Morning Report: Offensive line gets a boost on Day 11

*Videos interviews with UCLA coach Jim Mora, DB’s coach Demetrice Martin, S Dalton Hilliard, S Anthony Jefferson and C Jake Brendel.

**The energy was a rather low at the start of practice despite the team not wearing any pads. It was so low that Mora made them re-start their stretching. Hilliard after practice took it upon himself to talk with the seniors, stressing that it’s the seniors’ job to raise the energy and not force Mora to re-start practice.

***RB Damien Thigpen sat out practice because of some tightness. Mora wouldn’t say if it was on the hamstring that’s affected him in the past, but with his injury history it only made sense to sit out him out in the morning. He’ll be back for the evening practice. WR Devin Lucien (minor concussion), OL Michael Padovese (heat), OL Simon Goines (heat) and OL Will Oliver (heat) roamed the sideline but did not take part in practice. OL Tre Hale left practice early while he continues to recover from heat exhaustion. OL Alberto Cid and OL Jeff Baca are still out. The offensive line did get a boost with the return of Alexandru Ceachir, who took part in the linemen rotation. He looked a little rusty, but having him back in itself is a big deal for a depleted line. WR Jerry Rice Jr. was on the bike again. I know yesterday I said he wasn’t limping anywhere near he did the first day back from a mild left ankle sprain, but today he limped a little more than usual. Not sure what happened there. OL Torian White will undergo a procedure for a “heart rhythm problem”. We were told that a “heart murmur” is not the the correct medical term. No word on when exactly he’ll have the surgery, but Mora has said the surgery will be scheduled before the Rice game and it will not affect his return for the sesason opener on Aug. 30 in Houston.

****WR Javon Williams and TE Joseph Fauria continue to have an impressive string of performances that spans several days. Williams caught a touchdown pass and Fauria continues to expolit the secondary with his size. LB Keenan Graham saw some time at fullback and even caught a touchdown pass from Richard Brehaut. RB Steven Manfro also had a nice showing. He caught a swing pass from Brehaut and sprinted down the sideline for a touchdown.

******The team practiced emergency field goal situations, meaning P Jeff Locke threw a pass that was incomplete. After, kickers Ka’imi Fairbairn and Justin Moreno practiced field goals. Fairbairn went 3 for 4 and Moreno went 1 for 3. Fairbairn converted from 21, 30 and 35. He missed from 30 on the final attempt. Moreno missed from 21, went wide right from 35 and converted from 30.

*******Practice today is at 5:30 p.m. Thursday’s final practice from Cal State San Bernardino was moved from 8:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. Westwood, here we come.

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  • VB

    From your vantage point, is there a good chance Baca and Cid are going to be out for the season, or is this just a recovery from the heat exhaustion? Seems odd that don’t seem close to coming back simply because of heat exhaustion.

  • Miguel Melendez

    VB: I don’t think they’ll be out for the season and there’s some indication that the two will be back at some point before the start of the season. In the Mora interview I ask him if they’ll need some acclimating period since they’ve missed so much time. Check it out.

  • Wicks/Rowe

    Crap, Shabazz Muhammad has been declared ineligible while the NCAA investigates possible improper benefits provided to Muhammad by a couple of family friends. Shabazz is ineligible for UCLA’s trip to China.
    Jon Gold should’ve been all over this story by now???

  • KolbAte10Eggs

    Thanks, Miguel. Where was Ceachir lining up?

    Go Bruins

  • Anonymous

    @Wicks/Rowe:
    It is old news, and skipping China’s not a big deal, but it would be nice to have him back.

    The story of possible ineligibility actually was announced back in February, when Jon mentioned it: http://www.insidesocal.com/ucla/2012/02/another-bombshell-could-shabaz.html

    But Muhammad’s family disclosed everything to the NCAA that the NCAA is investigating. I think they’re just trying to figure out what to do about it. UCLA’s just taking the precautions to prevent any chance of sanctions.

  • Miguel Melendez

    KolbAte: Ceachir was at left guard. Hopefully the rest of the guys return soon. Simon Goines looks like the closest one to get back on the field.

  • UB – Ultimate Bruin

    As for the O Line. Any good news is welcome. It has been the weakest unit on a weak team for the better part of a decade. Without a decent O Line, the chance of progress is dismal. The last few seasons, those spurts of “3 and outs” have cost our team dearly, as the defense spent too much time of the field and was gassed by the middle of the 3 Qtr. To me, the single most important thing for our program is to have CONSISTENT play from the O Line to allow for sustained drives. That will give our defense the best bet of staying fresh late in the game during crunch time. We appear to have enough skill players on offense to make some things happen IF the O Line can consistently do their part. Man, if I see a rash of ‘false starts,’ as we have had in the past, which result in stalling out drives or 3 and outs, I am going to seek out Adrian Klemm and make him do ‘up downs’ till HE pukes!

  • Anonymous

    Any news on Hundley? Last thing I can remember was that he threw 4 interceptions after being named starter.

  • Anonymous

    UB –
    Just because you wear Superman pajamas doesn’t mean you are Superman. Up the meds otherwise your grip on reality will continue to slip.

  • UB – Ultimate Bruin

    @ Anon 2:49 What put a burr up your saddle? The only thing you have a grip on is short, shriveled and perpetually enfeebled.

  • Miguel Melendez

    Anonymous: Brett Hundley has settled down. Remember he went from throwing four interceptions on Saturday, two on Sunday and one on Monday. The team practiced without pads this morning so let’s see how he holds up later tonight.