Offense quickly shows variety
All the pressing questions about UCLA’s football team are about the offense. Mostly, whether the Bruins would do things differently from last season, when they appeared to use a run-and-shoot-run-again offense.
That seems to be changing, judging from spring practice and the first day of training camp Monday.
UCLA fans had to rub their eyes and hope it wasn’t a mirage: Bruins receivers went up field and got the ball.
“We’re going to work the field,” first-year offensive coordinator Jay Norvell said.
Dominique Johnson beat a point-A-to-point-B path past a defender, looking back in time to snag a deep pass. Terrence Austin found a seam on the sideline, then played Twister to keep his feet in bounds on another big gain. Marcus Everett flung himself forward with such velocity he left one of his cleats behind while he cradled the ball.
“You’re going to see us be more aggressive this year,” Everett said.
That’s what Norvell was brought in from Nebraska to accomplish this season. The Bruins ranked seventh in scoring offense and total offense in the Pacific 10 Conference last season.
“We’re not going to be the Raiders of the 1970s, but you want your offense to attack,” Norvell said.
“We have guys who have the ability to get down field. It’s not just speed, but technique. We want to stretch the defense.”
Tight end Ryan Moya will redshirt this season, after being slow to recover from a broken fibula suffered against Oregon in the sixth game last season. . . . Keith Lombard, who moved from defensive end to running back, and tackle Tony Lee have not been cleared to practice and will be evaluated “later on,” Dorrell said. . . . Kicker Kai Forbath underwent dental surgery and will not be allowed to wear a helmet until Wednesday.