Bumped. What a fantastic report from JoeBruin15. Hope to see lot more notes like this from rest of spring ball. GO BRUINS. - BN Eds.
In honor of my friend gbruin, I had a Denver omelette for breakfast this morning at Headlines.
Ok, seriously….Breakfast was your typical breakfast at Headlines.
It’s been quite a while since I’d been there, but the menu was pretty much the same although the prices have gone up a bit.
There were six of us there for breakfast: Myself, MexiBruin, uclaluv, rsm who gets the award for driving the farthest to get there for coming out from Rancho Santa Margarita in south Orange County, chrissorr and one more woman whose handle I unfortunately forget.
The big topic of conversation, as you might have guessed, was the basketball program and the events of this past week. Obviously, no one was very happy about things.
All told, it was a good opportunity to meet some folks from here before heading over to practice.
Practice was interesting.
I’ve been to Spring Practice before but never on a weekend and never under Coach Mora.
The first thing you noticed was the number of people in attendance. It was a pretty large crowd which was surely supplemented by the Coaches Clinic that UCLA had going on (which included practice). There were a lot of high school coaches around due to that. There also seemed to be a lot of potential recruits there too as many of them were wearing their HS jerseys.
The size of the crowd definitely tells you that the expectations for our program are rising.
Coach Broussard demonstrating footwork to the running backs.
For the first half of practice, the players were split out over both the grass and turf fields. I had opted to join rsm and chrissorr in the stands behind the end zone of the turf field so it was much easier to watch the drills going on there.
But, then all the players (except the kickers) pretty much moved over to the grass field. While some of the crowd had previously opted to watch from the sidelines of either field, almost everyone including the folks in the stands lined the sidelines of the grass field at this point. The only caveat the staff had was to stay off the grass. The grass field has about three feet of grass on the sidelines out of bounds, but that is surrounded by FieldTurf. They wanted everyone off the grass really as a safety issue so that no one would get hurt by a player who ran or got tackled out of bounds.
It was great being able to watch practice close enough to hear the players talking to each other both on the field and on the sideline. In fact, uclaluv has a great story about this which I will let her share because it’s her story.
The worst part of practice was having an injury occur right in front of myself and rsm.
Thankfully, it wasn’t a player. It was Receivers Coach Eric Yarber who was demonstrating to one of his guys a better way to release off the line of scrimmage when he planted his right foot and fell over twisting his knee. Now, ‘m no doctor, so I’m not going to speculate as to the extent of his injury. They did take him off the field on a cart, but I believe he was back on the field using a pair of crutches before practice ended. I may be wrong on that.
Either way, best wishes go out to Coach Yarber for a quick recovery. If you want to send him your wishes he is on Twitter @CoachYarbs80.
Overall impressions was that the offense looks sharp.
The receivers were doing a good job catching the ball. So good, in fact, that none of us seemed to be concerned about the receiving corps. Part of that has to be attributed to the QBs putting the ball where the receivers could catch it. Today’s QB rotation was Hundley, Neuheisel and Millweard. The running backs also looked sharp. Jordon James looks like he’s ready to pick up where he left off last season and Malcolm Jones appeared to be in beast mode today. There were several times when he broke through the defense for big gains and/or scores.
Coach Spanos calling a defensive play.
Defensively, it wasn’t that the defense looked bad. I’d say the defense was more unremarkable than anything else. There were some plays where guys were taking the ball away either on a bad pass from one of the QBs or on a fumble from a RB, but these were just not that common.
Coach Mora addresses the team at the end of practice.
Overall, it was a nice way to spend an April morning meeting some BN friends in person for the first time and watching our Bruin football team workout.