If new UCLA Football Head Coach Chip Kelly were a Batman villain, he would probably be The Riddler. That’s because, after 17 practices, it seems like most of the questions Bruin fans had at the start of Spring Practice remain and it doesn’t necessarily feel like Kelly is in much of a hurry to get them answered.
If you’ve listened to Kelly’s pre-practice interviews, he gives out even less information than Jim Mora did and he does so without sounding like a jerk. And, yes, when he meets with the media, he meets with them before practice, preventing them from asking about what they just watched.
Something else that is missing from the new regime are interviews with the assistant coaches. In fact, the only assistant who has spoken with the media all spring was graduate assistant Jerry Neuheisel.
Just how little have we learned about things heading into the Spring Game this morning? We don’t even know what format today’s “Spring Game” will have. Sure, Kelly explained that it will depend on how many guys are available to participate today, but fans will show up to a nearly sold-out Drake Stadium today without knowing what the format of today’s event will be.
Of course, the biggest question on the minds of Bruin fans definitely won’t be answered today. That question is “Who will be the Bruins’ starting quarterback?” That’s because two guys who will compete for the job — Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Wilton Speight — won’t even be in uniform today, although it is possible they could be on the sidelines or in the stands.
One thing they should expect is for it to occur at a fast pace. That’s been the one thing all of the players have spoken about throughout the spring.
For instance, after practice on Thursday, Soso Jamabo spoke about it. “Going with this tempo when I first showed up, it was kind of hard,” Jamabo said. “I feel like, at this point, it’s just second nature. I feel good going through practice.”
“I definitely feel like I’m in some of the best shape that I’ve been in since I’ve been here,” he added.
Here’s are Thursday’s full post-practice player interviews with Jamabo and receiver Christian Pabico, courtesy of UCLA Athletics.
And, here is Tuesday’s post-practice interview with Rahyme Johnson, also courtesy of UCLA Athletics.
Jamabo also put this first Spring Practice under Kelly in perspective. “Right now, we’re just going through the installs, getting it right, but I feel like definitely at training camp, I’ll definitely have an opportunity to set myself aside and have a lot of a lot of opportunity to make a lot of plays.”
That pretty much sums up what Spring Practice has been about for this year’s Bruins: installing Coach Kelly’s systems and laying the foundation for the season ahead. And, it’s why fans probably shouldn’t read too much into anything they see today.
In order to get the answers to all those questions and more, fans will have to tune back in August as the team starts Fall Camp and begins their final preparation for the 2018 season. Same Bruin time. Same Bruin channel.
This is your UCLA Football Spring Game thread. Leave your impressions of today’s Spring Game in the comments below! What do you see that you like? Is there something that concerned you? What are your overall impressions of the 2018 Bruins?