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Spaulding Report: The Next Men Up For UCLA

Coach Mora gave some more details about Myles Jack's injury and then spoke about the players, and the types of players, who will be filling his shoes on defense.

Linebacker Jayon Brown will be one of many players filling in holes on the defense.
Linebacker Jayon Brown will be one of many players filling in holes on the defense.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

"You can't ever ever play the 'woe is me' card."

So said Coach Mora after practice this morning.

Well, I tried to play it yesterday. But nothing changed and the day pressed on. So maybe the coach is right, and maybe it's time to get up and get going again. It sucks, but what other choice is there?

Coach Mora offered some advice and thoughts on his team today that we should all probably take to heart.

You can't ever ever play the "woe is me" card  What's great about our football team and these young men and some of the backgrounds that they come from, and some of the stories that they've lived - that aren't stories, they are reality - that is if they had a "woe is me" attitude, they would not be at UCLA.  They would not have made it to this point. They got fight in them.


These are tough young men from some very difficult backgrounds at times. They've really had to challenge themselves, and they've been challenged though their life, and here they are starting class today at one of the great Universities in America, actually in the world.


Mora began the interview by providing a lot of detail about Myles' injury on Tuesday and what happened during the day. Mora confirmed that Jack tore his meniscus when he bumped into another player in 7 on 7 drills and was unable to straighten his knee after the collision. Jack got an MRI after practice which revealed the cartilage injury and because Myles hadn't eaten yet that morning, they were able to go directly to the operating room in the afternoon and look at it. After visualizing the tear directly, the doctors decided to repair the cartilage and suture it rather than excising the injured piece - which is exactly how kingslook described it yesterday (everyone submit your consultant fees to our gmail address and we'll forward them his way). Good call, kingslook. (we're now awaiting your fanpost on the operative approach to bucket handle tears, and we'll need some CME, too ;) ).

The good news for Myles, and all of us by extension, is that there was no associated ACL or bony injury, so now it's just a matter of healing and he should do very well. It is a lot of healing, though. Mora said he expects it will be a 4-6 month recovery (cartilage has poor blood supply, so healing takes a long time) and he is "certain" that he won't be back this season. He said he spoke briefly with Myles and his mother about the future but they will get into more depth about that in November.

So, moving on with football, Mora turned to the Bruins depth at linebacker calling them a "a different group, they're a special group of kids...There's no fear in them."  Acknowledging that Myles brought a lot of unique qualities, he noted that Isaako Savaiinaea, Cameron Judge, and Jayon Brown have gotten a lot of reps already and will be ready to step in. Mora admitted the defense will have to adjust in coverage, that Aaron Wallace's role might change a little bit, and that getting Ishmael Adams back helps the secondary a lot, so the Bruins have a lot of options how to go forward from here.

Thank you to Ed Lewis and Bruin Sports Report for the video

With no other players speaking after practice, it was left to the reporters to discuss the interview make guesses as to the Bruins plans.  Ed Lewis (Bruin Sports Report) and Joey Kaufman (OC Register) offered another episode of their Cover 2 Recap to assess Myles future with the Bruins. Prevailing wisdom says that Myles has played his last down for the Bruins. Kaufman said he spoke to an NFL analyst last night (post injury) who felt Myles was still a top 10 pick, and Myles also has the insurance policy which reportedly pays him $5 mil if he falls out of the first round. Unfortunately for Bruin fans, that's really a no brainer for a young player coming off a knee injury, albeit it one which should not limit him in the future.

Lewis and Kaufman also discussed personnel moves the team might make to fill Myles' dual roles against the run and the pass. Players like Savaiinaea and Brown are answers against the run. Kaufman offered an interesting stat that said that Ishmael Adams had the lowest yards/snap allowed in coverage on the team last year when covering the slot receiver. So the Bruins should be able to handle pass coverage duties fine in nickel. The trouble is that the defense will definitely be more vulnerable to the run when Adams is lined up over the slot as opposed to a linebacker, and any other linebacker besides Jack won't be as effective in coverage as a DB. With Arizona running its high tempo offense, it will be tough for our defense to substitute players based on down and distance, and Arizona will surely try to take advantage of this.

They also discussed how the Bruins might replace Fabian Moreau who should have been the object of our angst this week until he was upstaged by Myles. Kaufman noted that BYU completed 8 of 10 passes which were thrown at Moreau's replacement, Denzel Fisher, last Saturday, so the Bruins may choose to another route, suggesting moving safety Randall Goforth over to corner and putting Tahaan Goodman in the safety spot.

Thanks you to Ed Lewis and Bruins Sports Report for the video.

Eddie Vanderdoes, Fabian Moreau, and Myles Jack. That should be more than enough for one season, right?

There are a lot of permutations to fill in those holes, but it looks like it's not going to be Next Man Up.

It's going to be Next MEN Up.