VIDEO: Mora on Tuesday

Jim Mora talks about the plans for the new football facility west of Spaulding, the impact of such a building on recruiting, and the targeting rule...

Jim Mora on Tuesday:

Opening statement:
We just did some generic work today, UCLA vs. UCLA technique and fundamental stuff. I thought they came out with a lot of energy. Tomorrow and Thursday, we'll do a little bit of Utah prep. Take a couple of days to recover then come back Sunday and that will be like a typical Tuesday for us. But they came out this morning and competed. We're on our morning schedule now which we do when they're in school as you all know. We're out here at 7am, and we'll bring them back in the afternoon after school is out for some meetings, so we bring them back at 4:30 for meetings. It's an adjustment and I think it's good that we have a bye this weekend so they can work through the changes in the schedule. And I think it's a good way for us to practice. They seem to enjoy it too. We're a morning team. So it's good work.

On the new facility announcement:
I think we're still working on the wish list. It's going to be really long. Our goal is to make it one of the top facilities in the country. And I think we have to be really good about looking ahead and looking into the future and seeing what types of technology will be available to us in five years and look in that direction. We only get one shot at it. It's not like you'll get another shot at it in 25 years, so we're going to make it as nice as it can be. It's for the players and it's for their benefit. It's to help them improve as players, it's to help in recruiting and it's what we need to do. And we're going to go for it. It's going to be beautiful.

On how much of it is keeping up with other programs:
It's huge in recruiting. If you don't have facilities, it's hard to attract top talent. Although here, it's not as hard to attract talent, because it's 8:27 a.m. and it's 75 degrees and sunny and I don't see any clouds and we're in Westwood, California with the beach five minutes away on one of the most beautiful campuses on earth. So we always have that going for us. If we can add a beautiful facility, it's just going to accentuate what we have. But I think there is a little bit to that but I think more than anything it's about providing our players an environment where they have a chance to reach their potential. Good meeting rooms, great weight room and training facilities and everything else we'll provide for them. They work hard, they deserve it and we need it and I'm just happy that we're going to be moving forward with it.

On the plans for the facility:
Well we didn't have anything concrete. The concept was there and in the works. Once Pauley was done, Dan said 'hey we're going to make a commitment to making a football facility.' We can mention it. We didn't have drawings to show them but we could show them the area we have to work with and now we're going to be able to move forward with something a little more concrete. But once again, what sells UCLA is the football program, the academic excellence of this university, the geographical location, the coaching staff, the administration, the support. And then when you add something like a brand new football facility, it's going to be icing on the cake.

On the ideal time frame for it's completion:
Tomorrow. If it could be done by tomorrow, we'd be happy. We're going to break ground right now. We've got a pick and shovel. We're going to start digging and see what we can get done by the end of the day. But, no, I don't know. I haven't heard that we've set a date yet. There are a lot of steps to get it done. I'm sure a lot of people are working hard on it. It's exciting.

On if when he took the job, he felt it imperative to have plans for a facility:
Let me just give you a little history of my facilities. When I went to New Orleans, we had these facilities on David Drive. The Sonic caught on fire and they brought in trailers and the trailers were a huge upgrade to the facilities that we had. So I've never been one that thought facilities won games for you. Now, that was pro football. Where you get to pick your players. College football, you get to pick them, but they've got to pick you. So facilities do become important. The aesthetics become important. To some kids, the uniforms are important. Obviously academics are important. Having a winning team is important. I never thought these facilities were poor but they were functional. They did a really nice job of keeping them nice. They may not be the nicest, but they were presentable. But it was time for us to upgrade and I think everyone realized that. And I commend Dan for really pushing. It was not but a few days after Pauley was done that he was like 'ok, the football facility is next.' There wasn't a lot of lag time. To his credit, he's awlays trying to do things to help us and to make all athletic teams better. You know, we're limited by space on this campus. Which people can say it's a negative, because our surroundings aren't bad. So we're going to make the best of it.

On the media work room in the new facility:
The media work room will probably be the biggest room in the whole building. I think they're going to call it the Chris Foster, not memorial. Chris Foster Press Room. We're going to put you guys on folding metal chairs, and those little desk things you got in second grade, see if you can fit in them. No internet access. No, everything about it will be first class and will be everything we need. There is a point that you go overboard and i don't think we need to go overboard. We need to provide an environment to help our players reach their potential. On the field and off the field. There will be academic components to it. I think it's going to be great and it's going to be fun to just see it develop.

On the targeting rule:
It's a tough rule. But it's the rule. I think ultimately it's a good rule because it's about player safety. I think it's a tough rule to judge for an official. I think it's a tough rule to adhere to as a player because you're playing so fast. It's easy when you're watching it on film and you can slow it down and you can analyze it in slow motion. But things are happening so fast on the field. It's something you have to constantly talk to your players about and I think you have to drill it. In every tackling drill that you do, you have to talk about lowering your target and keeping the head up. And that's not only for the safety of your opponent but that's just good tackling mechanics. Low to high, face up, see what you hit. I'm a big proponent of player safety.

On Anthony Barr's penalty:
It was a good hit. I haven't talked to the official about it. I talked with Tony Corrente about it (the director of officials) yesterday. He said what he saw was Anthony at the last minute, dipped his head a little bit and it gave the impression to the official there, who's trying to judge it in real time and that's tough to do, that he dropped his head and hit him with the crown, and he really didn't, he hit him with his forehead but he gave that impression. I'm trying to figure why you wouldn't block Anthony Barr. And then on the next play, you wouldn't block Myles Jack. Rather than penalizing Anthony Barr for no one blocking him and him hitting the quarterback, I think you should probably block Anthony Barr. He's a pretty good player.

On Christian Morris:
You'll have to ask him. We're just hoping he'll find happiness in his life and have success.

On if he's been officially released:
If he hasn't been, he will be. It might have been too late in the day to officially do it, but he knows he'll be released, and if it hasn't been done, it certainly will be as soon as possible today. We just want these kids, you don't need to turn it into a conflict. He wanted to go closer to home, for whatever reason, and he wanted to be happy. Hopefully he finds happiness and success.

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