VIDEO: Ulbrich on Defending Washington

NOV. 6 -- UCLA Defensive Coordinator Jeff Ulbrich talked about the challenge of defending the Washington offense and stopping UW running back Shaq Thompson...


On Washington's offense and Shaq Thompson:
He's a lot of problems. A lot of formations. They definitely test every single one of your rules. It will be a great challenge for a mental approach to this game, getting everyone on the same page every single snap. They've got really good skill players, a lot of speed on the outside. They have a quarterback who can get the ball to him. We saw him last year and got a glimpse of him. Typically, you get the second quarterback in and we're all excited about that but when Price went down and he came in, he had some success. Thompson, he presents just a different running back from what we've seen. Big, power back, runs through tackles, finishes runs and always leans forward. But our guys are excited for that and the challenge.

On if Shaq Thompson has benefited from teams not seeing film on him:
Schematically, they're not doing a whole lot of different things from when Shaq goes in there. I think Myles is a little unique because when he goes in, there is a different package where Shaq runs their entire offense. You just have to keep stressing fundamentals and tackling fundamentals.

On Cyler Miles:
He's good. He's extremely athletic and great at extending plays. Makes every throw and they've surrounded him with weapons. They've got great speed.

On what Eddie Vanderdoes has done:
He's a great talent, but we've allowed him to free up and be Eddie. The key to our success of late is finding these niches for these guys, playing in the defense but playing to their strengths. Eddie has some traits that are unique and we have to take advantage of their traits.

On knowing where their niches are:
All these guys are really young. Eddie is a true sophomore, Kenny Clark, Myles, true sophomores. We have guys that haven't showed all their capable of doing. That will obviously increase the success of the entire unit.

On Tak McKinley:
It hasn't been hard to find him a niche. He's a guy opposing quarterbacks have felt. They'll tell you 98 has affected their day. The more he knows and the more he's comfortable, I can call anything. He brings something to our defense.

On less reps for McKinley of late:
A little bit of packages and tempo. Cal gave us the opportunity to sub, Arizona did not. That was about as fast as you could go, as fast as Arizona went. Guys are series to series as opposed to third down guy or first and second down guy. We'll see. Washington has showed tempo at times, and at times they've slowed it down. If they slow it down, we can sub more, if they don't, it will be series by series.

On matching up against Arizona's tempo:
Yeah, and we've got guys that are starting to understand their role and what is being asked of them. As the season has gone on, we've gotten in better shape, so guys can go 7-8 plays. When the opposing offense doesn't give us a chance to sub, they can go. Thats as fast as I can see tempo wise. Arizona was, successful play or not, they were rolling. The O-Line was just getting set but it was great seeing our players respond.

On Fabian Moreau's improvement the past couple games:
Its a little bit of everything. He's one of those guys that is so committed to the process and works his butt off every day. That's how it is with corners, you have success and start winning and you get that swagger back. He's playing at a very high level. As humble as he is and as hard as he works, he'll get better.

On if expectations weighed on Moreau:
I don't know if it did. He's coming in to his own at the perfect time. November is a good time to play your best football.

On how much leeway he has to play off:
A lot of it is distance, splits, the coverage we're playing. We try to keep the offense off balance and take advantage of his strengths.

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