VIDEO: Polamalu on Running Backs

Coach Kennedy Polamalu talked after practice Thursday about the running backs competition, the head coach's leadership, and more...


On impressions of the running back:
Theyre really hard workers and really want to be go. The whole program of what Coach Mora has instilled in them, their work ethic and accountability. Being professional, it really shows in how they work, not only on the field but in the classroom.

On if he has a number one back:
I think they're all number one backs, and thats how I'm training them. So that when we have #17 in there, the three guys with the experience are in there with him and want them to be comfortable in every situation. And our fast tempo, the stamina, they're all going to play. Whoever starts, that will be a feather in their cap but they're all going to play.'

On if Jordon James has an advantage:
We've added some concepts and diagnosing the protections thats new to all of them but all of them are picking it up and it's fun for me becaust theyre all new to how im teaching and coaching and Im excited. We're all growing together. There are some things that I might talk about or show them thats been different. Theyre doing things that Im like 'oh man, i forgot to tell them this.' So thats what spring practice is abiout and when fall practice comes around, we'll be full speed coming out of the gates.

On Craig Lee:
He's an aggressive runner, gaining confidence, learning the system and feeling where he's comfortable in uncomfortable situations. We're putting them in a lot of situational football right now. You have to protect the quarterbacks with your routes, with your mesh points, with your protection. We might have to block and thats all part of earning that and gaining the trust and we he gets confidence, that will all come along.

On pass protection:
At every level, its the same. Every young man, defensive coaches are all trying to scheme. Especially out here on this field. I try to explain, dont lose your confidence. There is no risk, but in the game. Here they can take the risk. It's diagnosing and knowing who has who. I think the young man is coming along.

On the fullback position:
I'm trying to get them to understand we don't need to kill people. Work the leverage, dont allow penetration, have a good base and make sure our runners run off your blocks but dont dictate their run. Make catching the ball in the flat and then widen so we can make it open for the runner.

On using Nate Iese in the flat:
Its Coach Mazzone's system but that's a pretty good target. Big hands, athletic, this kid, I don't want to, I'm really glad we have him. He reminds me of a lot of kids that went to the next level and that gives me a big smile. That whole group, they're all willing to get better. They take coaching and it's a joy to coach them. We'll bring more guys along. I love sharing him. Teaching, I hope they want to be a part of it.

On using Myles Jack:
People ask me, they ask Kennedy, youve recruited for 20 years, I tried to recruit Myles since I first saw him in December and now we're in April and I haven't gotten anywhere. I haven't given up, I'm going to the head coach. Now the kid, he smiles. But I've been told stay away from him. Would I love to have him? What coach wouldnt. He's a talented young man. It's just the way that Coach Mora built this program. Now I wish he'd come over and play running back.

On how special UCLA is:
It's the leader. People talk to my family and tell them all the time, a good man who's a good leader of a family, and we're all part of the family. And the father is a father all the time, not just when he chooses. And that's the leadership here. When the lights off, he's a leader.


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