VIDEO: Mora on Tuesday

Coach Jim Mora discussed the morale of the team after the first practice post-Oregon, the state of the offensive line, Jordon James, and more...


Opening statement:
I thought they bounced back really well this morning from a couple of tough defeats. Got refocused on Colorado and had a really good mindset and attitude and worked hard and that's a good sign. Sometimes when you're young, like we are, you can bounce back a little bit easier. The losses don't stay with you as long. That's a good thing, as long as you're learning the lessons along the way that you need to learn and apply them moving forward. And I feel like our guys are doing that. You always worry a little bit about hangover, whether it's after a really big win or difficult losses like we had, so I was kind of tuned into that and I just didn't feel that and I think that's a credit to the young men on our team and our assistant coaches. It was a good start to the week, we're focused and we're excited.

On Eric Kendricks and Simon Goines:
Well Kendricks was out here, he was very limited. He didn't have his pads on. His back is bothering him. His shoulder is bothering him. His ankle is still a little bit sore. We're going to go through the week with him and see where he is. He'll be in the red jersey. Hopefully he'll be able to do some stuff, full speed. Simon, same thing. We'll see where he is on Saturday. But I'll tell you this: the way our offensive line played was very encouraging. It wasn't perfect by any means- there were some technique errors. I think when I talked to you on Sunday night, I said there were some things where you'd like the anticipation to be a little bit quicker and a little bit better, but in terms of their ability to bend and communicate and move laterally and get down the field and finish, they did a nice job. So it's encouraging seeing those guys work together. Eric is doing the old, what was the old board game, Operation? He lays on the table and they just pick him apart. You know, he's a tough guy. You don't like to divulge a lot what happens on the sideline, because the sideline is a sanctuary and its crazy, things are side and emotions are spilled. But when he had to leave that game on Saturday, he was sobbing like a baby, it hurt him so bad not to be out there with his team. You just love that. You want that passion in all of your players, and from your leader. And a guy like Eric has that. He's going to be hard to keep off the field.

On Jordon James:
I think sometimes when you have a couple of games like we've had, guys that are hurt and on the fringe, if they're the right kind of kid and the right kind of competitor, they develop a sense of urgency to get back. I feel that with a lot of guys. You look at our injury report, and it's pretty vast. At the same time, there are a couple of guys who really want to get back out here and do all that they can, whatever they can. Even guys like Marcus Rios and Kenny Walker, they're in redshirts, not really contact guys yet, I have to kind of pull them out because they're in there mixing it up. I think they love that and it's a positive sign for the program.

On Paul Richardson:
He is dynamic. He has strong hands, he can come in and out of his breaks. I don't know if you saw the play against Arizona, he's running across the field and then the way he put his foot down to get up the field, it was really impressive athleticism. I read where he had a boot on, on Monday and it would be really great if he had a boot on Saturday, because that guy, he can scare you.

On the difference between two losses in a row this year and last year:
It's very different. Last year it was the end of the year and then the Pac-12 Championship, there was a finality to it. It was not a good feeling at all. We felt like we were so close in that Stanford game last year of getting to the Rose Bowl. This year is very different. We lost two really tough games on the road to two really tough teams, and it is very disappointing but we still have a lot out in front of us and we can still accomplish really great things, but it's going to take great effort and great focus, and one game, a championship game mentality. I just think that it's really good for our program to go through these things. It's painful. No body likes, we don't like it, the fan's certainly don't like it. The student body. As you're growing and building, you have to hit tough patches and fight your way through adversity. The next step for us, we're talking long term, is when a game like that against Oregon or Stanford on the road, we find a way to win. Not just compete into the fourth quarter, but win. You look at our young guys, and the next time we're in that situation, we'll have eight freshman that know what it's like and they're going to be better because of it. So that's the rosy side of it. The negative side and the bottom line is that we lost. And we've got to, it's all out there for us.

On the switch between Myles Jack and Jordan Zumwalt worked:
It did really well. It did really well. It's nice to have versatility. And Jordan is kind of the guy who provides that. He can play outside, he can play both inside linebackers. And now Myles has versatility, he can play both inside and outside. It wasn't as big a move for Myles as it would seem because he plays in the nickel package, and the position he plays, it's not identical but very similar to our base package. It was good. I like the fact that we can look at the team we're playing and position our guys accordingly. And that's one of the nice things about our linebacker corps, is our versatility.


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