UCLA FOOTBALL NOTES

Hey Bruins fans this is Vinny Bonsignore I was out at UCLA practice today. Lot of good things going on out here, you can definitely sense a new level of excitement and a new level of focus under the new staff.

Crazy to think some of these kids are learning their fourth new offense and defense, but that is the reality this spring.

It’s probably a good thing most of these guys are used to the process of absorbing new systems, but you have to think they are ready to just settle in on a definite plan on both sides of the ball rather than continually changing things.

Nothing new on the quarterback battle, with Coach Jim L. Mora basically saying everyone is advancing, everyone is improving and everyone is beginning to settle in. And that includes T.J. Fafaul, T.J. Millweard and Jerry Neuheisel, the three newcomers who seem to be keeping pace thus far.

That said, it’s pretty obvious Kevin Prince, Richard Brehaut and Brett Hundley are the primary players in this battle.

Brehaut told me today he loves the new offense being installed, which for him is actually an old offense as he ran it in high school. He says it is an offense that best suits his skill set and he is excited to be going back to a system he is comfortable with.

Also, Mora had some really good things to say about freshman cornerback Marcus Rios, who had a great practice today.

Here are some notes from today:

No doubt the Bruins are making wholesale changes going from Rick Neuheisel to Mora Jr. And if you count back a few years they are essentially installing their fourth new offense and defense over the last five seasons.

“You get used to it, just learning on the fly,” Brehaut said.

Now imagine being Mora Jr., who has essentially only known the NFL during his 20-plus-year career and professional football’s 24/7 devotion to the game.

It’s a whole new ballgame in college, where rules and school commitments limit the time he can spend with his players and slow down the pace in which he can install his offenses and defense.

It’s an adjustment Mora is working through.

“There’s a learning curve in this whole thing for me as well kids,” Mora admits. “The level I came from, there was no school no study table no tutoring.”

Here, with the understanding that school comes first Mora understand less is sometimes more when it comes to the volume of information he throws at his players.

And five practices into his first spring he is trying to pace himself.

“You have to measure yourself and be judicious in what you install and when you install it,” Mora said. “As coaches we all kind of want to be the next guru, the smartest guy to come up with the latest and greatest. But sometimes you do your players a real disservice if you do that. You’ve got to pace it.”

MAKING STRIDES

By all rights true freshman cornerback Marcus Rios should be in high school preparing for graduation.

Instead, as an early enrollee his is going through his first spring as a Division-1 college player.

But five practices in, he is already making a move.

“I thought today was by far his best day,” Mora said. “He flashed, he made some plays….today he made a breakthrough and I hope he feels good about it because he deserves it.”

And it’s a far cry from where Rios was just a few days ago when Mora described his as a deer in the headlights,

“But if you can imagine he should be preparing for his senior prom,” Mora said. “And I think the last two or three days he’s made an adjustment.”

INJURY UPDATE
Darius bell (WR/quad) Cassius Marsh (DE/ slight ankle) Johnathan Franklin (RB/bruised knee) and Jerry Rice (WR/collarbone) were all held out of practice.

@DailyNewsVinny
vincent.bonsignore@dailynews.com

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  • Facescar

    Any specifics on the injury updates then?

    Darius Bell being out is worrying, and I haven’t heard any updates about Rice.

    Was Fauria back and up to speed? Or was he favoring his hamstring still?

  • Coach Thom

    Great news about Marcus Rio. When Adams joins the D backfield in August, things should get a lot brighter.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Facescar,

    I hear that Rice’s x-rays were negative and they are just calling it a sprain. Not sure about the others…

  • The Monopoly Is Over Here

    Did ya’ll hear about the one where a kid would rather be a preferred walkon at USC vs. taking a schollie to go to FUCLA???

    http://ocvarsity.freedomblogging.com/2012/04/12/football-recruiting-beckman-safety-commits-to-usc-as-preferred-walk-on/258413/

    Mora Football is winning the day!!

  • FIGHTONtoVICTORY

    Looks like UCLA is losing the “champions of the offseason” title, Monopoly!

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    Did you ever hear about the fuckhead who gets his gander all up about SUC football and all the railroad properties of a certain board game?
    Yeah, sure seems to easily forget about the altime-worst, record-breaking 6-26 campaign just logged in hoops — one where the coach still kept his job?
    There’s no shame in South-Central, though.
    They’ve disgraced two Heismans, sanctions abound and they can’t stand it that the only Pac-12 South Division football championship banner will hang from the all-new Pauley Pavillion.
    Hell, SUC can’t even land Shabazz when both his parents clad him in Trojan garb from his diaper days.
    Cheat On!

  • FIGHTONtoVICTORY

    Judging by your use of profanity, you seem to be very bitter about how poorly UCLA is in football and basketball. Yes, USC is bad at basketball. Everybody knows that. But USC is a football school, and are pretty good at football. UCLA is supposedly a basketball school, yet is awful at basketball, and dont even start with football hahaha. It’s okay rockies, one day you wont be so angry.

  • Heritage Hall

    @Blight-On-To-Victory

    In an effort to “clean-up” the reputation of Southern Cal as a football school it behooves us at HH to set-straight the misconceptions of our athletic supporters when obvious inaccuracies are stated.

    As part of his pardon arrangement, Justin Paperny, our beloved Trojan baseball player/criminally convicted hedge fund accounts manager, has become the official HH fact checker.

    In today’s review, JP (not to be confused with Justice of the Peace, or any other role on the right side of the law) has done some investigative work into the comparison of Southern California, as a football school, and UCLA a basketball school since 1960.

    UCLA Basketball 1960 to 2012
    National Championships – 11
    National Championships Revoked – 0
    Conference Championships – 26 (with co-Champs – 0)
    Conference Championships Revoked – 0
    Rated in Top Twenty – 33
    Ratings Revoked – 0
    Losing Seasons – 3
    NCAA Sanctions – 0 Seasons

    USC Football 1960 to 2012
    National Championships – 6 gross, 5 net
    National Championships Vacated – 1
    Conference Championships – 25 (with co-Champs – 7)
    Conference Championships Vacated – 1
    Rated in Top Twenty – 33 gross, 31 net
    Ratings Revoked – 2
    Losing Seasons – 3
    NCAA Sanctions – 4 seasons vacating wins, 2 bans from bowl play

    JP objectively noted that UCLA basketball has never been stripped of a championship for a lack of institutional control, or any other player-engaged in illegal activities. “And as you well know, with our current coaches and alumni, we can always be assured there will never be a dearth of criminal-athletes walking the corridors of Heritage Hall, like the fellas I knew in the USC locker room and the Taft Correctional showers!!” said good old JP.

  • FIGHTONtoVICTORY

    and yet, the last real championship the little bRuins won was in ’95!

  • MichaelRyerson

    Not to encourage this pissing and moaning let me hasten to point out USC has never won a National Championship in football. Nor has anyone else, there being no actual tournament there can be no ‘National Champion’. What you have is all polls and talking heads. Virtually none of the voters in the various polls that make up this popularity contest actually see every team play, let alone every game. Every one of UCLA’s 108 NCAA National Championships are the result of a clear, open and fair tounament competition resulting in one actual champion.

  • FIGHTONtoVICTORY

    except for the shared title in football, right?

  • My Brother Went to USC When He Got Rejected From UCLA

    Hey, Monopoly:

    You conveniently leave out a little tidbit:

    “Steen said USC’s film school played a major role in his decision. ‘That’s what I want to pursue, he said.”

    Nothing against UCLA (and Cal, BYU, Boston College, Minnesota, U.C. Davis and Air Force — his other scholarship offers) if he’s dead-set on USC Film School, huh?

    Learn how to distort much from Fox “News”?

  • Amillennialist

    To imply that Fox News alone among major news networks is dishonest would be, in a word, “distorted.”

  • MichaelRyerson

    fightontoignominy you must be speaking to me with your hopeful crack concerning ‘the shared title in football’ hoping against hope that UCLA includes in it’s 108 NCAA National Championships the 1954 football title. Well bunky, no such luck, we don’t list that ‘championship’ in the total of 108, it not being, as I’ve already pointed out, a true championship of anything. Better luck next time.

  • Anonymous

    Something struck a defensive nerve, there, huh, Amillennialst?

  • FIGHTONtoVICTORY

    but hey, the (liberal) media/hollywood says that Fox News is biased, and that it’s cool to hate on Fox News so I’ll do the same! So dumb…

  • INawe

    These comments are so stupid. Stop poking the USC trolls. Trolls will keep trolling. Don’t sink to their idiotic level.

  • Anonymous

    What’s dumb — and hardly unbiased — is Fox News. Fight On! That’s dumb too.

  • GlendoraBruin

    The tide is turning and we are making tremendous strides. Our kids have a new attitude and it shows. Can’t wait to see what a little coaching can do with these kids motivated, inspired and mentally prepared.

  • 50-0

    Yawn. Ho-hmm. Wake me when something exciting like a streaker or brawl breaks out.

  • Chief of Psychiartry ~Augustus F. Hawkins Mental Health Center

    @ 50-0

    Looking for some exciting news?

    Your old room, overlooking the bodega near the Jimmy Trojan statue, is available in a few days after you are released from police custody and an updated DCFS/DMH Plan can be drafted.

    As usual, your return from gutter dwelling is predicated on you having no sharp objects, nor pictures of football players used as underwear, as you are wont to do.

  • Marc

    Stupid trogans. Got nothin better to do? Grow up.

    And Fox news is in another dimension, with all due respect Amillennialist. I won’t defend the other groups, but fox news takes the freaking cake.

    They are a pure propaganda machine, through and through. The other guys aren’t nearly that polished. Let’s not sugar coat it.

    And to finish; stupid trogies are the way they are because they are compensating for something.

    Oh, and Murshed and tydides are still a**holes.

  • Edward

    @HH: Just wondering why you started your comparison at the 1960 mark? Also, CONGRATULATIONS to your women’s volleyball team…the second best college sport.

  • The Blur

    And congratulations to USC for having yet another set of innocent students shot just outside of campus (aka The Ghetto.) Why anyone would go there is beyond me.

    Wait, I remember now: they can’t get into a decent school on their own merit so daddy sends them to the largest and most expensive fraternity in America.

    As for UCLA football, this offseason is all about Hundley in my mind. I hope he proves talented enough to take over the starting role. Our QB play has been atrocious the last few years. We need someone new and better.

  • 50-0

    To Chief Shrink: 50-0

  • Heritage Hall

    @Edward (the Mad Shirt Grinder*)

    The reason we at Heritage hall started the comparison in 1960 was because that was the beginning of the ‘modern era” of sports with major TV contracts for college sports and also the beginning of the John McKay era of football — a time when we Trojans could win in football without cheating before the subsequent transformation to the all-important criminal-athlete era of Southern California football.

    Unfortunately, since the departure of Johnny Mac to the pros, the program may have continued at the expense of selling our collective souls, most recently evidenced by two of the most sanctioned football coaches in NCAA history, Pete Carroll and Lane Kiffin.

    Although not verbalized in South Central, the ethos definitely has taken on the the Al Davis mantra — “Just win, Baby.”

    Our new direction is to move away from the tragedy of being an institution of higher learning identified by the NCAA as having a lack of institutional control.

    yet we must contend with alums with the Al Davis spirit who are angered that in 2011 we dropped out of the top 10 of Div 1 schools with “student”-afletes with a criminal record.

    Although we have a steep hill to climb with Coach Kiffin holding the reigns, pledging to get back into the Top 10 on the field and in the court-room, we in Heritage Hall promise to follow AD Hayden’s directive to look the part of towing the line.

    * album by Rolling Stone session keyboardist, Nicky Hopkins.

  • Chief of Psychiartry ~Augustus F. Hawkins Mental Health Center

    @ 50-0

    When a mind is experiencing a decline or downturn, redundancy tends to gain that mind’s core attention in the form of obsessional thinking. Your unfortunate condition is readily exemplified at any time within the dementia cycle – as a loss of memory of countervailing realities, a directive from internal hallucinatory unseen entities, and resurrected thoughts of grandeur.

    As stated earlier, 50-0, it’s time for you to check yourself into the Augustus F. Hawkins Mental Health Center now, thus offering a service to humanity in general and “Inside UCLA” readers in particular.

    It is time to leave behind your clinging paranoid obsession with one incident and crawl back under the papier-mâché rock you built for yourself during your last incarceration at the center. It is awaiting you in your room, along with your adult diapers.

  • Amillennialist

    All respect, Marc . . . if Fox seems like it’s in “another dimension,” it could be because it’s not populated entirely by self-loathing leftists.

  • 50-0

    You’re nuts.

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    You play with your nuts like OJ.

  • Anonymous

    No, Amillennialist, Fox is populated by corporate-shill, Republican party propagandists with no effort toward objectivity whatsoever.

  • Warden -Lovelock Correctional Center

    @ucla-of-the rockies

    I don’t know your source, but I can assure you that OJ isn’t the only one playing with his nuts!

  • Amillennialist

    Isn’t that funny, Anon?

    You’ve been brainwashed, and you don’t even realize it.

  • I’m Not the One Who’s Brainwashed

    @Amillennialist. Yeah, we’ll believe you. You’re truly enlightened — hey, just look at your blogs.

  • Amillennialist

    @Brainwashed,

    Isn’t that interesting? I write in defense of innocents, in defense of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness, and in defense of the Word of Christ, yet you mock.

    What does that say about you, Brainwashed? Do you really believe that falsehood is better than truth? That slavery is better than Liberty? That death is better than Life?

    Perhaps you need to examine yourself to determine just whose side you’re really on.

  • Not Brsinwashed

    @Amm:. For your rants to mean something I would have to actually share your belief system. Which I do not. But just because I dont share them, doesn’t mean I’m on “the other side” either, which is where you have declared me to be. That’s Fox’s tactics.

  • Amillennialist

    @Brainwashed,

    Facts are facts, regardless of “belief system.”

    Since I write in defense of every person’s God-given, unalienable rights to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness, and — by your own admission — you don’t share my belief in those, then you are, by definition, “on the other side.”

    Thanks for admitting that.

    Now, since you’re trying to impugn my character and judgment, let’s consider my latest “rant”: I noted that someone writing for the Miami Herald misrepresented the status of a bill intended to defend the citizens of Florida against shari’a.

    Since that is a statement of fact, then you must support either “news organizations” lying to the public, or the implementation of shari’a, or both. Which is it?

    Whatever the case, you would clearly be “on the other side.” (That’s not a “tactic,” that’s called “logic.”)

    (To be clear, Brainwashed, I’m not defending Fox. But if I were, I’d have to thank you for admitting that stating facts is one of Fox’s “tactics.”)

    I’d prefer we were on the same side in defense of Liberty.

    A.

  • Not Brainwashed

    Let’s hope the UCLA ties are big enough to wrap their arms around both ends of the political/religious spectrum represented by us.

    Fox, however, does not deserve such tolerance.

  • Amillennialist

    @Brainwashed,

    So, you’re okay with being at the other end of the political spectrum from “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”?

    If so, then that means that you accept slavery (but not for yourself, of course, since no one endorses slavery in the first-person; it’s always in the second- and third-person that slavery is permissible).

    And you would deny to others the tolerance you seek for yourself.

  • Anonymous

    @Amillennialist: Um, just so’s you know, Fox is owned (40%) by the very Islamists you demonize.

    http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2010/08/17/hey-fox-fans-your-favorite-network-is-part-owned-by-a-saudi-prince-whose-family-rules-by-sharia-law/

  • Marc

    I’m just super excited for UCLA football this year. Can’t wait to spend cynco de mayo at the Rosebowl with friends. Tailgating proper with some carne asada and pollo, then watching the team put on a great show.

    Then the countdown begins towards the start of fall practices and ultimately game one of the 2012 season.

    I hope to see many, many bruin fans out there!

  • Laughing at Amill

    Amillionlies gets schooled again! haha Go take your meds…(better yet, stick to topics you actually know something about).

  • Amillennialist

    Speaking of meds, if the anonymous coward Brainwashed or any of his multiple personalities offer something substantive, I’ll respond as time allows. For now, a few points:

    1) Unwilling or unable to address my arguments on the facts, and lacking the courage to admit the implications of his irrational self-loathing, Brainwashed turns to absurd ad hominem and name-calling, the (second-to-) last resort of tyrants.

    2) For the record, Saudi ownership of a significant portion of Fox is not news to me (punny, but a baseless lie; Brainwashed must be desperate); jihad’s agents have embedded themselves throughout all levels of American government, academia, and media. (See the bald-faced, outright lies at the California Science Center in Los Angeles and Obama’s hosting the Muslim Brotherhood, whose stated purpose is to bring down Western Civilization from within, for examples.)

    If our brave friend had been paying attention at all, he would have known that many on the so-called Right are bought-and-sold to Islam (the natural convergence between the Left and Islam renders discussion of their ties superfluous):

    -New Jersey governor Chris Christie appointed to public office a jihadist lawyer and mocked those expressing reservations about shari’a;

    -Texas governor Rick Perry is in deep with a leading proponent of shari’a, having worked with him to develop Islamic propaganda for Texas schools;

    -Texas representative Ron Paul thinks that if we leave Islam alone, it’ll leave us alone. That flies in the face of nearly one-and-one-half millennia of the rape, slavery, and slaughter of non-Muslims in Allah’s name around the world and our own experience:

    “In March 1785, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams went to London to negotiate with Tripoli’s envoy, Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman (or Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja). Upon inquiring “concerning the ground of the pretensions to make war upon nations who had done them no injury”, the ambassador replied:

    “‘It was written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every mussulman who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise. He said, also, that the man who was the first to board a vessel had one slave over and above his share, and that when they sprang to the deck of an enemy’s ship, every sailor held a dagger in each hand and a third in his mouth; which usually struck such terror into the foe that they cried out for quarter at once’” (Jefferson reported this revelation to Secretary of Foreign Affairs John Jay, who reported it to Congress. America’s oldest military monument is dedicated to our first effort against Islamic jihad).

    -apparent Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has spoken publicly about there being nothing inherent to Islam that inspires violence. (Though I have no reason to believe that he’s a shill for shari’a, the one person most responsible for our national defense ought to know and speak the truth about the existential threat facing Western Civilization.)

    -Grover Norquist, a darling of the Right, belongs to Islam heart-and-soul and has made discussion of our mortal foe verboten (see recent CPACs for examples).

    In other words, the Enemy Within is found on both sides of the political divide.

    3) How is it possible to “demonize” “Islamists,” again? (Would Brainwashed have crowed about “the Nazis you demonize”?)

    Muhammad sacralized genocide, pedophilia, rape, slavery, torture, mutilation, theft, extortion, polygyny, wife-beating, religious and gender apartheid, sedition, treason, and blasphemy, claiming that, “Allah made me do it, and you will too … or else!”

    If claiming that the God of the Bible chose Muhammad to make “holy” the violation of all Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, and Christ’s Bride, the Church isn’t “demonic,” then nothing is.

    4) I defend our God-given, unalienable rights, and I oppose anti-Semitism, genocide, pedophilia, rape, and slavery on theological grounds, yet our felicitous scholar and pharmacist Brainwashed claims that I should “stick to topics [I] actually know something about.”

    If there had been any doubt, that tells us all we need to know about Brainwashed.

    And it should tell Brainwashed something about himself.

  • Maze

    @ AMillenialist:

    Your soap-box shtick is stale. This blog is dedicated to UCLA Bruins Athletics–not political diatribes or proselytizing.

    Your rants do the readers (non-troll types, anyways) a tremendous disservice–have some respect for Jon and fellow posters by keeping your rants germane to the post/subsequent conversation.

    Unbelievable…

  • Still Not the One Who’s Brainwashed!

    Wow, just wind him up and watch him go…. And unless “Amillenialist” is your Christian name (!) aren’t you writing anonymously too (who’s not here, btw)?

  • Amillennialist

    @Maze,

    With regard to “germane,” a careful reader would note that Brother Went to SC (probably Brainwashed) turned this thread political. But that’s okay as long as it agrees with your ideology, right?

    Defamation’s fine as long as it’s someone else, isn’t it?

    @Brainwashed,

    The point was not writing anonymously (that’s often the only sensible thing to do online nowadays), but that you don’t have the courage to sign-in and stick to one name. And posting as multiple people because you can’t win on the merits is less-than-noble.

    Obfuscation is not argument.