Jim Mora on UCLA quarterback competition: 'No one has won it yet'

 Jim Mora on UCLA quarterback competition: 'No one has won it yet'
UCLA freshman quarterback Josh Rosen looks for an open receiver during the first day of summer camp at Cal State San Bernardino. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Clarity has been absent during UCLA's quarterback competition. If anything, training camp has made things murkier.

As to whether freshman Josh Rosen or junior Jerry Neuheisel will run the offense, Coach Jim Mora said, "We're no closer to a decision," adding that "there's nothing on the horizon."


As to what coaches were looking for, Mora was vague.

"I'm waiting to see someone win the job and no one has won it yet," Mora said.

Which is about as far as anyone will go in discussing the Bruins' quarterback situation.

"Coaches have purposely been vague because they want to instill some competition," Neuheisel said. "They don't want to give anybody a nod or say anyone is ahead."

Things seemed to be lining up for Rosen before camp. He had enrolled early at UCLA to participate in spring practice and certainly looked like the leader coming out of those workouts.

But training camp has been a struggle for all quarterbacks at times, in part because of the constant pressure the defense has applied.

"It sometimes looks sloppy for the quarterbacks out there, but in the long run it is really going to help them," Mora said. "I'd rather they experience those types of things here than get into a game in the Rose Bowl on Sept. 5th and have that happen for the first time."

Rosen has looked every bit the freshman at times. At other times, he has displayed the high-end abilities.

"I think I need keep up the consistency," Rosen said. "Sometimes I get the same play and do two different things. I come to the sideline and don't really know how to explain why. I need to calm down and play. We have a really good team, let them do what they have been doing the last few years."

Neuheisel has been an afterthought in most speculations. However, he has spent three years running offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone's three-ring tempo offense.

But Neuheisel, the son of former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel, is accustomed to people writing him off.

"It starts with being a coach's kid," Jerry Neuheisel said. "You read in the paper that your dad is the worst coach in the world one week and a genius the next week. You come to UCLA and they say the only reason you got a scholarship is your dad."

Neuheisel said, "At some point, you have to realize, the only person you can truly listen to is yourself. There are two ways to act, you can get mad and let it ruin you, beat you down, or you can shrug and decide to do your own thing."

Both Rosen and Neuheisel had solid days in practice Tuesday. Rosen threw for three touchdown and Neuheisel for two in team drills.


Injury update

UCLA received good news about three starting offensive linemen.

Guard Alex Redmond returned to practice after being escorted off the field by a trainer Monday night. Mora said Redmond was not injured.

Center Jake Brendel also returned to practice, but was limited to individual work on the side because of a minor calf injury. Tackle Conor McDermott returned to Los Angeles to have an MRI exam for his knee that showed no ligament damage. He is expected to return to practice in a day or two.

Combs speaks

Music mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs says the incident at UCLA that led to his arrest in June was all a misunderstanding.

Combs had an altercation with UCLA strength and conditioning personnel over what he thought was unfair treatment of his son, UCLA defensive back Justin Combs. Charges were not filed.

"There are just some things that you have to understand in sports ... when you have a child who plays sports, you are actually giving your child up to those coaches," he said in a radio interview on New York's Power 105. "You have to be able to take a lot."

Combs said that he was probably not going to be allowed at UCLA practices.

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