By now, you’ve likely seen the sideline incident between Jim Mora and defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich from UCLA’s game yesterday against Oregon.
Visibly frustrated after a few frustrating defensive series, Mora and Ulbrich exchanged some words likely not safe for young ears before Ulbrich offered up his defensive play sheet to Mora.
Mora then snatched the call sheet from his defensive coordinator’s hand before attempting to throw some water on the fire.
See the exchange below, if you haven’t already.
After the game, before even fielding any questions, Mora attempted to get out in front of it with the media and provided the following explanation:
“I understand that they [the cameras] caught me and ‘Brich getting into it on the sidelines. I’ve known him since he was 21 years old, just a little babe coming into the pro football world, and he’s one of my closest friends and we are both very passionate and very competitive.”
“And If you don’t have that fire, then something is wrong.” Mora added.
After getting some time to cool off, Ulbrich also addressed the incident.
“This is a passionate game, and I love coach Mora, and we’re both very passionate people, and defensive minded people, so unfortunately it happened…but I should have handled it better,” Ulbrich noted after the game.
“I should have handled it better, that’s really what it comes down to.” he added.
At the end of the day this is a grown men’s game coached by some very bright, passionate guys with different ideas, so there is bound to be the occasional sideline scene when the bullets are flying. It’s just the nature of the game.
Credit both Mora and Ulbrich for handling the situation like mature, grown men after the game, addressing it, taking responsibility, and moving on.