"First of all, I've met with Dan briefly on several occasions. I had the opportunity to play golf with him and chat. Our first real, sit-down conversation is going to be this Monday. He's extremely busy. But in talking to him briefly, he's been in the arena. He understands athletics. I believe I have the support of the administration in talking to Chancellor Carnesale and Pete Blackman. I think Dan will realize that I'm a good football coach, and he'll also realize that I don't want to disappoint or be embarrassed either. I don't like what happened. But it happened. And we're going to try to take the necessary steps."
What is your initial impression of him?
"My initial impression: bright young guy, charismatic, good in the arena, understands athletics, been successful, understanding, positive. He seems like a very good guy. And I think he's going to be very good for UCLA. I think Pete [Dalis] did a very good job. Pete did a great job. And this is a new era."
Do you think he'll be tough on the programs?
"He'll be a tough guy. Hey we're all tough here. He'll know that I realize that he's the boss. I'm one of those company guys. He says, ‘Bob, you have to do that,' that's what I'm going to do. Like I tell my coaches, I don't have to please you, you have to please me. It's the same thing with Dan. He doesn't have to please me, I have to please him. I know the chain of command. But I'm looking forward to working with him."
What will you talk about in your sit-down meeting?
"One of the things I did when he got the job, I put together a thick book about everything we do. He's never really been involved with a football program. So, I had our policies, coaches' policies, coaches' responsibilities, recruiting, academics, philosophies, practice schedules, how we do everything, you name it, I put it in rhw book. He'll get a chance to look at it and then we'll have a chance to talk about it. I think he appreciated that."
How will the loss of John Ream affect the team?
"That's a big blow to us, losing John Ream. Right now we have two people we prepared in spring, Mociler and McCloskey. We're going to let them compete. I don't know which one is going to start yet. That will be decided probably the week of the first game."
Is there a possibility that Eyoseff Efseaff could be moved to center?
"That's always a possibility. He did that a little bit a year ago as a true freshman. I'd really like to see him at left guard and let these two guys battle it out for center. They're both capable players, too. You move one guy, you weaken two positions almost, you know."
Cory Paus has struggled against stacked boxes. He's not really quick and struggled to make the necessary short throws last season. Are you planning on tweaking the offense to help him beat a stacked box?
"No, w'ere going to be doing the same things we've been doing. When he's throwing the ball, he's throwing it pretty well. We have to do a better job of protecting him. Obviously we have to be able to run the football. I think we've done some pretty good things offensively. He's not going to be running around being an athlete. He's a drop-back quarterback. He can move a little bit. There are some things we will tweak, if you want to call it that, some bootleg things where maybe we won't go to his left. But for the most part, we're going to do what we've been doing and hopefully he'll do better."
Scott McEwan in the Arizona State game last year really got the offense moving because he was a little more athletic…
"Cory doesn't have that. That's one of the reasons why I'm saying what I'm saying about the starter, too. One of these other quarterbacks might have it. When they get in the game, they could show something. I'm willing to say, ‘Hey, who can help us win?' That's one of the reason I'm saying this. Who's to say that Matt Moore, Drew Olson or John Sciarra aren't better? I don't know."
Would cutting down on play-action give Cory more time?
"We're a big play-action team. A run team, play-action team. We don't want to be a drop-back team. We're going to drop back but we don't want to be a drop-back team. But we'll do things. We'll move the pocket and other things. That's all in our offense. It's been in our system for years."
What precipitated the camp at Cal Lutheran? Did it have anything to with trying to avoid fans at practice and potential Internet reports?
"The Internet will be there. That had nothing to do with it. Because once you start game-planning in game week I'm going to close practice anyway. I did it because our facilities are getting torn up. The weight room, locker room, meeting room are disasters. We're going to hopefully save the field a little bit, too. It gave us the opportunity to get away. We have a cheerleader camp at UCLA. A lot of students with summer school at UCLA playing music until 1:00 a.m. Gives us a chance to get away, bond a little bit, give us a different outlook. We'll have to do it next year to because that's when all of our facilities will really be gone."
What was your reaction to being picked sixth in the Pac-10 by the Pac-10 media?
"I don't want to sound over-confident, and I don't want to say it's nice to be picked fifth or sixth, but the pressure is less, and I think it's a good motivational tool for the players. They have to be upset by not being picked higher that that. The cupboard is not bare. We've had some good recruiting classes. It's not like 23 seniors left and we have to start all over again. I think we have a chance to be a very competitive teams. I think we have enough good football players to be competitive and battle against everyone we play."
Have you put in any hew offensive wrinkles for Marcedes Lewis?
"We've already done some stuff for him. We've put in some formations and plays specifically for him. We'll find out how fast he catches on and how well he'll do. I think he'll do well and catch on fast. But we'll give him a little bit of time."