Ask not for whom the Bell rolls — He rolls for fees (from non-believers).

New relationships are syncing up, as relaxed Bruins roll through informal workouts

“Happy Days Are Here Again.”  That old UCLA Spirit staple might have to be brought to the forefront, if they want the music to mirror reality.

It’s hard to compliment the Neu Regime without it looking like some slam of the Old Regime.  It’s not like last year’s players were miserable all the time — But there are more smiles, laughing, and relaxed confidence now.

Try to take all of this with a grain of salt, for two big reasons:  Just like a Restaurant Critic who has a good meal at a bad Restaurant or vice versa, it is possible that this light-hearted comraderie was NOT indicative of most of the other workouts — It could have been a fluke that took place only during the times they were being observed.  Also, these workouts are smaller, and the Head Coach and his Coordinators are NOT present.  And for the most part, they are being compared to practices where the previous Head Coach WAS patrolling the goings-on.  That fact in itself would explain why these workouts appear so much looser.

But nonetheless, more loose they were, and you could see connections being made that will last for years to come.  What might have looked like segregation was actually based on Position breakdown, and the fact that some of the inner-city kids were reminiscing in a little group, talking with lots of n-words about how all of Dorsey was smaller than the FIELD that they were standing on.  But there was no East Coast – West Coast thing, or Race War going on, it just looked odd for a moment on camera. 

As Brian Dohn has reported, UCLA doesn’t want the particulars of these “workouts” to be publicized, so please pardon the obvious vagueness on location, time, etc.  Also, there are no Programs, no Announcers, no unobstructed view from where I was, and worst of all, only tiny numbers on the jerseys, which are NOT always correct, often double-issued, and in at least one case, didn’t match the number on the guy’s shorts.  So you’ll have to excuse the complete vagueness, in terms of who did well and who sucked.  First of all, it is stupid to REPORT snap judgements made on very little evidence; And secondly, there’s just no way to be positive of anything.

For instance, we just happened to see “a guy” PUNTING the ball for a very long time.  Then we THINK some other players called him “Perez.”  So, hopefully this story is really about Aaron Perez.  Because what happened next was flippin’ MAGICAL:

The other players were needling him, and yelled at him to put one out inside the five.  They might have been joking, since he was kicking ACROSS the field, from sideline to sideline, so there was no actual five yard line to kick it inside.  So “Perez” points to a big duffle-type, open equipment bag near the far sideline, and tells the guys that he will kick it within 5 yards of the bag.   The guys laughed out loud.

Aaron picked up the ball, and — I swear to God — his sky-high punt dropped directly INTO the bag!!!  It was flippin’ awesome!!  And this was after an hour of working out and him announcing that he was completely spent.  I gave him a personal, one-man ovation.  Later on, he walked by and humbly said that it was just LUCKY.  I thought it was like LeBron’s fullcourt shot in the Commercial, but without the Million-Dollar Special Effects.


Again, without casting aspersions on the previous routine, this year’s stretching and calisthenics ritual seem more involved.  The Coach who we believe to be Strength Coach Mike Linn really had his SH*T together.  He was dedicated, fired-up, and very, very involved, calling every shot like a Personal Trainer would.  He was working with kid after kid after kid, individually, and they were eating it up.  They were NOT pouting or whining, or moaning about the sweat.  They seemed to have bought in to what Linn is peddling.

We are no experts on Men’s physiques, but is it possible that the bodies are visibly more toned already this year?  Not only that, but Linn was the de facto Head of Security too, WISELY checking ME out before starting his session.  Luckily, just like Det. Fontana formerly on “Law & Order,” I’m “authorized.”  And besides, I’m on Linn’s side.

As far as the LATER “Gameplay,” without getting too specific, there were a lot of slants to the Running Backs right over the middle, a lot of deep balls, and what looked like a few Wide Receiver Screens, maybe, or something quick to the left flat.  There were several nice catches on deep balls, but in general, the coverage looked better than what we had read about.  Please don’t ask for details about Olson or any other player — It was just too hard to see something definite, like passes still not leading the receivers on short slant routes. 

It sure LOOKED like a couple of brand new faces were throwing and catching the ball – a lot – so you shouldn’t be surprised to see a whole new look this year, personnel-wise as well as strategy-wise.

But just like last year, it was the Defense that got emotional first.  After an INT-TD, the Defense celebrated vigorously.  The Offense immediately struck for a long TD pass, and they pretty much one-upped the Defense with their in-your-face, TD-celebrating,  flying chest-bumps.

From that point on, the emotion was more befitting a Football game, and you could tell that they are just DYING to put on the pads and start hitting for real. 

Below are a whole bunch of new FOOTBALL (and Ben Howland) photos — No Cheerleaders today — but these photos still blow up when you click on them, and they all have “mouse-over” captions.  Unfortunately, the captions are devoid of the pertinent info you’d rather find, like the answer to “Who is that?!”  But these pics should still be quite a sight for sore, football-deprived eyes.

 Pre-flip:  “No way can you do that.  No way!”

“Show me the money!”

“Just gimme the damn ball!”

It’s some sort of “Ball War;”  Is it how they’ll divvy up carries for Tailbacks?

Back on the Chain Gang: It’s the old ball & chain — Can you see those tethers?

Topless- Optional;  Dropless - Mandatory.

Is he preparing for that Chow Staple, the “Bush-pass” deep to the Running Back?

Now THAT is how you “LOOK IT IN, all the way to your chest.”

Another HB “Wheel” Route?  Chow likes his QB’s to just drop it over the shoulder of a streaking back, doesn’t he?

It’s a DEEP one… Coverage is good…

…but he still makes the catch, for a Touchdown!  And look at the elevation on that celebration!

When did Matthew McConaghy become the Bruins’ Fashion Director?

…probably around the same time that this guy took over, and everyone started looking “cut” (but not ‘roided out like like you put your Hancock on a Dr. Ting contract).

Speaking of GREAT COACHES:  How about the Hands-On approach of BEN HOWLAND at his Basketball Camp yesterday.

Unlike Krusty and his Kamps, Howland actually appears;  One thing he said:  Don’t leave your feet to pass!  Forget what you see in the NBA.

Holding the attention of 200 10-year olds can be fun, but even Ben knows when enough is enough.


6 responses to “LOOSE FLIPS SYNC ‘SHIPS”

  1. Waldorf Avatar

    Ketchum is looking pretty thick for a wide receiver. I hope he has developed more speed; he wasn’t slow, but he wasn’t a burner. With that added bulk I hope he can add some power to his game. I always thought he was a capable receiver but I’d like to see him break out for his senior year. He deserves some shining moments since he’s been hurt and/or overlooked for most of his UCLA career.

  2. fred rinaldi Avatar
    fred rinaldi

    love the site, been a bruin fan since 1963, Kurt Altemburg era, die hard and hate everything $c stands for.

  3. JosephineBruin Avatar

    I Request more shirtless photos of KETCHUM!!!!
    and cowan, the bozworths, the molines, especially, chane the train, everett, bell, and others…….

  4. Trojan Fan Avatar
    Trojan Fan

    Happy days are here again until the 08′ season gets underway. Tennessee will show this new coach
    wont change anything. And deal with SC. They will never come into Rose Bowl flat again. That was
    the biggest fluke win in UCLA history.

    [T-H’s Note: Typical trojan – Can’t tell the difference between Dorrell and Neuheisel/Chow. Yeah, how could THEY change anything? And it’s nice to know that you’re still hurting over the most humiliating loss in NCAA history, and I don’t mean the Stanford choke. And it’s no fluke when a tough Defense completely stuffs a weak Offense. By the way, this site is for Bruins — You are the enemy, and no one here cares what you have to say. That is why your other comment has been deleted.]

  5. Robert Avatar

    LOL way to go T-H! don’t take any crap from insanely jealous suc fans. Bite On! suc toejams.

  6. Thom Avatar

    This is the first time I’ve been to this site. I spend most time reading comments on BruinGold. I like what you’re doing and love the photos. I’ve seen pics of the SC guys and they DO look chiseled and very big. I hope the trainers can get our boys to match them physically. And I hope RN can get them to match the Trojans in attitude as well…tough, focused, and arrogant. No more being the Trojans’ doormat. That’s been going on for far too long. Keep up the great work.