Rip Scherer on Developing TE Position at UCLA

Oct. 5 -- The UCLA tight ends coach Rip Scherer talked about developing the new position in the UCLA offense and the players' technique...

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On the tight end play:

We’re a work in progress and have said that from the beginning. There is only one guy in that room who came here as a tight end to be a tight end and he’s a freshman. That’s Jordan Wilson and he’s making progress. As a group overall, we’ve made tremendous strides. We’re better, not to be confused with good. From a pass catching standpoint, we were the leading receiver group (against Stanford), of course we were in three tight ends. We’re having an impact on the passing game and our run blocking was better this game. We’ll be challenged this week by a team that is physical and will attack you and we have to go strength vs. strength.

On learning to block:

Its so much your feet, your base, your balance, your hands, your leverage. It’s not a natural thing to do. Taking guys that were receivers, not in that physicality, trying to change their mindset. We started from ground zero and work on the fundamentals every day because its still not natural and will take a lot of repetition. I can see a lot of progress.  The guy have a great attitude and want to and put great effort into that.

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On the offense:

From a coaching standpoint, you’re never where you want to be. I think we’ve done some things. KP has done a good job of mixing the pass and run. There is execution involved and we have to do a better job of that. Transitioning from a drastic change, we’re headed in the right direction. Even if we were averaging 50 points a game and 500 yards, you’re always going to strive to be better.

On Austin Roberts involvement in the passing game:

It’s a combination of a lot of things. Game plan, some of it is execution, some is coverage, some is defense. We’re not going to force a ball to a guy just bvecause he can run fast for his position. In the ebb and flow of the game, they pay coaches over there, they know what the weapons are and they try to take those away. It’s a point, counterpoint and we adjust to what they’re doing. The important thing is we don’t get caught up in the amount of catches, it’s first, did we win, and second, are we being productive.

On Caleb Wilson:

He’s an interesting guy because he’s a tall, lean guy who doesn’t look as physical as he is.  He’s a young guy, technically a redshirt freshman who has to get stronger and bigger, but for a guy who was a quarterback for most of his career then transitioned to receiver and tight end, he’s a tough guy. When the ball hits his hands, he finds a way to make plays. He took a flat route, five yard play and made it 12 yards. It looked like a dead play at five yards. He has a knack for that. He’s a football player and a coach’s kid and he knows how to play the game.

On Jordan Wilson:

The decision hasn’t been made yet. He’s working with us, I’m trying to see and evaluate how far he’s come. That decision, even though we’re five games in, that decision hasn’t been made but it’s under evaluation.

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