It was UCLA Football Head Coach Jim Mora’s turn to talk to the press at Pac-12 Media Day and he addressed a great many things including Defensive Coordinator Tom Bradley and the antics of Josh Rosen.
We finally got to hear UCLA Football Head Coach Jim Mora‘s thoughts on a few things regarding his team and some of the drama that has surrounded the program recently. Some of the information was general, but some of what he talked about was interesting, especially regarding a few sensitive topics.
First off, he addressed the allegations that Tom Bradley knew about the sexual abuse committed by Jerry Sandusky during his time at Penn State. Mora reaffirmed that UCLA did a thorough job vetting Bradley and were and are still comfortable with the hire.
Mora was also surprised that UCLA was picked to win the south. Not sure why, he has a solid group of returners as well as a potential Heisman candidate in quarterback Josh Rosen.
Mora also talked about depth issues with the offensive line. Though they are a little thin at a few spots, he stated that he has “two special tackles”. This season, the Bruins have experience with Conor McDermott handling left tackle while an improving Kolton Miller handles the right side.
Following that statement, Mora said he was really excited about the run game. Along with Soso Jamabo, Nate Starks and Bolu Olorunfunmi, UCLA will utilize full backs to help in short yardage situations.
When asked what he learned from last year, Mora did not have a lot to say but stated that he liked the preparation, hard work and attitude from the team going into 2016.
Then the topic of Josh Rosen came up and the first thing Mora said was how his teammate’s respect him. Mora also said he was amused with the hot tub situation, but had to have a conversation with Rosen about the “Trump hat” scenario. He understood where Rosen was coming from and stated that UCLA has a long history of having socially aware athletes like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton, but hopes he thinks twice when making certain decisions.
When asked why Rosen was not at Pac-12 Media Day, Mora stated what Bruin fans have known for a while and that is his policy of taking upperclassmen, which is why Conor McDermott and Jayon Brown joined him today.
One of the final points he touched upon was McDermott returning. Coming from the NFL, Mora said he had a long conversation about the NFL and expectations and that an extra year would enhance his position in draft.