Dorrell and More at Pac-10 Media Day

At Pac-10 Media Day Thursday, UCLA Head Coach Karl Dorrell answered questions about the Eric Scott situation, but also about on-the-field issues, such as Ben Olson, the offense, the position and issues that worry him the most, injuries, fall camp and more...

Head Coach Karl Dorrell on the Eric Scott situation:

"It's not going to affect this team, or affect the expectations we have this year for the program.

"I understand from the information I received from Eric and his attorney, I'm very optimistic about how this will at some point be uncovered.

What I'm prepared to do, and hopefully my left arm is strong enough, I'm going to be acting wide receiver coach. It's something I've done before, most of my career. I think I can do that."

Brandon Breazell has a root canal he has to get done. He's had this problem a while and needs to get it fixed.

-- Junior tight end Ryan Moya is still experiencing problems in the leg he broke last year, feeling some soreness in his ankle. If he can't contribute in fall camp, which Dprrell said it looks like it will be the case, Dorrell didn't rule out the possibility of Moya redshirting.

-- Former defensive lineman Kenneth Lombard has officially made the move to running back. He reportedly now weighs 230 pounds.

"I think we were all kind of surprised by it," Dorrell said of Lombard's wish to change to running back.

-- Incoming running back Raymond Carter is still feeling the effects of a strained hamstring and Dorrell was worried about depth at running back.

Dorrell on how key it would be if walk-on running back Ryen Carew could contribute: "It'd be great. He has the potential to be a really good player for us. We need to see a level of consistency from him, though. If he can come through with a great camp, that helps us a lot. I like him as a kick returner."

-- Dorrell talked about the overall great physical shape of the team.

-- Dennis Keyes isn't participating in workouts this week after injuring his wrist in a recent 7-on-7.

-- OL Tony Lee is still not 100% physically.

On Ben Olson: "I see a difference in him. It's like another level of maturity that's happening right now. He has high expectations. And that's what you want your quarterback to have. I noticed a difference (in his maturity) as soon as he got married. It's almost like he re-focused and re-organized his priorities again. He's really assured of himself now."

On reports from strength and condition coach Doc Kreis on the imcoming freshmen: "They're all doing pretty well. Brian Price is really doing well. (JC linebacker transfer) Mike Schmitt is doing well. Sometimes he talks about someone at this time of year, about the freshmen, that there's someone who is way behind, but with this group there was no one like that."

"We're going to be so good at understanding our system so much earlier, we don't need to be out on the field a long time. What we put in during the off-season will allow us not to have to do so much work on the field. They've put in a lot of time during the off-season."

Our mentality for camp is really fine-tuning. It's not to get in shape. We're in great shape physically. It's getting our system perfected and being hard on each other about being perfect."

On Osaar Rasshan: "I've heard good things. He has to clean up his footwork a little bit. But I've heard he's making some plays and he's a big presence, a big target out there."

On coaching the wide receivers taking away from his head coaching responsibilities: "I don't think much. I'm not the one installing the offense. It would be a tremendous challenge if I didn't know the offense. This will just be what I'm doing out on the field – if that we're to happen."

If you've watched our practice, we practice a lot in groups. There aren't a lot of times when our receiver coach is working just with receivers. We're always with the quarterbacks, and the offense, etc. And again, I'm not saying this is going to happen. At most, it's just a stop-gap thing."

On the difficulty of filling the position, if need be: "The unfortunate thing about it is that I've already had a ton of calls (inquiring about the receiver coach position). So I'm confident (getting another good receiver coach if they needed to replace Eric Scott) could happen. But I'm going to go through the process, be objective and let this thing work out. And these were qualified coaches, just not my high school coach, calling me." Dorrell, when discussing kick-off returners, mentioned he liked to see what junior safety Bret Lockett could do.

On Randy Horton, being hired in August as a strength and conditioning coach full time: "The players are happy. We're all happy. He's done a good job. Our big guys are in really good shape. Have you see Kevin Brown? Have you seen Brigham Harwell? Those guys look really good. They're in great shape. Brigham looks like a big receiver. I tease him, tell him that I could put him in a two-point stance."

On what he perceives as a big personnel issue heading into fall camp: "Really the biggest issue is our kicker (redshirt freshmen Kai Forbath). That's a bigger issue than any other issue. He got better by the end of spring. But I have to be smart with him and not put too much on his plate. I don't want him to feel, ‘Oh my goodness, I have to be Justin Medlock.' But he's got to be a consistent performer at whatever range that is. We'll find that for him."

On kick-off responsibilities: "Jimmy Rotstein has done a good job kicking off. So there's a potential to carry two kickers and a punter. With Jimmy doing the kick-off duties, and Kai doing the field goal."

About being able to take only 65 players to the opening game on the road against Stanford, since it's a conference game: "I like the first game, though. It's one of those things that hits you in the face. You have to be ready. You're on the road. You have to have a little bit of an edge to you. We'll be ready."


Bruce Davis commented on... The second year of being under defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker:

"We're just a lot more comfortable with our system now. We've had a year to play in it, develop and understand it. We've added some things and taken away some things that didn't work so well. We've all bought into the system. Our communication is a lot better than it was in recent years."

The win over USC:

"It was a great win for us, and it does a lot for our program, and for us as a team, because it's something that hasn't been done in seven years. It's a great feeling to beat them when they're on the way to the college football championship. We were able to go in there against one of the best teams in the country and get the job done. It did a lot for our confidence, and we know we can play with anyone now. That doesn't mean that we've gotten arrogant or complacent. Like Coach Walker always tells us – to get what you want to get you have to work harder than you've ever worked. We've taken that into our off-season. Our mindset is that we're going to out-work everyone in the country. One of our mottos is: You don't have to be the best team in the country, just the best each week you play. We're just going to take it one day at a time."


Athletic Director Dan Guerrero on the Eric Scott situation:

"We do background investigations with a third-party entity, and that's done for all of our full-time employees.

"We're at football media day and we're gearing up to start the season, and the fact that we put a coach on administrative leave means we're going to be down one coach. The fortunate aspect is that Coach Dorrell is a receivers coach, so he can pick up the slack in that regard. Nevertheless, it's certainly an issue while we move forward.

"We made the determination (to put Scott on administrative leave) based on the information available to us yesterday. I didn't have an opportunity to talk to Karl until late in the afternoon yesterday. We're still gathering information. Every situation is a different situation. We'll make a determination at the time we feel is appropriate.

"Let's just say this: I'm very pleased with where our program is relative to conduct and expectation, image and perception. In any program you may have transgressions and things of that nature. Believe me, our program is in good shape from that perspective."


The Pac-10 Media Pre-Season Poll:

1. USC (39) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 390
2. California . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 323
3. UCLA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 305
4. Arizona State . . . . . . . . . . . 242
5. Oregon State  . . . . . . . . . . . 237
6. Oregon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 226
7. Arizona . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162
8. Washington State . . . . . . . . . . . 115
9. Washington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
10. Stanford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  47


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