Practice Report, Neuheisel Comments

UCLA conducted its first bowl practice of 2009 Sunday. The status of Kevin Prince was a bit less optimistic than anticipated, and a few others are still injured. Rick Neuheisel talked about the team being excited to be back together...

Kevin Prince, who suffered a shoulder sprain in the loss to USC, was very limited in practice and Coach Rick Neuheisel was leaning toward the optimistic side with his projection that the Bruins' quarterback would be back midweek. Prince didn't do any throwing and wasn't sure when he would be able to do more than just handoff – which he did with his one practice rep.

‘'They don't really know. They said AC sprains vary in terms of their timetable so it's kind of when the pain subsides and they don't know when it's going to necessarily decrease,'' Prince said. ‘'Definitely, from the ‘SC game, it's getting better, but there's still some nagging pain there and so throwing is not very comfortable at this point.''

Pretty good tempo with the first bowl practice. With Prince basically out, freshman Richard Brehaut got the majority of reps. Kevin Craft had only a handful ...

The Bruins, Neuheisel said, won't doo much installation of game plans for another three days or so. They ended the practice with a competition between the offensive and defensive linemen - catching punts from a Juggs gun. It was not pretty. ...

Freshman Randall Carroll was not at practice. He was home with the flu. …

Morrell Presley, who was down late in the regular season with a shoulder injury, was back in practice. He was working with the tight ends group and not at receiver. …

Offensive guard Ryan Taylor (foot) was dressed for practice, but didn't do much. Jake Dean continued to get the reps at that guard spot with the No. 1 offense. …

Pretty good group of recruits in attendance – CB Anthony Jefferson (Cathedral), S Dietrich Riley (St. Francis), CB Shaquille Richardson (Los Alamitos), WR Paul Richardson (Serra), OL Niu Sale (Los Alamitos) …

Quarterback Nick Crissman was not in practice. He had his shoulder scoped, and is not going to be able to do any throwing for at least eight weeks.

‘'It's a clean out, from the other procedure,'' Neuheisel said.

Defensive tackle Jess Ward also was limited in practice and in a red jersey with a right shoulder injury. …

Rick Neuheisel spoke after practice Sunday.

‘'Great first day. Kids are excited to be here, excited to have the opportunity to play again and that's exactly what we had hoped for, and we're looking forward to playing a really good game back in Washington D.C. We will try to get ourselves going here again back in the swing of things, practicing football. It was a good first day, as I said. I think we'll have probably three more days kind of like this and then we'll get to the temple plan in earnest, and we'll probably be inserting the Temple plan as we go forward. But very excited about having the opportunity to be together and practicing football and looking forward to a postseason berth in the EagleBank Bowl.''

What was the main goal today?

‘'Get back out here and play football and have some fun, and we did. It was great to be out here.''

What did you ask them to do between the last game and today, conditioning and all that?

‘'Stay positive, that something good was going to happen for us and we were going to get this opportunity and lo and behold it's happened and we're going to take advantage of it.''

But what did you have them doing? ‘'We had them working out last week. Each of them had to get three lifts and runs, so we could stay in shape and be ready for this eventuality.''

Did you see much rust?

‘'There's certainly all kinds of rust, but that's OK. We've got time to get it off us. As long as the attitude is right, which it is, we'll be all right.''

How does visiting a city like D.C. and all the stuff to do off the field not become a distraction?

‘'Well, it's OK for it to be partially a distraction. It's fun for us to go. The first goal of these games is to go and play well and try and win. The second goal is to make sure it's a reward and you're getting a lot from it, and I think we can accomplish both. It's important that we know how to turn on the concentration when we're here and we find time to have fun when we blow the whistle and say practice is over.''

Having lived there, how cold is it going to be?

‘'You know, you can get a really nice day. We played the Colts in the playoffs in early January and it was 60, so you can catch a great time of year and you can catch frigid, you know. But I'm really lucky, so it will be nice … it will be perfect, how's that?''

The team's attitude, you happy about how they came out today?

‘'Oh, absolutely. We've got great kids and they've given us everything we've asked for all year long and we'll get it again.''

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