Jim Mora didn’t have much to say about junior quarterback Josh Rosen’s injury status after Monday night’s practice.
“Nothing really to report. He did not practice today,” coach Mora said. “(Redshirt freshman) Devon Modster got all the reps along with (redshirt freshman) Matt Lynch. I wish I could tell you, I wish I knew whether he will be available Friday night. I just don’t know.”
Mora shared that Rosen could play even if he didn’t practice this week, but opted not to go into the details of the nature of Rosen’s injury. The coach had plenty to say, however, to anyone questioning the toughness of his junior quarterback – particularly ESPN color commentator and former NFL quarterback Brock Huard.
During the game, Huard indicated that the potential top draft pick’s exit might start the conversation about Rosen’s toughness in the context of NFL evaluations. He spoke of former NFL quarterbacks like Drew Bledsoe and Brett Favre playing injured, as well as his own playing career.
“I would put very little stock into anything that (Huard) has to say about football,” Mora said. “It’s ludicrous that anyone would question (Rosen’s) toughness when they don’t know the nature of his injury.”
Mora didn’t stop.
“For a broadcaster who knows zippo about what’s going on down there to question the toughness of (Rosen),” Mora paused. “I don’t know, I guess it drives ratings. I don’t know. Maybe the producer was talking in his ear.”
Huard did preface his comments by saying that it was not his job to speculate, and that he would need more information before forming a hard-and-fast opinion. Nonetheless, his conjecture on Rosen leaving the game having an impact on his draft stock is what stuck.
Media frenzy didn’t dampen Rosen’s teammates’ view of their quarterback.
“I said this over and over again in the offseason: (Rosen) is the ultimate competitor,” said redshirt senior offensive lineman Scott Quessenberry. “If he could have been out there, he would have been.”
Quessenberry was part of the line that had trouble keeping Rosen off the ground on Saturday. Washington’s pass rush sacked Rosen four times before his third-quarter exit.
“Nothing that we weren’t prepared for,” Quessenberry said of the Huskies’ line. “I just don’t think we played good enough team football on offense to win.”
Quessenberry added he was extremely confident about Modster and doesn’t anticipate much of a change in the game plan in Rosen’s absence.
Practicing at night
The fact that this weekend’s game is on Friday night instead of Saturday changed UCLA football’s practice schedule from mornings to evenings for the rest of the week.
Mora said the later practice time gives the players more time to rest in between Saturday’s game and Monday’s practice, as well as additional time to have meetings, watch the film and install schemes.
“It was really for the purpose to give them a chance to recover and for us to plan for Utah,” Mora said.