Video: Coordinator Tom Bradley Talks UCLA Defense

Aug. 10 -- UCLA defensive coordinator Tom Bradley spoke about the unit's progression, return of Eddie Vanderdoes and more following Day 3 of fall camp...

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On the return of Eddie Vanderdoes:

It's great to have Eddie back in front of me instead of behind me. It makes a big difference. I’m excited to get him back, and he’s excited to get back. You can see that he’s getting back in the flow. Today by far was his best practice. He’s someone that we count on a lot, for a lot of different things, not only the football part of it, but the leadership, the locker room, all those other things. Obviously he’s a heck of a football player that brings a lot to our defense.

On how it helps the run defense:

I think the one thing he does for us is he just gives us a bigger body. He’s quick, he can rush the passer, you don’t have to substitute for him, he has a lot of skill, he can play inside, he can play outside. We can move him around and he becomes a very versatile player. 

On how he looks compared to prior to the injury:

That’s a great question. I can’t tell you that yet, we haven’t gotten into the whole thing. He’s got the same haircut going, so that’s one thing, he hasn’t changed his hair style. But he looks good. I mean he’s getting back into it, too. He’s excited to get the pads on for the first time and get the feel for it again. It’s been a long time. And of course, he wasn’t with us in the spring, so it’s been a whole year off. He’s got some rust in his game, but he comes out here and works hard. I really enjoy coaching him. He’s a lot of fun to be around, I enjoy him as a person and have a lot of fun with him. He got me today in the back where he knocked me over; I know it was intentional but that’s OK I’m gonna get him. 

On the defensive line:

Fundamentally we’re getting better. One thing we’re trying to do this year is, to be good you’ve got to do all the little things well. There’s a saying, take care of the little things, and the big things will take care of themselves. We’re very much concerned about doing all the little things right, and paying attention to every little detail. And that’s how we’ll get better. And so far they’re buying into that. On the line we have some depth. Obviously we’re excited to get the young guys and watch what they can do, and then we can get the pads on. Today was the first day we had the tops on, so it’s gonna be interesting to see how they develop; and obviously they’re gonna be a big part of our depth. 

On Takk McKinley:

We get on him all day. I think he’s OK. You know, it was just a precautionary measure with him. He may be sore tomorrow, but he should be OK.

On Deon Hollins:

He got rolled up on the pile, but I think he’ll be fine. He fought through and came back and practiced the rest of the day, pushed himself hard, which was good to see. But I saw that happen, how it happened, both of those guys were on my side over there. Takk just kind of rolled him up over there, but it was just rolling on the ankle, a little bit on the knee, but (Deon) will be OK.

On the run defense since spring:

Well it’s hard to tell with two days no pads, and today was just tops. So we’re not really doing a whole lot of things live in the tackling aspect yet. Because one of the things we want to do is be able to keep healthy. We have to stay healthy, that’s going to be a very key part of our season. Last year, we started off and then Eddie went down, and then Fabian went down, and then Myles went down. So we’ve really gotta do a good job of practicing smarter. That was really one of the things that was more impressive to me from this group in the spring – that they learned how to practice well with each other. You don’t see a lot of nonsense out here, they’re not throwing guys down, they’re taking care of each other. We’ll get better if we can learn how to practice against ourselves better ; that’s going to be the key things for us this season – is to be able to do that. 

On Randall Goforth at safety:

Coach Mora does a great job, and he moves those guys around so they got experience with a lot of different things. So it makes sure we develop depth. Instead of just one position, they’ve all got to play multiple positions. Randall will play safety, he’ll play nickel, he’ll play dime, he’ll play corner. Coach Mora always gets them ready to play a lot of different positions. 

On Ishmael Adams playing offense:

I think Coach Mora has talked about it. Right now they’re trying to get him to be the best offensive player he can be. He does give us that element, we know he can come over. He understands what we’re trying to get done, he does understand our system. So he gives us an option where if something happens, sure we can put him in. Even probably without a lot of work, he would at least be able to line up and get the things done. 

On the physical nature of practice:

There’s always a tussle or two. It’s OK. We’re trying to set the tone a little bit. It’s always a push-pull. You get the offense, they get you. But it’s been good. They’ve been looking out for each other. There haven’t been a lot of things where coaches had to get in and intercede on. There haven’t been many of those types of things. But they get after each other, and so far it’s been good. 

On preparing for Texas A&M:

Have we talked about Texas A&M? Well, obviously we’ve looked at Texas A&M and tried to analyze them. But we have to do things ourselves better, we have to worry about ourselves right now.  We have to get better. Once we figure out after the preseason is over and we start to sit down and gameplan, obviously that’s gonna be a top priority.  They’re a heck of a football team, a heck of a program, so we’re gonna be excited. It’s a great place to play, and we’re excited for that challenge. But right now, we have to do a better job of getting ourselves better each and every day, making sure that we’re getting our offense better by the way that we’re playing. 

On more testimony from Penn State:

Well first of all, I’ve been opposed, I’ve been vetted, you know I’ve issued a statement, all of that speaks for itself. 

On what he's noticed in camp this year:

I think a lot more confidence in each other. I think some of the things we’re doing are carry-overs for them. We’ve done it so many times that they feel better. Obviously, I know each of them better and they know me better, because I’ve been around. So they’ve learned my personality. I think that’s the one thing. We all know each other better and how we both work with each other. We all have a better feel for day-to-day stuff, because we’ve been through a whole season, we’ve been to a bowl game, we’ve been together in wintertime, we’ve been through recruit. I think we know each other a little bit better than we did last year in August. 

On Breland Brandt and Mique Juarez:

Well, they did miss time. And we didn’t even have them in meetings, because of concussion protocol. So we weren’t able to work through the meetings. There’s a lot of stuff going through their heads right now, a lot of different things. Eventually they’re going to catch up because they work at it. Coach White does a heck of a job getting them all ready. Plus we’re really concerned about depth, so guys are learning a lot of different positions. 

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