Throughout the course of training camp, UCLA Coach Jim Mora spoke about making his team uncomfortable. The weather and change of scenery were the most obvious signs of that during training camp, but it was more than just that.
It was about preparing the team to expect the unexpected. Chris Foster of the LA Times discusses this in depth.
Foster writes about the Bruins has a tough time dealing with the unexpected last year and he points to Virginia and Utah who both brought quarterbacks off the bench who gave the team fits. Both Matt Johns and Kendall Thompson did things that the team wasn't ready for.
Foster quotes Deon Hollins as calling it "the unscouted." He also quotes Defensive Coordinator Tom Bradley:
A lot of times it's what you haven't shown on film. That's the part you try to figure out without wasting too much time on the unseen. But you do have to throw them a couple curves.
And, again, Bradley's experience shows itself.
Sticking to the theme of being different, Jack Wang writes on the Daily News website about how the offensive line is looking to start the season differently from last season. He starts his article observing how the offensive line gave up a lot of sacks in the Virginia game and the entire season last year. He writes that "The offensive line swears this won’t happen again."
Wang also quotes both Caleb Benenoch and Jake Brendel. Both players seem to be on a mission. Benenoch said, "It’s a complete 180 turn," compared to last season. Meanwhile, Brendel who missed the Virginia game last season said, "I kind of owe them one, I guess."
Preparation is a theme in Joey Kaufman's OC Register article today, too. While most of his article focuses on Ishmael Adams, he also looks at Eddie Vanderdoes who says he feels more prepared for this season than last year.
I feel a lot more prepared this year. Last year, I was injured so it was a little bit of hitting the ground running. This year, with technique, I got all the kinks out in the spring. I really got to build for fall camp and just keep sharpening the iron for Saturday.
First up, we have Caleb.
Listen to what else Eddie Vanderdoes had to say.
And, last but not least, there's Kenny Clark.
It's good to hear about how the team seems to feel more prepared as this season begins. This should translate into results on the field. Let's hope that team comes out of the gate better than it did last year.