August 10, 2008

AM practice high on effort

The morning practice was an intense and fast affair. That is a good indicator that this team has a lot of want to. It was hot this morning and to see the effort after having a late practice the night before is a good sign and tells a lot about this squad of players.

UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel was pleased with his team's effort.

Neuheisel: "I thought it was a great practice especially since we practiced until 7:00 o'clock last night. To be able to come out at 9:00 in the morning and put forth the effort that they did. I was pleased so I'm excited about that.

"In respect to [db]Ben Olson[/db] they took more x-rays this morning and we will have some conclusive news for you later today. We going to try and remain as optimistic as we can, but we will have to wait and see."

"I was real pleased with the effort today and we are getting better today."

What are your thoughts on [db]Kevin Craft[/db] and Chris Forcier?

Neuheisel: "I thought they played really well today. Both gave up an interception in the two minute drill, which was great by our defense because they are both off of tipped balls. We are going to have to win the turnover game if we are going to be a successful football team so that was excellent to see the defense play like that, but I thought both of those kids (Craft and Forcier) did a nice job and Osaar Rasshan is coming along.

"With the prospect of Ben (Olson) not being available you can see some heightened intensity out of these young kids at the quarterback position. Everybody is understanding that holy cow this could really happen and I could be in there. When that happens it is amazing how the light turns on and people really start focusing.

"I watched Pete Carroll last night on television talking about all of their quarterbacks getting their chance because their guy is dinged a little bit and exactly the same thing is happening here. It shouldn't take that to happen, but it is amazing what that does."

In terms of the mobility of guys back there how do you factor that into the offensive line?

Neuheisel: "You love to have a guy who is able to make a play with his legs and the truth of the matter is all of the guys is Ben maybe would have been fifth or sixth of the six guys in terms of agility and getting out of the way of people.

"Ben had had all the experience and is certainly a gifted player, but these kids can all move. The key is not to move before you have to and not to get jittery and all that stuff. We will have to wait to see who has the most presence if it comes to that. We will wait and see to see how Ben is."

Is Kahlil Bell going at 100 percent at this point?

Neuheisel: "Kahlil is going great. I could not be anymore happy with his progress so far. We are going to rest him this afternoon for precautionary reasons, but I like where we are with him. He is seeing the reads and he is giving great leadership. He's a real leader on this football team.

Aundre Dean, he doesn't seem to be getting as many reps have the other backs…

Neuheisel: "You know what happens is you sometimes get a little bit stuck where Aundre has been a little bit unlucky where there would be fumbled snap was his rep and all of sudden we move the next guy in and you have to be careful you are not playing any favorites when you have a bunch of young guys that you have all promised opportunity to, but eventually everybody understands that we are going to have to make some decisions and when we divide into scout teams then we will decide who is going to play on Saturdays and who will be in more of a role of waiting for another time."

What is Aundre been like so far?

Neuheisel: "I think he has been terrific. I have been really pleased with all of them. If you were just to stop and evaluate our talent with Aundre being a part of that there are a lot of good guys making some plays.

Jerry Johnson made a good pay yesterday. Antwon Moutra has made plays. Nelson Rosario is a smooth looking guy and then go through all four tailbacks. All of them have shown the promise to be here and that is good evaluation by our staff and the guys before me, Karl (Dorrell) and his guys this is the kind of recruiting class that UCLA is going to need over and over again to get back to where we want to be."

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