Tuesday, July 24, 2012
On stage ... UCLA
By Kevin Gemmell
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. -- Some notes from UCLA coach Jim Mora, running back Johnathan Franklin and safety Tevin McDonald:
- Mora on coaching the sons of players he coached in the NFL: "Coached Tevin’s dad in San Francisco and (Tevin) was always running around the locker room. I’ve enjoyed the transition from the NFL to UCLA. It’s been a lot of fun. Our responsibility goes beyond football games. Our job is to help develop them into the men their parents envisioned them becoming."
- Franklin on restoring pride: "It’s definitely been tough. I feel we’re taking the right steps into putting UCLA back on the map. We’re working as hard as we can to get better. If we do that, everything will fall into place."
- McDonald on restoring pride: "We need to be accountable to ourselves and our teammates. That’s something that may have been lacking the last couple of years."
- Mora: "We want to be a football team that plays with great discipline and great toughness."
- Mora on his NFL background: "I think you walk in with a little bit of credibility because you spent so much time in the NFL. But you have to earn your credibility every day. We have 98 years of NFL playing and coaching experience. Coached 16 Hall of Famers. Yet we’re grounded in college football. When Lou Spanos asks Tevin to execute an assignment, he can show film of Troy Polamalu doing it and hold up two Super Bowl rings."
- Mora on the quarterback situation: "We were looking for someone to jump out of the pack. But that didn’t happen because the whole pack elevated. Wait two weeks into summer camp then we’ll make a decision and move forward. Whoever we go with, it will be the right decision. We’re going to put a heck of a team around whoever the quarterback is."
- McDonals on his father (Tim McDonald’s) involvement: "I would say he’s pretty involved. He was my high school coach and Pop Warner coach."
- Mora: "Tim was the smartest football player I ever coached and his son is a lot like him."
- McDonald on his brother, USC safety T.J.: "We don’t really compare stats. I got my first start in the fourth week. He’s a hell of a player, one of the best safeties in college."
- Mora on Ellis McCarthy: "I haven’t seen him play at this level yet. We have to assess the best way to use him. He might be a starter, he might be a role player. He might be on goal line or third down. Too early to be definitive on his role."