Tight End Nate Iese Likes New UCLA Offense

Aug. 17 -- UCLA tight end Nate Iese spoke about how he fits into the new offense, his role as a blocker and what he expects in the passing game...


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On camp so far:

It’s great.  The position is a little new for me, but it’s a lot of carryover from what I played the past four years. Coach Rip (Scherer) is doing a good job with us, talking techniques, outrunning coverages. 

On the biggest difference this year:

I’m putting my hand in the dirt. That’s been the most new thing I’ve done so far. I’m dealing with defensive ends rushing the edge. I also have to help out my tackles with the chip blocks to make it easier on them.  Also, releasing off the line.  It’s a lot of new things but they seem to be coming along pretty well.  Some of it is more natural for me, but I have a lot to work on too. 

On what kind of role he’ll play this year:

Oh, a big role.  I’m in about 90% of the plays. From the spring until now, it’s been pretty consistent. That’s the way they want the offense to run this year.  And I feel comfortable to take as many opportunities as I can. I feel comfortable with everything. 

On if he’s developed as a receiver:

Definitely. It’s a lot of 1on1 reps. Our DB’s are good in coverage. I get a lot of pointers from the guys I go against. Jaleel Wadood, they’re all good cover guys. Linebackers as well.  It’s all about getting reps. Repetition, repetition. 

On how he rates himself as a blocker:

I’m doing really well blocking right now. I feel its more me learning the scheme. Different, though, zone blocking, things like that I still have to work on. Hand placement. That’s something I have to get used to. We work on that every day with Coach Rip. 

On his relationship with Josh Rosen:

We have a good relationship. I’m still building it. He’s starting to trust me more. We’re doing a lot more red zone and I think that’s where he’ll use me. 

On the passing sessions:

That was very important. I feel like that was a lot of carryover, from then until now. Going into practice.  All those repetitions gave us a step up before camp. 

On Kennedy Polamalu’s energy:

Coach KP is amazing. He brings energy every day.  And he expects it from us.  He tells us, get your 1, 2, 3 motivation from what you expect every day. 

On if this offense is a better fit for him:

I’m just working every day. I wouldn’t necessarily say that. I like catching the ball.  I can say that. This offense provides me with a lot more opportunities. 

On team bonding:

Everything out here has to do with the team.  It’s all team bonding.

On the food in San Bernardino:

Great food.  They serve great food. They treat us really well here. 

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