Spring practice day 12: Defense dominates again

Jacob Tuioti-Mariner. Photo by Brad Graverson // Daily Breeze

Jacob Tuioti-Mariner. Photo by Brad Graverson // Daily Breeze

There’s a notebook on the way HERE about the structure of the upcoming Spring Showcase. (Spoiler: It’s not going to be much different than a normal practice)

Here are video interviews with Jim Mora, Adrian Klemm, Bolu Olorunfunmi and Matt Dickerson.

Here are notes/observations for the day:

— The defense won the day big time. In nine-on-seven and 11-on-11 periods, the offense scored two combined touchdowns on my count. (We don’t have the greatest look at seven-on-sevens, so I can’t count those.) The nine-on-seven touchdown came from Nate Starks, and Ishmael Adams scored the 11-on-11 touchdown on a nice pass from Mike Fafaul in the back corner of the end zone.

— In the second 11-on-11 period when each quarterback was on the field for as long as it took the defense to force a third-down stop, the offense got only two first downs out of five drives and no more than one per drive. The longest drive for either offensive unit was six plays, a Fafaul-led drive that ended on an incompletion on third-and-9.

Josh Rosen returned to the field after sitting out on last Saturday’s practice with a sore hip and only completed one pass during the second 11-on-11 period and was sacked twice by my count. The defensive backs made some great plays to break up passes, but he definitely wasn’t helped by some dropped balls from his receivers. Credit to a great day for the pass rush as well.

— We’re starting to the rewards of the modified cadence as the offense drew the defense offsides three times. Fafaul drew Nick Terry offsides twice on consecutive plays during nine-on-seven and Rosen drew Matt Dickerson offsides once during 11-on-11. The Rosen-led offense immediately followed that play up with a delay of game, by the way.

Mique Juarez took some mental reps on the field in which he stood in the defensive back field and mirrored one of the outside linebackers. Juarez stood behind the defense next to linebackers coach Scott White and mirrored either Cameron Judge or Jayon Brown during the play, then ran to the sideline and back before the next snap. Juarez is coming back from a concussion and will not engage in contact for the rest of spring, Mora said last Saturday.

Adarius Pickett had a good day on defense, breaking up during seven-on-seven and then breaking up the final play of practice as Rosen tried to find Adams on fourth-and-15.

Takkarist McKinley is showing his speed off the edge as he batted down another pass at the line of scrimmage, swatting a pass back into Rosen’s face during the first 11-on-11 period.

DeChaun Holiday was out during Monday’s practice with what Jim Mora called an illness.

JJ Molson was a perfect 7-for-7 on his field goals for the entire day (two in the middle of practice and five at the end). Andrew Strauch was 5-for-7, missing his final two.

  • BruinBrock

    Thuc Nhi, you’re doing a great job. I left this blog a couple years ago, but I’m back because of you! So thanks. I have one request though: Can you stop using Bit.ly URLS in your links? Shorter links are great for twitter, but on a blog where you’re not subject to character limits, there’s no reason to use them. Since they’re just redirect URLS, there are security concerns with using them, and they often get blocked by many companies’ firewall settings. Thanks!

  • Laker Rod

    Most college fans are amazing…and not in a good way. If this report related to Jerry Neuheisel or any existing QB…there would be a lot of complaining on here already related to how UCLA should possibly look for a replacement…but when Josh Rosen struggles and struggles badly and is getting outplayed by a walk on right now…there is nothing but silence as usual.

    Would the offense be struggling this badly with Noel Mazzone? I don’t think so.

    I already know what the responses or excuses are going to be. “Quit complaining…we’re installing a brand new offense blah blah blah”.

    Maybe we shouldn’t be installing a brand new offense in the 1st place. We’ve been through this all before in the past. The offense struggles in the spring and the uneducated fans always respond back with “it’s only spring time” but then when late summer/early fall arrives it’s more of the same and then when the games start we see the same old inconsistent offense.

    I already said a long time ago…we’re not in a position to make wholesale changes. KP wants to go 90% tight end but we don’t enough have enough bodies to play tight end. In addition, we lost too many linemen and receivers from last year.

    We’re better off utilizing Mazzone’s zone read option around 75% of the time for 2016 and we put Rosen under center and run some power offense 25% of the time…we should especially do this to start the season and we continually transition.

    Oh and another thing…Rosen getting “virtually” sacked is NOT the same as him getting pulverized and sacked and slammed to the ground and then having to get up and get the next play off with positive results.

    • 88 Straight

      Man you are so much smarter than all the fans and all the coaches. It’s amazing to find so much knowledge in one person.

      Explain again why you chose to tell everyone that you graduated from UCLA when you didn’t. Just pathological? Insecurity? Do share.

      • Laker Rod

        When Rosen goes like 6 for 20 and had many stalled drives…it’s obvious Fafaul had a better day. The point is internally and quietly plenty of you are alarmed and concerned but don’t speak up or say anything because it pertain to Rosen. Come on. Admit it.

        • 88 Straight

          Now Fafaul is better than Rosen? Yes or no. Simple question.

          • Laker Rod

            Quit asking dumb questions to avoid addressing the real points. Come on. Too easy.

          • 88 Straight

            As I expected, no answer from Lying Rod from UCLA Extension! You were the one praising Fafaul and taking digs at Rosen.

            Just like you praised Neuheisel and took digs at Rosen. Just like you take digs at Myles Jack. Just like you wanted to sit Hundley for a few games in favor of one of his backups. Face it, you have NO IDEA who possesses talent.

            What fictional month of what fictional year did you receive your fictional UCLA degree?

          • Laker Rod

            LOL!! You praise Rosen and Jack and bash Adams, etc. What a tool.

            Rosen went 6 for 20. Care to comment? Quit changing the subject and asking dumb questions.

          • 88 Straight

            Actually I said Adams could be very good on offense.

            6 for 20 in practice. Thick in the head, I think you are. You are correct. Adams does not belong in the same sentence as Rosen and Jack.

      • Richard

        Why do u respond to LR ?????
        He is the stupidest “human being” I have ever had the misfortune to read.

        • 88 Straight

          You are right. It’s just entertaining to see a guy that thinks he is smart but in reality has no clue. Love how we invented his entire backstory.

    • NYC Bruin

      Laker Rod, what happened? We were doing so well.

      • Laker Rod

        The comparison of the situation is exactly what I pointed out. When Rosen is doing poorly…NOBODY says anything but if an existing junior or senior QB was struggling you guys would be complaining to death. You don’t even deny it.

        And Rosen hasn’t earned anything. YOU were the one who originally incorrectly claimed Rosen was 4th in QB rating. He was 9th!. If you take out the factor of Rosen being a true frosh…he didn’t have a very good year and you know it.

        And I don’t care about “pre-season” 1st team all conference selection. I want to see him actually get it.

        And how is this for a bet. If Rosen doesn’t get 1st team all conference and if UCLA doesn’t win the conference championship….we all agree 2016 was a total failure? I don’t want to hear any more excuses. Mora is in his 5th year. I don’t want to hear about it was a new offensive coordinator or this injury or that injury…just shut up already and WIN!

        And I like the idea of more power like Stanford but this was supposed to happen two years ago or even when Mora arrived and he should have planned a lot better by recruiting more tight ends to begin with! Now we are trying to make wholesale changes.

        We move two guys to fullback who didn’t even play there either in Taua and Griffin. We don’t have many tight ends on the roster either. And we expect all this to click and work in such a short period of time? Come on.

        We want to play more power offense now but yet the two best road graders are gone in Alex Redmond and Caleb Benenoch. We don’t have the right type of guards to play smash mouth because we recruited O linemen with the zone read option in mind along with zone blocking. And now you want to rely on some transfer and hope everything works out? Come on. How stupid can the coaches get. Just more wishful thinking.

        And we want to play more power offense but we take 5 small skinny wide receivers for the 2016 recruiting class? LOL!! You just can’t make this stuff up. What a joke.

        Come on. You’re fairly reasonable. You have to be shaking your head over some of this stuff.

        • NYC Bruin

          First I don’t recall claiming Rosen was 4th in Pass Efficiency (I almost always confirm numbers like that before posting), but I suppose it’s possible. I think you know me well enough at this point to know I wouldn’t just post a made a number hoping you wouldn’t check it.

          Not sure what you mean when you say Rosen hasn’t earned anything, sure he has, he’s the presumptive starter and showed enough last season for people not to freak out when he has a bad day. I also don’t think this is reserved for underclassman, I’m sure Hundley had some bad practices along the way and I don’t recall anyone freaking out then. You’re right about if Rosen wasn’t a true freshman the last season would not have been graded on the same curve, except he was a true freshman, so that is how most (myself included) graded him. I really want you answer this next question: can you name 5 quarterbacks in the country you would trade for Josh going into next season?

          If UCLA wins the Pac-12 and Rosen doesn’t throw a single TD the season would absolutley be a success, its a team game. With that being said, I will agree to this, UCLA has to win the South or the season is a failure, I also think anything under 9 wins for the entire season is a failure, I’d classify 9-10 wins as acceptable and anything above 10 wins as a successful season.

          I agree that a change of coordinator is not an excuse for a bad season, it is however okay to have a few sloppy practices during the spring. I think its clear that I’m more bullish than you on the upcoming season, but we will have to wait 4 months to see.

          • 88 Straight

            I am less bullish than you. I expect a slow start to the season. I think the Mazzones had to go because it seemed like their offensive philosophy did not fit with Mora’s NFL mindset. Plus, they stunk at QB recruiting and development.

            Polamalu seems to be a better fit philosophically with Mora. This is his 1st time calling plays and it’s an unknown factor. There are a lot of question marks throughout the roster and along both lines. A lot of things have to come together for UCLA to win the South.

            Little Rodney likes to place it all on Rosen’s shoulders. That’s a ridiculous and ill informed position. Some of the best QBs in league history did not win league titles in college. Why? There are 21 other players on the field. It’s a team game. Rodney ignores what everyone else sees as obvious.

          • Laker Rod

            Really? Pretty sure it was you who claimed Rosen was 4th in QB rating only for you to realize he was 4th in passing yards. I was giving you a hard time about this also earlier.

            And what I’m saying is that Rosen hasn’t earned enough where everybody just keeps silent when he has a really bad day in practice. When an incumbent QB won the conference or division title the previous year…okay…he’s entitled to an “off day” in practice. I hope you see my point.

            And now if you’re saying I’m correct in how you have curved Rosen’s grade because he was a true frosh last year….isn’t this a total contradiction on your part when you claim “play the best player regardless of class”. Come on. Can you not see how a coaching staff can fool it’s fans into giving them more time to produce results by going with a true frosh QB?

            I mean come on. Look at yourself even now…you’re not even willing to ask for a conference championship. You seem content with a division title only. UCLA got that division title back in 2012 in Mora’s first year!

            The season is a failure if UCLA doesn’t win the conference championship in 2016. End of story. I’m tired of all the excuses. YOU guys and Jim Mora himself are the ones who keep claiming Rosen is beyond his years and is an “exception”. Oh really? Rosen totally played like a true frosh against USC when it counted. He failed miserably. It’s YOU and other fans and Mora who put this on Rosen’s shoulders…not me. So don’t get mad at me when the true frosh failed to deliver.

            And since he played as a true frosh…can’t we expect Rosen to do what he needs to do to win the conference championship? If we’re not in the position to win it …then why did we rush Rosen to play in the first place? Well?

            And don’t spin this into a change in coordinator is not an excuse for a “bad season”. Changing a coordinator or not…the season is a FAILURE if UCLA doesn’t win the conference championship. If you flash back 5 years ago when Mora was hired…if he didn’t win a conference championship after 5 years….well? Face it. Mora has made plenty of mistakes…which is why UCLA is where they are at right now.

            I repeat…I don’t want to hear any more excuses. It’s put up or shut up time for Jim Mora. If Mora thinks Coach KP is the better offensive coordinator and if Mora thinks making wholesale changes is the right thing to do…then so be it. I don’t believe these are the right steps and it’s proven on how things are progressing in the spring.

            Do you honestly believe these issues won’t carry over into fall camp and into the games? Come on. Be realistic. Some of it will.

          • NYC Bruin

            Well, I wrote a long thoughtful and completely non-offensive response but the PC Police at the Daily News need to make sure that I don’t hurt anyone’s feelings.

          • 88 Straight

            Another descent further into stupidity by the resident illiterate. Don’t quit your day job. Ever figure out why the coaches used Myles Jack to shut down Nelson Agholor and not Ishmael Adams? It’s simple. The linebacker was better in man to man coverage than your favorite DB. And THAT was during Adams’ good year, not the embarrassment of 2015.

            Rosen can certainly be allowed an off day in practice. We are still awaiting your excuse for claiming to be a UCLA grad.

        • 88 Straight

          Wishful thinking? Like your UCLA diploma?!!!!

          Lying Out Loud!

          • Laker Rod

            Changing the subject as usual. That’s all you’re good for and you know it.

          • 88 Straight

            Why don’t you answer the question? You made everything up and want people to take you seriously. You are a joke.

    • CaliGrown

      Rod, can’t you just show Rosen your support? Like you know he’s going to be our guy at QB for the next two seasons. Everyone knows (well except you) that he has the potential to be great and has NFL attributes. These epic rants are tired and old, especially about Josh. Let’s get behind the kid and see what he can do when the actual season starts, spring practice isn’t much. I know you have more wisdom to bring to the table besides crankiness and complaints. Come on man!

      • 88 Straight

        Nope. It’s all he’s got.

      • PVBruin17

        All Laker fans are a bit grouchy these days.

        • http://amillennialist.blogspot.com Santiago Matamoros

          Now that Kobe’s retired, I’m relieved.

      • Laker Rod

        I don’t care about greatness in the future or NFL attributes. I care about now and what Rosen can do for us at UCLA. Who cares if he ends up as the No 1 pick in the NFL but yet never led UCLA to a conference championships ala Troy Aikman. It only makes UCLA look like a bunch of underachievers which is what they are historically.

        I don’t have anything against Josh Rosen at all. I like him a lot. The point I always try to make is that greatness takes time to occur which most UCLA fans cannot comprehend or understand…they think true freshmen can provide instant success. Wrong!

        Here we are…trying to change up the offense in a bigt way in Rosen’s second year with now a new offensive coordinator after starting and playing him as a true freshmen. One of the reasons that was given last year for starting Rosen was the offense that he played in is the same exact offense in high school as Mazzone’s offense. So now supposedly it doesn’t fit Rosen and we’re making these wholesale changes and the offense and Rosen is now struggling. Oh brother.

        I’m complaining more about the coaching staff and the idiotic things they continually make. If Mora wanted more power then why didn’t start that back in 2012! Always playing catch up and being reactive instead of proactive. We need a balance of both. I want to see more zone read option.

  • RodneyO

    Laker Rod – you sound awesome. You should become a Pee Wee coach. You would be a friggin’ football genius.

  • RodneyO

    It also doesn’t take a genius to know that the offense will most likely regress this year. Yes, a new offense. But, more importantly, they lost their top running back, top WR, top TE and most of their OL. If they can match their output from last year and have the defense step up a notch, they should have a decent year.