UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel is working with five new assistant coaches as the Bruins begin Spring practice.
The new coaches include Mike Johnson (offensive coordinator / wide receivers), Jim Mastro (tight ends / f-backs / run game coordinator), Joe Tresey (defensive coordinator), Inoke Breckterfield (defensive line), and Angus McClure (special teams). The boss man, himself, is coaching the quarterbacks.
Neuheisel is hoping the staff chemistry comes together quickly.
Following the Bruins first practice of the Spring, Neuheisel said, “I’m giving it three days. I expect us to be well-oiled by next week. I think after two practices and then a practice in pads and everybody getting to know each other and that kind of stuff, we should look like we’ve been together for a long time by next Monday. That’s my hope.”
It’s been an unusual off-season for the staff.
Neuheisel explained, “Certainly the coaches have had to do a lot of work to put together books and come together with schemes and plans. You forget all the time they need to find a places to live, get car insurance, and all the things that go with moving, drivers licenses and so forth.”
Gone is Norm Chow. Former San Francisco 49ers assistant Mike Johnson is the new offensive coordinator, but Neuheisel isn’t overhauling the offensive scheme.
He said, “(It’s) not as challenging a change from last year’s offense from the year before. When we when to 'The Pistol' exclusively, that was a bigger change than what we’re doing currently.”
Some total jackleg reporter (were trying to be nice) asked Neuheisel after the first practice of the Spring about whether he is concerned about his job status.
Neuheisel explained he wasn’t concerned and calmly responded, “I look at it as a great challenge. I think we have the makings to take a big step, hopefully a real big step. I want to be really efficient at the process of building a football team. I don’t think there is a dominant team in this league.”
UCLA opens at Houston before hosting San Jose State and Texas.
We are hoping things come together for the Bruins this season.