Monday afternoon the Bruins did not practice, but Rick Neuheisel held his usual weekly press conference. A normally 15 minute affair turned into a 30 minute quotefest, with everything from coaching cliches, players with the letter J in their first names, the streaker, Brett Hundley and Dan Guerrero all were touched upon.
Coaching Cliche of the Week: (CCoW)
Adversity is nothing but opportunity camouflaged.
Neuheisel would go on to repeat this line a few times during the presser.
Regarding Sheldon Price:
Price felt like he was ready to go, but unfortunately it didn't work out. He was in position to make a play on 3rd and 10 on the opening drive, we have to give Arizona credit. There were some times he looked less than sure of himself (my note: probably when he fell) and some where he looked 100%.
Regarding Suspensions: They respect the decisions of the league, and understand why suspensions were handed out. The team will move forward and hopefully learn a valuable lesson.
The J Name Squad:
Jordon James, Jerry Johnson (for a few snaps), and Jerry Rice will have a chance to play on Saturday against Cal. The Niners fan in me squealed a bit when I heard Jerry Rice. Neuheisel said Rice Jr. is one of the great kids to have in your program and he has a golden (hehehe) opportunity this week, and he is excited that he is getting a chance.
Since Devin Lucien's name doesn't start with a J, he will most likely not play this weekend. He is ready to go, and after talking to his family and Mike Johnson, Neuheisel doesn't think it is the right thing to do for just one game.
More after the jump!
"I'm going to have to check the tape on that..."
Neuheisel said there are a number of issues that can be found once they watch the tape, but called the game an "emotional setback." The team has been through tough losses before and they have responded and they need to respond again. There is no more crazy talk about a Pac-12 South title run, instead, going back to a "one game at a time" mantra. (also known as another CCoW)
And about that little melee...
Neuheisel blames the streaker for the little altercation that happened at the end of the first half last Thursday. He kept saying there were "circumstances" that led to the fight. If the refs were not so occupied with the streaker, then they would have noticed the love taps being handed out between Taylor Embree and Shaq "hey, nice backpack" Richardson and would have broken it up quickly. Neuheisel said it is a "violent game" and there is "a lot of testosterone." If you watch the UFC, this was the same justification that our hero Gus Johnson gave for a little fight after a Strikeforce event, and he has been mocked endlessly for that comment. Saying there is a lot of "testosterone" out there is a ridiculous excuse for a team that appears to be out of control.
Neuheisel thought it was "fascinating" that the youngster who put on the "show" has it all on video. This is probably the lawyer in Neuheisel coming out, cringing that there is evidence Mr. Undies planned this out so thoroughly. The lawyer in him also cringes at the penalty the kid is facing, and believes if he had known this was the end result, he wouldn't have run onto the field. Ahh, that bucket of optimism, finding the good in people overfloweth.
"Why hasn't this program achieved?"
The one word answer: "Consistency."
"We've had a hard time maintaining consistency with a lot of it. Whether it's injury, or changing schemes ... our consistency has been suspect. When we play like we're capable of playing we do fine. When we don't play to our level of capability and we're inconsistent and we play against a team that does just the opposite bad things happen."
I can probably give a one word answer too, but it's a shade vulgar. "Coaching." Also acceptable: "MorganCentering." You need to get creative with those one word answers.
Will Neuheisel poke around in the (106th out of 120 schools) defense?
Basically Neuheisel trusts his defensive coaches and he's not going to suggest changes because he isn't a defense kind of guy. He'll just poke around in the offense some more, because that has been effective.
About Dan Guerrero and his Reign of Error:
Neuheisel appreciates Guerrero and the administrative support, and they are all dying to turn the corner and make this program the program it should be. (Hey, some Cubs fans have been waiting for ages to win a World Series too! Whole Generations! I can't wait that long!) In Neuheisel's words:
"I make it clear to everyone that I am not going to give up. I am committed, I am still as positive as ever, and this is nothing more than camouflaged opportunity and we are gong to find a way to get this done right."
Hey Dan, you know what I appreciate? Swift action. You too, Gene Block.
About Brett Hundley:
A good chunk of this press conference was spent on Brett Hundley. It all boils down to this: Neuheisel did not believe that Hundley was ready to play against Arizona. He is getting more reps, so he is getting "more ready" and closer each day. The burning of the red shirt does not seem to be a consideration as it is with Lucien, as he is not afraid to play Hundley. He just doesn't want to "throw him to the wolves" and admitted that he screwed up Richard Brehaut by doing this to him during his first year. He did toy with putting Hundley in during the Arizona game, but he came to his senses and realized that he should put the kid in a better situation. He cited the QBs at Ohio State and Auburn, and thinks the situations they are in as freshmen are unfair, and does not want to do this to Hundley.
As for other fun news from Spaulding this week, make sure to check the Randall Carroll post from yesterday. Also, the players signed a petition seeking a cut of TV revenue - not just football players, but the men's basketball team also signed. We also picked up a recruit, Safety Ilaiu Moeakiola from Euless (Texas) Trinity High.
Time to look forward to Cal, along with the end of the Dan Guerrero regime.
GO BRUINS that we all know and love. Sorry this was so long, but there was too much good stuff yesterday.