Despite reports that Mique Juarez is back with the team, UCLA’s freshman linebacker missed another day of practice Tuesday afternoon. As Ben Bolch notes in his LA Times article, it was another excused absence.
Meanwhile, Offensive Coordinator Kennedy Polamalu met with the media after practice when he spoke at length about the new offense.
Polamalu said that he intends to script 10-15 plays per game based on what the coaches see on film of our opponents. He added that the offense has been designed with Josh Rosen in mind. Polamalu said:
It's very important that it in for of a development of a young man like himself that he has to see the big picture...not just "Hey...half the field’s open." He sees the coverage. "Hey, we’re painting a picture with this matchup." Now, instead of a receiver running it now maybe a tight end’s running it...maybe a back is running it...maybe someone else. Then, he gets to see that matchup and where he places the ball and that's where, right now, we're getting to that point where he knows how to throw the ball in every coverage versus those concepts. At the next level, you have to be able to call plays and change the plays...change the direction and change those things. But also...the next level you’ve got to be able to run the football to help him because we just can't drop back and just let people run at him.
Bruin fullback Ainuu Taua spoke about what he’s done to learn more about the offense, and how he improved his pass catching during summer workouts with Josh Rosen. He also compared himself and fellow fullback Cam Griffin. Tuau explained, "He’s the speed and I’m the weight."
He also talked about how good it feels to be a guy who is initiating contact. "It’s violent. Let’s go hit somebody. I can’t wait to see what it’s like in a game," Taua said smiling.
With the addition of a true tight end to the new offense, Nate Iese spoke about his transition to the new role. He said the biggest difference was "having [his] hand in the dirt, referring to the fact that he’s now in a three-point stance rather than a two-point stance in the backfield. He added:
Now, I’m dealing with defensive ends who are rushing off the edge. I also have to take into account helping out my tackles with chip blocks which makes it an easier block for them.
Training Camp in San Bernardino continues today with a session this morning and another one at 5:45 pm.