Thursday Practice Report

Thursday's final practice in San Bernardino is a short one, with the team working primarily in special teams situations. Steven Manfro seems to have secured a spot...

UCLA's final practice in San Bernardino was a short one, with the team mostly working in situational special teams drills before boarding the buses back to Westwood. Naturally, with it being such a light practice, the weather was the most tolerable it's been all of camp.

Devin Lucien returned to practice, after sitting out the last few days with a minor concussion. Michael Padovese and Jordan Barrett also returned. Will Oliver and Simon Goines continued to do work on the side. Newly out was Ryan Hofmeister, who strained his hamstring last night and could be out a few days, according to Coach Mora.

The team spent the majority of practice doing special teams work, with some team drills mixed in. Mora said afterward that the practice was designed to help prepare the team for odd special teams substitution situations, and the team practice a good amount of situations. From what I saw, it looked like they practiced free kicks, squib kicks, blocked kicks, miskicks, onside kicks, regular kicks, and a few other situations.

Jeff Locke did none of the kicking. Mora said afterward that Locke said he was a little sore, and that possibly Locke was saying that so the younger guys could get a look, but either way, Mora didn't seem concerned. In Locke's absence, Justin Moreno handled the punting and Ka'imi Fairbairn handled kickoffs. Fairbairn really has a leg. On the first full kickoff, Jordon James lined up to receive at about the ten yard line. Fairbairn's kick made him turn around and catch the ball at a run in the end zone.

In other news, James appears to be the No. 1 kickoff returned, and Steven Manfro might have secured the No. 1 punt returner spot. Aside from one short kick to Shaquelle Evans, Manfro handled all of the punt situations. The team wasn't going totally full speed, as there seemed to be a fair amount of installation going on, so neither returner did much to garner oohs and aahs.

In addition to the special teams work, the team got a few reps of offense-defense between each situation, in an effort to simulate game play as much as possible. Brett Hundley took the lion's share of the reps, and looked better than he did yesterday, hitting Jerry Johnson and Evans on consecutive nice passes.

Kenny Walker made an impressive catch, snaring a high pass from Hundley between Fabian Moreau and Tevin McDonald before falling onto his back. Moreau looked better today than yesterday, but still has a long ways to go before he'll be an effective defensive back. Physically, though, he does look like he can do it.

Richard Brehaut was the first quarterback off the bench, and it looks like the depth chart, at least at this point, goes Hundley, Brehaut, Kevin Prince, and Jerry Neuheisel.

The team did not do many actual field goals, instead practicing field goal situations when things break down and go wrong.

The starting offensive line was once again Xavier Su'a-Filo, Ben Wysocki, Jacob Brendel, Brett Downey, and Torian White. The coaching staff seems increasingly pleased with White's progress over the last few days, and with Jeff Baca still out, that'll be an interesting position to watch over the next two weeks.


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