Jim Mora met with the media yesterday at Pac-12 Media Day in Hollywood.
He covered a broad range of topics from Josh Rosen to the players’ summer workouts to the new additions to the coaching staff.
Of course, everyone wants to know about the state of the offense after last season.
One of the first topics Coach Mora spoke about was the arrival of Sunny Odogwu, a 24-year old graduate transfer from Miami. You’ll recall that Odogwu was seen at Bruin Viewin’ a few weeks ago curling small children with one child in each arm.
Mora explained how Odogwu got on UCLA’s radar:
Jedd Fisch, our offensive coordinator, had experience with him in Miami, and we got wind that he had graduated and was looking to be a graduate transfer. So, you know, we started to communicate with him, and it just worked out where he came to UCLA.
I will tell you this, I think it was a very big acquisition for us, not just because he's massive, but because he gives us some experience, and it allows us to go to the gap. You know, with Kolton Miller at left tackle and Sunny at right tackle, you've got a couple of large men that are athletic and have experience. It allows us to do some things inside at the guard position. You guys know that we had Kenny working at tackle through the spring. Andre James played tackle when Kolton got hurt last year.
So we have some flexibility that we didn't have.
On the state of the running game, Mora had this to say:
Our running game was awful, and I'm hopeful that it will be improved and get back to where it was the first few years we were together as a staff. I feel good about the direction it's headed. I think we've got good backs. We've got a good scheme. It's well coached. And the players understand and we understand that it needs to be better.
He also spoke about the state of the receivers, who dropped a lot of balls last season:
The receivers, I think it's a good group. I think it's a solid group. I think there is a need for us to find a way to develop more consistency. And receivers have to catch the ball. That's the job number one, to catch the ball. Some might say get open and catch the ball, but if you get open and can't catch the ball, getting open doesn't matter.
Speaking of the receivers, the UCLA-themed doughnut that was dessert after lunch yesterday had blue sprinkles, chocolate and Butterfinger pieces. The irony of that was not lost on media members in attendance.
Here are the videos of Coach Mora meeting with the media. First, we have his primary media session, thanks to Edward Lewis of the Bruin Sports Report because I had a glitch with my camera and missed the first seven minutes. So, thanks to Ed for allowing us to use his entire video instead.
After lunch, Jim sat down as he’s done in past years in a more relaxed atmosphere. I split his conversation into two parts for easier viewing. Here’s part one.
And, here’s part two.