Jim Mora on Monday's Practice

Apr. 4 -- UCLA coach Jim Mora talked about the progress of the team in its fourth practice of spring, the status of some players, and more...

UCLA Coach Jim Mora talked after practice Monday. 

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Opening statement:

Its our fourth practice and we cut down to two false starts in 90 plays.  Kids are adapting to some of the changes we’ve made and we’re moving along in a positive manner.

On who has stepped up as a leader:

Always interesting to watch guys emerge. It starts in your winter program.  Guys like Fabian, who was a captain last year, he shows the traits you want to see in a leader. Connor McDermott, his character, his attitude, Scott Quessenberry has natural leadership ability, Josh Rosen does.  You want different personalities and styles.  

On Ishmael Adams at receiver:

He seems excited about it. We see good things, we see a guy who can catch the ball in the flat, has that short area quickness.  He’s competitive and tough, elements you want to see offensively.  He has speed, quickness and as Yarbs calls it, drive phase, can put it into second or third gear. He’ll always need to work on his routes, that’s what receivers do, but he’s well on his way.  He has the ability still to help us as a returner and if we need him, can help us on defense.

On Lokeni Toailoa:

Very impressed, really with all the guys coming in early, but impressed with Lokeni. He had the interception, he wears a linebacker number, 52, he looks like a linebacker, he has awareness and toughness. The game doesn’t seem to big for him and I’m encouraged by the way he’s looked, Mique’s looked and Ireland’s looked.

On Marcus Rios:

He strained his groin, but its not serious.

On Steven Manfro and Dwight Williams and Aaron Sharp:

He hurt his shoulder, we’re not sure where that will go.  It may be the last we’ve seen of him.  Dwight Williams is no longer with the program.  Aaron Sharp had a class issue to take care of.

On other injured:

Eddie no, Fabian probably not, Mossi no, Johnny no.  We could push Fabian to get out here the last week but its not worth it.  He’s a fifth year senior, I don’t think the benefits are enough to warrant the risk.

On what Moreau’s return means for Goforth:

I don’t know, we’ll see, we’ll play our four best.  Right now, it benefits Randall the most to play corner.  I don’t have an answer to that question.

On Adarius Pickett:

Intelligence, we always knew he was smart and tough, he has that running back mentality. He has a knack for being around the ball.  He’s starting to get an idea to play safety and displaying a high level of confidence. Im excited about Tahaan, the first four days, Jaleel too.  Its been a different kind of practice, we’ve slowed the tempo down, there is a lot of teaching. Its an important time for us to concentrate on fundamentals.

On the former players at practice:

It was awesome. To see Eric Kendricks grab Jayon Brown in 9-7 and talk to him in run fits. No one can talk it like an ex-player, especially Erik, an NFL guy.  Or see Anthony Barr interact with Keisean Lucier-South. Those are guys that our young men look up to.  And then the older guys too.  I told them to meet them after, go over and honor them. They paved it before you. I heard Alterraun Verner was here, Maurice Jones-Drew, Mercedes Lewis.

On what he’s trying to take from spring football:

A sense of confidence in their technique, an understanding of our scheme and how we do things. A sense of accomplishment that we’re moving towards our goal.  Feeling like we’re coming out here and on the right path and I think so far we are.

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