UCLA TE Coach Rip Scherer on His Tight Ends

Aug. 17 -- The veteran coach Rip Scherer talked about the development of his tight ends group, and how the transition has been from the front office to returning to the field...

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On the addition of the tight end to the offense:

We're committed to be a tight end oriented offense.  Nate brings the most experience to us. He's really made a lot of progress from transitioning from the spring to now. He's had a solid camp and we're counting on him being an every down tight end for us.

On where he's made the most progress:

Everything. Technique.  He's bounced around from so many positions. Now he's had the chance to focus on one position.  Blocking fundamentals and in the passing game, route running at tight end is different than slot, which he was some of the time. In all phases.  He's become an effective run blocker.  Which he's going to need to be. If you're going to have a tight end in your offense, you'll have to be able to run the ball behind them in situations.

On the tight end group:

As a group, I think this group has really improved from where we were in the spring. Austin Roberts brings a dimension, he was a receiver/tight end and embraced the blocking aspects of the position.  Jake Jones, a walk-on defensive end has made maybe the most improvements at defensive end. Caleb (Wilson) has done a nice job in the run game and pass game. He's another guy who was a quarterback in high school. Then he was a receiver.  Then the young guy, Jordan Wilson, big bodied guy, he's really smart and makes very few mistakes for a guy in this kind of offense.

On their blocking:

It's better not to be confused with good. We're by no means where we want to be. The arrow is pointing up.  They're showing improvement and becoming more physical.  Having to basically start from ground zero, I feel we've made a lot of progress.

On the offense as a whole:

We're a more physical offense, we can run the ball downhill.  I think the mentality that KP has brought to impose our will in the run game and be physical, guys have bought into that.  We have facets where we're downhill, physical. It brings a mindset into the offense that we're not a finesse offense. We can line up and go downhill and come at you. 

On how he tests players on the playbook:

They're tested out here 2.5 hours every practice. We have a lot of meeting time out here.  You're testing them in meetings. You're questioning them. You get them on the board.  Everyone has different styles.  I like to watch tapes and fire questions off at them.

On their playbook:

The playbook is digital but it's an actual hard copy, like the old days. It's a big thick notebook.  We threw a lot at them, a lot of concepts at them. We're trying to build a foundation of the offense and it's still being built.

On being back on the field:

It has been fine. I had maybe the best job in America, what I had, the associate AD in charge of football. I miss the field, coaching, being around the players, the competition. I had a great retirement job but I wasn't ready to retire.  I appreciate Coach Mora giving me the opportunity. Being around the players, I didn't realize how much I missed it until I got back to it.  I had done it for 40+ years.  I bring as much energy as anyone and have a great relationship with my players.

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