Saturday Morning Practice Report

UCLA has a solid practice on Saturday morning, with the passing game looking sharp and several receivers, including newly converted Osaar Rasshan, make some nice plays in the scrimmages...

The passing game was pretty successful today in both the 11 on 11 and the 1 on 1 drills in the red zone. Although Olson did float a few passes, didn't look off his receivers very often in the 11 on 11 and the 7 on 7, and had bouts with inaccuracy, the receivers ran pretty crisp routes. Olson floated a pass to Osaar Rashaan on a deep post pattern, but Rashaan kept his eyes on the ball and was able to adjust out of his route to catch the pass, beating Michael Norris. Also contributing to the relative success of the passing game were a few lapses in the secondary. Norris was beaten a couple of times in the 7 on 7 drill, and even Trey Brown had his issues.

In the 1 on 1 red zone drill, Brown was beaten on a pass to Marcus Everett in the corner of the endzone. Brown trailed Everett by a few feet, and Everett was able to bring a foot down squarely in bounds after catching the ball over his right shoulder in the left corner of the endzone Brown asked for a ruling from the impartial media, and we regretfully informed him that, indeed, Everett had scored.

One of the bright lights for the secondary was, as always, the play of Alterraun Verner. Almost always in position, Verner allowed very few passes to be caught against him, and allowed what seemed like no yards after catch. He did a good job a couple of times on Dominique Johnson, who appears to have become a favored target of the quarterbacks.

In terms of the tight end position, Scott Glicksburg was knocked totally onto his back at one point while try to block during a running play. One person in the crowed said he got knocked so hard it almost looked like his number was 66 instead of 99 for a second. He will need to get stronger if he is going to be able to block at tight end. Adam Heater was praised loudly by the coaching staff for his blocking, a good sign considering the lack of depth at tight end.

Pat Cowan had a couple of decent throws, one on a slant to Terrence Austin where he juked his coverage and got 20+ yards after the catch before being brought down by Kyle Bosworth, who took a nice angle on Austin.

Karl Dorrell after Morning Session

Opening statement
"Absolutely great work this morning. Really liked what we did. I really don't have anything else to say, I just really like where we are as a team and let's continue to improve. Offense has some good things going for it today, which is good to see, and Defense is always good. The offense made a few plays against them today. But other than that, everything is just going according to plan. Try to keep ourselves away from this injury bug that's been hitting us a little bit. Pitre is gonna be fine, they drained some fluid from his knee, they don't think anything structurally is wrong. It's just one of those things that happened after an arthroscopic surgery. This is really the first time he's had any extensive work since the surgery cause he missed all of spring. We anticipate him being back here shortly. Shannon has a little bit of a wrist injury that's been plaguing him a little bit. He's had some shoulder problems too but we don't think any of that's too significant. We're just going to try to treat the symptoms as they are right now and hopefully get them back here on the field. Chane Moline has a wrist injury, so he's splinted up too. We're going to try to get him ready to play soon. We think he might have a broken bone in there. Right now he's not able to do anything, we don't want to put any contact on the wrist right now."

Is it the right or the left wrist:
"I don't know, I think it's the left. I would think it's one of those two."

With injuries at running back, any thoughts on position changes?
"We talk about that as a staff, we do. In terms of some other guys if we continue to have this type of scenario throughout camp. Right now we're trying to just keep it as is. Getting Ryen Carew some extra snaps, and getting him some more time to learn our offense is good. Those things are things we've talked about, but it's nothing we want to put into fruition at this point in time."

Where is the passing game right now in comparison with the passing game at this time last year?
"It's well ahead. There's a lot more depth at receiver right now. There are a lot more guys who can make some plays, as you saw today. It's a good feeling to have. They're learning and getting better. We just need to continue to work at getting the little things correct. Those guys are learning that now. We're probably a little bit further ahead at this point than we were at this point in camp last year, which is good."

On Michael Norris:
"Mike has been really good and steady. You saw him make a big hit explosive hit over there in the red zone period. He's a good player. It's good to have him back healthy. He's really valuable to our team, and with special teams, as well as with the depth at corner. He's having a good camp right now."

How have receivers handled Eric Scott situation:
"They're an experienced group, and they're managing themselves pretty well. The younger guys in that group are starting to understand from the older guys what it takes. Nothing's really been a distraction to them with Eric not being there at this time."

How's coaching receivers going:
"My arm's sore. You know what, it's getting in shape. The zip is coming back, I've got a tight spiral going. AS long as I keep it under 15 yards, I should be in good shape. If I start throwing comebacks and posts, my arm might fall off."

Any of the guys teased you:
"They told me my arm is right up there next to Ben's. They're funny, they see I try to do some demonstration at times, and they say ‘careful coach'. I don't want to blow an ankle or a knee or anything myself. You know it's fun. I really miss coaching, and I get a chance to do that now and it's been a breath of fresh air for me.

If Eric comes back, are you going to move to coaching the quarterbacks?
"Yeah, I'll move to the next spot right? You know, it's been fu n. The coaching staff has been receptive to having me being around a little bit. Usually when you have your own offensive staff they're very protective of how things are done. But Jay's been great. Jay's done a great job with the organization and leadership of the offense. You can tell it's getting better and better each day."

Guys being able to deal with the situation, is this why it's great to have a veteran team?
"This is a great example. It makes camp a lot easier. They understand circumstances, when we're going full speed, when we're not going full speed. Those are all great signs of a team that is starting to see the reason why we do things a certain."


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