The UCLA football team begins spring practice today with several questions needing to be answered. Though not all will be figured out in spring, it will be a good start toward making improvements in 2019.
Spring is in the air and the UCLA football team is back on the field! That is right ladies and gentlemen, it is time to get ready for spring practice and GJB has everything you need to know to get you ready for the start of Year 2 of the Chip Kelly era.
Though the Bruins will not be at full strength until the fall, there is still a lot to keep an eye on as spring gives us our first look at the 2019 season.
Projected Spring Depth Chart
- QB: Dorian Thompson-Robinson (So), Austin Burton (R-So), Chase Griffin (Fr)
We are now in the DTR era. Deal with it. There has been much ballyhoo from fans about their concern for DTR as QB1. Their main gripe has been about his inability to move the team downfield, his inaccuracy, and unawareness of the field. To that I say, Dorian Thompson-Robinson is different.
Most true freshmen, even elite ones, barely see time on the field in their first year. DTR was forced into the starting lineup two quarters into his college career after grad transfer Wilton Speight went down with an injury in Game 1. He had to play behind a sketchy line, with receivers who were still learning their routes, running backs that weren’t quite there yet, and to top it of, he was still learning on the job. The point is that he got better and so did the rest of the offense.
One thing most will overlook when analyzing DTR is that he worked with and learned from Speight. Having that type of experience and influence in a young QB’s life is essential to his personal progress, which will help him take that next step in his development.
As for the backups, let’s just say that we are going to have a QB battle, but this one is for QB2. The backup role in the hands of Austin Burton and Chase Griffin, both of which have not seen time on the field. Burton has been with the program a few years and knows the offense, but does he have the chops to backup DTR in this ever-evolving offense? Griffin looks like he will easily fit into Chip Kelly’s offense, but many said the same thing about RB Kazmeir Allen last year. He might have the tools, but are they ready for this style of football?