VIDEO: Tuiasosopo on Pass Rush

Outside linebackers coach Mike Tuiasosopo talks about the development of the UCLA pass rush, what his role is on special teams, and what kind of relationship he has with Jim Mora...

Mike Tuiasosopo:


On his impressions far:
It's good.  We've gotten a lot of good work in.   We're doing something's differently here and there, but it's been great. They have an incredible standard here with special teams.  Coach Ulbrich has done an amazing job.  We're trying to keep that standard going.  The nice thing is that players have bought in to it. When you have invested people, it's a lot of fun coaching. 

On his intercations with Jim Mora:
I first met Jim in 1997 when he was the secondary coach with the 49ers and I was interning there.  That was my first interaction with him, and then his dad coached here at UCLA right before my cousin Manu got here and then Coach Mora was an assistant for him with the Seahawks.  There has been a lot of interaction with the Tuiasosopo's and Mora's over the year. I'm blessed to be here, he's a great man and he's a great leader. 

On his outside linebackers:
Well we've got a pretty special one in Myles Jack.  He's special because he works at his game.  He's special because he's a gentleman.  He's special because he's a smart player in every aspect of his game.   He's a tough guy and you have to be a tough guy to play defense.  He's a pretty special player in all those ways. He's the guy taking all the notes.  He's quite a team player.  He's not a big rah rah guy, and he leads by his play.  And I'd rather him lead by his play than his mouth.  Kenny Orjioke has made a lot of strides.  This spring was crucial for him.  A lot of strides.  Getting into the position, the details of his job.  Deon Hollins has made great strides.  We feel real good about those guys coming out of spring ball and heading into August.  The work that we do this spring with those guys is invaluable.

On pass rushing being his specialty:
I was fortunate at another Pac-10 institution to have those three guys get drafted out of Arizona.  We can see that here, the pass rush, guys buying in to what we're doing. My track record, I've always had guys that can rush the quarterback.  Some guys are natural at it, but like anything else in the game, you have to work at it.  Hopefully that is something I can bring to the table to help us.  With our rushers at other places I've been, in 2009 and 2010, Ricky Elmore led the Pac-10 in sacks, I'm not sure, but we were always up there at the top in the way of sacks.  That's not the most telling thing.  There are a lot of other things.  Certainly, I hope I can bring that to the table.

On the pass rush replacing Anthony Barr.
Not just Kenny Orjioke or Deon Hollins, but Owa.  Owa is a unique player with speed on the edge, but great power and great body control.  Just having those three guys, brings us a lot of hope.  Owa, there is another great man, they're all really great people.  The other guy who's had a great spring as a rusher as well is Kylie Fitts. He's really come on. We're excited about it.  We have some guys that are shelved that will be back and some young pups who'll we'll throw in.

On their return game:
Ish did a nice job at the end of the year.  Steven Manfro is such a reliable guy.  I love that kid.  I love Steven Manfro and what he brings to the table.  But Ishmael, he's special.  I've seen every return clip back there.  He can hit it and quick.  We're excited about that too.  We have a lot of experienced players who've played it and they have a standard.  They've been trained right.  There is a standard and I hope to keep it going.

On having to change his coaching style:
Me personally, I don't change.  I coach hard.  I don't adjust my coaching style, I am who I am.  I've coached linebackers before, but certainly, I'm getting myself reacquainted with the position, but there is so much carryover from the defensive ends to the outside linebackers, especially in the 4-3.  I want to stay green, though, I want to keep growing, I don't ever want to feel like I'm the same in the business.


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