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4 Total Updates since October 16, 2012
7 months ago Update 6 comments
As we continue to survive the bye week, the football team continues with their daily practices. Today, Coach Mora and the staff greeted the team in the early morning with a scrimmage.
This session was focused on the younger players on the roster, and the scout team players. Mora explained this as being good for the morale of the scout team in particular, letting them get out on the field and just play and hit, rather than their normal task of playing within the upcoming opponent's system. And speaking of hitting, the quarterbacks were live.
The bye week also means a typical midseason weekend out on the recruiting trail for the UCLA staff. Coaches Klemm, Tuiasosopo and Ulbrich left Westwood early and missed this morning's scrimmage, while Mora and the rest of the Staff planned to depart during the day today on various recruiting trips.
Coach Mora shared a bit of good news in his presser - confirming that Torian White had a successful procedure earlier this week at the UCLA Medical Center to correct a rapid heartbeat. The procedure was intentioally scheduled for the bye week, which should allow him a normal week of practice after having missed this week of practice, and to return to action next Saturday against ASU.
Today was the last day of Miguel Melendez's short time covering the UCLA beat for the LA Daily News. I believe that I can speak for the rest of the front page writers (and much of the community here) in praising the work that he has done covering the Bruins at the start of the Jim Mora era. While reading one of his posts a couple of weeks ago, I recall him mentioning that he was working the beat for the Daily News as a freelance writer (I believe explaining why he was not sent on the Colorado trip), and it appears the DN decided to go in another direction to fill Jon Gold's spot on a permanent basis.
In his farewell post on his Daily News blog, Miguel talked about the joy the he felt in being able to fufill - if ever so briefly - his biggest professional goal by covering the Bruins. His next step in life is to pursue another of his life goals - becoming an attorney. I wish you all the best in fulfilling that goal, man.
To replace Miguel, the Daily News has hired Jack Wang to cover UCLA athletics. Welcome to Westwood and the Bruin beat, Jack!
7 months ago Article 10 comments
UCLA’s offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone shared some curious comments about Bruins’ uninspired offensive performance against Utah.
7 months ago Update 0 comments
Bruins continued their bye week with practice this morning. Coach Jim Mora met with reporters after practice and offered his thoughts on bye week practice and the mistakes that have been hurting the team: (via Inside UCLA):
Mora's coach speak on mistakes are fine. But, as many have pointed out already Mora has been talking about the need to clean up mistakes almost every week 7 games into this season.
He also shared his thoughts on the pace of practice during bye week. He mentioned how Coach Mike Holmgren (who won Super bowls as a head coach with the Packers and as an offensive coordinator for the 49ers) used to give his team the entire week off depending on what point of the season the bye week came. The comparison probably doesn't work as much because NFL players go through lot more wear and tear given that they also had to go through 4 game pre-season.
I am not sure if there is a specific formula for this. What do we know is whatever UCLA coaches have tried in recent years, it hasn't worked.
We also know that the Arizona State game is huge for the Bruins. If the Bruins want to put together a solid season in Mora's first year they need to win this game. Otherwise the chances are they will have another roller-coaster 6-8 win season, which is not going to feel any different than the mediocre ones we experienced under Karl Dorrell.
Remember we are not going to have a schedule set up like this - avoiding Oregon and Washington - for next two years. And next year we will go on the road against Nebraska, Nevada, Stanford, Arizona and Southern Cal. If Mora doesn't get it done this year and Bruins bumble around again with 6-8 win season next year, the recruiting will go South in a hurry like it did in Neuheisel's last season.
7 months ago Update 6 comments
We have been clamoring for the coaches to move Jordan Zumwalt from outside to inside last few weeks and it finally happened against Utah. The result was UCLA LB's best collective performance to date (albeit it came against a horrible Utah offense).
"I just have to get acclimated," he said, after Tuesday's bye-week practice at Spaulding Field. "I like outside, I like inside. I just want to play linebacker, and I want to be on the field." [...]
Zumwalt came back against Cal, and alternated outside with Holmes and Anthony Barr. But Zumwalt started at inside linebacker against Utah on Saturday, and going forward, that might be where he stays.
It's no big deal.
"It's important to me, as an athlete and a football player, to be able to do what the coaches ask me to do," Zumwalt said.
That's certainly the spirit. I like the combination of Kendricks and Zumwalt inside while Anthony Barr and Damien Holmes manning the outside.
Now if we can get the coaches to move Andrew Abbott to his natural position at CB, slide Tevin McDonald over to FS, and put in either Dalton Hilliard or Stan McKay at SS, we could have the best combination of speed and athleticism in a UCLA defense in a long time (big ups to Rick Neuheisel for bringing in all this talent to Westwood last few years).