It is officially in the dog days of camp and the grind is at full speed. This is the time of camp that tests the mental fortitude of the players. UCLA head coach, Rick Neuheisel met with the media after practice to catch the media up with everything going on with the program and camp.
Neuheisel: "We had a good lengthy practice. We got a lot done. We will look at the film and try to correct what we need to correct and get better, but I am appreciating everybody's willingness to come out and push through and do all things the team needs to do in the middle of two a days so I am excited about that.
"Richard Brehaut as you noticed was not at practice today, he suffered a foot sprain in practice yesterday. When he took his shoe off, swelling was such that they took him for x-rays this morning. The x-rays were negative and hopefully we will have him back later in the week. I don't know what his availability will be for the scrimmage, but if he's not well we won't play him in the scrimmage, but our hope is and I know his hope is to be back and available for that.
"Jamie Graham, the transfer from Vanderbilt, needs to have a meniscus surgery tomorrow (August 17). So we're going to have him operating on at 1:00 o'clock, I believe is the surgery on his right knee for a little cartilage. It will be much like Brett Hundley's surgery. The recuperation time is supposed to be somewhere between three and four weeks."
If Brehaut cannot go in the scrimmage, how does that effect the situation?
Neuheisel: "Well it just means more reps for Kevin Prince and it will also provide more chances for the guys who are fighting for the third spot."
How does that effect the decision if you can't see Brehaut at the scrimmage?
Neuheisel: "Like I have said, I have a wealth of information is to which guy is be the first trigger puller and I will make that decision when it is the prudent thing to do, but obviously Richard wants to be there, however I'm not going to hold that against him.
"We have another scrimmage the next Friday at the Rose Bowl that we will be able to make sure get some. I am sure he will be available by that time."
How did Richard get hut?
Neuheisel: "He was stepped on is what I was told. I think he had tweaked it maybe a little slightly, but then was stepped on and it aggravated it."
When is the prudent time to announce your starting quarterback?
Neuheisel: "You know I'm going to wake up one morning and say this is the day. This is the prudent day."
So it will be a revelation?
Neuheisel: "Well it will be at the right time. I want to keep the competition going as long as I can and see how people respond to different things that happen during the course of competition. When people have a bad day, how do they come back from it and when people have a good day how do they do they respond, do they they get hungrier. Those are the kind of things keep evaluating before I make a call."
How did Kevin (Prince) come back from a bad day?
Neuheisel: "He was better today, but still not as sharp as he needs to be. I think there is more in him."
Sharp in what areas?
Neuheisel: "In the accuracy area. There are some balls that he is missing that he needs to hit."
He is talking about his feet getting a little...
Neuheisel: "Yeah, yeah and you can't be thinking about your feet. You just have to play and you have to take what you do in drill work to the practice field and if he'll do that then he's going to be terrific."
Neuheisel: "We worked Alberto there, yes. He's behind, but he is certainly a presence in there. Wide shoulder guy, big girth and he's a road grader."
Chris Ward going down a little bit now with the second team?
Neuheisel: "Again this is competition. We are trying to spur competition. Create guys to be a little hungry, be a little angry, find a way to come back and compete a little harder than maybe they have done."
Richard (Brehaut) has built some momentum over these last four practices. How tough is that now? How big of a setback is this going to be right now?
Neuheisel: "It is, what it is. I don't worry so much how big a setback it is, because it is, what it is, but he will be back and he will be back soon. He's played a lot so I expect him to be sharp when he returns."
Not just Richard, but all these injuries you are dealing with what is your mindset dealing with all these injuries?
Neuheisel: " That is part of football. It is really no different. You can take any training list of any camp across the country and you are going to have a bunch of this stuff.
"Fortunately none of them have been the kind that we are going to miss games with the possible exception of Jamie Graham."
Can you give us an assessment of your kickers today?
Neuheisel: " It's wasn't good enough. We have to find a guy who amidst pressure can kick the ball well. Watching them in practice they are terrific, but driving range guys don't get the trophies. You have to actually go out there and do it on the golf course.Kickers are much the same. You have to be able to do it in game action. We are going keep smothering it and keep looking for other options. Because we need somebody who can put it through there reliably."
Are they doing drills because when you guys are on the other field, they're not practicing their field goal kicking...
Neuheisel: "They are practicing field goals all during stretching. Are you talking about after practice? We do it all pre practice."
Is Jeff Locke going to be a part of that equation?
Neuheisel: "It is still possible. I'm hoping to get it done with somebody else because he is so valuable in other areas, but we are not going to leave a stone unturned in that regard."
If Richard can't go to the next scrimmage, that kind of takes you down to the wire. You kind of have to have somebody that Monday don't you?
Neuheisel: "You mean if Richard can't go in any of the next two scrimmages..."
No if it takes you the next scrimmage, it is taking kind of close...
Neuheisel: "No, people make game time decisions all the time about who the starter is. You follow college football and people do it all the time. Teams drag it out so teams don't know who the starter is like it's a big secret and all that stuff right?"
I have also seen the week before the first game watching the starting quarterback working to with the first team...
Neuheisel: "You will probably be here to see that right and report it as such, but we will make the announcement, what's the word we use, when its "prudent", right."
You already know who your starting quarterback is you are just waiting...Do you know who your starting quarterback is?
Neuheisel: "I told you I will announce it when I know it."
You have talked about wanting more from that (quarterback) position, do you feel like you have been getting it>
Neuheisel: "Yeah, we're getting better, we're just not as consistent as we can be and that's frustrating, so we have to keep working."
At this point of the discussion the media huddle is crashed by one Ricky Marvray who asks the following question.
Marvray: What do you think of Ricky Marvray?
Neuheisel: "I think Ricky Marvray if he'll listen to his coach will be an outstanding young talent. I think he's busted his tail. Now if he would just get into his playbook and understand everything, rather than just what his position does and understand conceptually what this offense needs to do and then he's going to be an outstanding talent."
You finally rip a player...
Neuheisel: "Can we rip him some more? No, Marvray is a good kid. A youngster out of Corona (Calif.) Centennial."
Thus ended the conversation on a lighter note. Today the team will have two practices. The first being at 9:00 AM and the second at 4:00 PM.