Josh Rosen‘s surgically repaired shoulder showed no sign of injury as the quarterback returned to the field Tuesday during UCLA’s first spring practice.
Here’s a notebook about Rosen’s day on the field, Mique Juarez’s return and Cameron Griffin’s medical retirement.
Here are my notes and observations from the day:
— A few roster/personnel notes to start out:
— Dymond Lee moved to receiver from quarterback. The move was suspected long ago as Lee was the No. 51 wide receiver in the country, according to Scout, coming out of Chaminade Prep. Lee spent last year as a quarterback/receiver on the scout team, but will make the permanent move this season.
— Jaleel Wadood traded in his No. 2 jersey for No. 4.
— Josh Woods will now sport No. 2.
— Soso Jamabo took back his No. 1 jersey
— As mentioned above, Cameron Griffin left the team due to a medical retirement, Mora said: “He’s got way too much to offer this world to continue to absorb what he’s absorbed.”
— Injury notes
— Poasi Moala had hip surgery in January and was limited to just riding the bike during practice. Mora said he expects Moala to be cleared by fall at least.
— Nick Terry was seen riding the bike late during practice, but it doesn’t seem to be serious.
— Jalen Starks was seen with a club case covering his right hand.
— The first day of spring practice, predictably, had a lot of time dedicated to teaching, especially on offense. There were only two team periods (three was typical in most practices last year), and they came very late in the two-and-a-half hour practice. The 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 periods were split up on the two practice fields, which made for more overall reps and a more efficient use of time. Unlike last season, there was no 9-on-7 period dedicated to running the ball. We’ll have to see if that returns at all later this month. While it didn’t prove helpful for the offense last year, many defensive players thought it helped them a lot in defending the run.
— Josh Rosen looked normal, which is what the Bruins wanted for the first day. He didn’t look bothered by his shoulder at all while throwing passes. The timing wasn’t perfect, but there’s still plenty of time to get the chemistry down with his receivers.
— One practice into the Jedd Fisch era shows an offense that looks pretty similar to Kennedy Polamalu’s, but with more flexibility in terms of moving the pocket. Fisch seems to like stretch and counter plays, while Polamalu favored trying to rush the ball up the middle (with little success).
— In another high-profile return to the field, Mique Juarez looked way out of football shape after his almost yearlong hiatus. He has a lot of work ahead of him to even get close to seeing the field this year.
— The first look at the offensive line showed a few position changes. Kolton Miller, coming back from his broken ankle, moved to left tackle, as expected. Kenny Lacy moved from guard to right tackle, and Andre James moved from right tackle to left guard. Scott Quessenberry remained at center with the first group, and Najee Toran was at right guard.
— Devon Modster got the first crack at backup quarterback reps.
— Jordan Lasley, Darren Andrews and Theo Howard looked to be the first-string receivers.
— Soso Jamabo was the top running back, followed by Bolu Olorunfunmi and Nate Starks.
— Ainuu Taua, who is staying at defensive line after last year’s failed flirtation with the fullback position, looked like he slimmed down from the 295 pounds he carried last year. He lined up in the second-string defensive line.
— Transfer tight end Devin Asiasi made the play of the day with a one-handed grab over Leni Toailoa in 7-on-7. Asiasi is not expected to be eligible for this season, however, as he transferred from Michigan last month.
— Jaelan Phillips had a good first day of camp. He dominated with the second unit in team periods and 1-on-1s, repeatedly breezing by backup offensive lineman Jake Burton. The former Redlands East Valley star broke into the backfield on nearly every rep he took in team periods, forcing would-be sacks or at least quarterback hurries.
— Boss Tagaloa stuck out to Mora when the coach was asked about players who look physically much different from last year. The rising sophomore was lining up in a starting position on the defensive line and had a good day in 1-on-1s, using a slick swim move to back by Najee Toran.
— Keyon Riley made a diving interception during a team period. Jaleel Wadood jumped a screen pass to pick off Rosen during a team period as well.
— J.J. Molson was a perfect 4-for-4 for field goals. Andrew Strauch was 2-for-4, banging one off the right goal post and then pushing one wide left.
— In the punting battle, Stefan Flintoft took the first reps over Austin Kent. Much like Kent’s freshman season, the rising sophomore pretty much alternated between bombing punts way down field and then shanking them. Finding some sort of consistency will be critical for him this season.
— Darren Andrews, Jordan Lasley, Theo Howard and Darnay Holmes were among the group of players who took reps at returner. The Bruins need to find someone to replace Ishmael Adams at that position.