"He's another guy," junior tight end Joseph Fauria said. "I played him in high school, I don't think he's anything special at all."
Fauria did go on to say, "I'm not going to knock him, he's a great player."
So, which is it?
The timing is interesting if nothing else. Burfict played arguably his best game of the season last Saturday in a win over Colorado, registering 9 total tackles. Burfict was also in on three of four tackles during a third quarter goal line stand.
Oy. It makes me cringe to read these kinds of comments from our players. I like Fauria a lot. By all accounts he sounds like a great kid who represent UCLA well. He is a baller, who has been under utilized all season and yet through it all he has kept his spirits up. He is also bit of a class clown and one can sense he is well liked by his team-mates. Sometimes he makes silly comments on Twitter and even though he may not have bad intentions, one of these days they could come back and bite our entire team.
One can bet that ASU will be pinning those comments on the bulletin board. We saw how ASU responded when Matt Barkley talked trash. It will be interesting to see the reaction this Saturday. Either way not a smart move from someone who has been one of the key players for our offense this entire season.
I don't really care one way or another whether the Bruins win this Saturday. The results this Saturday is not going to do anything to wipe away the ugly taste of a season, which has already been a severe underachievement according to our eye test. Yet it is interesting to see how our team is operating going into this game. There were reports yesterday of the team having a lackadaisical practice and now this. Kind of telling.
The comments are not indicative of a smart and well disciplined football team which is getting ready for a "big game" with "conference division championship" on the line. It also makes me wonder about the leadership of this program. Not surprisingly that's also a category that has consistently underperformed all season.
UPDATE (N): Joe is not backing down:
Yikes. Good luck Joe.