March 31, 2010

Looking at spring - defense

Tomorrow will be the opening of spring ball for UCLA as practice kicks off at 4:00 PM PST. Unlike a year ago the defensive side of the ball has several question marks. Who, if you even can, will replace Pac 10 Defensive Player of the Year Brian Price. The Bruins lose three starters off the defensive line, two starters at linebacker and one starter from the defensive backfield.

The good news is the Bruins have recruited well over the past few years so there is talent in the wings ready to step up. Starting to tomorrow players will be auditioning for starting jobs and that alone should make for an interesting spring.

UCLA head coach, Rick Neuheisel will be looking for players to perform with intensity and fire. That will also make for an entertaining spring. Earlier in the year had a multiple series on what to look for this spring. We have revisited and updated where necessary.

Looking at the defensive line:

You can't replace a player like Brian Price. There just aren't enough players the caliber of Price to go around, but the Bruins will need to get solid play on the inside and that will be one of the keys defensively.

With Price opting for the NFL, it is imperative that senior to be David Carter keeps improving at the defensive tackle position. He made plays this past fall, but it appears Carter will be the guy inside for UCLA. He made strides his junior season, but even more will be expected out of him and the good news is he knows it and he is putting in the work with the goal to not lose a step while adding more weight. He wants to add 15 more pounds of muscle to his frame. He weighed 290 last season.

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