By way of the primary few days of UCLA soccer’s coaching camp in preparation for its season opener at Colorado on Nov. 7, a lot of the speak has centered across the Bruins’ 4-2-5 protection that new defensive backs coach Brian Norwood helps make use of after the Bruins’ protection had bottomed out, not even rating within the high 100 the previous two seasons.
Norwood was introduced over from Navy, and the Bruins additionally added line of defense coach Johnny Nansen (from USC) to hitch defensive coordinator Jerry Azzinaro.
On Monday, after three days watching observe, UCLA coach Chip Kelly was requested on a zoom assembly concerning the impression Norwood has had, and for his ideas on the 4-2-5.
“That’s (4-2-5) our nickel package deal, it’s simply an adjustment in our nickel package deal,” Kelly stated. “So, we nonetheless have a base package deal and a nickel package deal so we haven’t actually modified. What Brian has modified is among the strategies in how he teaches issues and among the terminology on how he teaches issues.”
Whereas the terminology is completely different, Kelly doesn’t consider it’s a significant change in idea.
“Actually, the 4-2-5 spacing is nickel spacing, which we’ve ran,” Kelly stated. “We had been in nickel greater than base. There’s extra unfold offenses so that you face extra 10 and 11 personnel than you do 21 and 12 personnel. So, it’s dictated by what the opposite groups presents to you.”
On Sunday, linebackers Bo Calvert and Leni Toailoa talked concerning the progress the Bruins protection is having adjusting to the 4-2-5.
“A variety of these things we’re operating is fairly comparable, to be trustworthy, on the again finish,” Calvert stated. “Extra of the stuff that we’ve been doing is simply attempting to speak with these guys up entrance, attending to the (line of defense) and having them have their ears up, understanding that they obtained to take heed to the backers.
“So far as the completely different checks and stuff, that’s the identical in each protection. In highschool, perhaps you’ve gotten one or two checks, you go to cowl three after which perhaps run a lure cowl three, perhaps transfer within the corners. And that’s actually all that adjustments, however you get into faculty and the NFL, you bought guys operating several types of zones and completely different sort of man, however issues change on movement, so the (line of defense) normally isn’t used to listening to completely different checks in highschool, so I believe among the youthful guys, that has been form of the transition for them, understanding when a quarterback or several types of conditions that we’re in, what we’re going to test.”
Toailoa is among the senior leaders of the protection, and spoke of how he has rotated between the “Will” and “Mike” throughout the 4-2-5. the “Will” is normally a extra athletic linebacker who drops into cross protection at occasions.
“I’ve been enjoying at ‘Will’ however I do know ‘Mike’, I’ve been studying ‘Mike’ as nicely,” Toailoa stated. “So far as management goes, I form of took on a much bigger function in that side since all of the older guys left final 12 months, like for example Krys Barnes, my brother, Tyree (Thompson), like all these guys left so we needed to step up this 12 months, me and Bo Calvert. We stepped up this 12 months taking a management function. Now we have a brand new man within the linebacker (group), Kain Medrano, he got here from the receiver (core). I’ve been taking him below my wing and exhibiting him the ropes, instructing the protection and issues like that. However yeah, that’s the way it’s been going to this point, first couple days of camp.”
General, Kelly has been happy with the Bruins’ first weekend of observe.
“They’ve been actually, actually good to this point,” Kelly stated. “We’re thrilling about enjoying soccer. This has clearly been a unique 12 months for everyone, not simply soccer applications, however everybody on this nation. However they (gamers) had been typically excited (to be training) and the power has been nice the primary 4 days, they’ve been enjoyable to work with.”
WHO WILL EMERGE AS THE TOP BACK?
On Sunday, Calvert has talked about that senior Demetric Felton had appeared like the first again to switch Joshua Kelly, who’s now within the NFL with the Los Angeles Chargers.
Felton is a hybrid again who can run and catch, and Monday, Kelly additionally indicated that Felton might be the man, but additionally talked about switch Brittain Brown.
“What we’ll discover out via coaching as we prepare for (Nov. 7) is how the depth shakes itself out,” Kelly stated. “We’ve obtained one actually skilled participant in Felton who I believe is a jack of all trades, can play receiver, can play operating again and catch the ball out of the backfield.”
Brown is a graduate switch from Duke who has battled shoulder accidents his previous two seasons. He rushed for 1,126 yards throughout his Duke profession, and he’s a much bigger again at 6-1, 203 kilos.
“He’s (Brown) a much bigger again extra towards Joshua’s dimension,” Kelly stated. “As we proceed to get reps, it’s nonetheless early in pre-season, we’ll determine how that may shake itself out, however you all the time need your again to have the ability to do the whole lot. Now we have a reasonably good really feel of the returning gamers of what their strengths and weak point are. It’s actually simply getting an actual good really feel for Brittain on who he’s and the way we will deploy him to assault defenses. We be ok with him, within the first couple days on the market he’s been spectacular. So, we’ll see the way it shakes itself out.”