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October 27, 2011One more practice to go and it is on to Cal and hopefully some redemption for their last performance against Arizona. If the Bruins are to win, they will have to do so without the services of four wide receivers, one defensive tackle and for the first half, one offensive guard. Thankfully it appears that Anthony Barr and Jerry Johnson will be back in time.
UCLA head coach, Rick Neuheisel as always met with the media after Wednesday's practice. The following is what transpired.
Neuheisel: "Another good day of practice. Some things that we looked to improve upon and we did. It was great to have to have Anthony Barr back out there so hopefully we can have him in some small role for the weekend. Anyway it was a good day."
Will Barr be similar to Jerry Johnson?
Neuheisel: "Yeah, we just want to see how many we can get out of him, but certainly a guy who has played, as has Jerry, and guys that can help us."
Does Barr give you a little bit of flexibility as well as Jordon James? Gives you an opportunity to go outside a little more?
Neuheisel: "He (Barr) gives us lots of flexibility. That was one of the great values we had when he was with us. So it was nice to have him running around today."
Is there any hesitation to put him in after Sheldon Price went in last week and was hurt in the first quarter?
Neuheisel: "The answer is, yeah you wish you can have them all 100 percent, but sometimes in a course of a football season, you don't have that luxury and certainly in the situation we find ourselves offensively this week. We certainly don't have that luxury. If he is able to go and I know he is chomping at the bit to go, it not as though, he is unsafe. We will continue to explore it."
Losing Taylor Embree causes you to replace more things than just wide receiver. How are looking to handle that?
Neuheisel: "As best as we can (laughs) is the best way to answer that. He plays a lot of roles and it is a shame, he's not available, but again, we respect the decision and we move on."
You have to find a backup holder among other things?
Neuheisel: "Yep, there's a lot of different things that we have to shore up to prepare for the game. No question about it."
Have you faced a receiver like Keenan Allen this year?
Neuheisel: "I have to look back. I know we have played a lot of good players. Maybe not as one as physical, as Keenan Allen, as big and fast and elusive, all the different things that he brings to the table. He is a special player no question about it. As is No. 1, is it Marvin Jones. Both of those guys are specimens."
You talk about Keenan being physical, how do you counter against that? Be physical as well?
Neuheisel: "You try to be, absolutely. We have to get in there and contest routes. That's what we have to do."
Can you talk about the guard situation with Albert Cid being out the first half?
Neuheisel: "Right now we are working with Wade Yandall. We can certainly have Jeff Baca play in there and have Brett Downey play tackle. It's a couple of combinations and we're going to keep looking to see which one is the best one and Alberto will be ready to go in the second half."
With Kip Smith still being out, has he regressed a little bit?
Neuheisel: "He has a more significant injury than first thought and we just have to let heal."
Is there a medical redshirt he can do?
Neuheisel: "Well, he has already redshirted. If there were another year that he were to lose because of medical reasons, certainly that would be an opportunity."