UCLA held a morning practice session before heading to the bowling alley for a team activity on Tuesday. Sounds pretty SOFT to me. Popsicles and bowling? Pool parties? What kind of camp is Coach Mora running? Turn up the heat, dammit!
Sarcasm aside, UCLA has had a pretty mellow camp overall. Pete Yoon reported yesterday that there has been very little live hitting at UCLA's camp this year, and that there will be no more live scrimmages this fall. Contrast Yoon's article to what John Morgan at SBN's Field Gulls blog wrote about Jim Mora's practices in Seattle:
Mora whipped everyone into a frenzy. Practice was full of teammates beating down teammates. Full speed pass rush drills and blocks that produced resounding "pops!" Pops and scraps and the sounds of collisions and struggle filled the VMAC. I mined last season's training camp reports and the evidence is everywhere.
It sounds like Coach Mora has evolved somewhat as a coach. It does make one wonder, however, with so little contact, where are all the concussions coming from? Is it better awareness? Does the team have the best protective gear? It's something to keep an eye on.
Tuesday's practice fell in line with the rest of camp. The team started in full gear but switched to helmets and shoulder pads partly through practice. I'll get to some practice notes after the jump.
Devin Lucien was held out of practice due to concussive symptoms. In his absence, Miguel Melendez noted another receiver stepping up:
Shaq Evans continues to impress. He hauled in some more spectacular catches, and Ishmael Adams had no chance. Evans also put a great move on Sheldon Price, reaching in front of Price to make the catch inside the 10 in 7-on-7 drills. WR Ricky Marvray and RB Steven Manfro also made some sweet catches after turning defenders after the push.
Also of note, Torian White got more work at right tackle. The right tackle spot is crucial for the offensive line. If someone other than Jeff Baca can fill it, Baca can slide back into his better suited guard role. Jake Brendel appears to be taking ownership of the center spot, and Xavier Sua'Filo is obviously the left tackle. With Baca at one of the guard spots, the coaching staff would only need to identify one other starting guard to fill out the line out of a group of candidates that include Greg Capella, Alex Ceachir, Ben Wysocki, Alberto Cid, Carl Hulick, Tre Hale, and Brett Downey.
We should also get used to seeing a fullback on the field in short yardage situations, which wasn't the case for the past two years with the pistol. As perfectly described by jtthirtyfour in his excellent series of posts breaking down Coach Noel Mazzone's offense, we should see a lot of "diamond" formation in short yardage. While UCLA didn't have any fullbacks on the roster, they converted David Allen, Luke Gane, Phil Ruhl, Alek Cusick, and recently added Keenan Graham as a part time fullback.
It should also be noted that scouts from my beloved San Francisco 49ers were in attendance. Scouts from other teams showed up as well.
The team will practice today at 8:30 am and 5:30 pm.