VIDEO: Jim Mora Says "I'm an A**hole"

Aug. 20 -- The UCLA coach Jim Mora means it in a good way. Watch Thursday's post-practice video interview here...

Opening statement:
It was a good practice, we had to start over there. You get to practice 12 or 13, and minds start to wander a bit and its my responsibility to make sure that doesn't happen. They got back on track and they had a good practice. They're still kids that are maturing and sometimes we have to remind them, and kind of harshly, that this is a serious business. I've been impressed with the way they've responded to everything we've thrown at them. You come to camp, you want it to be stressful and intense and difficult, and create situations like that so when you get to the season, they know how to react. Whether its the music or coaches climbing on them or competitive period, it allows you to go for it during the season, handle things that maybe we haven't see them handle. I've seen a level of maturity on this team that has been absent the last three years so that's encouraging.

On Takk McKinley:
Takk got hit in the head and he was much better this morning. I believe out of precaution, we wont have him do anything until we get to campus on Monday.

On Tevita Halalilo:
Tevita was asymptomatic this morning. I'll lean towards keeping him out until Monday. With head injuries, I'll always err on the side of aution. Neither were serious enough to go to the hospital or sit in a dark room. So that's a positive.

On Connor McDermott:
Connor should be back on Monday. He could probably come back tomorrow but I'm not going to have him do that.

On Jake Brendel:
Jake will be back on Monday. I don't want to jinx myself with a couple days to go, but its been relatively injury-free camp compared to some in the past. I think they've adjusted to the heat well. Its a sign of maturity. They stay on their feet. Guys don't get hurt as much.

On the young guys who have flashed:
On offense, two in particular, Fred Ulu-Perry and Bolu. Fred is explosive and strong. He can play center, but you see he can play guard. That center has to call so many things, but he's not quite there yet, with snaps a little late. Alex can move in there and Freddie, we want him to play center and guard anyway. Bolu, he's really a good back. He's decisive and patient. Been really impressed with him. Defensively, the guy who catches everyones eye is Octavius. He had another pick today. He's very fluid athleticially, he's very smart, he has corner skills, and that rangy free safety you like. He can help us this year. I like the two corners, they have a ways to go, but I like them, DeChaun and Colin. Rick Wade has caught my eye. I don't know what the plan will be going forward, in terms of playing or redshirting, but he's a much bigger player. He's big and physical and has a nasty streak. There is not one who's disappointing me. As a matter of fact, its an encouraging class.

On if Bolu gives them a different type of back:
I think he absolutely does. He's got a low center of gravity, he's thick and he doesn't take long strides. He's got good power and change of direction and he's much quicker and faster than I thought he would be. He always leans forward. When he finds the hole and sees it, he'll got down hill quick. You see him get the edge, he puts his foot in the ground and gets down hill. He's been very impressive.

On if ball security is Bolu's biggest issue:
Yeah, you saw today, he makes that great move on DeChaun, and everyone says "ooh", and DeChaun with those long arms, reaches out and punches the ball out. It doesn't matter what kind of move you make, if you don't come out of the pile and don't hand the ball to the official, its not a good play. So we have to address that. I don't think it will be a problem, but it has shown up a couple of times.

On the criticisms of his conversation with Josh Rosen:
Its ridiculous to me. This is football. I'm not going to change the way I coach just because there are fans and media out here. Like I said, you're trying to put these guys into stressful situations, you're trying to test them and setting things up to see how they handle it. This is to me, where you do all of that. On GameDay, what you see me do is support them and be there for them. Out here, its toughening them mentally, physically and emotionally to be able to go in front of 85,000 fans against a great opponent and be able to perform in a stressful situation. If the music had been up, you wouldn't have heard me. I do that stuff all the time. I got Jerry today. Like I told them after practice, am I an asshole? Yeah, I'm an asshole. Out here, I'm an asshole. I'm an asshole because that is my job to make sure they get the most out of what God gave them, protect all that they've worked for and all they're working towards. I'm not going to let anyone go through the motions at any time. And that starts with me.

On his relationship with Rosen:
Its about as tight as you can get. I'm close with all of these guys, all of them, but I've known him for a long time. Heck, on Christmas Eve, he fell asleep on my couch, we were watching a movie together. It was probably the Grinch. These guys, they like tough coaches, they do. It shows them that you care. And with a quarterback, like I said, you have to test them sometimes, and put them in situations where they're stressed out. Its just coaching. Its ridiculous that anyone makes anything of it. That anyone would even write something, that anyone would criticize it, it blows me away.

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