UCLA Coach Jim Mora On Meeting With Josh Rosen

Nov. 9 -- UCLA head coach Jim Mora spoke about his meeting with Josh Rosen following successful shoulder surgery, the challenges Oregon State presents and more...

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Opening statement:

Just like I thought they would, they bounced back. We did a walk through on Monday so we had two practices, yesterday and today and they bounced back. So that's exciting to see. A couple guys got dinged up yesterday, but they were back out here today. Conor (McDermott) and Najee (Toran). And Andre James hasn't been here for two days. He got hit in the head. So he's going through the concussion protocol to make sure he's ok, but he looked good out here running and did really well. Like always, we'll be safe with regards to a decision there. They want to get better and they're working hard at it. 

On the health of the running backs:

Soso has been fighting a shoulder and a knee with tendonitis all year but he's fought through it and working hard. Bolu, Nate has had some things. Those three guys are all available and we'd like to find an opportunity to get Brandon (Stephens) and Jalen (Starks) the ball, it's hard to get five running backs the ball. You saw last week we featured Soso last week. You take away the sack yardage and the snap, that makes your rush yards look back. But he ran ok and I think he's going to get better and better.  They all have different styles.

On the flavor ice cream he took Josh Rosen after surgery:

I don't even know the flavor, I think it was chocolate.  From cheesecake factory.  Brought him some tiramisu and cheesecake and then his two favorite ice creams. So it was a smorgasbord. But he and I talked for over an hour about his path back to the top which is where he wants to be. I was impressed with his energy and frame of mind. A lot of times when a guy gets injured and misses games, it offers a new and fresh perspective of how lucky they are to play the sport. I'm not saying this was the case, but I sensed that a little bit with Josh.  Sometimes that inspires you to take a step for the next level and that's something that will be great for us.

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On Rosen's participation with the team the rest of the season:

He asked if he could be on the sidelines this Saturday and I said that would be great if its safe. I may have some of the backup offensive lineman and defensive lineman to stand in front of him and collapse on him if it gets close. But I'm going to leave that up to the doctors. The worst thing that we could ever do, because he wants to be on the sideline, is he gets hit.  But I know he's desperate to help out there and be that extra set of eyes for Mike.

On having Rosen on the headset:

He was listening more than talking and it was good for him. I think it's always good for the quarterback and the players to hear the communication that goes on and the decisions made.  And then post play, we needed to see the mike there, or we got the post route before the snap.  Maybe the quarterback sees it or doesn't, but it offers another perspective for the quarterback and I thought it was really helpful. Any time we can do that, and hopefully we can the next 3-4 games, we can do that.

On recommitting to J.J. Molson and Austin Kent:

Its recommitting but we also backed them off a little. They both came in and they were good early and then school started and they hit a little of a wall. That's not unusual for freshman, we're a quarter school. You get a few games under your belt then all the sudden school starts and everything changes. It's a challenging school and obviously a great school for them. But I remember seeing it with Ka'imi too. We didn't have the luxury with Ka'imi to give him the chance to step back. We did this year. I think now with 3-4 games left, to let them get free. I saw this week, we kicked twice this week and punted once and saw the improvement.  His kickoffs and field goals were solid. Austin came out here today and we looked like we were in San Bernardino, he was booming them.  You forgot that these guys are 18 years old and have a lot on their plate so you have to give them some help and sometimes that help is backing off a little bit.

On Oregon State running back Ryan Nall:

He's big. He's a 235 pound load and we have tremendous respect for him. You're not going to arm tackle him. The best thing you can do is not let him bounce and not let him get a downhill run. We've done a decent job, minus the Utah game, against the run. With Bolden, he's dynamic, you have to play where's Waldo with him. They have some explosive guys.

On how nice it would be to get a win for Mike Fafaul:

It would be great and I think a lot of guys feel that for him.  I was thinking about that today. Of course we want to win and get ourselves in a position to play in a bowl. But a guy like Mike who has been here for five years, who's been a great teammate and team member and positive influence around here, to give him a chance to have a win in the win column would be great.

On Fafaul's development:

He came in as a freshman walk-on. He had a great deal of maturity. You recognize he could throw the ball. But he was behind Brett Hundley and Jerry (Neuheisel). A lot of guys would have moved on. He's a graduate and could have gone somewhere to play his fifth year, but he loves it here and is a great teammate. His teammates have a great deal of respect for him and how he's approached his opportunities here. I'm excited for him. I want us to play well for him and get a win.


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