UCLA did running back vs. linebacker blocking drills for the first time, we got a good look at 1-on…
VIDEO: Vanderdoes on 3-Tech
On how he feels:
It feels great. I healed real quick and a lot faster than I thought. I knew I'd get back quick. With the timing, I thought I'd be sore, but I came back 100% and haven't had any kinks. I haven't put on the pads since the bowl game so it's geting back in the flow of things. But I wasn't as rusty as I thought I'd be. Everything is natural compared to last year and the game has slowed down. The new defense for me gives better chance to make plays.
On if it helps with the pass rush:
Oh I love being a 3-tech. It's my natural position. I love it.
On the most challenging offensive lineman:
All of them. Our offensive linemen were good last year, this year they're great. Caleb is great. Malcolm is a monster and he has dad strength. Brendel is Brendel. You have Scott, Najee is doing really well, he finishes, his technique is good, he's really violent.
On how he's improved since last year:
Technique, staying in my gap. Learning the schemes better than last year which is coming along. Making sure everything is tuned in before the season starts.
On leaning on his strength before:
I was just getting used to everything, knocking off the rust.
On the freshman defensive linemen:
Coach Angus and the whole coaching staff did a great job bringing in those guys. Ainuu is a lot like Kenny with his explosion, once he gets it and gets his technique down. Matt is a monster, he's like a bigger version of Cassius, I see him building in to that. He's long and especially as a pass-rusher. I like the way Matt plays. And Jacob is really good. He's really smart and he's going to be good. I'm happy with our freshman.
On playing the 4i last year:
It was a big adjustment for me because my whole life I'd been a 3-tech. I was used to exploding off the ball and attacking. I finally got used to it. Now with the new defense that Brick has put in, it's more natural. I can be more violent and explosive and use my strength and power. It gives you a lot more versatility and a big asset knowing how to play that position.
On the defensive line replacing the key losses in the front seven:
I'm not worried at all. I think this defense is going to be a lot better than last year. That's saying a lot because the season hasn't started and we lose Cassius, AB and Jordan but I think our front seven is really good and our DBs are coming along really good. I'm excited for the season to come along.
On when he shook off the rust:
Probably midseason. I was getting used to it but everything started clicking midseason and I was figuring everything out.
There is people and then there is Owa. You have humans and then you have Owa. You look at him and he's a physical specimen. He runs like a DB. He's just a monster. He's a typical NFL defensive end. I'm really excited to play next to Owa. That's going to help a bunch.
On what he wants to improve on:
Reading the pass quicker. Staying in my gap is the most important thing. Holding it down. Looking at the pass, I'm looking for a big season as a pass rusher. Run stop has been my thing then it was pass rush, but I was always a pass rusher in high school. You're not going against high school kids anymore and guys with technique can beat your pass rush. Coach Angus is teaching us new things.
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