Bruins held a closed "walk-through" at the Rose Bowl on Thursday. No media was allowed and afterwards Coach Mora had a quick seven minute conference call with the beat reporters. The call wasn't all that informative in which Mora maintained his NFL style answers to queries from the reporters. He did start by saying it was a "beautiful day" at the Rose Bowl. From Miguel Melendez on Inside UCLA:
Mora was asked how the stadium looked: "The field is in amazing shape," Mora said. "All the seats are in and they're working hard on the press box." As you know, the Rose Bowl currently is undergoing a $175 million renovation that will be completed in phases with as many as 280 crew members working throughout a 17-hour window. With 15 days left before UCLA's home opener against Nebraska it looks promising.
That sounds good but we will get excited about Nebraska after the Rice game. Speaking of which Mora didn't have much to offer in terms of lingering personnel questions related to our season opener. He didn't have anything new to say about eff Baca, Greg Capella and Alberto Cid, who returned to practice on Wednesday except to say "they did great." As for the "game plan" v. Rice, Mora didn't have much to say:
Mora added that game plans are "just about complete" for Rice, which shares some similarities with the Bruins.
"They have an offense that's up-tempo and splits the field much like ours does," Mora said. "They're fundamentally sound."
We will turn our attention to Rice later this weekend.
ICYMI Peter Yoon had a piece on "friendly rivalry" between Aaron Hester and Jerry Johnson. Chris Foster wrote about how WR coach Eric Yarber is coaching up our receiving corps by "keeping it light":
"A lot of times, guys try to catch the ball and act cool, look away at the last second, and the ball pops out of their hands," Yarber said. "I tell them a nerd would never do that. He is a guy who is going to have his eyes on the ball from the moment it touches his hands. It doesn't look cool on TV, but it's fundamentally sound."
Yarber said, "I have been around a lot of great, older coaches. I picked those things up along the way."
The result of his humor is that UCLA receivers have shown sticky fingers this training camp compared with past years, from veterans like Evans to newbies like Lucien, who leaped to reach around cornerback Ishmael Adams this week to make a touchdown catch.
Let's hope we see those TD catches on Thursday night.