Friday, April 18, 2014

UCLA American Football Clinic

I attended my first UCLA Spring Football Clinic back in 1971 when Pepper Rodgers was their Head Coach. The Bruins were being introduced to what became a very successful version of the Wishbone offense, the first of its kind on the West Coast. They would be led by a JC transfer QB from Pierce College. His name was Mark Harmon. I wonder whatever happened to him after leaving UCLA?

Homer Smith was the Offensive Coordinator at that time, what an incredible football mind! 

Their line coach was a very young Terry Donahue who would eventually become the winningest Head Coach in Bruin history from 1976-1995 with a record of 151-74-8. At that 1971 clinic, Donahue gave what to me is still the best talk on offensive line fundamentals and the famous Crowther Sled Progession drills that I have ever heard. It was incredibly valuable information to this young and inexperienced coach at that time!

This past Friday and Saturday, I ventured down to Westwood to again learn some new concepts from both the UCLA staff and a line-up of very successful high school speakers from all over the USA.

Our list of speakers included:

Noel Mazzone, UCLA Offensive Coordinator
"Bruins' Up-Tempo Offense"

Verlon Dorminey, Trinity Christian Academy
Jacksonville, Florida
"Advanced Shotgun Unbalanced Wing-T Offense"

Jason Negro, St. John Bosco H.S.
Bellflower, California
"Strength and Conditioning - A Year Around Approach"

Dan Quinn, Seattle Seahawks Defensive Coordinator
"Fast and Physical - Creating a Defensive Style"

Tony Sanchez, Bishop Gorman H.S.
Las Vegas, Nevada
"Defensive Drills for a Winning Edge"

Jason Mohns, Saguaro H.S.
Scottsdale, Arizona
"Inverted Option Reads in the Spread Run Game"

Troy Thomas, Crespi Carmelite H.S.
Encino, California
"Building a Culture"

Overall, these speakers did an outstanding job with their presentations and made the two days on the UCLA campus more than just a bit worthwhile.

One of the highlights was getting on the practice field to go over some of UCLA's basic position drills and see their passionate staff and players in action.

I have posted a series of videos from the Bruins practice session on Saturday that will not be visible if viewing them on a tablet or smart phone, only computers will do the trick.

Defensive Fit Drill

Slow paced but insures that players know where they fit into a defense and how this attention to Gap Integrity can stifle a running game

Kickoff versus . . .

 . . . Kickoff Return

The CLUB!!!

Punt vs. Punt Return

REALLY loud music at practice is now a staple at NCAA DI practices it seems. I could barely here myself but it is a must to keep the player energy up at practice and prepare for the eventual rowdy and hostile road environments that the Bruins will face this coming Fall.

Linebackers working on Agility
and Low Pad Level

Linebackers Shedding Cut Blocks 

Defensive Linemen Staying Low Too

DL Get-Off

Pass Rush: Club and Rip . . .

. . . with POWER!!!

Here is the DL Pass Rush Drill

It was SO much fun to see Coach Jim Mora's UCLA staff coaching with unbridled enthusiasm, passion, toughness and attention to fundamental details.

I think that UCLA will be a handful this year for the rest of the PAC-12.

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