Let's start our Humpday be checking in with Randall Carroll who is back in practice after sitting out a little with groin injury. Carroll has been flourishing as a freshman (at least according to report) but he is also getting a lot of help from seniors such as Terrence Austin. Chris Foster from the LA Times reports how Carroll "sought out" Austin this summer to tap into his experience. The tutoring has been paying some dividends in his first UCLA fall practice camp:
As an example, Carroll burned Alterraun Verner, the Bruins' top-flight cornerback, for a touchdown pass during seven-on-seven drills Tuesday.
"Once he gets technique down, and understands defenses a little better, he'll be real dangerous," Austin said.
From Carroll's pov, TA has been teaching him how to be patient:
"I'm not really one to look up to people a lot older than me, I look up to peers," Carroll said. "I had an interest in Terrence because of the way he runs his routes. I called him this summer and got in some extra practice."
The lesson plan being?
"Patience is the main thing," Carroll said. "You got to have patience to run your routes well, which I didn't have at first. I was doing everything like a robot, too textbook. He helped me smooth that out."
Just 16 more days to go we see number 1 in a UCLA home uniform. Oh wait, many of you can see him during the scrimmage this Saturday at 5 pm. More notes from this week's practice after the jump.Another player who is looking to come back to practice soon (probably today) is Christian Ramirez who has missed some time with hamstring injury, which has hampered him a bit during his time at UCLA. From Jill Painter in the Daily News:
Ramirez missed most of spring ball with a hamstring injury. He's now missed some time in fall camp after tweaking his other hamstring.
It's a concern for Ramirez, because this isn't the first time he's dealt with hamstring problems.
"It has been (a problem) ever since I've been here," said Ramirez, a junior. "I have no idea why."
Ramirez is expected to return to practice today. He's been icing his hamstrings and doing various treatments four times a day, sandwiched around meetings and two-a-day practices. Running backs coach Wayne Moses tried to soften the blow.
"I'm having a hard time just sitting here," Ramirez said. "Coach Moses said it's better to get it out of the way now."
Well I hope Christian is feeling better soon. If Christian cannot go, I am sure coaches will have no problem going with Derrick Coleman, Frankling, Knox, Thigpen et al., who might get an early shot to show what they can do on the field. Although in Coleman's case I think he proved himself last year and will be looking on to build on that performance this year with hopefully better offensive line.
Lastly, if you want to get a sense of how CRN is instilling discipline out in Spaulding read this:
Just when it looked as if they were wrapping things up for the day, the wind sprints started. Bruins’ coach Rick Neuheisel had his players running, crawling and rolling up and down the field, punishment for being a few minutes late at the beginning of practice.
"We ran at the end of practice because I was disappointed that we were getting a little lackadaisical with punctuality and I wanted the guys to understand that to make the jump that we plan to make as a program, we cannot let the little things slide," Neuheisel said. "It was just an effort to make sure everybody understands the mission that we’re on."
Had it not been for that, Neuheisel might not have had anything to be critical about. Earlier in the week, he harped on the number of interceptions that were being thrown by his quarterbacks. They must have been paying attention. Only one pass landed in the hands of a defender (Aaron Hester).
The improvement in the turnover department, according to Prince, is due to repetitions on the field. Now that the various looks have been installed in the offense, it’s just a matter of running the plays over and over.
"As camp goes on, we’ll have fewer things to install and we’ll have time to practice those things," he said. "Sometimes we just force it and it’s just learning to be patient and learning where your reads are."
All about discipline and patience I guess. It certainly appears Carroll and Prince are on the same page.