‘'I believe that it was a great practice given the circumstances of the beginning of our season. You know, there's two ways to respond. One is to wonder what's going on, two is to roll up your sleeves and fix it and I'm pleased that everybody on the team chose the latter and we'll be rewarded for it. I'm not sure exactly when, but it will happen as long as we stay together and we do the work that is ne3cessary to get back to where we belong. Looking forward to putting another great day on top of this one in our quest to play a better football game than this one.''
Coach, You've had a couple of days now … what are your emotions from the last one?
‘'Well, it's behind us. Obviously, getting beat I the fashion we did is no fun. It's not what we expect. We have a higher bar set for UCLA football, but we have to accept it for what it is and learn from it and go from there. There's still a lot of season left and still, I believe, a chance to become a good football team.''
What's the approach keeping the guys positive?
‘'The approach is we signed on, and that's what we do. We've got to fix the things that are broken, we have to improve the things that are doing OK and we have to stay together and enjoy each other's company and enjoy playing the game, regardless of the despair of those around us. We have to find a way to do that, and really what else is there. This is college football, we're playing on national television again on Saturday night, let's go have some fun doing it. But in anticipation of having fun, let's earn the right to expect that being fun by putting in the work in advance.''
Micah Kia looked like he tweaked an ankle …
‘'He'll be fine. Yeah, he's fine.''
‘'we'll wait and see. He's got a little tweak of a hamstring. That's what kept him out of the game. We'll have to wait and see.''
How about David Allen?
‘'We've wrapped a broken little finger, but he'll be fine for participation in the game.''
What do you see in Malcolm Jones that tells you that he'll be able to carry more of a load?
‘'Well, Malcolm is, you know, a young player and certainly a guy that is growing every day. But he's done enough in the first two games to merit more chances and I think he and Johnathan together are a good little duo. We hope to get Derrick Coleman back here quickly and Jordon James, while Derrick is down, is getting a lot of reps, so it's a nice foursome.''
You mentioned rhythm yesterday, the offense not having it. Is that something you can manufacture? Where does that come from?
‘'It comes from confidence. When play callers and players have confidence, no one worries about a missed a pass because you get it back on the next down. But when you get out of rhythm, via an illegal procedure call or a incompletion or a sack, it's difficult to come back from, especially if your confidence is waning. So, we've got to get our confidence back, develop some measure of swagger back on offense, but we have to earn that by working harder on the practice field so that we can expect more proficiency.''
You talked about having good practices last week. Was there an effort issue at all in this last game?
‘'No. That's the one thing I take exception to. You know, I got a lot of e-mail from fans around that are all great UCLA fans and the good news is they're all excellent wordsmiths. You in the media would have been proud of their sentence structure and so forth …''
Would I be allowed to use all the words they used?
‘'Probably not, probably not. But when they say a lack of passion or a lack of effort, the films just don't show that. Our guys are trying as hard as they can. A lack of execution is fair, and we've got to get better at that. But there's no quit, there's no give up, there's no lack of any intensity on our team. Now, you look and see disorganization and you think of lack of intensity, go ahead and attribute it to that. I think it's more of a lack of experience, and that's on us as coaches, to make sure we do some foreshadowing and realize who is going to be suspect to giving into that and make sure that we do the extra work to make sure that it doesn't happen.''
The age old question is, how much rope do you give your starting quarterback?
‘'Well, remember, he didn't have any training camp. So, we're getting him through a rough spot, and the key is for his confidence to remain intact. And, if you keep yanking the chain, it's difficult to get your confidence back. He's in there because we believe in him. He's in there because he's done it before, and we need him to do it more consistently. Now, does he need to be more mentally tough and handle that? Absolutely. That's part of the challenge of playing quarterback because you're always going to get more blame and more credit than you probably deserve, but that's just part of the job and you have to accept it.''
Kevin Prince went through a full practice for the first time since the first days of fall camp. He said he might have been doing a little overthinking on the field in the loss to Stanford. ''I think Saturday night, yeah,'' he said. ''That's something I was doing last year at times and that's when I struggled, so the plan this week is to just be a lot more calm and a lot more confident in what I'm doing and like you said, just play and let my instincts take over.''
Ricky Marvray was limited because of some tightness in his back.
Christian Ramirez did not practice, as Neuheisel said, because of the hamstring strain.
Derrick Coleman, who suffered a concussion and sprained next in the loss to Stanford, walked through some stuff in prepractice.
Jerry Johnson had a nice practice, making catches on some tough chances. ''The reps have always been there, I think he's starting to finally have a little more confidence in himself,'' receivers coach Reggie Moore said. ''Not that he's been super lacking, but some guys, they advance and mature a little different than other guys. He's been aroud now, he's got a little action the past couple of games, and he's probably pining to get a little more action.''
Moore said he he didn't anticpate any drastic movement in the playing rotation. But, he said, ''they know they've got to compete and if you're not competing at the highest level then someone else is going to get the opportunity.''
Defensive tackle Justin Edison, who tweaked his left knee in the Stanford game, was able to practice. He had a brace on the knee.
Josh Smith had some difficulty fielding punts - he had a bad drop in special teams.
Freshman Jordon James, getting more reps with Coleman down, had a nice practice and looks a lot healthier than he has coming back from the hamstring that limited him in fall camp. Norm Chow on the possibility of James. ''Redshirt is four years away, man. We better win now. We're not going to redshirt him just so someone else can coach him.''