Some practice notes

Rick Neuheisel could barely hold in his excitement.

The UCLA head coach made it barely halfway through his introductory statement to the media on Wednesday night before mentioning the return of sophomore F-back Anthony Barr from a knee injury.

“It was great to have Anthony Barr back out there,” Neuheisel said quickly. “Hopefully we can have him in some small role for the weekend.”

How much UCLA is to use him is to be decided, although he appeared healthy and able during Wednesday’s practice, seemingly cutting with ease.

How much the Bruins will need him? That is without question.

Down four receivers, UCLA is low on weapons, though the possible return of Barr and junior wide receiver Jerry Johnson from a broken ankle suffered last season would be a boon.

“We’ll try to see how many (plays) we can get out of him,” Neuheisel said. “He’s certainly a guy who has played, like Jerry, a guy who can help us. He gives us lot of flexibility. That was one of the great values we had when he was with us, so it was nice to have him running round today.”

With seniors Nelson Rosario and Josh Smith expected to see much of the reps at wide receiver and F-back Jordon James and tight end Joseph Fauria able to contribute as well, the hope among coaches is that they won’t have to rely too heavily on Barr and Johnson as they work their ways back from injury.

The Bruins found out the flip side of the hurry-back equation on Thursday against Arizona, as cornerback Sheldon Price returned quickly from a sprained knee suffered Week 4 against Oregon State and was punished for it, the Wildcats picking on him often.

“The answer is yeah you wish you would have them all 100 percent,” Neuheisel said. “But sometimes in the course of a football season, you don’t have that luxury. Certainly in the situation we find ourselves offensively this week, we certainly don’t have that luxury. If (Barr) is able to go, and I know he’s champing at the bit to go and it’s not as if it’s unsafe, we’ll continue to explore it.”

Line Call
With Chris Ward out for practice the previous two days with a knee injury and Alberto Cid suspended for the first half against Cal for his role in the brawl at Arizona, UCLA is expected to go with redshirt freshman Wade Yandall at guard opposite sophomore Greg Capella. Yandall, who has been practicing extensively with the first unit with Cid mainly working the twos, saw extensive time during spring and fall camp with the ones.

Bumps and Bruises
Redshirt freshman kicker Kip Smith (hip) has not practiced this week after practicing more than he has in weeks last week, despite being listed as questionable.
“He’s got a more-significant injury that first thought,” Neuheisel said. “We’ve just got to let it heal.”

* Other notes – Saw some really good catch-and-runs today, particularly by Barr and Fauria. … James looks a go for punter this week with Taylor Embree suspended. … Nate Chandler and Justin Edison got extensive time with the ones as UCLA also has to replace Cassius Marsh, not just for one but two games.

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  • Anonymous

    What happened to the player and Assistant Coaches interviews? As bad as everyone is coming down on RN, why aren’t they answering up to the issues?

  • PERSPECTIVE

    “Other notes – Saw some really good catch-and-runs today, particularly by Barr and Fauria. …”

    Against our defense does this really mean anything?

  • Rich

    “Saw some really good catch-and-runs today, particularly by Barr and Fauria…”

    Fauria…Joseph Fauria…that name sounds really familiar to me. Where have I heard that before?

    Wait a minute, I think I remember. Pretty tall dude? had a couple catches early in the season maybe? Am I remembering that correctly?

    Huh. Well, welcome Joe Fauria, and good luck! With all of our “threats” neutralized by suspensions, maybe this kid will have a chance to come in and do something special. Lord knows he can’t be any worse than the guys who’ve been playing and getting catches

    Here’s to new blood!

  • James Katt

    Unfortunately, bad players get injured far more often than good players.

    We have too many bad players.

    You can’t have a successful football program with so many injured players.

    In the NFL, a player who gets injured too often is cut. Period.

  • Anonymous

    Didn’t you see Prince throw unsuccessfully to Fauria who was triple covered in the endzone? Maybe that may give you clue regarding his decrease in production.

  • INSANITY

    To Anonymous ^ did you see the other FOUR times he was wide open and they threw to OTHER receivers in double coverage? We need FAURIA’S pic on some milk cartons delivered to CRN’s office STAT!

  • UCLA Dynasty

    Based on the last two comments either we have a QB who can’t read defenses and regularly throws into double coverage or our coaches have designed the worst pass plays ever and every receiver is double covered. Either way (bangs head against wall)

  • Stan

    Wasn’t Barr actually a good defensive player as well and during his recruitment a decision had to be made which side of the ball he’d play on? From what I have seen, Barr rarely got touches on offense and with the pitiful defense we have, it seems like linebacker, etc would be the best place for him. Shouldn’t the best athletes be on the field anyway? All this offensive talent the Bruins are suppose to have, but it’s not put to use. I guess I’ll see it up close in the Rose Bowl saturday. I can’t believe we’re going, but airline tickets were already purchased. Hope to see some improvement.

  • Sec21R14S110

    Sounds like CRN is thinking Barr is going to save his job somehow…what has he done in the games he’s played??

    I used to think we had a recruiting problem at UCLA but now I’m leaning more towards bad coaching. How can we continue to stink it up with all these talented players we have?

    Chuck Bullogh should have stayed on, Coach Tresey is a joke…he and CRN looked like dumb and dumber on the sidelines against ‘Zona.

    Time for another change, make it happen Guerrero.

  • Anonymous

    What a great day to be a Bruin. A Barr is back as the F***
    Back, he is going to led the team with his 2 receptions and 10 total yards because someone does not know how to use him. I hope all bruin fans can be as happy as Richie. Wait a minute, we are not being paid over $1 million, he is. No wonder. He was probably thinking about his paycheck.

  • Danny Y.

    LMAO… I read the first line as, “Rick Neuheisel could barely hold in his excrement”!

  • Reformed Droog

    Oh, come on, Danny, you had to know that wasn’t what it said because CRN couldn’t possibly have anything left in him after he shat the bed so badly last Thursday…

  • tomas

    JG – could you ask CRN why we have so many guys who we find out later had “more significant injuries ” than first thought? Is this another case of the lousy medical staff mis-diagnosing the nature of an injury. I bet if you dig a little on this you will find that to be the answer.