Bruins had a light practice (without pads) on Monday afternoon following an intense full scrimmage from Sunday. Rick Neuheisel and his coaching staff had lot of film to go through following Sunday's full scrimmage. CRN after practice sounded encouraged about what he saw in the film room. He was encouraged by our new revolver offense and indicated he would stick with it as a "continued investment:"
Neuheisel did mention that the Bruins will work with their regular offense at some point this spring just so that the defense can also practice against "conventional" offenses they see from other Pac-10 teams. Kevin Prince talked about issues he needs to work out in this offense:
"There were some times when I got a little bit of pressure and got rid of the ball a little too quickly and didn't wait for things to develop as long as I should have," he explained.
"I think it was a good time to test the waters and see how the offense was against the defense. I thought it turned out pretty well for the first run."
Kevin Prince and his team-mates will get back at it today, Thursday and Friday of this week. IIRC Monday was the last practice without pads this spring as the Bruins. More notes after the jump.
During Neuheisel's post game comments during he also praised the efforts of Glenn Love, Ryan Taylor, Patrick Larimore and Dalton Hilliard. Glenn Love, who made the switch from SS to OLB, is having "fun" out there this spring:
At 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, Love has the frame to add bulk but stay lean and quick. With a budding star in junior Akeem Ayers at the other OLB spot, the Bruins could potentially matching 6-4 beasts to combat the opposition.
"You love the frame," said UCLA linebackers coach Clark Lea, who was promoted from defensive graduate assistant during the offseason. "You love the fact that he can put on a lot of weight. He needs to grow and get bigger. But those are positive things."
But for Lea, Love's size isn't the only thing that matters.
"One thing that we always loved was about Glenn was how physical he was," Lea said. "He just loved to hit and he loved to come downhill. That has carried over to his ability at linebacker. In the end, the things that made Glenn an effective safety for us have made him an effective linebacker for us, too."
Neuheisel mentioned that Love has certainly showed flashes of his potential this spring but there are spots during which he needs to make "decisions faster." They key IMHO with Love is staying healthy. Nagging injuries have held him back since he came to Westwood. I think if he can manage to stay healthy this coming year, he could come up with a productive season.
Speaking of another athlete who is going through a position change and has had to deal with nagging injuries, Christian Ramirez is trying to make the best out of his switch to safety:
Speed and physicality were never an issue for Ramirez; simply staying on the field was. Now with a perceived logjam at running back and depth concerns at safety, Ramirez is on the move.
After a beautiful interception during Monday's practice in which Ramirez just beat the wideout to the ball after a perfect break, the move seems to fit him.
"I'm not in the position to sit back and let things come to me; I have to go make things happen right now," said Ramirez, who came to UCLA as a safety but switched to running back before his freshman season. "I have to fly to the ball and just be tough out there. I'm trying to show it every day."
Let's hope Christian can be consistent in his new (or should I say old) position rest of this spring. The key for him along with being healthy is being consistent from play to play. Ramirez has been through a lot since he came to Westwood. It would be great if he could leave his last season on an up note.
Junior strong safety Tony Dye missed practice Monday as a precaution after some testing revealed an irregular heartbeat that he said wouldn't force him to miss considerable time.
"[Doctors] said it wasn't anything serious at all, but of course they have to make sure," Dye said. "But they said it shouldn't be a big deal and that I should be on the field [Tuesday] if not [Thursday]."
He explained that part of the testing was because doctors were considering giving him Adderall for "some ADHD possibilities." But Dye said he isn't concerned about the results because doctors told him the symptoms were minor.
"And I know myself," he said. "I've been running around here just fine, never had any heart problems in the past, so it should be easy."
Neuheisel mentioned that he has "known about" Dye's condition"for some time." He didn't seem all that worried (at least in the video posted above). Interestingly, Dalton Hilliard did a pretty good job (according to various accounts) stepping in at SS in Dye's absence. It is always good to exercise caution in this kind of situations, yet I can only imagine Dye knows that his position as a starter is not safe as Hilliard is pushing hard this spring.
As mentioned above, the Bruins get back at it today around 4 pm PST. You can see the full practice schedule here. Note Friday is going to be another opportunity to do a doubleheader day in Westwood taking in football and baseball from Spaulding to Jackie Robinson Stadium.