Last weekend, I asked you the loyal readers of Bruins Nation what you would ask Coach Mora because, here at Bruins Nation, we are the voice of the fans.
While I wasn't able to ask all or even most of the questions, all of you submitted, I made it my mission today to ask some of the most interesting questions, or, at least paraphrases thereof.
For my first question, I took the suggestion of Beer & Math and asked Coach Mora, "What have you done during spring, and what do you anticipate doing during camp to cut down on the number of penalties?"
And, as you will see in the videos below, Coach Mora answered the question by saying:
That's a good question. During spring what we did is we brought officials in more, and we created more game- like situations where we asked them to throw the flag and be very picky about what they were seeing. Then we asked them to explain to our players the structure of the rule, the interpretation of the rule and why it was a penalty. At times we might make a guy run a lap or something. I don't necessarily subscribe to that philosophy. I think one of the things that will help us is we've been a young, young team. I don't want to use that as an excuse, but it's a reason. We've been a young team. Sometimes guys haven't been as well versed in their technique as maybe they should be, so they get handsy or grabby. Hopefully now that we're a little more experienced and more fundamentally sound we'll be able to avoid some of the things, some of the cheat things that guys have to do when they get behind in a play.
But, I didn't completely agree with his assessment that the Spring Practice officials were being "very picky" at throwing flags, at least at the practices I witnessed and I mentioned it in one of our Spaulding Reports in April. So, I asked a followed-up with, "What would you say to an observer who seems to think that the officials in spring ball didn't seem to be calling it tightly?" to which Coach Mora responded, "I wouldn't say anything because I'd never heard that."
It was an amusing moment, but we did discuss it in more detail later on and I explained that Bruins Nation had mentioned that the officials didn't seem to be doing much of anything. He replied that he thought the team did gain a lot from having the officials present.
When I had a chance to ask another question, I based it off bronco4bruins suggestion about training with virtual reality gear. Now, in all fairness, I actually had some knowledge about this already. At the beginning of June, I was sent a press release from EON Sports VR touting how UCLA had signed on to have that company provide a virtual reality system that would allow players to gain more reps. I even interviewed EON Sports VR CEO Brendan Reilly with the intention of writing an article about it for BN. Overall, it sounded impressive. But, in order to finish that story I felt a demo was important to being able to explain it to you our readers. I tried to set up a demo with UCLA Offensive Coordinator Noel Mazzone primarily because he was quoted in the press release and he could cover the UCLA angle of the story.
Unfortunately, I still haven't been able to see a demo of the system and haven't written that article yet as a result.
But, when bronco4bruins suggested the question, I thought today would be a great opportunity to ask about the team's use of VR.
I asked Coach Mora, "You guys are now using a virtual reality system to train your quarterback. How has that affected the development of the quarterbacks, not so much as far as who is going to be number one, but how's that working out in developing them?"
Coach Mora sounded very excited about using the system. He said:
We're just introducing it, and we'll start to use it at camp. But I think what it will do, and we use it for quarterbacks, we use it for running backs, we use it for the offensive line and linebackers specifically. Those that have to identify looks and make decisions. I think it will give them extra mental reps, chances to not just visualize, but to actually see formations, adjustments, rush lanes and things that they're going to have to react to in real life. So just give them extra mental reps....We haven't done a whole lot with it, but I believe I'll be happy with it. Maurice Jones-Drew is the one that introduced us to it. I'm excited about it because he's excited about it, and they're excited to work with us. And I think it will benefit our program.
Those were the questions I was able to ask during Coach Mora's press conference.
I was able to ask the one question which may be the one that most Bruins Nation readers pull their hair out the most over in our comments and that was the very first question posted by Seth Chandler. Seth wanted to know why the don't run quick slants over the middle to evade the pass rush.
But Coach Mora's response was almost Maddenesque in detail that it can be found in its own separate article which will be posted shortly. I'll add the link when it's posted.
By now, I'm sure most of you would just like to listen to what Coach Mora had to say and that's why I'm going to wrap up with a series of videos which compile most of his press conference. Unfortunately, I ran into memory card issues and it got broken up into multiple videos. As a result, I didn't get absolutely EVERYTHING which Coach Mora said, but I think I got about 90-95% of it. For you completists out there, you can read the transcript of his press conference.