The UCLA football team returns to Spaulding Field tomorrow as they begin a seven-week journey that is Spring Practice. With that in mind, Go Joe Bruin has the top storylines to watch for this spring.
It has been a little over two months since the Bruins capped off its rollercoaster 2017 season with a lackluster performance in the 2017 Cactus Bowl, and the Bruins are ready for a fresh start. Tomorrow, first-year head coach Chip Kelly and eligible members of the 2018 UCLA football team will write a new page in the UCLA history books by officially starting their spring practices.
Here are five storylines fans should watch as the Bruins begin preparations for their 2018 campaign:
1. The Start of the Chip Kelly Era:
Tuesday marks the first organized practice under Chip Kelly’s tutelage. Since being named UCLA’s head coach back in November, Kelly has been plenty busy with recruiting and assembling his coaching staff. However, there are still plenty of unknowns surrounding the new coach.
One of the main unknowns centers around the offensive schemes that Kelly will be calling. It can be assumed that Kelly will be taking on offensive coordinator duties as no replacement for Jedd Fisch was named. Under former head coach Jim Mora, Fisch and the Bruins ran a formation dubbed as the “amoeba offense,” which was essentially an elaborated form of the spread offense.
In the past, Kelly has been known to run a pro-style offense that relied heavily on a run-pass-option (RPO, for short). Kelly certainly has the talent to execute this style of offense with what looks to be a very full quarterback battle in the works, but we’ll talk about this more later.
Another unknown will be the overall organization of the practices. Since his time at Oregon, Kelly has been known to run extremely organized practices, and this looks to be no different in Westwood. Under Mora, spring practices were slated for 2 hours and 45 minutes. This year, the spring practices will run for only about two hours. Cutting out 45 minutes from a practice is a curious decision, especially when you factor in a new head coach, so this can only mean one thing: spring practices will be efficient.