Marques Tuiasosopo Talks UCLA Quarterbacks

Aug. 12 -- UCLA quarterbacks coach Marques Tuiasosopo commented on the improvement of Josh Rosen, the steadiness of Mike Fafaul and more following Day 5 of Fall Camp...

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On the start of camp:

We’re just focusing on finishing these last couple days. It’s just another way that Coach KP (Kennedy Polamalu) is trying to get his point across. Nothing of a big deal, just kind of reinforcing different elements of what we’re trying to do offensively. 

On if practice was flat towards the end:

Yeah, and it’s about normal for camp, especially when we’re challenging them with these long practices. And that’s training camp. There’s things that you’ve got to learn and things you’ve got to go through. The only way to learn that sometimes is to do certain things like this. It’s good for our guys, they’re loving it. And we’re challenging them hard, so it’s fun to see them respond. 

On Josh Rosen’s chemistry with receivers:

I think we’re moving along. It’s definitely not a finished product yet, but it shouldn’t be, too. We’re getting better every day, and he’s developing with a few guys who I really think, hopefully, by the end of the year is kind of what he did with guys like Jordan Payton and Devin Fuller. So it’s happening every day, you can see it. 

On who he’s developed chemistry with:

I don’t know if there’s one guy in particular, but I think guys like Kenny Walker and Eldridge, they’re doing some nice things. 

On the backup quarterback:

It’s going. We’re just evaluating them on a per-play basis. We’re not drawing any lines in the sand yet. Like I said, it’s just the first week, we haven’t really hit the bulk of camp yet. But they’re doing a great job. They came ready, they’re well-prepared. Sometimes you get to that third group, and there’s a lot of things that go on, and you’re like, can we just move on? But these guys are operating, and that’s a great sign. 

On all the quarterbacks:

Yeah, we’ve got a lot of guys, which is good. And they’re all great guys. It’s more than I’ve had the last couple times when I’ve been coaching quarterbacks, so it’s a good thing. 

On how the handle the lack of reps:

You know, they’re great guys. They understand the situation when they come in, and they love ball. And they want to learn. And they know that the work they do get, to take full advantage of it. They’re great guys, they understand the situation. 

On Mike Fafauel’s progress:

I just think in consistency. I think when you go from the first group to the second group, it’s almost like a 1A and 1B in terms of the quality of work that he’s putting in, and I’m really excited and proud of him. He’s just really taken to what we’re doing, and he’s challenging himself, he’s outspoken in our room, and he’s pushing not only himself, but he’s pushing Josh. And he’s being that senior that you want. It’s a lot of fun to be around him. He pushes me. He’s a great kid, and it’s showing from him out on the field. 

On Devon Modster:

The nice thing about Modster is, when he came in, we just kind of threw him in there, to see how he’d handle it. It’s not too big for him. He went right in there, I put him with the first group in a couple periods and he looked like he wasn’t a deer caught in the headlights. He’s so even keel sometimes that you wonder if he’s ready to go, and then he’ll step up in the pocket and just rope a ball on the sideline. So very positive things that he’s doing, and I really like what he’s done here, in his approach.

On if there is a No. 2:

I think, like I said earlier, we just want to get a bulk of plays. And we want to introduce our schemes and get them comfortable and let them play. There’s going to be a lot more time to really get down into that. And one of the things, even with Josh, and all our guys, is that we’re looking for consistency. This is the fourth or fifth day (of camp) – it’s way too early to make any kind of decision I think on that. One thing I will say is that they’re all doing well. They’re not perfect, there are things that they make mistakes on, but they come back the next day and fix them. And so it’s been very positive that way. 

On if the quarterbacks challenge him:

They want to know why. Some guys, you tell them the plays, and then they write the notes and they move on, or they go study them. These guys will always ask why? Or what’s the history of this play? Or why are we running this? And why are we reading it this way? And I like that. I kind of was like that as a player. So it makes it fun. And the type of camaraderie that we’ve started in that room is good. And it’s what I want. I want guys to help each other out. I don’t want guys to think that they can’t step up. And so it’s a good group that way. And we’re having fun.

On if there have been any why’s that have stumped him:

No, not yet. You know, one thing is that I’ve been in a lot of offenses. I’ve had like eight different head coaches, I’ve had like eight different coordinators, so I’ve almost been part of every offense you can almost be part of, minus a few. But it’s going to be fun. And they’re doing everything right. 

On Matt Lynch’s progression:

I think just understanding what we want, understanding the schemes enough to where you can feel really comfortable about making throws. I think in the spring, some of the throws he wasn’t making just because he was nervous or didn’t feel comfortable. He’s really made a lot of strides. He’s been a bright spot as well. And so we’ll just see how it goes. He’s taking the bull by the horns, he’s making the most of it. 

On Dymond Lee:

Well I think that he’s committed to play this position. He’s good enough to go play another position, but he wants to do this. He understands the situation coming in, and he’ll get some more reps as we move forward in camp. But he’s studious, he’s in there studying, he’s always asking what he can be doing better. So he’s engaged. And a guy in his situation can kind of go two ways, when you don’t get as many reps as you want early on. But he’s staying focused and he’s a great kid. You know, that’s a special thing about being out here with this group is that they’re all good guys. 

On if Dymond Lee will stay at quarterback:

Yeah, that’s what we told him when he decided to come here, when he signed. Obviously if something else arises, Coach Mora and Dymond will sit down and have that decision – that’s not my decision. So as long as he’s in my room, all I ask of those guys is to give their all and be part of the team, be part of the group. And that’s what Dymond wants to do. As long as he wants to do that, I want to coach him. 

On Rosen throwing across his body:

I’ll tell you what, with playmakers, you don’t want to stymie that. You don’t want to take that away from him, you just want to teach him when to do it and when not to do it. He’s been doing that a lot his whole life. And for him, it’s just learning to be smart with the football, and if he saw a lane, and he saw that there was no one in there, then he needs to make that play for our team. Now if he didn’t see anyone and he just blindly threw it, then that wouldn’t be good. And those are the things we’re teaching not just Josh, but all our quarterbacks. And so we want to teach them how to make these plays, because at some point, that’s what quarterbacks do. That’s what the best ones do. They make the play that they need to make, and they don’t make the play that they can’t make. 

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