Blog: Q&A with UCLA's new DC Chuck Bullough
Can Bruins defense bounce back after erratic 2008?
Can Bruins defense bounce back after erratic 2008?
On the Pac-10
Posted Apr 21, 2009

First-year UCLA defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough talks about succeeding DeWayne Walker, improved depth in the program and a trio of potential All-Americans.

As UCLA prepares for its spring game this Saturday night at the Rose Bowl, new defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough spoke with CFN following Monday's practice at Spaulding Field.

[on whether he feels pressure replacing former coordinator DeWayne Walker]
If you're thinking that way, you're in the wrong business. You got to go out and do the best you can do with the coaches you have. All you can worry about is the next day's practice, get better that next day.

[on any changes from Walker's approach]
Everybody has their own little tweaks, but it's still a very similar defense. We built this together but we've got a little more input from some of the coaches. A good coordinator listens to his coaches. You can't be a dictator because if they feel it's not their defense, they don't have ownership. Like I tell the players, you have to always have ownership in the team and the play. I trust and listen like Coach Walker used to listen to us.

[on whether coaches had to address conflict between the offense and defense last season]
No, because you have to be a team. It can't be offense, defense, special teams. As soon as you start separating, it's over. If you start saying it's the offense's or defense's (fault), you're finished.

[on having three potential All-American upperclassmen - tackle Brian Price, linebacker Reggie Carter and corner Alterraun Verner - to build around]
You've got a good solid older group, now we have some younger guys stepping into leadership roles. It looks like a team, high-fiving, having fun together and all that. It's always working itself out.

[on using Price at defensive end]
Price is a force. He can play any position he wants. Sometimes you put a big bull tackle on an offensive tackle, they are not used to it. It's a different animal and it can get them flustered a bit.

[on the impact redshirt freshmen like safety E.J. Woods and linebacker Patrick Larimore can have this season]
That is a question that remains to be seen. Eleven practices is enough to get a little glimpse, but it's not enough to hang your hat on. You got all kind of guys where this has been the groundbreaking, now you have to see how they come back in the fall. You'll see flashes, but can they do it every play?

Dan Greenspan blogs about the Pac-10 for Email him at

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