DC Tom Bradley on Spring Game, Defense, DL Depth and Ice Cream

Apr. 30 -- UCLA's defensive coordinator Tom Bradley talked about what you can take from the spring game, depth at defensive line and his ice cream preference...

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On what kind of ice cream he likes

A long list of anything Ben and Jerry’s. The cheesecake one is pretty good.

On how the defense performed in the spring game

They came out, they played hard today. There was a lot of different things going on. We’re playing guys at different positions that they haven’t played for most of the spring – switching guys in and out and not used to working with each other. So that’s kind what you get in the spring game. 

On the benefit of having a spring game

They’re playing in front of people. They are out there in front of people – so they have to perform. And it gives us a chance to look at them again. You could see some things we need to work on – you can point it out to them, you could do cut-ups, you can show them, ‘hey, here are some things we have to work on to get better.’ Obviously, our tackling has to get better. We don’t do as much live tackling all the time like we did today. So we can see that that’s something we can work on. There’s all these little things from today that will come up from watching the tape that we’ll be able to coach off of – with the younger guys, especially.

On the depth of this defensive line unit

I think they’ve done a really good job. I think we’re anticipating that happening. Those guys are pretty good players behind (the starters). We’ve got to have depth in this league to keep rotating people in and out. We can’t have them staying in there. You see when people are in there for a really long time, it’s very hard. You need to keep them fresh. So that’s key for us, is to have that rotation going. I think we’ve developed that this spring. We’ve had guys who have been forced to play different positions – we’ve moved them around intentionally. We were able to get a guy like Jaelan in there early. It’s giving him a chance to work through some things, what we’re trying to get done. That, I thought, was really a positive from the spring. 

On whether there are any specific issues that worry him with the defense

I think you’re always worried about different things: You’re never where you quite want to be. We always mention: ‘Should we have done more?’ ‘What could we have done to help them? Could we have tried this, played this, done this coverage?’ But we did get a lot of work. I thought it was a successful spring. Got a lot done, got to see a lot of different looks. We got some really good practice in, did some things that I think will really help us for fall. And I think, as coach Mora told them today, he said, ‘Hey, now we have May. May is a chance. It’s not, take a breath, spring is over. Now we are going into a phase – our next phase.’ Coach Alosi and those guys will work them hard to get them where we want to get them. 

On the defensive standouts in spring

I try not to get into that, because I’m going to miss somebody. So I try not to get into it. I watched some guys develop that I think are getting better. I thought a lot of guys made improvements this spring – in the little things. I always talk about little things constantly. And they are getting better – they’re figuring it out. So I hate to point out any one guy and say, ‘He did this.’ Because I know I’m going to forget a bunch of other guys. So I just don’t usually do that.  

On Osa Odigizuwa

Well I really like Osa. He comes out every day to practice, he plays hard. We’ve moved him around – he’s played end, he plays razor, he plays tackle. He can sometimes go in and play at the nose. Me and Pickett did challenge him at halftime to a wrestling match. He’s a state champ. But he didn’t want to wrestle us in an exhibition. So we had a lot of fun with him. But he’s a heck of a good athlete, someone who can add a lot to our team. Not only from a football standpoint, but he does an excellent job in the locker room and he’s a really good person. 

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