Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Josh Rosen's Lost UCLA Season As Much His Fault As Mora's
When the 2016 UCLA season started, it was obvious that something was wrong early for Josh Rosen. His deep balls were inaccurate as can be, and he made a habit of under throwing balls to receivers with two step leads on defenders. This issue continued on as the season wore down, and it later became obvious that the run game was a mess, and the line was one of the worst UCLA had seen in a while.
Rosen maintained a cocky, arrogant persona through it all, and was even seen yelling at receivers for not catching passes that should never had been thrown in the first place. He was off. The whole offense was off. Kennedy Palamalu looks lost as the OC, and play calling has been largely garbage in the red zone. Despite all of that, Rosen had opportunities to lift those around him, and despite piling up meaningless yards between the 20's, he has been in full regression, specifically in the red zone.
Rosen then got hit against Arizona State on October 8th. It was not a necessarily hard hit, but the hit caused him to pull a groin muscle. At that point, it became obvious that backup Mike Fafaul was not prepared to play that night, which is befuddling in and of itself when your backup is not ready to go. This became a game that would be lost, and it should have been left at that.
Instead, with UCLA still somehow hanging around, but not really, Rosen decided to be a hero and get himself back into the game. That was a poor decision, as he was not healthy enough to go. He ran with an absolute limp, and as he rolled right on an attempted pass, he was hammered, this time severely, and landed on his throwing shoulder. The damage sustained during this injury, as it turned out, was season ending, as was found out today by local media in Los Angeles.
Jim Mora, Kennedy Palamalu, and Marques Tuiasosopo all are to blame for making a bad call to bring Rosen back into a game that the Bruins were not going to win. The other culprit was Rosen himself, and somehow, nobody had the guts to tell him no. Rosen realized that nobody was going to say no, and pushed his way back into that game, and because he could not go at full speed, a bad play turned into further injury, and now, Mike Fafaul has to figure it out with no run game, and virtually no line.
Rosen is an arrogant young man, and not always in a good way. He needs to learn his limits, but that may be too late, because this kind of injury may limit his abilities moving forward. He will need surgery, to say the least, and with a nerve injury, that is never a sure thing. His future, regarding how well he recovers, is more in question than anyone wants to say openly. It took weeks to even get anyone, Rosen and Mora included, to even admit the severity of the injury.
At the end of the day, Mora and his coaching staff should have handled Rosen responsibly, and they did not. Rosen should never been put into a position to say whether he was healthy enough or not to play. He never should have had that say or that freedom. He was arrogant enough to think he was bigger than injury, and he is not. Mora and his staff were just stupid enough to let him believe that he was.