Let's start our roundup by checking in with Brian Price.The big man is off to a great start in Fox71's hometown. He is not only making an impression on the field. Through all the excitement he is keeping his cool and maintaining his perspective off the field. Also, we have some notes to pass on re. Korey Bosworth, a great off-season story and a quick comment on power rankings.
So Brian Price. The Buc fans are fired up about him and his rookie DL team-mate Gerald McCoy. They have been looking forward to their arrival since the NFL draft and they got their wish this past weekend.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers started their minicamp for rookies this past weekend. Per Craig T at Buc 'Em Brian Price (along with McCoy) "impressed coaches" in his first day of minicamp. It didn't take that long for Brian Price to make an impression with the Buccaneer fans with some hints of his power and explosion on the very first day. More from Rick Stroud of the St. Petersburg Times:
For about two hours at One Buc Place, McCoy and Price, the Nos. 3 and 35 picks overall, respectively, in last week's draft passed the eyeball test.
In cone drills, bag drills and hitting the blocking sled, they had the quickest feet, the most explosive first step and more finishing power than any of the other undrafted free agents and tryout players assembled on the defensive line.
That's what you expect to see entering rookie minicamp. For the first day, McCoy and Price delivered.
From the early going it sounds like Price and McCoy have already bonded as rookie team-mates and looking to push each other. Price was fired up after first day of practice:
"We're working one day to be the best tandem (of defensive linemen) in the National Football League,'' Price said following practice Friday. "That's big shoes to fill, but we're willing to put on 20 pairs of socks if we need to. We're willing to do whatever it takes.''
Yet he maintained his perspective (and didn't toss his cookies):
Following his first rookie minicamp practice Friday, Price surveyed the shoes on his feet that stood on another pristine patch of emerald grass. He fumbled with the collar on his practice jersey that bears the NFL shield. He held his Bucs helmet closer to his face and smiled.
"It really hasn't hit me yet," Price said. "I've had this dream since I was younger. Being here, this was a goal for me. I have a lot more. I don't like falling short of my goals."
He will get there. We have no doubt. Price pulled his right hamstring later in the minicamp but the Tampa coaches don't sound worried at all. More after the jump.
While Price is in a bit of settled situation as a second round draft pick, a number of team-mates are working to make a roster as an undrafted free agent. Kyle Bosworth is trying to make the Jaguar squad. Adam Stites from the Big Cat Country took a look at the former Bruin LB:
Kyle Bosworth was a redshirt senior at UCLA and a stalwart on their defense side-by-side with his twin brother, Korey who is now a member of the Denver Broncos. Football runs in the family as the two are the nephews of former Seattle Seahawks linebacker Brian Bosworth. Although Kyle was the one coming off of a knee injury that cost him the majority of his junior year, he was considered by most to be the better draft prospect of the two twins. While the two have insanely similar measurables, Kyle was the more productive of the two at UCLA, and as such, was invited to the combine while his brother Korey was not.
At 6'1, 236 pounds Bosworth has adequate size for an NFL linebacker and has speed that is good enough to make it in the league at 4.62. The reason behind him going undrafted is probably due in part to an injury history during his years at UCLA. An injury to his thumb cost him four games his freshman year while a sprained knee cut ten games off the end of his senior year. He was granted another year of eligibility in which he managed to stay healthy and earn an honorable mention for the All Pac-10 team.
Good luck to Kyle. He certainly will give it his best shot. He was not the most talented athlete ever to put on a UCLA uniform yet he made up for it by bringing effort, desire and intensity in every play.
Moving on to Bruins who are on the roster today, the official site has a great story on what some of the guys have been up to this off-season. Coach Linn started a program called "Man-Maker Wednesdays" last off-season in which he, and up to 10 players, most of whom were freshmen, visited different schools on each Wednesday during month of March. It is part of an after school program dubbed "Team Prime Time." Through workouts the Bruin student-athletes shared their personal stories of success, the importance of setting goals, and the dedication needed to achieve these goals. Some highlights from the official site:
The program got off to an amazing start with the visit to Daniel Webster Middle School, highlighted by cornerback Andrew Abbot's incredibly sincere conversation with the kids most-in-need of inspiration, and it worked. Roger, an eighth grader, stood up and declared, "You are my new hero and inspiration!" A statement cheered by all in the classroom.
Highlights from the Emerson MS visit include cornerback Marlon Pollard's enthusiastic training session, safety Dalton Hilliard's discourse on dedication, and quarterback Nick Crissman's reunion with the kids he met during a visit in 2009. Crissman, as good quarterbacks always do, followed up on his visit to Emerson MS by leading a new group of players to Palms MS.
Few will forget lineman Eddie Williams' agility drills, or his discussion of the importance of academics. Nor will people soon forget defensive back Stan McKay's displays of strength as he pumped out dozens of pushups in support of the kids' efforts to conquer the Ladder Drill.
With only the visit to Westside Leadership Magnet to go, UCLA Players and TPT students alike are already looking forward to next year. Andrew Abbot said it best..."I'll most-definitely return, and next time I'm bringing a whole bunch of guys with me. These are great kids and I'm honored to be here."
This is great stuff. I will sound like a broken record here but again we need to get this on videos.
Lastly, many of you have already taken note of Ted Miller's "Post-spring Pac-10 power rankings." Miller ranks Bruins at the 8th spot:
8. UCLA: The new revolver offense, a knockoff of Nevada's "pistol," got mixed reviews, but the rebuilding defense probably looked better than expected. Questions about the offensive line remain, and it's fair to believe that line will be the reason the Bruins either climb into the conference's top half or remain in the bottom five.
I have no problem with it. I actually hope we do get the ranked in the lower half bracket in most of the pre-season rankings/lists etc. It will put us in a good spot. I don't think there is any reason to get worked up over any of these lists (except for taking note of them) during the off-season.
Our goal all alone has been incremental. We met our season expectations last year (a subject we are not going to debate over since it was discussed to death last offseason) by getting into a bowl game and then winning it (winning 4 of our last 5 games). We could have done even better if not for an unfortunate injury to Kevin Prince against Tennessee. This year our goal should be to get a winning record in the Pac-10 conference and win that last regular season game (this year scheduled at the Rose Bowl). If we meet those two goals all rankings relevant to UCLA football will take care of themselves and have us in position for an even better season in 2011.