Kennedy Polamalu on Enhancing UCLA's Run Game

Oct. 18 -- UCLA offensive coordinator Kennedy Polamalu talked about steps to simplify the running game more, and other measures to enhance the offense...

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Opening statement:

It's a good opportunity to coach these great young men and keep teaching. We've had our opportunities at every ends of the game to help us win and we haven't gotten in done. We have to score touchdowns and help our defense and help our team win games. They're working towards it and as a staff, we have to find the best way to utilize our skills and abilities to make plays and score touchdowns.

On what they could do as a running game:

We're simplifying the tasks, trying to get the ID's right, help these young lineman and win at the point of attack. We're doing some things that will help. We'll improve in the passing game, it's good but it could be better. Everywhere we can help our team win and score touchdowns.

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On if that could include the freshmen running backs:

Oh yes. The guys up there are getting banged up. It's not that they're not running hard, it's a scheme and technique, those things are what we're trying to improve on and working and teaching every day. I tell the guys to work on the little things. Plan for tomorrow but work on being great today and I think they did today and you'll see a better run game.  We're throwing the ball better and we'll continue to get better in that part of the game.

On being in the shotgun more:

The reason for that is just to help in protections and schemes with blocking. There are a lot of line movements so we want to get some separation.  You're always trying to get better. If you win games, you like but if you don't you have to find if there is something better. You look at the games this year, we had the ball to close it out. What we have to do as a staff is find the grit and competitiveness is to take the ball down field and score touchdowns and win the game. And we're not doing it. How we meet, how we practice, we need them to focus in on the details and we need to make the plays when the play is needed.  It comes to how you prepare them. Having that competitive focus to take the game. 

On working with Adrian Klemm:

Everything we do, we come together. All the ideas come from them, and we go through it and say, 'what is best for our kids?'  Maybe we can run outside,  maybe we can downblock him.  Its like in the route process.  We get it all together.

On if he's surprised the run game isn't effective:

Oh yes. Again, I always believe, when you get five guys, if you consistently keep those five guys working together, the communication has to go more than any position. They're blocking several fronts. Then you lose one, two, three, you have to get the continuity and trust.

On receiver and tight end blocking issues:

We don't have a point of attack tight end. They're trying, but we have to work with what we have best today.

On if Josh Rosen worked out on Tuesday:

You'd have to talk to Coach Mora about that.

On the receiver issues:

Concentration and working on catching the ball thrown to them. That's every skill. You have to keep working the skill. Effort develops the skills. They're out doing the extra work. 

On who determines playing time at receiver:

It comes from the position coach, the coordinator and then it will go to the head coach.

On if the head coach trumps the assistants:

He always has the trump card but he's counting on us. He has 100-something kids but he's counting on us for that decision.

On if they have recruited players to this offense:

Now we are. But what we have right now was recruited for tempo. Fast tempo body instead of that large mass body. We'll always recruit to what we're doing right now. Trying to do, we'll recruit those guys. I

On if the lack of power recruited prospects contributes to the lack of success:

It's not their fault.  This game is still about down blocking, double teams, catching, running, blocking and tackling. We just have to do a better job of getting it out of them.

On if the early defections on the OL have contributed:

It's no excuse. No excuse. You come to UCLA because of the expectations being high. You come here to surpass those expectations. If you don't want to do that, you're not going to come here.  Much is given, more is expected and we'll always strive for that.  They're on scholarship, we're on scholarship, lets go compete.

On going back to zone blocking:

It was not effective enough. We have some things we're changing, simplifying even more that I think will help them.

On warming up on WSU's side of the field:

I don't know. I just go where Sal Alosi puts us. But when they ran through our stretch, I held back and Coach dealt with that with the officials.  They ran through the back of the end zone. That's college football.  Trying to get an edge. That's what the officials are over there for. If they don't catch it, they don't catch it. Like a holding call or pass interference. So you take it on yourself and play physical and earn their respect.

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