UCLA Football Spring Practice: The process of organized practice

PASADENA, CA - NOVEMBER 24: Patrick Laird
PASADENA, CA - NOVEMBER 24: Patrick Laird /

Though there is not a lot of new information out of the latest UCLA football spring practice session, head coach Chip Kelly is showing how his organized practices are setting the foundation for the fall.

There are only two more practices left during the “winter” portion of UCLA football‘s spring practice. This coming Thursday and Saturday will be the last practices before the Bruins go on a two week hiatus for finals and spring break.

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After that, practices will be spread out over the three weeks before UCLA’s spring game which will take place at Drake Stadium on the campus of UCLA on Saturday, April 21.

In the last week, practices have been a mixture of (1) drills focusing on fundamentals which are run at a fast pace and all at once, giving several players the opportunity to display their skills and (2) plays that are getting the offense and defense ready to perform that uptempo zone read/RPO style of football.

Examining the first part, if you have followed Go Joe Bruin (or any other UCLA outlet), you would know that drills are getting every position player involved in their specific drills and working at the same time as their counterparts. For example, when the quarterbacks are practicing routes, there are five QBs on the line of scrimmage, throwing to five receivers running different routes, essentially getting five QBs and WRs reps rather than each player waiting their turn.

Running backs are doing the same thing whether it is practicing runs and handoffs along side other RBs or running right at each other and juking to the side to avoid the hit, but getting that repetition of running and shifting at the last moment.

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These are just two examples, but it shows that Kelly wants every single Bruin in uniform to get up to his required speed. Kelly had said that he has not seen film from last season, so he does not know what these players have done. He just wants to see what they can do.

When it comes to offense vs. defense, plays are also run one after the other. Plays were run about 20 seconds from one snap to another. If a player needed coaching, he was taken out and replaced and coached on the sideline rather than during the play as not to slow down the process.

Kelly wants this team to go, go, go and that is exactly what they are doing. He wants UCLA to be a  fast team on both offense and defense and seeing what they have done so far, it should be an exciting fall.

Mind you, this is only the first two weeks. After the break, UCLA is expected to have more players in practice, including Washington QB transfer K.J. Carta-Samuels. Kelly joked before Tuesdays practice about being the fifth player in the QB passing drill. He said that he was only on the line because they are missing Carta-Samuels.

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This tells me that Kelly has not fully put his foot on the gas. That could be pending for the “spring” portion practice where I project the team will be going even faster and with more information to process. With what they have learned in the first two weeks, the players that have been involved in practice so far, will not only be ready for more, but should be ready to take UCLA Football to the next level.