaking: Jeff Ulbrich leaves UCLA. More info about DC candidates and a hire timeframe...as Roquan Smith waits: http://t.co/RUQJkVaGUe— Bruin Report Online (@BruinReport) February 7, 2015
Can confirm that Jeff Ulbrich is leaving his position as UCLA defensive coordinator. @BruinReport first reported.— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) February 7, 2015
#ucla DC Jeff Ulbrich will be hired by the Atlanta Falcons per person familiar with situation @uclafootball #pac12— chris foster (@cfosterlatimes) February 7, 2015
Ulbrich's decision may very well result in UCLA losing linebacker recruit Roquan Smith because when Smith announced his committment on Wednesday, he cited Ulbrich as a big reason he had decided to go to UCLA.
While the time frame associated with Ulbrich's situation has been subject to much speculation, the way the news broke on Wednesday really makes one question what Ulbrich was thinking. Michael Carvell of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday quoted Smith's HS coach as saying "[Ulbrich] just hated that it broke on Social Media before he had the chance to call."
Well, this just sounds like someone who had no intention of calling before Smith's NLI was received by UCLA.
That's just one reason to say "Good riddance, Jeff Ulbrich!"
The other reasons were obvious during the course of the season. Ulbrich was clearly learning on the job. His defenses frequently looked unprepared and he showed almost no ability to make halftime adjustments. How is it that he didn't learn about making halftime adjustments in two years working under Lou Spanos?
And, then, of course, there was the Oregon meltdown between him and Coach Mora.
The two of them were on the sidelines yelling at each other while our team was getting eaten up by the eventual Pac-12 champions. It was unprofessional, at best, and embarassing, at worst.
That incident alone should have resulted in his termination by Mora no later than at the conclusion of the season. But, instead, Mora brushed it aside and made it sound like everything was fine between the two of them.
In my experience, when individuals quit a job and take a new one, it's because they are not happy working for their boss. This sure sounds like that type of situation.
Regardless, Coach Mora's now on the clock and will have a third different defensive coordinator in three seasons with both Spanos and Ulbrich having accepted jobs in the NFL as linebacker coaches. Frankly, it's starting to feel very Dorrell-ish with the rotating door of DCs. Why can't Jim Mora keep a Defensive Coordinator?
It's a question that is worth asking.
The only way Mora can make that question disappear is by replacing Ulbrich with an extremely solid choice as his next DC.