Spring practice day 7: False starts flare up for offense again

Jaleel Wadood and Kenny Walker at practice. Photo by Brad Graverson // Daily Breeze

Jaleel Wadood and Kenny Walker at practice. Photo by Brad Graverson // Daily Breeze

A notebook is coming here. It’s focused on Jim Mora’s unscripted approach to 11-on-11 periods and the offensive line’s ‘growing pains’ during spring.

Here’s video of Mora’s press conference today. He was the only one available for interviews.

Here are notes and observations for the day:

— Another day dominated by the defense. The offense was pretty lackluster, save for a few good catches from Theo Howard and Ishmael Adams. Quarterback Mike Fafaul was the beneficiary of Adams and Howard’s great speed and playmaking ability as both repeatedly juked and outran defenders.

— Howard also took a turn returning kickoffs and looked impressive with his breakaway speed. Stephen Johnson III, Jordan Lasley and Adams each took a kickoff return as well.

— The offensive line was plagued by false starts again, specifically Kenny Lacy and Cristian Garcia, who were each tagged twice. Mora acknowledged the continued problem, saying that it’s a tired excuse at this point to blame it on the changed cadence. He said the issue comes down to focus and discipline, and promised it will get better.

— The defensive line had a great day getting to the quarterback. Pretty much every defensive lineman got a sack (or at least a share of a sack) Saturday. The offense gave up two sacks during the first 11-on-11 period and three each during the second and third periods.

Josh Rosen had an efficient day Thursday, but Saturday was not his finest. He missed some throws during seven-on-sevens and one-on-ones. He looked pretty frustrated with his performance at times and after finding Adams for a touchdown during one-on-ones, he looked almost relieved that he finally hit one.

— It seems like almost every day a new defensive back is sitting out of practice. Today, it was Randall Goforth who was working out on the sideline. Denzel Fisher had a good day in his place, however, grabbing an impressive interception off Rosen. It looked like receiver Kenny Walker had Fisher beat on the route, but Fisher showed great closing speed and leaped for the interception.

— Defensive backs Dylan Luther and Charles Dawson each had a good pass breakup. Dawson’s prevented a touchdown pass to Lasley in the back corner of the end zone.

— Defensive back Tahaan Goodman picked off Fafaul on the final 11-on-11 play of practice. Fafaul overthrew his receiver in the middle of the field and it fell right into Goodman’s hands.

— Mora said linebacker Mique Juarez has been out of practice since Wednesday due to a hit to the head earlier in the week. He strained his neck and the coach asked him to rest at home for the past few days.

— Kicker JJ Molson hit all six of his field goals, while Andrew Strauch struggled, hitting only three of his seven chances.

  • Laker Rod

    I would just like to share this. The increasing number of sacks that are occurring are a result of the following:

    1. The QB being in an area where the defense now knows the QB will most likely be. If we don’t see QB rollouts and Josh moving around then he’s definitely going to get sacked way more. Even if Rosen was running the read option the practice defense knows that Rosen isn’t keeping the ball in practice…so it’s an advantage to the defense to be at cheating like this. This is why the defense doesn’t look as good against the true opposition…because they don’t know what’s coming or what the QB will do with the ball.

    2. We play guys on offense within a more confined area of space…meaning we have a fullback and tight end or sometimes two tight ends…well…then the defense isn’t as “spread” out as much and accordingly they are in an area and position where they have the potential to blitz/pass rush and sack the QB. It’s now harder for the O line, tight ends, and back to make sure they have everybody covered.

    The solution is to move Josh Rosen out of the pocket more frequently. Rosen’s completion rate was totally erratic when he was moved out of the pocket. He needs to practice way more throwing the ball on the run.

    • Intimidator Bruin

      That may be the most ridiculous thing I have seen posted on a comment or blog.

      What needs to happen is that the offensive line has to do a better job of protecting the QB. Our main focus this off-season is to adapt quickly and effectively.

      • 88 Straight

        Don’t argue with the expert. He hasn’t seen a single practice and yet he can diagnose the situation.

      • Laker Rod

        Hard heads like yourself say that every year but yet the offensive line just continually struggles. Wake up.

        You don’t understand football. It’s a lot harder for the UCLA defense to sack mobile QB’s. Right? Turn it around now. Do you get it?