Former UCLA coach Jim Mora feels that Bruins standout quarterback Josh Rosen could be an all-time great player, if only he can get over being a “millennial,” Sports Illustrated reported.
Mora recently raised eyebrows when he suggested that the Cleveland Browns should sign quarterback Sam Darnold instead of Rosen during the upcoming draft. Apparently, Mora thought that Darnold was a better “fit” for the Browns than Rosen would be.
While many thought it was odd that Mora, who was Rosen’s coach at UCLA, would be seen dissing the top UCLA quarterback, Mora told Sports Illustrated that there were specific reasons for what he said.
First, he said he feels that Darnold is more of an “underdog” player compared to Rosen and that would be a better “fit” for Cleveland. But Mora also said that Rosen’s being a “millennial” might be something of a hurdle for the widely sought after player.
Still, Mora tried to tamp down the controversy by re-iterating that Rosen is “without a doubt” the “number one quarterback in the draft.”
“He’s a franchise-changer,” Mora exclaimed. “He’s got the ability to have an immediate impact. His arm talent, intelligence, and his ability to see the game and diagnose the game is rare. He’d come to the sidelines after a play, and it was uncanny—he could right away say exactly why he made every decision.”
But he added that Josh is a “millennial” and hinted that this might be some sort of a problem for Rosen’s concentration level.
“He needs to be challenged intellectually, so he doesn’t get bored. He’s a millennial. He wants to know why. Millennials, once they know why, they’re good,” Mora told SI. “Josh has a lot of interests in life. If you can hold his concentration level and focus only on football for a few years, he will set the world on fire. He has so much ability, and he’s a really good kid.”
According to reports, Rosen was a bit taken aback by the comments from his ex-coach. Mora, though, is still trying to set the record straight that he thinks Rosen really is the top prospect for the coming season.
“One thing I do want teams to know,” Mora added. “It’s desperately important for Josh to be a great player.”
UCLA fired Mora in November of 2017, one day after UCLA’s third consecutive loss to its crosstown rival USC. He was 17–19 in the last three seasons after going 29–11 through the first three seasons.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.