It was hard to know what was going on in Jerry Azzinaro’s head. In four years as the UCLA defensive coordinator, he never spoke to the media. His replacement in Westwood, Bill McGovern, isn’t so difficult to get in touch with.

McGovern met with local reporters after practice on Friday. He covered a number of topics—Hawaii transfer Darius Muasau standing out, working with Ken Norton Jr., etc.—but none stood out more than when McGovern pulled the curtain back a bit on what brand of defense he wants to run.

“In football today, you have to be multiple,” he said, according to SI’s All Bruins. “You can’t live just in man, you can’t live just in a straight zone. You’re gonna have to have some wrinkles in it, you’re gonna have to have tools in different coverages to help with different routes. So we’re kinda putting those in and the guys are getting a hang of that, but we’re running a complete defensive package. It’s not like we’re featuring one thing over the other. We will have zone coverages, we will have man coverages, we’ll have fire zone coverages, and all that stuff.”

For two years, the Bruins have brought pressure with little to show for it.

UCLA ranked 79th nationally in havoc rate (tackles for loss, fumbles forced, passes defended), it ranked 92nd in stuff rate (runs stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage), and it ranked 100th in sack rate. On passing downs, they brought pressure but had one of the nine worst posted sack rates in college football.

With the arrival of former Navy coach Brian Norwood as the team’s defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator ahead of the 2020 season, UCLA’s defense got some tweaking. Azzinaro and Norwood worked in tandem on a 4-2-5-like scheme.

Asked if that nickel approach was continuing, McGovern made clear the Bruins are going to be adaptable.

“It’s gonna be what the offense dictates,” he said. “Everybody always wants to know ‘Are you 3-4, 4-3?’ You’ve got to be everything, you have to be able to play different types of coverage, you have to be able to change your coverages, you have to be split safety, single safety, man, all that stuff.”

Summer retention of what they covered in the spring was good, according to McGovern. That gave the Bruins a nice springboard to jump off when fall camp started.

“(Install)’s a little bit further ahead than I thought,” McGovern said. “Last week, we had a good week in terms of going over stuff with guys and I felt the guys picked up some conceptual things that were put in really well.”

UCLA begins its season at home on Sept. 3. Anticipation is high for what this defense will look like.