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UCLA Football: Chip Kelly Talks About Navigating New Players in Complex System

Kelly's players are adjusting to his offensive concept

Head coach Chip Kelly will enter his sixth season as the head honcho of the UCLA Bruins. It didn't kick off all smoothly, but year by year, things have been getting hotter for the Bruins.

They have the chance to show that 2023 could be their statement year, shouting out to the world that they're among the big dogs in the college football realm. 

One way they will show that is their offense. That's where UCLA is going to be a force to reckon with. Thanks to Kelly's mastermind, that offense has gone from "meh" to "whoa" in no time. It took some time for players to get the hang of it, but it improved due to core players sticking around to get the hang of Kelly's playbook, and now they're like a well-oiled machine. 

This time around, there are many fresh faces on the scene. Kelly's aware that his offense is no walk in the park and encourages players to ask questions so they'll be better. 

“I think each individual coach tries to really dig deep on the learning style that’s most conducive to that player. Then try to spend time with them during that part of it. A lot of it comes back friom the feedback from players and the players comfotable enough to share with you what they do know and what they don’t know. Sometimes if you're a new kid, you just nod your head and say ‘I got it’ because I don’t want coach know that I don’t have it because it might affect me on the depth chart. That’s not what we’re looking for. We want to make sure that our coaches are transporting the knowldge to our players because it’s what our players know not coaches becuase coaches aren’t playing."

(via Chip Kelly)

Kelly also said that it depends on how the players learn best so they can translate the playbook the best way they know how. 

Kelly is known for running the option offense, and it's been working so far. It's an old-school type of offense that many don't run anymore, but it's working under Kelly. Just take a look at last season; he spiced things up with some slick misdirection moves that really helped out guys like Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Zach Charbonnet. 

Both those guys are gone now, so it'll be interesting to see what approach Kelly will take on his offense or if he'll keep it the same. 

Players won't get it on the first note, and that's fine. They must ask questions to ensure this offense reaches its full potential, and we cannot wait to see it go down.