Coach Jim Mora was a little late for his post-game presser on Friday night because of ... well this. He was "fired up" because the Bruins are "still in it," as in we are still in contention for our first appearance in Rose Bowl since 1999 (it's been way too long).
Watch his whole presser above. Some of the notes that stood out to me:
- Mora noted that Jordan James will most likely be ready next week, which is great news. He also said Bruins will "hopefully" will get Damien Thigpen back for next week as well.
- He talked about how selfless the team is both on offense and defense by pointing out how everyone has embraced Myles Jack's new explosive, breakout roll in the team. Well, can't disagree with him when we have guys like Devin Lucien calling Jack "the greatest athlete in the world."
- Speaking of selfless Mora pointed how the unselfishness of Bruin super star Anthony Barr, who hasn't complained one bit even if the coaches had him play all over the field. Specifically Mora pointed out how there was no complaint from Barr even though the coaches had him play at the tackle position at times in previous two games.
- Mora wasn't concerned about his players wearing down too much (as reporters asked him about guys like Jack getting gassed from playing both sides of the ball) as the Bruins have two days to recover after playing under Friday Night Lights.
- Mora's comments on Jack were interesting. He talked about why coaches can't exclusively use him at the RB position because the position entails lot more than just barreling through the LOS. It also involves learning how to adjust to pass-blocking schemes, which Jack doesn't know much about at this point of time. Moreover, while Jack is a lethal "weapon" in the backfield, Mora understands the delicate "dance" the coaches have to do in terms of balancing his time on both sides of the ball so that his effectiveness doesn't diminish. No doubt ASU is going to gameplan around him next weekend, and it will be interesting to see whether Mora and his staff plan some pre-emptive adjustments on their own end.
- Mora gave big ups to the Bruin crowd - many of whom waded through the LA traffic to show up at the Rose Bowl. He made sure to note that players and coaches sure appreciated that kind of "effort." We agree given that Mora and his program doesn't get any credible support from UCLA's incompetent AD when it comes to professionally marketing and promoting the Bruin program at both the local and national level.
Hopefully there will be a crowd of 85K plus next weekend as the Bruins get ready for another huge game-week. In some ways, the next two week reminds me the closing stretch of 1998 regular season, when the Bruins finished their home-stand with a massive game against Washington at home, followed with their regular season finale at the Coliseum. Hopefully we get the same results this time around. One week at a time.