Friday, April 25, 2008

The More Things Change

New vibe around the team? Check. Faster paced practices? Check. New coaches, new scheme, and a new attitude? Check, check, and check. Injured quarterbacks. Ummm... check and check again. I guess the more things change in Bruinville the more they stay the same. Both Pat and Ben were injured yesterday and the two will miss the Spring Scrimmage on Saturday.

The extent of both injuries will be found out today with MRIs. Cowan was injured earlier in the week and missed Tuesday's practice and it looks like he aggravated that knee injury again on Thursday. He was carted off the field with Olson in toe. The big south paw planted his right foot and said he heard a "pop". Not good.

Coach Neuheisel tried to find some silver lining to the fact that his top two quarterbacks were injured.
“You always try to look at the bright side. If it were to be that they could not play on Saturday, it would be an excellent opportunity to find out under fire (about) the other three kids (quarterbacks Kevin Craft, Chris Forcier and Osaar Rasshan). The two seniors certainly have had a lot of playing time. So you’ve got to always look at the bright side.”

This does give Kevin Craft and Chris Forcier a chance to step up and prove themselves. Before you get too excited about them for this season just remember that they are 3rd and 4th on the depth chart for a reason. I'm not expecting too much from them on Saturday but it will be a good preview of the quarterback battle for the 2009 season. Oasar Rasshan, who is determined to stay at quarterback despite being 5th on the depth chart, has now moved up two spots. I still think he needs to move to wide receiver, but at this pace, we might need him at some point behind center. So maybe sticking at quarterback isn't such a bad idea after all.

I suppose if you are going to get injured, now is probably the least damaging time to do so. Spring practice is almost over and most of the offense has been installed. Depending on the extent of both injuries, Pat and Ben could miss some time over the summer. That's when the players usually get together and practice on their own to help learn the play book. If both are ready to go by the fall then UCLA should be in good shape.

The bigger concern, however, is that they could re-injure themselves again during the fall or during the season. If the past is any indication of the future, our backup guys need to make the most of their time with the first team. We'll likely be calling on them again this season to lead this team. I think Craft could be a good quick-fix for this team. He's at least started and played some games over the last few seasons. Forcier is still very, very raw. Rasshan also proved that he has a long way to go before he's ready to take the reigns of this team.

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