The first and last in-season injury report, you ready? Everybody is fine. Everybody is good. Out for this game: John Lopez, Luke Gane, still have concussive effects. Johnny Johnson is gonna get surgery on his shoulder tomorrow. Aaron Porter and Ian Taubler with their heads still bothering them, results from concussions at camp. Zach Vinci the hamstring and Mike Carlson the knee, he's going to have surgery as well. Everyone else is up and rolling. There you go.
On not hearing Anthony Barr's name in that group:
You sure didn't. He's good to go. He's fine. Yes, Anthony was here today and practiced.
On the overall health of the team:
I'm happy that everybody is fine. I think that entering the season, at the level of health that we are, is a good thing. There are some guys on that list, you look at a guy like Johnny Johnson, who's out for the year and we certainly were hoping he could play for us this year. Early in camp, he showed the ability to be a contributor. So you just have to overcome that. At least we've known for a couple of weeks. Aaron Porter, Ian Taubler, those guys figured in, if not as starters, at least at prominent special teams, and add depth. Luke Gane, hopefully he'll be back. Porter and Taubler will be back, Gane will be back. Lopez will be back. So I think we're relatively healthy, considering the tough camp that we've had so I'm excited about that. I think they've done a good job taking care of each other and they're still getting the work in and it's a good place to be going into the season.
On Simon Goines:
He did everything today. He's fine. He's good. And I don't mean it in my typical way, he's fine. I've got a 'he's fine' that is sarcastic and cynical, and then I have a true 'he's fine'. He moved real good. He's good and he did everything. If they're not on that list right there, then they should be good to play on Saturday night, unless something comes up. Which I will not let you know about.
On Monday's practice:
It was all Nevada today. We presented part of the game plan this morning and then we add to it during the week. We got a chance to look at film. We have to search and grab as we can from different programs to try to figure out what they're going to be offensively, defensively and special teams, because of the changes that they've made. We know about their quarterback, who besides Johnny Manziel, had the most passing yards combined with rushing yards in the NCAA, and they're a good team.
On the mock game this past Saturday:
We went out Saturday night and had a mock game at the Rose Bowl and I thought it was great. What we did was take the buses from here, we went to our hotel where we stay. We did our pre-game meetings out there, we did our pre-game meal, we took the buses and got dropped off where we would for the Bruin Walk. And now we were on our timeline. We were on our gameday timeline. We went out and went through an exact pregame. We went into the locker room. Once again, timed up exactly for a 7:07 kickoff, which is what we'll have this Saturday night. We wore our game uniforms, the new ones. We've got new pants that are the actual gold. Which they look great. Our jersey's are a little bit deeper blue, the numbers are a little bigger, everything looks great. We went out and we did a coin toss. We had offiicials. The scoreboard was on. We had the chain gang. We had sound piped in. We did a game and went through all situations and I think it was really good for us and I think we needed it. As young as we are, and we're extremely young as a football team. What do we have, 12-13 seniors? It's just important for us to go out into that environment and feel it and see it, and experience what Saturday night is going to be like and in terms of our routine for Saturday night. It was good for us. Yesterday was off, and today we were rolling.
On walk-on's Tre Hale and Logan Sweet getting scholarships:
We'd already done Malcolm (Jones) and Melvin (Emesibe). We still have one left and trying to decide what to do with that. Each one in their own right deserved it. You look at Malcolm and what Malcolm has gone through. And the way he's come back with a great attitude. And the way he's worked and run and the way we think he's going to fit in with our team. The way he humbled himself and walked back on. I think the team has a lot of respect for him. And everyone was very excited. With Melvin, he's the epitome of what you're looking for in a college football player, in overall attitude, work ethic, and commitment and selflessness, and all those words we would use to describe a guy, or all those cliche words that coaches use when describing their team, he embodies all of those things. We all saw last year what this team feels about Melvin, against Arizona, when he scored. The kid, he deserves it. Logan Sweet, he had to overcome some things in high school. He came in here last year, there was a point in time, where his toes weren't just hanging over the edge, he heels were the last thing, and he was about out of here. And he worked himself back. And that was football, that was school. And he's just become to me a real role model in what you're looking for. And then Tre Hale, you're not going to find a guy who works harder and gets more out of what he has then Tre Hale. And that's year round. That's in the weight room, that's on the field in off-season workouts, that's during practice, that's during games. This guy has played D-Line, he's played O-Line, he's played fullback. He's played Y. Whatever he has to do, he's going to do. And you just like to reward those type of men.
On the last scholarship:
We haven't decided what we wanted to do with that yet. There are some thoughts, and we'll have to decide here. We don't really have to decide yet because school hasn't started yet. But they all understand that it's a one-year proposition. It's a little bit different then when you come in on scholarship. And even though it's a one-year proposition, it's kind of assumed that it will be renewed unless you really screw it up. So they all understand that it's a one-year proposition and they've got to earn it back and we're going to go out and recruit hard but I think they're all very, very grateful. Im excited for them. I'm really excited for them.
On Brett Hundley taking sacks this year compared to last year:
That's a big deal. That's a large number (52 sacks). People initially tried to point out protection, but we all know it's a multitude of things. But I think now Brett, the new Brett, the new and improved Brett, I should say the improved Brett, well he'll get rid of the ball quicker. I think he'll decide to run with it quicker. I also think we have an offensive line that is going to be much better than it was last year, especially early in the year. I think the combination of those things is going to help. If we can cut our sacks in half and go to 26, I'll be happy, we'll all be happy about that, especially as often as we throw the ball. It's too high. I don't know where we ranked in percentage of sacks per play. But I do know that we just in overall sacks, were really poor, so we have to improve that.
On overall improvements:
I think we have to improve some things. Offensively, it's sacks. As a team, we have to reduce penalties. Defensively, we have to limit big plays against us. In special teams, the penalties of just being consistent. I think sacks just hurt your momentum. I really do. Whether you're going into the huddle or you're going on the ball, it just takes your momentum away and it puts you in an unenviable position. You throw it away and you have a 2nd and down, you take a sack and its 2nd and 17, that just changes your mindset as a play caller, it just changes everything. We're going to get sacked. Brett is going to get sacked this year, but hopefully we're going to cut back. I don't know if there has ever been an football team, well maybe the old wishbone teams, but you don't really get through a year without sacks.
On how he feels about the secondary:
I feel better about it, but I still want to see them out there in live action. I think we have some talent there, but it's inexperienced talent and it's only going to get hardened by being out there against live fire. What I've tried to convey to the coaches and to them is we want to remain aggressive in the way that we play, but the critical thing is that we don't give up the big ones. We're kind of transitioning from that veteran group of last year to the young talent. We've got to give them a chance to have success. Part of that is calling the right defense at the right time but also putting them in situations where they can execute and where they have to execute. I think it has a chance to be a good group, but they need to work together. They need time out there playing the game and we'll see how they react.
VIDEO: Mora on Monday