Thursday Report: Jim Mora excited for Nebraska.

UCLA will hold a walk-through Friday morning before leaving for their hotel later that night. UCLA coach Jim Mora addressed a few things after Thursday’s practice. He said UCLA will not have a uniform change for Saturday’s game against Nebraska. Mora talked on a few other subjects: On the difference between UCLA QB Brett Hundley and Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez. “Taylor is not as big as Brett,” Mora said. “Taylor is probably faster than Brett. Taylor is more experienced than Brett. Brett’s probably more of your prototypical throwing motion but Taylor is a much more seasoned and experienced player than Brett, much more. We hope one day that Brett is operating with the efficiency that Taylor is right now.” Mora was asked if when he was hired and looked at the schedule and saw Nebraska in Week 2 if that was a game he would have wanted a few more weeks down the road. “I was excited about the game,” Mora said. “Any time you see a Nebraska on your schedule, a team of national prominence like Nebraska … if you’re a competitor you get your juices going. This is the perfect time for it to come, and I think we’ll be ready to go on Saturday.”

Some of you have wondered why the coverage has gone down on the blog the last couple days, maybe even the last week or two in terms of practice reports. If you haven’t noticed by now, the media is limited on what we can report from practice. This means: no injury updates, no updates on who missed practice, and nothing on schemes, performances and even scuffles. So at the end of the day what we get (and can write about) is what you see on the videos posted. It’s not the most ideal situation for a beat writer, but we roll with the punches.

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  • Good Guy Greg

    I think what we want more than anything else is an explanation as to what is going on with the direction of this blog. Is Jon gone? Are you the new beat writer? Why is everything so secretive and non-informative?

    Also, I the main complaint regarding coverage has nothing to do with the amount of information available to you. It has to do with the fact that the first game was covered minimally, to say the least. It is sort of weird that you had to basically live in San Bernardino for 2 weeks during camp, but didn’t even cover the first game. Barley any stories, special features or observations from the game.

  • Nacho El Taquero

    I agree with Good Guy Greg. There was less than minimal coverage. No “Grade Report” for the offense, defense, special teams, no coverage of the post-game presser, no interviews with players, no “discuss the game” post, etc. Very disappointing since this was my go-to site for Bruins news and information.

    Miguel, if the DN intends to not hire a full-time Beat Writer for our Bruins and to let this blog die a slow, painful death, just let us know. We’ll hold a mock on-line funeral for this blog and head elsewhere.

  • Anonymous

    not sure if it’s been reported here but Gold is now at CBS sports. Miguel is doing a great job imho.

  • In-N-Out Guy

    Jon Gold has a new job covering the Pac 12 as a whole and the Arizona Cardinals for CBSSportsline

  • VB

    Yeah. We know what Jon’s new gig is. The problem is that neither Jon nor the Daily News have announced anything official is it pertains to the future of this blog.

    As Nacho said, if the blog is going to just be left to die and rot, then let us know now so we can stop wasting our days re-visiting a dead “blog.” With the bar set so high by Brian Dohn, it is disappointing that it is now one of the least informative places for Bruin news.

    The blog appeared to be coming back to life with Miguel’s amazing coverage of camp, but, as Nacho said, there were no reports or features after the Rice game. Just a video of Mora’s press conference and Jill’s one paragraph on 3 of 4 quarters.

  • VB

    Yeah. We know what Jon’s new gig is. The problem is that neither Jon nor the Daily News have announced anything official as it pertains to the future of this blog.

    As Nacho said, if the blog is going to just be left to die and rot, then let us know now so we can stop wasting our days re-visiting a dead “blog.” With the bar set so high by Brian Dohn, it is disappointing that it is now one of the least informative places for Bruin news.

    The blog appeared to be coming back to life with Miguel’s amazing coverage of camp, but, as Nacho said, there were no reports or features after the Rice game. Just a video of Mora’s press conference and Jill’s one paragraph on 3 of 4 quarters.

  • VB

    Yeah. We know what Jon’s new gig is. The problem is that neither Jon nor the Daily News have announced anything official as it pertains to the future of this blog.

    As Nacho said, if the blog is going to just be left to die and rot, then let us know now so we can stop wasting our days re-visiting a dead “blog.” With the bar set so high by Brian Dohn, it is disappointing that it is now one of the least informative places for Bruin news.

    The blog appeared to be coming back to life with Miguel’s amazing coverage of camp, but, as Nacho said, there were no reports or features after the Rice game. Just a video of Mora’s press conference and Jill’s one paragraph on 3 of 4 quarters.

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/ucla/2012/09/thursday-report-jim-mora-excit.html#_login Glowbruins

    Okay, VB, we get it.

  • Coach Thom

    I appreciate that Miguel gets the videos up so quickly after practice. This is far better than what Jon was doing. Videos of the players are always interesting, but each player has been told by Coach Jim not to reveal anything in particular about schemes, practice regimen, injuries, positions, scuffles, etc., etc. Miguel can try to do some midnight skulking, but I don’t think he would come up with much. Coach Jim keeps on tight lid on his program, and I think we have to learn to live with that.

  • ray

    Hey Miguel,

    Just wanted to let you know that I think you’re doing a great job so far. Gold was an amazing beat writer, and it’s good to know there hasn’t been a dropoff in quality since you picked up. Looking forward to seeing your name on the banner and having you flown out to cover the games live. Thanks man!

    Ray

  • Anonymous

    INSIDE UCLA with Miquel Melendez!

  • Rob M

    I agree that there should have been some kind of formal post/announcement that Jon was leaving/has left. His name is still on the mainsite link/banner of the blog, his twitter feed is still present on the page, and he retweets any posts on the blog. We know Jon is at CBS now, so that means it is time to revamp the blog… graphics and all…

    Miguel: I think you did a fantastic job during camp… especially since you were pressed into duty and had to hit the ground running. I understand that there might not be much information you are allowed to report nowadays, but I think people would value your opinion on what you do see firsthand (after all, this is a blog). There was hardly any coverage of the Rice game on the blog. Jon was good about putting up features (before and after the game)… bringing up interesting topics for discussion beforehand and offering some analysis afterwards. I think if all you did was put up a “discussion” post after the Rice game, that would have been enough to hold folks over until you get more comfortable writing your own features. Part of the lifeblood of this forum is to give the fans here a place to share their impressions of the game. If you give some of your opinion or analysis that helps to get the discussion going.

    Or you could just put up your own top 10 burgers of LA list. (I was never opposed to off-topic discussion, but I’m sure there will be some here that disagree… So, for the sake of completeness: the Apple Pan’s burgers are over-rated, but their apple pie is quite nice.)

    Go Bruins!

  • VB

    Things that this blog needs again:

    1) Live chatroom during the games (even though Jon banned me from commenting halfway through the season, I enjoyed the live chatroom).

    2) Q&A – Miguel, you need to interact with us a bit. Let us pick your brain. Give us your insight.

    3) Weekly grades after the games… Again, tell us what YOU thought of the team’s performance.

    4) Sporadic posts with little nuggets of information. A blog should not be one post per day. That is a column. Give us quick 2 sentence posts every once in a while like, “The Bruins are expecting 55,000 fans at this week’s game. Nebraska is expecting to travel 30,000.”

  • VB

    Also, as it pertains to injuries and not being able to report them, does that mean if Brett Hundley goes down with a serious injury on Monday, you cannot report about it, hence NO ONE will find out about it until Saturday? Makes no sense.

  • Miguel Melendez

    I understand everyone’s concerns about the future of this blog. I have not been named the beat guy nor do I know if I’ll be named the guy moving forward. Here’s what I do know: the Daily News will hire a beat writer, but I’ve been given no time table on when that decision will be made. And if you must know, yes, I’m gunning for the position.

    What I have done in the interim is report within the parameters outlined by UCLA’s media relations office. So, VB, that means if Brett Hundley were to get injured we are not allowed to address it unless Mora addresses it first. If he doesn’t address it our hands are tied. Those were the new rules implemented after we left San Bernardino. Someone mentioned that they want me to report first-hand from what I see at practice. Again, we’re not allowed to reveal strategy, injuries and even performances. If you noticed in Wednesday’s paper I mentioned that Tevin McDonald, Stan McKay and Eric Kendricks shined on defense, with no further details.

    Some of you wondered why I didn’t go to Houston. Well, I’m still technically a freelancer so I would imagine that sending me would be a liability to the company, which is why a staff writer was sent. I watched the game from home and live tweeted with some of you, and the following day I posted a Devin Lucien note that came from Mora’s conference call with reporters.

    You guys want analysis, but with that you’re asking me to be an armchair coach, and I’ve never been one to do that kind of stuff. I won’t and never will claim to know more than coaches. What I do is report on what I see. I call it like I see it and look into stories on information provided by my sources.

    What I can do for the blog (at least for Nebraska) is provide some of the features you have mentioned, like in-game chats, Q&A’s and weekly grades. Those are some things I’m planning on for Saturday’s game. I’m spending Friday figuring out how I can get CoveritLive for game-chats along with more video after the game and a post-game thread so you can discuss the game. On Sunday I want to break it down with some grades before I join the rest of the writers on a conference call with Jim Mora, but not before I get a chance to watch the game on re-play from home.

    My editors know that I want this job more than anyone who will apply for it. They know that I would live, eat and breath this position if it was offered to me. In my 12-year career I’ve wanted nothing more than to be a college beat writer, and the opportunity to fill in for Jon Gold was the chance I had been waiting for ever since I left my last job at the Pasadena Star-News in June. To be brutally honest, my plan after leaving the Star-News was to completely leave journalism and go back to school with the hope of going to law school. When this opportunity to fill-in for Gold came up I took it as a chance to show that I’m capable of handling the beat, and it was an opportunity I had to jump on, even if it meant I’d put going back to school on hold for a bit.

    I have a lot planned for this beat. Like the rest of you , I’m just waiting to hear what decision the paper will make in the next few weeks. I hope this comment answered some questions.

  • VB

    Miguel, please understand that we think you are doing and OUTSTANDING job given the circumstances. We are frustrated more with the Daily News and their handling of the situation and keeping the blog in limbo while Jon springboards into a bigger and better job; leaving the blog to rot for the next guy. It also seems unfair that they are keeping you in limbo as well, since it seems hard for you to fully immerse yourself into a position that you do not yet have. Please tell your editors that WE LIKE YOU and that you earned the job with your coverage of Fall camp.

    DAILY NEWS EDITORS: JUST HIRE MIGUEL ALREADY SO WE CAN GO BACK TO HAVING FULL COVERAGE OF THE TEAM! YOUR HANDLING OF THIS SIUTATION IS UNPROFESSIONAL AND UNACCEPTABLE!!!

  • bruinbiochem06

    Hey Miguel,

    Thanks for your hard work, I’m hoping you land the job. If the football players are not accessible, is there any chance you could interview some of the basketball players instead? Josh Smith and all the freshman is what interests me most.

    Go Bruins!

  • BE REAL

    Go to law school, Miguel, it beats the pants off of sports. More intriguing, challenging and offers a host of challenging skills such as creative writing, interviewing clients, and thinking on your feet in front of juries.

    Bill Clinton is a politician, but he looked as if he was having a great time in lawyering/lecturing his zealots last night.

  • vvvbj

    can we please not inject politics in here.

  • VB

    I agree, let’s just stick to sports. But let me just say that if you want to really CHANGE America and get us on the right track. Please vote for me! Barack Obama is to America what Jon Gold was to this blog.

  • Sunset Bruin

    Thanks for the honesty, Miguel. You’ve got my vote to be the new beat writer as well.

    The Daily News’ lack of strategy here confounds me. The blog seemed to be doing pretty well and then……silence. Not exactly a well executed business plan.

    Lastly, I’d encourage you to follow your dreams. A shot like this does not occur very often. Brian Dohn and Jon Gold used this position as a springboard to bigger and better things. Perhaps you will as well.

  • bruinbiochem06

    BE REAL,

    So you’ve heard…

  • VB

    I contend with your assertion that Dohn used this as a springboard to a better position. He went from being a beat writer in the second largest media market at a big sports school to being the beat writer for Rutgers. Not that there is anything wrong with Rutgers, but it is hardly “bigger and better things.”

    Jon Gold on the other hand… The guy destroyed what Dohn had built here. He started off strong, then got lazy and complacent. He hated this job and couldn’t wait to get out of here. Hopefully Miguel will like his job here and do a great job. I miss the quality this blog used to have. We got glimpses of what once was during Fall camp, and I hope it will continue to get better when Miguel takes over.

  • Nacho El Taquero

    Miguel, I think we all appreciate your honesty. As a freelancer, we know your hands are tied with the blog.

    I think the DN has dropped the ball big time in the handling of this blog. They did not announce Jon Gold leaving, so we were all left in the dark. Its been weeks and DN still have not hired a replacement during FOOTBALL SEASON! DN BLOWS!

    With regards to law school, definitely stick with Journalism (unless you get a free ride scholarship). By your actions (delaying school) you have shown that journalism is in your heart and that you will drop all other things for the right opportunity, and you are doing a good job here. Good luck with whatever decision you make regarding your career.

    ONCE AGAIN: DN BLOWS! Treat us loyal readers better or we will leave and never return. Just like we all left the LA TIMES.

  • Marc

    Miguel,

    Thank you. I truly appreciate the existence of this blog. I hope you get the job, as you’ve done a fine job to this point. People want meat; give them a story on food. I loved Jon’s inclusion of food. That is something they can eat up.

    Will we see you out at the game? Looking forward to it.

  • UB – Ultimate Bruin

    C’mon, Gene! Give the boy the job! (Remember Sandler and Farley on SNL? “For the love of God, would you stop all this torture and just give the boy the job!”)
    Serioulsy, Miguel has done an admirable job “auditioning” for the beat writer position, Gene. So far, the natives like his enthusiasm and style. So, Gene? What’s the hang up?

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for the job you’re doing. How do we contact the DN to vote for you getting this job?

    Also, if you are doing a Q&A I would suggest doing it like Dohn, where he limits the question to 50 words or less and he answers them, all of them, on Friday. I always looked forward to “Answers Friday” when Dohn was running this blog. Dohn would answer 10 at a time and post them throughout Friday. With Gold you might have to keep asking the same questions over and over because he would cherry pick the questions to answer and then he would dribble them out whenever he feels like. Some weeks we would be lucky to get more than a couple of answers out of him.

  • OC Bruin Alum

    Miguel,

    Thanks for all the effort you’ve put in so far. I have a feeling DN will offer you the gig once they see how you do with covering one or two more games. I’m pulling for you. Once they do, I’m sure you’ll provide us with more features to read and ways for you to interact with you on this blog. I personally would rather have someone like yourself who WANTS to be our beat writer vs. someone who’s just going through the motions.

  • Anonymous

    Wow….it appears Jon has lost his right to DELETE post’s critical of his performance. Jon had few fans, most found him to be doing a poor job of running this site. Personally, I wish he’d leave entirely, so this site can get back to focusing on it’s primary target. What a waste.
    ThaiMex

  • Jon Gold

    Where is the best burrito place in town? Tengo hambre!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    U guys bitch, but this blog has been less relevant for a few yrs now. U get what u pay for! Maybe if Briuns can play over .500 for a change, everything improves

  • timmah

    Hey Miguel, For what it’s worth I appreciate your efforts. seems like this blog has been in limbo/dying for a while and your clarification was welcome. Either way, law school or beat writer, I wish you the best and thank you for your efforts and honesty. Good luck’ Timmah.

  • Anonymous

    Jon…you know your BoyFriend loves giving you his big burrito…right into your warm soft Bagel!

  • Anonymous

    Law school or babysitting a bunch of know it alls … tough choice.

  • Carolina Garcia Head Editor, Daily News

    The long term editorial vision of this blog is to continue to use freelancers offering occasional stories, in an effort to drive Be Real back to the USC blog so that his idiotic and meaningless legal-intern POV won’t poison Bruinland.

  • BruinFaithful

    Dude, can you at least tell us what recruits will be at the game? As far as I know, that is not privileged information.

    Maybe speak to a few recruits?

  • BruinBot

    Miguel, I agree with everyone that your coverage at fall camp was great. Here are some thoughts if you do get the position. Friday Q and A is great. When Brian ran the blog, I basically got no work done on Fridays as I refreshed the screen every twenty minutes. Either a live chat or an open thread on which people can comment on during games is a huge plus. Brian used to give a lot of insight about recruits. Half of his posts began with “My sources say…” We know you wouldn’t have this at first, but building those relationships with time is a huge plus. We don’t want you to be an armchair coach. That being said, we expect a sports writer to have some insights and analysis. Otherwise we could just read the blurbs on uclabruins.com or use tivo.

    I’ve read this blog regularly and the enjoyed the comments for years, but never commented before. Unfortunately the lack of commenting by a majority of readers has led to the comments sections having some good comments, but way too many complaints about Bruins Nation and too many trolls. I think that one way to combat that is to post polls or ask questions to the readers and let them comment responses. That might encourage silent readers.

    I think if the DN can hire a great writer(like Miguel) and the silent majority starts making relevant comments, this could be a really great blog again. If not, maybe I’ll migrate.