Taylor: It's "A Weird Thing"

Sophomore wide receiver <b>Junior Taylor</b> talks about the rash of drops by the UCLA wide receivers, and mentally what state the receivers have to be in now to avoid it from happening again...

How do you explain the rash of dropped passes?

"I really can't say what it is exactly. It's an unfortunate thing that's happening. All the receivers here can catch the ball. Players go through things sometimes, where they struggle. I just think it's a phase. I think we'll break out of it real soon."

Do you think it's a case where the receivers are pressing, or just a strange, unfortunate coincidence?

"I think it was mixture of both. We, of course, want to make a play every time we get the ball, to try to take advantage of our opportunities. Then, it's just been a weird thing. You just don't see three or four guys dropping balls like that. It's frustrating right now, but we're going to come out of it."

The touchdown pass that you dropped against Illinois. There has been discussions about how difficult that catch was...

"People will always have their opinions on whether a catch was easy or difficult, and I can't worry about it. I was falling down. I thought it was a difficult catch, but I know I have to make that catch. I'm looking past it now and looking forward to Oklahoma."

Have doing the drills catching tennis balls helped?

"Probably some of the problem is that we're all so excited to make plays that we're trying to catch the ball and not look it in. So catching the tennis balls is to make sure that we look it in. Because it's so small, if you don't have soft hands and look it in, it will bounce off your hands. So it's helped a lot."

Has wide receiver coach Jon Embree said much to the receivers about the drops?

"Nothing really. He told us that it happens to everyone. It's a phase that players go through. Keyshawn Johnson dropped a ball in the endzone on Sunday. It happens. Coach Embree said you have to shake it off, come back, keep working and not let it get to you."

Does this offense have plays in it that will give you the opportunity to create and make a play?

"We have some things that we haven't had a chance to run because we got pushed back a lot of times, in long-distance situations and we weren't able to run some of those routes. So you'll see more of those coming. That's what we'll try to do – get us the ball in some space and let us be playmakers."

You got the ball in your hands last year with an opportunity to make a play quite often...

"No doubt this year, too. This is what this offense is for. It allows you to catch the ball and run with it. You catch the ball and have the opportunity to keep running. I know in the first two games you haven't seen a lot of it because of certain situations. But a lot more of it is going to come."

Do you think the receivers will be trying too hard now to make a catch?

"That's how I was thinking, but you can't do it. You can't put too much pressure on yourself or it could cause you to mess up again. I'm going to take every ball and make sure I catch it, and hopefully I'll be able to do something with the ball after I catch it. The coaches say every time you get the ball you want to make something happen, but you don't want to get into the problem of pressing where you're trying too hard. That's when mistakes happen."

Do you have family coming for the game from Arizona?

I think ten of them are flying out. They've been to both games so far. They're great travelers. I have their support all the time and that helps a lot."


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