UCLA’s football team is in the final days of its fall camp at San Bernardino. Everything seemingly went peachy, the team has bonded and the level of play has risen. Overall, it seems to have been a satisfying fall camp.
That is, until Thursday, when Jim Mora blew up and tore into his team after endless scuffles between his players. As a result, he ended practice early in a fit of rage. From Inside UCLA:
UCLA coach Jim Mora was displeased with the effort, lack of focus and discipline, and that led to practice ending early. The move stunned the players and probably everyone else that attended practice. Mora was visibly upset with the seemingly endless amount of scuffles. He’d already warned players to knock it off, but to no avail.
RB Darius Bell got into it with someone during a 11-on-11 but I really couldn’t tell with who. What I can say is that Mora wanted to see more poise from Bell. But it wasn’t over. DL Cassius Marsh and OL Ben Wysocki went at with a scrum of their own. On the next play, there was no sense of blocking. It seemed more about who would get the best of who. That’s when Adrian Klemm kicked Wysocki off the field and sent him to the locker. Wysocki would eventually get back and had a talk with Klemm.
Around the time that was going on, LB Damien Holmes and FB Luke Gane went at it during pass-block drills.
You, as a UCLA football fan, have the right to mixed emotions. First, you’re likely happy (as we expressed when we first found out) that it’s obvious that Jim Mora’s making sure this team is mature and professional, heavy contact and frustration be damned. Showing restraint will be incredibly important for this football club, one that was so damn undisciplined and riddled with penalties. Keeping your cool amidst intense pressure and high-flying emotions will be friggin’ crucial, to say the least.
On the other hand, though, it’s maddening since apparently this team has not gotten the memo. We’re one day away from this football team leaving San Bernardino, and we’re two weeks away from kick-off against Rice. If this issue has not been remedied — indeed, it seems as if the scuffling has gotten progressively worse — then what hope will we have when this team has to play opponents whom they have no allegiances to? Mora has ripped into his players for doing so, so can you blame Mora for not instilling more discipline?
It’s all too early to speculate, but you have to like the fact that Mora continues to try and cut the bullcrap, while also being discouraged by the fact that he actually has to suppress it so late into the offseason.
We’ll see, though. Mora’s been pretty solid in that regard, and we’ll have to see if there’s a ton of improvement.