A brief, one-on-one interview with backup quarterback Richard Brehaut following Monday afternoon's practice:
UCLA blog: What's been the biggest lesson for you after enrolling early and not redshirting your freshman year?
Richard Brehaut: At this time last year, I thought that I was preparing myself as well as I could. I thought I was watching enough film and doing all the right things. But looking back, this summer I really tried to dedicate myself to the film room and watch as much tape as I could -- not only on what we do, but on what other defenses do. I think that's the biggest step I took in maturing from my freshman year. I thought I was watching way more film than I did in high school, but now I see clearly. It's definitely been a progression.
Quarterbacks often talk about reading defenses and being able to check down when they see something. Is it mostly instinct or does studying film play a larger role in that phase of the game?
It's tremendous. Like coach (Rick) Neuheisel talks about, you start anticipating stuff. Once you can anticipate and find out what the defense is doing, your decisions are lightning quick. You don't even have to think about it. For instance, you can know that your first receiver will be covered, so you can automatically come to your second read.
The new "revolver" formation adds a few more reads. What are your thoughts on it?
I think it's great. Having the tailback behind us, the defense doesn't have a look. He's not in a near or far formation, so it opens us up for some big play-action plays. It's something we've been lacking these past few years. The play-action, that run read, that's just going to bring defenders up and we're going to have shots at the top.
I'd say it's more to know, but it helps the offense when we have the ability to have all these read zones and stretch plays. If we were under center, we'd still have to know the read. That's really the biggest thing: Knowing who you have to read and determining who the ball will go to depending on what is played. The pistol doesn't make it any more difficult on us, it's just something we have to adjust to and something we have to get done.
You spoke about the progression you've made since high school. How much of that is due to the coaching staff?
In high school, your coaches kind of baby you and tell you, "This is what you have to do." Here, coach Neuheisel is throwing his stuff down and is in your face. That has definitely made me stronger as a person, just to be able to shake off adversity, go with it and make things happen. He's going to yell at you, but he's also going to tell you what to do on the next play. It's helped me grow as a person. I'm mentally stronger.
Talk a bit about what being the No. 2 quarterback has done for you.
In the spring, I think (Kevin Prince) and I both took a big step forward. By both of us taking that step, it made us better. If I see him doing something, I know I have to know my stuff. If he sees me getting better, he knows I'm catching up and that's just going to make him better. That competition is definitely something every position needs so guys don't get complacent.
At Pac-10 football media day, Neuheisel said he's talked to you about the possibility of redshirting this season. What's the latest on that scenario? Is that something you're even thinking about or even considering at this point?
There's certainly a lot of stuff that would go into that decision. I don't think now is the time for me to say that it's what I want to do. But I mean, it's certainly a possibility and certainly something I could do. Right now, I'm doing my best to make our offense not miss a beat and keep rolling.