Offensive Coordinator Kennedy Polamalu on Offensive Development

Aug. 9 -- UCLA offensive coordinator Kennedy Polamalu talked about the development of the new offensive scheme, Josh Rosen's grasp of it, his running backs, and more...

UCLA offensive coordinator Kennedy Polamalu met the media after practice Tuesday.

On the receivers:

Those numbers are pretty high, from Thomas Duarte to Jordan Payton to Devin Fuller. That was a lot of production. But I really believe in the group that we have.  From the way Coach Yarbs puts it together. I really like our speed outside.  And we're getting experience together with Josh.  Last year, it was Josh's first year.  They've had time together, from spring and summer to fall camp.

On Ishmael Adams:

I like him a lot. I love his passion and competitiveness.  We need to find a way in situations to get the ball in his hands. He's electric. I've had the opportunity to coach him on kickoff returns and you saw that explosiveness and running through people. He's not going to be a back who will carry it 20+ times, we have to be creative.  

On Adams' talking:

I didn't hear it on defense, but on offense, he's working when no one is looking. He's bringing the guys along and working and his competitiveness is a plus.

On Theo Howard:

I don't know. Coach Mora reports on that. He finished practice with the group and I didn't see him leave. He should be ok.

On if Adams will play some defense:

That's all on Coach Mora. I know we have an opportunity every down to put Ish in.  It's a 12-game season, you want to make sure you design some things to get a mismatch.  He can create some explosive plays with his ability.

On the offensive line:

You know me, everything starts up front. From Connor to Kenny Lacy, who's improved from spring to summer.  And then unbelievably solid at center. Quessenberry in there. Its nice. Then Poasi at right guard who's done a nice job and even got a haircut.  And our kid who could be the next great lineman here, Kolton Miller. And we have some guys who redshirted last year.  To go against Eddie and Takk every day. You might find some as good, but you won't find any that are better. It's helping us.

On where the team is in grasping things:

You're never comfortable until A&M. We'll tighten the package to execute.  Have that effort and tighten the package so we can execute it so we can play.

On how Josh Rosen is doing:

He's getting it.  They did a nice job in players only practice in summer. They progressed in spring.  They put in summer workouts and took ownership of it.  Fine tuning the personnel matchups. We'll be physical up front and run the football.

On when they'll prepare for Texas A&M:

You're always prepping for the season, then you get to your primary stuff.  What we'll do during the season. That way Josh knows the coverage, he knows where to go with the ball, with the matchup. Then we'll go with our secondary stuff we'll maybe use 70% of the time.  This team may have a good d-lineman or rush end or secondary, so we have to move off a spot.  The primary is pretty much in.

On the running backs development:

I told them today, I feel like I'm cheating you because my eyes aren't on them all the time, but they're like 'coach, your presence is here.'  Its a good experienced group, You look at Soso, Nate Starks and Bolu, who've been with me a year and they have the Paul Perkins work ethic. And then the young guys, Stephens and Jalen, they run hard. 

On Jalen Starks:

He's a tailback.  It's fun to watch him run with the ball.  And our fullbacks are pretty good. They're learning and they're aggressive and they can catch the ball.

On distributing the carries:

I want them to compete.  It all depends on situations. I went with Paul.  I put a mark around 15-20 snaps and then give them a breather. It's a feel. They can all handle it. They just have to earn that first call.

On if he'd like a feature back:

I would like to have one guy at the top of the list and the other guys will get playing time. They'll all play.

On Ainuu Taua:

He had a nice catch. Both him and Cam, thats one thing you look at, our fullbacks have to both run and catch, and stretch the field some way. I hope they don't cover them. It makes me feel good as an offensive coordinator because that's what we like.  Play with that maximum effort.  The X's and O's will be there.  Repetition, repetition, repetition.  Any chance you have to make a play like that, it makes it nice.  When you come to practice, you better strap it on.

On Marques Tuiasosopo's impact:

He's played that position, he's been under center and then the pressure at that position. He's thrown every ball from college level to NFL.  It really impacts our concepts. Then we want to bring it back to protect you too. We don't want guys to tee off. Then having Rip Scherer and Yarbs. It's a really good staff. We have an open communication. Never let disagreement become dislike. 

On how Rosen has impressed him:

It's hard to compare because everyone is different. But what I like is he's a self-starter.  I watch him do things that he didn't have to do.  Last year I saw him in the coach's office between class.  Getting right. Some of our verbage can get really long, other coaches are like, 'one more time', but he gets it the first time. That's pretty good. That's where you know the concept.  That's pretty good for a young guy.


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