Monday Practice Report

Apr. 13 -- Josh Rosen wasn't at practice due to a personal issue, and, coincidentally or not, it was a rough day for the offense...

Quarterback Josh Rosen missed Monday's practice to attend to some personal business. It would have been his normal day to take significant reps with the first team offense, so in his stead, Asiantii Woulard and Jerry Neuheisel took the majority of the team reps. It wasn't a great day for either.

Woulard started off the day looking good, actually, throwing with velocity and accuracy during early drills and even through the first few series of 11-on-11. As the day wore on, though, the interceptions and poor decisions started to pile up, and by the end of practice he threw four interceptions. It wasn't his worst day of practice, since he had a lot of nice reps and good throws, but there's still too much inconsistency there.

Jerry Neuheisel somehow managed to have a worse day than Woulard despite throwing no interceptions. His arm seemed to have no strength on Monday. Basically every throw over about 10 yards was an adventure, with the ball wobbling or coming way short of the intended distance. On one out route, he hit Marcus Rios, who was trailing the play by about 8 yards, in the back of the head. This isn't normal for Neuheisel, which makes us think he might be suffering from a little bit of dead arm.

With the quarterbacks struggling, the defense had a pretty good day. Rios had one really nice interception in tight coverage, and was lights out during one-on-ones, giving Alex Van Dyke a really tough time. He told us after practice he's up to 185 and feels stronger than he's ever felt at UCLA, and it shows up on the field. During nickel, he is working with the first string at corner, with Ishmael Adams dropping down to nickel, and we wouldn't be surprised to see Rios win the starting outside job outright at some point in the coming months. He's had a really nice spring.

Fabian Moreau also shined a little bit today, and looks like he's playing the ball better than he was last year. He made two nice breaks on the ball during one-on-ones, and came up with one interceptions. He completely locked down Kenny Walker today, and has also had a very good spring so far. Adams, for his part, had an excellent blitz from the nickel spot during 11-on-11 to blow up a goal line run.

Paul Perkins
The defensive line also had a nice day. Jacob Tuioti-Mariner and Ainuu Taua both looked good during one-on-ones, with Taua easily spinning past Alex Redmond on his two reps. Matt Dickerson also did good work against Kenny Lacy, looking just a little too physical and quick for Lacy to handle. Jake Brendel was able to stone Kenneth Clark, and Conor McDermott held his own against Takkarist McKinley, but otherwise, those reps were mostly won by the defense.

McKinley also had a nice play during 11-on-11, blowing up a quick toss to Devin Fuller for a loss. You can see McKinley getting more comfortable each day, and it should be fun to see what he can do this fall once he's had a full year of practice. Najee Toran got a few reps with the first team at Eddie Vanderdoes' spot, but it looked like it might have just been a wrinkle in the nickel package. Toran is playing with much better leverage now than he was through the first two practices, and looks much more comfortable out there.

For the first time this spring, or at least that we've seen, the tight end group went to work with the receivers during a portion of individual drills, which makes sense if they're going to start working on a plan to fit Chris Clark into the mix. Nate Iese also worked with the tight ends some in that portion of practice. It's really tough to define what his position actually is at this point.

Of the offensive players, Paul Perkins probably had the best day, looking quick and, well, like his usual self during team drills. He had a couple of nifty cuts where the entire defense was going one way in apparent slow motion while he cut back in real time. His balance and vision have only improved since last year, and it's fun to see.

Jordan Lasley had a few good plays in practice, and appears to be talking significantly less than he was through the first week or so. He did have one bad drop where the ball hit him square in the chest and caromed off. Drops were a problem for several receivers today, actually, with Walker also dropping one that hit him right in the hands and even Jordan Payton having a drop.

Mossi Johnson appeared to tweak his leg toward the end of practice, and we didn't see him go back in. Johnson was having a very good practice up to that point, looking mostly uncoverable during one-on-ones. Priest Willis continued to sit out with a shoulder issue, and the rest of the injured remained mostly the same. Caleb Benenoch got a few one-on-one reps and didn't do too badly, but Mora said they're bringing him along slowly.

2016 linebacker commit Krys Barnes was in attendance.

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