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Ask Coach Toledo
By: UCLA Athletics

Oct. 4, 2000

Bob Brown (Perrysburg, Ohio)
It seems both our offensive receivers and defensive backs are having trouble hanging on to the football, especially against Michigan and Oregon. Is this a big concern of yours or did we just have a couple tough games? Against Michigan we had one heck of a second half but we sure dropped a lot of passes that should have been intercepted. Keep up the good work coach, it's all headed in the right direction. I'm proud to be a Bruin fan in the heart of the Big Ten. Go Bruins!

"Thanks for the question. Well I think dropped balls are a matter of concentration and focus, and I think sometimes players tend to lose focus. You see it in professional football all the time and those people get paid to play the game. It's something that we're working on and it's something that our players try to concentrate on during practice and hopefully we'll do a better job."

Ali Izadmehr (Tarzana, CA) Dear Coach...(can I call you that?). It is a pleasure to write to you. I strongly believe you are doing a great job. My question is how do you approach the team before a game? Good Luck, I know you guys can do it!!!!!!!!!

"Well, what I say to the team before a game is always different depending on who we're playing and where we're playing and that type of thing. I usually have a talk with the team on that Friday night before the game. In that talk, I lay the groundwork at that time, then I try and re-emphasize it in my pre-game talk before we take the field."

Richard Douglas (Santa Monica, CA)
How long have you been implementing trick plays? When did you start doing it and who did you pick it up from? Do you have a favorite?

"As far as trick plays, it's something that I've been doing for a long time. I've been coaching for 32 years. But as a coordinator it's always tough because the head coaches usually try to control that. But most of the head coaches have been pretty good about it. The great thing about being a head coach is that I can run a trick play anytime I want. I don't really have any trick plays that I've gotten from any one particular person. It's just that over the years having seen them on TV or from watching video of other teams, I've come up with a few plays. What I try to do is look at our opponent's film and see where I can take advantage of a trick play to try to help generate some momentum for us and that's how I come up with it."

Michelle Bennett (Fresno, CA)
How are you able to handle outside pressures from alumni and fans, and still stay focused on your job at hand, which is to coach football?

"I think the most important thing is to focus on your team and the upcoming game and not be overly concerned with certain outside factors. I receive a lot of lettters and calls from people, but I think they understand that I don't have the time to respond to all of them. However, there are several people that I do respond to if time permits."

Ken Foster (Irwindale, CA)
You guys are playing great this year, what do you think is the No. 1 reason for the turnaround from last year?

"Well there is no question in my mind that the turnaround is due to the experience that we gained last year. We played 45 different people as far as starters last year. If you look at our football team there are very few redshirt freshman and true freshman that are playing. We only have three true freshman playing. So a big part of the reason is that we're healthy and we gained a lot of experience from last season. Thanks for the question!"

Have you ever wished you had the opportunity to ask head coach Bob Toledo your most pressing question regarding UCLA football? Here's your opportunity! Each week, the Bruin coach will answer questions from the fans. Ask your question and check back to see if the coach responded to your question!

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