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Spaulding Report: UCLA Football Waiting for a Quarterback and Defense Rules!

Jim Mora spoke with the media today about the quarterback position and other developments. But it seems today was about the defense.

Marcus Rios is coming on strong!
Marcus Rios is coming on strong!
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

It seems Jim Mora may have found a way to put questions off about who would be UCLA's quarterback. Petros and Money were at practice today and seemed to get the most information anyone has gotten thus far about the quarterback selection process.  Besides the usual fun interviews with coaches, players and Southern Cal jabs, they were able to get Coach Mora to say something.

Are you ready?

We will know who UCLA's quarterback will be when the offense takes the field against Virginia. Mora did say the staff would narrow down the choice in August, but that competition would continue right up to game time. Coach Mora did say in the post practice interview, that he likes the direction they are moving and will reassess how they will practice with the quarterbacks moving forward.  At this point, each of the four has run the offense four times, each getting to work with the ones twice. Saturday was a little different as all four qb's got to work with the ones, each getting at least 20 live snaps.

So will we really be waiting until September 5th to find out who our quarterback will be? Or is this a trick to get the press to stop asking? Petros has another theory. For the first three or so games, UCLA will play two quarterbacks, working Josh Rosen in a little more each game until he is ready to completely take the reigns when conference play begins. What are your thoughts?

Mora  met with the press after practice and liked the way Asiantii Woulard has been playing. Speaking about Saturday:

Asiantii had his best day since he's been there. Things are moving in the right direction at that position...

He looked more comfortable. Every player at some point reaches a point in their development where the game slows down. When you get to that number of snaps, you recognize things differently. As good as he is, as talented as he is, as good as his arm is, he hasn't played a lot in game situations.

Today, however, it didn't look like Asiantii had as good of a day.  According to Chris Foster, he was 15 for 23 today, with 2 interceptions.

Part of the problems the quarterbacks may be facing, is the improvement in the secondary. In his post-practice interview, Mora talks about the importance of having Randall Goforth. He makes a big difference. There's also great depth now, especially at cornerback. Mora also says that the guys are trying to challenge Jordan Lasley's "quick trigger", trying to get in his head and in his face, so that he can learn to walk away and that it seems to be working. Mora loves Lasley's competitiveness and passion, but he just needs to learn how to handle his passion.

Mossi Johnson may have tweaked his left leg today, but should be fine. Mora also says Caleb Benenoch may be ready to go at the end of the week. Eldridge Massington and Priest Willis are working out on the side for now. Josh Rosen didn't attend practice to attend a funeral.  Here is the full interview:

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Thank you Jack Wang from Inside UCLA for the video.

While Jerry Neuheisel and Asiantii ran the offense today, according to Chris Foster, Paul Perkins had the offensive play of the day:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Best offensive moment for <a href="">#UCLA</a> was a 50 yd TD run by Paul Perkins, who had a quality day overall <a href="">@UCLAFootball</a> <a href="">#pac12</a></p>&mdash; chris foster (@cfosterlatimes) <a href="">April 14, 2015</a></blockquote>

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However, it looks like it was a good day for the defense:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Strong day for the <a href="">#UCLA</a> defense in 11-on-11 vs. offense. Ishmael Adams and Marcus Rios had interceptions. <a href="">@UCLAFootball</a> <a href="">#pac12</a></p>&mdash; chris foster (@cfosterlatimes) <a href="">April 14, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Defense was dominant in today’s <a href="">#SpringFootball</a> practice. <a href="">#UCLA</a> <a href="">#Football</a> <a href="">@ClickClack_Jack</a> <a href="">@ishadams</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Katie Meyers (@KatieMeyers93) <a href="">April 14, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Katie is a UCLA Sports photographer.

Demetrice Martin talks about how nice it is to finally have a veteran group in the secondary who have been running the same coverages and how it makes it easy to make quick changes. He has seen a lot of development in Marcus Rios who has gotten really strong "moved his legs onto his arms". He's Popeye. He emphasizes that they have enough players now that they can move people around. He talks about how he's working with Fabian Moreau on not stopping his feet when he gets in position and on his ball skills. Coach Martin thinks Johnny Johnson is going to be really special and talks about how Goforth watched like a coach last year, which is really calming down the backfield.

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

Marcus Rios and Jayon Brown also met with the press after practice.

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

It's great to see Marcus looking so good. "I always knew I would get to this point...back out here with all my brothers."

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

Number 12 has been looking really good at the ILB position. He talks about the transition from safety to linebacker and that it's mostly a matter of learning the schemes. He's trying to model himself on Eric Kendricks. I wish they would stop asking everyone about Myles and I like how Jayon responds saying that they're all leaders! "Take care of the little details and everything will turn out right."

In his interview with Petros and Money, Mora also gave some information for those going to the spring showcase, saying that it will be a practice, not a game. There is a lot of live action in practice and, as Mora and Petros point out, watching the one on ones is great fun. He also says the Count on Me Foundation golf tournament is coming up in May and Troy Aikman and Jonathan Ogden are two of the Bruins who will be there. Troy has donated over $1 million to the new facility.

Tom Bradley is also interviewed about getting to know the players and eaves dropping on some of the players when deciding to come to UCLA. We've heard a lot of this interview before but he also talks about Myles Jack, Scott White, Mora working on both sides of the ball, and finding the back roads to work. Bradley has noticed that there's a lot of honking in L.A.

The best interview is with Jordan Peyton. They have a lot of fun discussing Jordan's hair, taking a jab or two at Southern Cal, and debating who is the better blocker, Thomas Duarte or Jordan. Petros points out that the receiving corps has gone from being probably the weakest part of the team, to the deepest and Jordan agrees, and talks about how exciting it is to see all these young guys out there. He gives all the credit to Coach Yarber for having a vision and carrying it out. They also talk about the quarterback decision, which Jordan says will be difficult and about how well Josh Rosen is fitting in and adapting. Jordan says Josh has done all the right things, working hard, asking questions, being coachable, and has earned the respect in the locker room from the older guys. They finish the interview with Petros kidding Jordan about how much Jordan jumped around during his recruitment to which Jordan advises: "Don't come to the grocery store with me".

The next practice will be Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. UCLA time.

Enjoy the week, and as always ...

Go Bruins