Relentlessly positive

I wrote a (long) profile story on UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel in today’s paper, and also included is the notebook.
One quote I found interesting but didn’t work in the story was this gem from Neuheisel, who talked about the “Relentlessly Positive” sign he had posted in UCLA’s locker room.
“You can’t say that and then think you won’t have a good year,” Neuheisel said. “(Former Washington athletic director) Barbara Hedges’ biggest thing was hope is not a strategy, but dreaming with your feet on the ground, meaning here’s your plan and here’s how to achieve your dream, that is a strategy.
“We were picked to finish fifth my senior year and we were Pac-10 champs. Now, we got lucky because other teams flopped, but luck is part of it.”

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Wrapping up practice

UCLA staged its last practice today before Monday’s season opener against Tennessee. As per usual, it was a light day in which the emphasis is on execution and low on impact.
After the practice, Bruins coach Rick Neuheisel spoke with his team in preparation of playing the Vols, and also had former assistant coach and academic affairs guru Ed Kezirian speak to the team. And Neuheisel said, yes, Kezirian did wave his towel in the meeting.
As for real news, Neuheisel made official what I’ve been reporting, that the offensive line will be RT Nick Ekbatani, RG Sonny Tevaga, C Micah Reed, LG Scott Glicksberg and LT Micah Kia.
Only Kia and Reed have starting experience. Ekbatani played on the offensive line in 2006, but not last season, Glicksberg’s only playing experience is as a tight end and defensive lineman and Tevaga has never taken a college snap.

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Carter’s health

I spoke to UCLA tailback Raymond Carter about the knee injury that sidelined him last season, and he is adamant everything is fine.
After showing inconsistencies early in training camp, Carter has performed better as of late. Although he still wears a cumbersome knee brace, he said there are no issues with his knee.
“Seriously, I feel 100 percent,” Carter said. “My knee has not been bothering me at all, this past camp or during this past week. I feel like I’m ready to get out there.”

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Answers, Part XIII

We shall end the Q&A this week with lucky No. 13. Here is the last set of answers for this week.
Remember, though, I will have stuff all weekend, and have the open forums for discussions before, during and after Monday’s game, as well as reaction from the locker room after the Tennessee game.
Now, onto the final set of answers:
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