UCLA Coach Jim Mora Content With First Practice in San Bernardino

Aug. 15 -- UCLA head coach Jim Mora commented on the strides the offense has made in fall camp and more following the first session in San Bernardino...

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Opening statement:

Alright, it’s a great day of work. It’s great to be back in San Bernardino, this is exactly what we needed at this point in camp. It’s always great to be back on this campus, they take such great care of us and they take a lot of pride in having us here and showing us their best. The meeting rooms are fantastic, the meals are great, the dorms, we’re back in the dorms we’ve been at the previous three years, besides last year, and it’s great. The fields are in the best shape that they’ve ever been in, and the weather is perfect. We’re excited to be here, we’ll be here for six days, eight more practices, and we’ll get a lot of work in. Like I said, just great to be up here and get work in. I thought their attitude, their energy, their effort, was outstanding. I think the fact that we’re just here for six days and we can really just focus in on those nine practices, that’s going to keep us mentally sharp. So I’m very, very excited about being back here, I’m very excited about the attitude that our team demonstrated out there.

On the weather in San Bernardino:

I don’t really pay attention to the weather. And I don’t want them to pay attention to the weather. It’s something we can’t control. If that becomes the focus, then it takes the focus off of what needs to be the focus, which is football. So when we had our meeting yesterday, we said, “OK, it’s going to be hot.” And that’s all we talked about. We just tried to stay away from it. So I think that’s the right mindset, and that’s what we’ll try to continue to have. 

On if the older guys have a different attitude because of familiarity with San Bernardino:

Yeah there is. And I think they’re genuinely excited about being here this year. And I think that’s because we cut it down a little bit. And that was the point of cutting it down a little bit.  To make this really a very concentrated, special six days up here in this environment, where we can really grow together as a team and get some great work on two grass fields in a beautiful setting and a great climate. 

On the progression of the offense:

I think the last four, five, six practices, they’ve really shown well. I think that they’re operating well as a unit, the protection is good, they’re running the ball capably, Josh seems like he’s settling in and getting a feel for his receivers, and I’m very happy with the progress of the offense. I love the schemes that we’re utilizing offensively. I think that Kennedy (Polamalu) is doing an amazing job just being organized, being detailed, being demanding and it’s a great group of teachers but it’s the players that are grasping it, learning it, studying it, and taking the time and really developing. So I’m excited about the offense. 

On Deon Hollins:

Deon on Saturday he got a hit to the head. If you can call those things minor, it was on the scale where it was a little bit more minor than serious. We’re always going to err on the side of caution when it comes to any type of head injury, so we’re going to hold him out for a couple days, and make sure he’s OK.  He is part of our larger UCLA concussion study that we’re doing, one of the top studies in the country being done on the UCLA campus. So yesterday, he got an MRI and he’s doing blood work. It’s really an incredible study that we’re doing at UCLA and he’s part of it. Unfortunately, he did suffer a little bit of a concussion, but maybe through that we can learn something that can help him and other players down the line. 

On Cameron Griffin:

And the same with Cameron Griffin. He took a more significant hit to the head. We’re going to let him stay at home with his family for three or four days before we bring him back up there. We don’t need him in this environment right now. I’d rather have him in the comforts of his home, where his mom can take care of him, and he can have some peace and quiet. 

On if players are wearing helmet sensors for the study:

We’re not doing that right yet. We will eventually. It’s more just monitoring them and doing the MRIs and the cat tests.

On Mike Alves:

The heat got him a little bit. He’s also been fighting a swollen knee, nothing serious, nothing structural, he just got a bump the other day. I think the heat combined with the knee got him. But he’ll adapt. There he is right there going in. So he’ll adapt and I’m sure he’ll probably be back out here if not this afternoon then tomorrow. He fought through it Saturday.  He hurt his knee Saturday morning, then came back Saturday afternoon and did a nice job. 

On Mique Juarez:

Nothing has changed with regards to Mique at this point. When something does, I’ll let you guys know for sure. 

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