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UCLA confident Fabian Moreau will return to form

UCLA confident Fabian Moreau will return to form
UCLA's Fabian Moreau goes for the tackle after a catch by Memphis' Joe Craig on Sept. 6. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

UCLA defensive backs coach Demetrice Martin says he's confident that the Fabian Moreau we've seen in the first four games of the season isn't the one we're going to see Saturday against Utah.

Moreau, the defensive back that Coach Jim Mora labeled a potential first-round draft pick earlier this year, so far hasn't been the player that looked so dominant in training camp. He's been beaten over the top, on crossing routes and just about everything in between.

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According to Martin, the pressure the junior has felt to be the main guy in the secondary is alleviating a bit.

"He's coming along, he's coming along," Martin said. "I think there was a lot thrown at him early in the season, and I think he wore that. I think he was trying to do too much. Now, we've talked and calmed him down, and brought him to a place of, 'Hey, you don't need to do everything. All you need to do is just make your plays.' I think you guys are going to see a different Fabian this week."

Martin said that in that conversation he brought up the success of some of the other defensive backs. Anthony Jefferson has been one of the most impressive players in the entire defense, playing both safety and corner, and Ishmael Adams has two pick-sixes on the year.

Moreau could turn out to be the best of the group, Martin said, but for right now, he doesn't need to be.

"No doubt, that was the avenue of the conversation," he said. "It was, 'Look, man, we have other guys that can handle it. You don't have to defend every pass. You just need to defend the ones that come your way.' I think he's going to buy into that, and it's already showing up this week in practice. I expect it to happen in the games.

For more Bruin observations, follow Everett Cook on Twitter @everettcook

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