Spring practice day 3: Bruins suit up in pads for first time

Freshman linebacker Mique Juarez took some snaps with the first team defense on Saturday. Photo by Brad Graverson // Daily Breeze

Freshman linebacker Mique Juarez took some snaps with the first team defense on Saturday. Photo by Brad Graverson // Daily Breeze

The Bruins wrapped up the first week of spring practice Saturday with their first practice in full pads.

Watch video of Jim Mora’s press conference here

Read today’s notebook that focuses on the team’s balance of coaching and competition

Notes and observations:

Jim Mora was happy with the team’s ability to practice safely in pads (i.e. minimal tackling to the ground, not going after collisions too aggressively, etc.) while still maintaining physicality and competitiveness.

— False starts continue to be a problem under the new snap counts, and Mora attributed it to “a lack of concentration.” The head coach noted that the problem generally improves as practice goes on, so he would like to see better concentration at the start of the session. Offensive lineman Kenny Lacy was probably the most penalized player on Saturday and spent a large amount of time running laps for false starting. Continue reading

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Austin Roberts, Johnny Johnson out for UCLA’s season with injuries

UCLA freshman receiver Austin Roberts will be out for the season with a torn ACL, head coach Jim Mora confirmed Thursday.

The four-star recruit from Carmel, Ind., had been rated the nation’s 13th-best prospect at his position, and could have contributed to a deep corps of receivers had he not cut wrong on his left knee during seven-on-seven workouts.

“That’s unfortunate, because he was really doing well in the offseason,” Mora said.

Cornerback Johnny Johnson will sit out too, missing his second season in a row after separating his shoulder again and undergoing surgery.

Mora said all the players who were “iffy” in spring are on track to be ready in training camp, which starts on Aug. 4 in San Bernardino. Of primary concern were offensive tackles Simon Goines (knee) and Conor McDermott (shoulder), though Mora said Goines won’t immediately be in the starting lineup.

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