Interview: Drew Olson From <br>Pac-10 Media Day

Finally the clear starter at quarterback for the Bruins, junior <b>Drew Olson</b> prepares for the 2004 season, and has high expectations for the offense, the new coordinator and the season...

After starting both 2002 and 2003 as the backup quarterback, Drew Olson ended both seasons as the Bruins starter, with 15 starts over the past two seasons. In 2004, he will begin the year as the Bruins chief signal-caller, and the key to the offense. Olson already ranks 10th on UCLA's career completion list with 226 and his 2,769 yards rank 14th on that chart, and he has thrown for the fourth most yards after his sophomore year in UCLA history, behind Tommy Maddox, Cade McNown and Cory Paus. Olson attended Pac-10 Media Day in Los Angeles as the Bruins player representative.

On the feeling of the new season
Olson: "I haven't felt as good about things in the last two years I've been here. This year we have a whole different feeling on the team and I'm really looking forward to that. September 4th can't come quick enough really."

On the team aspect
Olson: "Everyone is extremely close and that has been a huge change for us. It's important to have a lot of unity."

On the offensive line
Olson: "The O-line made a huge jump in the offseason which is so important to us. Coach Cable is doing a real good job with them and they've responded well."

On the difference in Karl Dorrell
Olson: "He's being much more effusive. People don't see the way he is with us. He gets real fiery with us and really gets into it. This year he's got who he wants on his staff. Last year was tough with some of the coaches. This year, they are all on the same level, and he is starting to really get comfortable as a coach."

On being in the same town as USC
Olson: "The only thing I care about is us. The only time I'm concerned about USC is against us. They've beaten us the two years I've been here, and that concerns me. All we can control is ourselves, not them. I'll be concerned with them when we play them."

On the questions of talent
Olson: "People knock our talent for whatever reason. But we still have got plenty of talent. We have a lot of young guys here, and important players like Craig (Bragg), Junior (Taylor) and Joe (Cowan) all are even more experienced. We've got the talent here."

On the return of Manuel White
Olson: "Oh, having Manny back for is real big. Manny is awesome. He just adds another dimension to our offense. He's a big running back and can carry the load. I'm definitely looking forward to having him back there. He's a real important leader to this team too. He's so versatile and adds things to our passing and running game. It'll be nice to have him catching some passes out of the backfield too. We missed that when he went down."

On finding that second option behind Craig Bragg
Olson: "Joe will be ready and so will Junior. They both have good work ethics and are good receivers. I think Junior is ready to really come into his own this season. He's been banged up some, but he'll be ready to go."

On Marcedes Lewis
Olson: "Marc is a real big piece of our offense. He just seems to be more and more confident this summer. He's such a good receiver. He's on another level really."

On the playcalling
Olson: "Coach Cable is calling the plays. We'll talk, and he wants my input on things, but he is calling the plays. Coach Cable will put is in the best situation for our offense."

On having Cable as the new offensive coordinator
Olson: "He and Coach Dorrell are on the same page with the offense. That's huge. I've had three different coordinators since I've been here but I'm working with Coach Cable real well."

On new quarterback coach Jim Svoboda and the revolving door at QB coach
Olson: "I've had three quarterback coaches in three years. Coach (John) Pearce my first year, Ax last year, and now Coach Svoboda. He has been real good. He's brought a lot of different things to the table. I just hope he stays. I try not to think about having to have another quarterback coach."

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