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Spring @ Spaulding: "Tough Money"

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Time is passing by fast over at Spalding. With 5 practice day in the books, CRN and Chow are looking to shape a preliminary depth chart for rest of the spring and the fall camp, heading into the Tennessee game. In terms of thinning herd, predictably the spotlight is on the QB situation. From Ramona Shelburne of Daily News:

`` We've got 10 more practices, then fall camp, and 29 practices after that, we've got Tennessee so we need to do something and I think everybody realizes the urgency of it,'' Chow said.

``You know, sometimes you thin it out so much not one gets a chance. In an attempt to be fair to everyone you're not fair to anyone.''

CRN wants to the name a starting QB by the end of the spring. Chris Foster from the LA has a detailed report on yesterday’s practice which includes the following comments from Chow on our QBs:

With the clock running down on spring practice, Coach Rick Neuheisel and Chow spent another afternoon evaluating their quarterbacks. They came away Tuesday with a slightly clearer idea of how the position is shaping up, with Cowan, Olson and Craft emerging as the three main contenders.

Neuheisel has said he would like to name a starting quarterback by the end of the spring.

"Ben and Pat have been around the system, so they understand what's going on," Chow said. "They are better physically with stronger arms.

"Kevin is a tremendous athlete, but this is all new to him. … He has a nice, strong arm, but he's a little bit overwhelmed."

Chow said Rasshan and Forcier are "two guys who probably are going to have to wait their turn."

I am not surprised to hear that CF and OR still needs some time. I hope those guys stick with it and stay attentive no matter how this turns out. They are only going to help themselves if they stay persistent and attentive to Chow and CRN because that combination is as good as it gets when it comes to learning to play this position from the best.

As for the rest the more I read about Craft, the more intriguing he sounds. Goes without saying that we shouldn’t reach any conclusion until we see him play in person. However, it is encouraging to at least about another potential option emerging at the position. At the very least, he is going to push BO and PC even harder to fight for the starting position.

Of the five quarterbacks, Craft appeared to be the smoothest during the scrimmage, completing all three passes but only after being chided by Neuheisel to "be a football player," after not running with the ball on his first play.

"It's one of those things where there are a lot of challenges and there are a lot of things going on," Olson said. "We have five quarterbacks, a new offensive system, new coaches. But you want to go out and perform regardless of the circumstances."

The Bruins coaching staff expects to begin moving toward some decisions Wednesday.

Elsewhere, Ramirez continues to shine at TB spot:

While Neuheisel said Tuesday's effort by the offense was, "not the kind of football we want to play," there were a few right spots, most noticeably tailback Christian Ramirez, who dipped and maneuvered his way on two long runs.

"He's a very athletic guy, very natural runner with great body control," Neuheisel said.

Ramirez moved from safety to running back last year and saw little time during the season. He had 15 carries for 78 yards, 55 of which came in a blowout victory over Stanford in the season opener. He carried the ball only twice after a key fumble against California in the seventh game of the season.

If Ramirez continues to chip away and gets himself in the rotation, and Bell/Carter can make successful return from injuries this fall, we could have a decent rotation at the TB spot, especially with the infusion of Dean and Knox in the scene.

Lastly, if you want to get a sense of how tough the competition is these days at Spaulding, here is Chow:

"These guys have to understand that there's only one ball and only one guy can play," Chow said. "Rick and I agree that we're not going to go through a merry-go-round, where you go in and if you (mess) up, you go in."

And for the guys who don't make the cut?

"Tough money," Chow said. "Move on to Division II and go play or hang around here and get your education from UCLA. Everyone has to decide that himself."

I am going to guess that’s a little bit Chow’s wry sense of humor coming through. But I also get the feeling our players have gotten the message.

GO BRUINS.