VIDEO: Mora on Saturday

Jim Mora

UCLA coach Jim Mora talks about the development of Fabian Moreau, Sean Covington's day at field goal kicker, and the plan for the spring game...

Jim Mora:


Opening statement:
Really another good Saturday practice. Really the whole practice was live, but we thought it was important to get it done. It was a great practice and a lot of situations. The only way you become a good situation team is to practice it. So we're going to practice it relentless. I like the way they respond, they get after it. We have three practices left and then the spring game.

On injury reports:
I think we made it through o.k. Thomas Duarte sprained his ankle. It's not serious. Its serious enough to keep him out of practice, but not serious enough to keep him out. Fuller has the back thing. He tries to come out and it just tightens up. I don't want to put him out there when he's not full speed.

On the spring game plan:
We're hope to have two offensive lines, so we can have an actual spring game. That's the goal. Because I want to have an actual game. Last night I watched Florida State's spring game and Nebraska's and to see how they did it and they were different formats. We want to play a real game but it's all real dependent on how we are. I think this coming week we'll take the pads off a couple of days. We've gotten a lot of good work in this spring, and we'll see if we can't get sharp for Saturday night. It's going to be more football. It got long last year, and I thought it would be fun. We're going to have it the StubHub Center and it's a great venue and hopefully we can get a good crowd in there and get good energy. But my goal is to make it game like and get it as close to game like as possible and the people coming out can enjoy it. The other thing we're going to do is the autograph session before, because it gets late afterwards, so we'll come down there early and from 3-4, the players will be outside of the stadium signing autographs at the Fan Fest. Then we'll go in and get dressed and be ready at 5 and be done like 6:30 so people can have a nice day with us.

On players standing out:
A lot of players making progress. We keep saying the name Mossi Johnson. And he just continues to impress. I love the way our secondary is playing right now. The last 5-6 practices, we've made a great deal of improvement in our run defense. Some of the things we're doing are different, not wholesale changes, but some different. We're understanding out pass rush and blitz patterns better. I think Brett is doing a heck of a job and Jerry Neuheisel, he catches my eye. So I think there is a lot of great things. It's great to have Malcolm Bunche here and he's a great football player and very versatile and we know those things when he was coming from Miami. With some of the guys getting dinged up, he's bouncing around. Another guy doing a good job is Kylie Fitts, he's really taken a step up. Zach Vinci, he's taken a step up. A lot of good things going on.

On Sean Covington doing more place kicking:
It's just to give Ka'imi a rest. When we were working it before it got live, he was going off. He's an excellent kicker. Ka'imi has had an excellent spring. He hit a 52-yarder that would have won it, but we jumped, which was a common thing, so we had to back it up five and he didn't bury it, but that's not on him.

On Asiantii Woulard:
He's stalled a little bit. Does it concern me? A little, but I think it's common. You reach a barrier, you have to break through and ascend again. He puts a lot of pressure on himself and wants to be great, but he's still young. It's funny you ask, because Brett and I were talking about it during the red zone skelly. Brett said, these young guys, they don't understand the extra studying and work it takes to be great, beyond the meetings and the practices and that's a great message, especially when it's coming from your quarterback. He's gotten to where he is because of his tremendous ability, but he has that work ethic as well and is a great example. Asiantii has every physical tool you can imagine in a quarterback, he's big, he's fast, he's strong and has a great arm. He'll always have to work on his accuracy, because he's young, but you're going to reach those mental barriers because he's a quarterback. We understand. But we've also got to push him.

On Fabian Moreau:
I don't notice him, and thats a good thing. They don't catch the ball on him. He makes some really good plays on the ball and makes some good interceptions. I think Fabian is on the verge of being a great cornerback. I don't use that word lightly, I think he's on the verge of being a great cornerback. Like one of the best in college football. If he has the kind of year I think he's capable, he's an all-American. I haven't seen anyone on film who's as good as Fabian. I know that's high cotton, high praise, but I really believe that.

On when the light went on for Moreau:
Probably the middle of last year. You could see his confidence start to swell. He had a great offseason and he's a tremendous worker. He's got long arms, he's a little bowlegged, he's strong, he's physical and he can play the ball. Being a former offensive player, he's got good ball skills and awareness. He's got a demeanor about him. And I think every corner has to have that. The last play disappears quick for him. If they got beat, the play is over and they're on the to the next play and I love that about Fabian.

On if that's the fun of coaching college football:
Yeah, because you're looking at an NFL corner right there. If he keeps developing the way he's developing, he's a first round pick. I'd take him first round and I coached some pretty good corners.

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