Anonymous Pac-12 Coaches Talk UCLA Football, Chip Kelly’s Strategies
With the 2022 season about to begin, the Bruins have been judged by their peers.
Athlon Sports spoke to several coaches in the Pac-12 who agreed to be anonymous quotedly regarding their conference opponents heading into the fall. UCLA football was one of the topics of conversation, from the overall direction of the program to quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson and coach Chip Kelly.
Most of the coaches talked about the general confusion surrounding Kelly, both on and off the field. There were a lot of questions – some judgemental and some genuine – surrounding his ability to adapt to a shifting college football landscape.
Recruiting also came up, with some coaches thrown off by the staff’s decision to offer so few prospects and build such small classes. Perhaps the most damning statement of all, though, was that UCLA missed its chance to take hold of college football in Los Angeles while USC was down for the count.
Thompson-Robinson, on the other hand, drew some solid praise for his high ceiling, and he appears to have serious defenders and proponents across the conference.
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Here are all of the quotes Athlon Sports shared regarding UCLA’s upcoming season:
“A very hard program to read from the outside. Is everyone involved at the school really committed to being elite in football? You hear stories that they’re always half-in, or they’re not on the same page.”
“The problem with Chip [Kelly] is that everyone does what Chip did to become a famous innovator, at least on the field. But where he really shined, what made him different was all the stuff behind the scenes. Sleep studies and practice structures and when to go light, and how to coach speed. Are they innovating like that?”
“DTR [Dorian Thompson-Robinson] is a hell of a talent. He’s been unfairly maligned at times. But he’s got a hell of a high ceiling. When he’s got a hot hand, they can run with anyone and light it up.”
“A lot of coaches have noticed how UCLA has sat back a lot in recruiting. It’s almost as if Chip brought more of an NFL scouting mentality back to college recruiting, and that just won’t work. They still have holes on their roster, and it’s because they’re not as aggressive as they need to be.”
“They’ve missed the window on making significant steps in LA now that USC has hired a new staff.”
“We’ve all been waiting for Chip to unveil some kind of Version 2.0, some kind of new thing that changes the game as much as they did at Oregon, and maybe that’s not going to happen. Maybe they’re just a good program with a reasonable expectation for wins. But that’s not how they sold it when he got there.”
For quotes on every team in the conference, check out Athlon Sports’ full compilation released Thursday.
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