Bumped. - BN Eds.
As LABruin already mentioned, Tyler and I made it out to practice this afternoon. As always, the team was great with him. Coach Neuheisel allowed Tyler to roam the sidelines, and all of the players took time to give Tyler a little love and make sure things were going well with him. They've really gone above and beyond in making him feel like part of the team. Coach even had Tyler address the team at the end of practice.
The audio is a little rough, but basically, Tyler said that the defense was really fired up at practice today. Coach Neuheisel then asked, "What about the offense?", to which Tyler hesitated and replied, "Hopefully, it was just that the defense was really fired up." Ha..no coachspeak today! I tend to agree with his assessment, as overall, the defense won the day.
Datone Jones and Owa were very impressive and were in the backfield all day. UCLA ended practice with a two minute drill for each QB. Brehaut's drive ended in scoring territory but finisehed empty w/ a missed FG (Kai Forbath, where are you?) Brett Hundley's drive didn't go very well for the O. It was a 3 and out with 3 sacks! It wasn't necessarily Hundley's fault tho- the d line was in the backfield immediately, and there wasn't a whole lot that he could do. In general, Hundley looked very talented, but very raw. We should learn more about him in the fall after he's had a few months to digest the playbook.
A few other observations from today:
-We were really having trouble getting a good snap from the center to the QB in pistol. A lot of plays were dead before they started because of bad snaps. Hopefully, this was just an aberration.
-Broken record from last year, but this offense is only going to progress as much as the O-line does. Keep hitting those weights, boys!
-Anthony Barr, Malcolm Jones, and especially Morrell Presley looked really good. Hopefully, this will be a breakout year for Presley.
-Kevin Prince wasn't able to do any contact drills, but he did throw some really pretty deep balls in the WR/DB one-on-one situations.
-Jordan Zumwalt plays with a fire. Sometimes the fire burns out of control tho. Still, I love what he brings to the defense.
-Speaking of defense-: At practices last season, if you were just to watch the proceedings, you would really have little idea who the defensive coordinator was. This year, there is no doubt. Coach Joe Tresey is a presence on the field, and a breath of fresh air. This defense attacks and really seems to enjoy playing for Coach Tresey. This is going to be a unit that makes things happen rather than waiting for them to happen. I think everyone on the field realizes what the expectations for this season. Rather than be intimidated by the challenge, they appear to be embracing it. I know as fans, we've learned to guard our optimism, but hey, it's springtime; and that's the time for every fan to have hope. Heck, we're undefeated!