Assistant Coach Eric Yarber on UCLA Receiver Play

Sept. 20 -- UCLA wide receivers coach Eric Yarber spoke Tuesday about the play of his position group, the progress of Darren Andrews and Jordan Lasley, the number of drops early in the season and more...

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On the receivers progression:

It's a work in progress but they're on an upward trend but they're working hard to work on their craft.

On the receiver distribution:

I feel good that you have a number of guys that can go in and its not a let down, all can play at a high level. That's a good thing to have.

On what Theo Howard needs to do for more playing time:

It's hard for a freshman. It's very hard.  They say youth is a disease and the only cure is experience. He's going to gradually get the experience that he needs. I can't just throw him out to the wolves and not let him have success. I want him to have confidence. Success breeds confidence. I'm going to have a little package for him so he can gain some confidence. Our receivers take pride in blocking and knowing who to block and how to block. Those little things take time to develop. He's a good blocker and he's working hard at it and he'll be a great receiver some day.

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On Darren Andrews:

Darren Andrews has grown tremendously as a player. He focuses on the process, he's not about flash and all that, he focuses on the process, getting better, working on his craft, great route discipline, when he goes after the ball, he has an anger that he's not going to let the ball hit the ground. He hustles and he's doing a lot of great things right now and playing at a high level. I'm very proud of him right now.

On Jordan Lasley:

I've seen a lot of growth out of Lasley. First and foremost, he's taken to coaching.  I don't get the 'but', he's listening now, and I think you'll see some good things from Lasley from here on out.

On what keeps younger players from playing as much:

The thing that usually hinders the youngsters is the physicality and the speed of the game. Like Theo, for example, you play him in one on one's, you see his talent, all the reasons that you recruited him. When you go into a game and have to think about so many things, it's paralysis by analysis.  We have to slow the game down for him. Go back to Jordan Payton, it didn't slow down for Jordan Payton until his 5th or 6th game his freshman season.

On Darren Andrews' unsportsmanlike penalties:

First and foremost, I don't like it. One was a real bad one where he punched a guy and got it and the other was showboating. He has to grow from that and learn and I know he will. That's the kind of guy he is, very conscious.  After the touchdown, he gave the ball to the official and he ran right to Coach (Mora) and said, 'Coach, it won't happen again.'

On the drops:

When it comes to the drops, if the drops are spread over between the receivers, the tight ends and the backs, you have to see who is going to consistently drop the ball or consistently make the plays and it takes a couple games to figure that out. Drops come when you take your eyes off the last 2-3 inches and then hand placement.  So you do ball drills. You can't just catch balls on the Juggs standing still, you have to catch from different angles. You have to catch at least 100 balls a day so it's natural.  

On earning a go-to guy status:

All you have to do is be consistent. If the quarterback comes to me and I consistently make plays, and I'm catching a 50-50 ball 70-80% of the time, that gives the quarterback the confidence that he is a go-to guy. You don't need to have a go-to guy but they're working to be the go-to guy. Those guys are very prideful and each and everyone thinks he can be the go-to guy.


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