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Roundup From BN Walk: Weekend Thoughts & UCLA Football Notes

<em>AmericanTeam captain Carlos Bocanegra (UCLA alum) handles the ball during USA's 2-1 victory v Turkey at Lincoln Financial Field.</em>
AmericanTeam captain Carlos Bocanegra (UCLA alum) handles the ball during USA's 2-1 victory v Turkey at Lincoln Financial Field.

Hope everyone is having a great Memorial Day weekend. Not too shabby so far. Team USA (led by UCLA's Captain America) brushed off their loss against the Czechs with an encouraging 2-1 win over Turkey. The softball team is off to a good start in the super regional. Hopefully they can get over one more hurdle to punch their tickets for Oklahoma City this afternoon at Easton. The baseball team dropped a tough game against a solid Washington State team. They will have a chance to get back on track on Senior Day early this afternoon at JRS.

Of course there is a lot of excitement around the Lakers in LA (CRN was his "biting his nails" last night).  I caught the game in bits and pieces while out having some beers with Dave from Maize n Brew.  Not sure what I was thinking I turned on tWWL this am to see the day after reactions and sure enough found all the East Coast "pundits" on "Sports Reporters" talking about how the Lakers with their thin bench will have a tough time against the big, bad, deep and healthy Boston Celtics.

Guess it was a mistake on my part to even flip to "the Sportsguy" network and look for balanced commentary involving a team from the Northeast.  I have a feeling Phil Jackson's team is going to right frame of mind this time around and not fall for Paul Pierce's shenanigans like that silly wheel chair routine from two years ago. IMO the mental edge will be with the Lakers as the entire East coast based sports establishment will get hyped around the Celtics (after all apparently no one can be pure sports fans unless they root for those poor suffering teams from Boston). Anyway, we will let the crew over at Silver Screen And Roll & Forum Blue And Gold lead the effort to counter all the narrative that will be spewing out of Eastern Sports Programming Network next few days. Back to teams on our end and I have couple of great football related note to pass on after the jump.

It looks like Taylor Embree has picked up the blogging baton from ATV. Embree is going to be writing about the team's off-season workouts on the official site. He fired off his first notes this weekend:

After Spring ball, we got a week off from workouts to help our bodies recover and focus on school. Now, we are now heavy into our off-season workouts with coach Linn and his staff. Coach Linn has done a great job of keeping us focused on our goal of a successful season. We have 13 weeks of workouts until Fall camp begins, and each week is dedicated to one of the opponents we will face this season. Depending on the team's overall effort in both the weight room and conditioning, we either win or lose the week.

During our lifting sessions, coach Linn has video highlights from our opponent of that week playing on the monitors around the weight room. This week's workouts are dedicated to the University of Texas. So far, we are 3-0 and the team is working harder than ever. Coach has increased the conditioning aspect of our workouts to get us prepared to run our new no-huddle offense (which I am real excited for).

Courtney Viney (db), Antwon Moutra (wr) and Marlon Pollard (db) have all done a great job of pushing everyone during conditioning. They set a fast pace for the skills which results in a competitive nature during the running. I definitely have to give props to Josh Smith (wr), Darius Savage (ol) and Kai Maiava (c), who have each battled through injuries and are doing a great job returning to workouts with the team.

We have also been doing 7-on-7's twice a week. These workouts are fast-paced and highly competitive. Offensively, we have picked up the tempo, and have done a great job of moving the football and making plays. I am especially impressed with Christian Ramirez who was moved back to offense at F-back. He has done a good job of learning the playbook and making plays. Quarterback Kevin Prince has stepped up as a leader on the offense and does a tremendous job of playing "coach" and organizing the offense.

You can read rest of it here. I thought the note on Kai Maiava and Josh Smith doing well in workouts was pretty encouraging. If we can get those guys back in action by the first game it will be huge. Also good to hear Moutra and Viney pushing everyone. Those two could have gotten discouraged given how they have not busted through the depth charts. Yet the bit about them pushing other guys is welcome news.

In terms of the workouts, the official site released the following video of Justin Edison and Nate Chandler this past week:

Nate Chandler's emergence this spring was a relief. It was also interesting to hear some positive feedback about Justin Edison from coaches and other practice observers this spring. If Edison can contribute in a meaningful way it will be a huge lift in terms adding depth to the DL position.

So that's what I have for this early Sunday afternoon. We will put up baseball and softball threads up later today. Hope the Bruins get it done at both JRS (1 pm PST) and Easton (4 pm PST).