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Pro Bruin Rundown: San Francisco 49ers sign Josh Rosen, Russell Westbrook notches 2 triple-doubles

Former Bruin quarterback and first-round NFL Draft selection Josh Rosen has been signed by the San Francisco 49ers, his third team in the last four months. (Daily Bruin file photo)

By Sam Settleman

Dec. 28, 2020 3:14 p.m.

As college sports continue to be pushed back because of the COVID-19 pandemic, professional leagues have restarted. Each Monday, Daily Bruin Sports will highlight a few standout alumni performances from the past week in ongoing leagues as we await the return of university athletics.

Josh Rosen, San Francisco 49ers; Matthew Slater, New England Patriots, NFL

Josh Rosen is traveling for the holidays.

The former UCLA quarterback was signed off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ practice squad by the 49ers following injuries to their starting and backup quarterbacks. This marks Rosen’s third team in the last four months and his fourth team in three NFL seasons.

Rosen won 17 games in three seasons as a Bruin en route to being selected with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. He has lost nine consecutive NFL starts dating back more than two years, tallying two touchdown passes and eight interceptions in those contests.

The 2017 Pac-12 passing yards per game leader will get an immediate opportunity to prove himself in the final week of the 49ers’ season as he assumes the backup role behind now-starter C.J. Beathard.

Elsewhere in the NFL, Matthew Slater continues to add to his potential Pro Football Hall of Fame resume.

Slater – who could become the first core special teamer inducted into Canton, Ohio – was selected to the ninth Pro Bowl of his career, extending his record for most special teams Pro Bowl honors in NFL history.

Slater played at wide receiver and defensive back for UCLA football from 2004-2007 but starred on special teams. In his senior season, the four-year Bruin returned three kickoffs for touchdowns, setting a school record and earning first-team All-America honors as a kick returner.

While there is no precedent for enshrining a gunner into the Hall of Fame, Slater’s nine Pro Bowl selections, two first-team All-Pro selections and three Super Bowls could be enough for him to join his father, Jackie Slater, in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Russell Westbrook, Washington Wizards; Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA

New teams, same Russell Westbrook and Jrue Holiday.

The former Bruins, who both led top-25 ranked UCLA men’s basketball teams, shined in their new threads as the NBA season tipped off Tuesday.

Westbrook, traded to the Wizards shortly before the beginning of the season, needed just three quarters to record the 147th triple-double of his career in his season debut. The guard tallied 21 points, 11 rebounds and 15 assists in a six-point loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, becoming the first player in Wizards franchise history to record a triple-double in his debut.

In his first game as a Buck, Holiday recorded 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field in addition to two steals and a block. The former All-Star guard drilled a step-back 3-pointer to give the Bucks the lead with just over a minute remaining, but the reigning top seed in the Eastern Conference fell short against the Boston Celtics on opening night.

On Christmas Day, donning the blue Milwaukee city edition jerseys – a familiar color for the former Bruin – Holiday scored 12 points on 75% shooting in 25 minutes as the Bucks bested the Golden State Warriors by 39 points.

While Westbrook did not take the court on Christmas Day for the first time in more than 10 years, the floor general carried the giving spirit into the weekend, dishing out a game-high 12 assists against the Orlando Magic on Saturday as part of another triple-double performance.

Westbrook’s back-to-back triple-doubles made him the fourth player in NBA history to record triple-doubles in the first two games of the season and the first to do so with a new team.

Cobi Jones, U.S. Soccer

Cobi Jones is looking to expand his decorated soccer resume, declaring his intent to run to fill U.S. Soccer’s vice president vacancy.

Jones, inducted into both the UCLA Athletics and the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame, holds the record for most caps in U.S. Men’s National Team history. He appeared in 164 international matches, including three World Cups in 1994, 1998 and 2002.

A Los Angeles native, Jones started his career at UCLA as a walk-on in 1988 before leading the team to an NCAA championship in 1990. The midfielder finished his collegiate career with 23 goals and 37 assists in 90 games.

Jones subsequently spent 15 seasons with the LA Galaxy as a player and coach, where he won two MLS Cups in 2002 and 2005.

Since hanging up his cleats, Jones has spent 10 years as a soccer analyst for Fox Sports.

In a statement released alongside his announcement to run for U.S. Soccer vice president, Jones cited his desire to increase opportunities for the next generation of U.S. Soccer players and emphasized a need to focus on diversity.

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Sam Settleman | Sports editor
Settleman is currently the Sports editor on the football, men's basketball and gymnastics beats. He was previously an assistant editor on the gymnastics, women's soccer, women's golf, men's water polo and women's water polo beats and a contributor on the gymnastics and women's water polo beats.
Settleman is currently the Sports editor on the football, men's basketball and gymnastics beats. He was previously an assistant editor on the gymnastics, women's soccer, women's golf, men's water polo and women's water polo beats and a contributor on the gymnastics and women's water polo beats.
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