Adrian Klemm played seven years in the NFL as an offensive lineman. He’s been coaching at the college level since 2008, and has been the offensive line coach at UCLA since 2011.
The man has seen some offensive lines. On Tuesday, Klemm said that the performance his unit had against Virginia last Saturday, a 28-20 win, was one the worst he's been a part of, as a player or as a coach.
“It’s disappointing, but you’ve got to move on from that and build off of that what we can. We definitely have to get better," Klemm said.
He later added: “There’s no excuses; we just need to get better. It doesn’t matter who is in there or what our situation is. The fact of that matter is that everybody here is on scholarship. They are getting paid to play, and when their time comes and their name is called, they have to perform at a certain level.”
FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this post stated Adrian Klemm played five years in the NFL. He played seven.
In last week’s game, Virginia had five sacks and countless other hurries. The Bruins averaged three yards per carry on the ground. UCLA scored only one offensive touchdown.
“People get all annoyed with play calling and everything,” Klemm said. “Well, what do you want to call when it’s third-and-long 20 times in a game? It all falls back on our shoulders, just like this game. If we’re rolling, it’s because of us. We’re overworked and underappreciated, but the thing of the matter is, if they aren’t talking about us, it’s a good thing. And they were talking about us last week."
UCLA is missing starting center Jake Brendel, who had started 27 straight games before Saturday and was replaced by a sophomore who hadn’t started a game at center in college, Scott Quessenberry. At right guard, true freshman Najee Toran started his first career game. So there’s a lack of experience, but Klemm doesn’t see that as an excuse.
“That’s the easy way out, to put it on Jake, but the fact of the matter is things happen, as we’ve seen over the last three seasons. Guys come in and out,” Klemm said. “Things happen, unfortunately at times, but guys have to be prepared when the opportunity comes. It’s my job to prep them, and sometimes you may think a guy is ready for some things that maybe he’s not.”
Klemm said that his line looked a little more focused in practice on Tuesday, but added that the team looked focused last week, too. It’s about carrying it over to the games.
“Like I told them, nobody cares what your age is. Nobody cares about injuries. Nobody cares if Jake is not in there. The fact of the matter is, you’re here for a reason, just like I’m here for a reason.”
For more Bruin observations, follow Everett Cook on Twitter @everettcook.