Los Angeles Times

Rosen hasn’t lost faith in Kelly, QBs

- By Ben Bolch ben.bolch@latimes.com Twitter: @latbbolch

Josh Rosen was so intrigued by the possibilit­y of playing for Chip Kelly that he contemplat­ed staying at UCLA for another year rather than becoming the Arizona Cardinals’ firstround draft pick.

The Bruins’ stumbles during Kelly’s first season haven’t changed the quarterbac­k’s admiration for the coach.

“I’m a big believer in Chip Kelly, I’ve got a lot of buddies on the team and I think they’ll keep pushing on,” Rosen said this week during a telephone interview. “They’ve won two [in a row], so hopefully they’ll start stacking them.

“A lot of my best friends are still on that team, so I’m always rooting for them the best I can.”

Rosen knows about perseverin­g through a difficult situation. The Cardinals fired offensive coordinato­r Mike McCoy last week after the team fell to 1-6 following a 45-10 home loss to the Denver Broncos. Rosen has also had to play behind an offensive line that has struggled to protect him at times, giving up 2.7 sacks per game.

The rookie has completed 55% of his passes for 820 yards with three touchdowns and five intercepti­ons. His successors at UCLA also have had uneven starts with the Bruins.

Freshman Dorian Thompson-Robinson was beginning to show full command of the offense, completing 73.4% of his passes over the last three games before suffering an unspecifie­d upper-body injury against Arizona last weekend.

Wilton Speight replaced Thompson-Robinson against the Wildcats, shook off a slow start and guided the Bruins to a 31-30 victory with two touchdown passes.

“I mean, it’s a new system, they’re all adjusting,” Rosen said when asked about the quarterbac­ks. “I think they’ve both had their ups and downs but I think long-term the Bruins will be just fine.”

He’s out

Thompson-Robinson emerged from the locker room alongside Speight before UCLA’s game against Utah on Friday night at the Rose Bowl, trotting onto the field to toss warmup passes. They would be the only ones he would throw. Thompson Robinson took pregame snaps from backup center Christapha­ny Murray ,a tipoff that Speight was on track to make the start. Thompson-Robinson wore a wrapping over his upper right arm and presumably his shoulder area, which was covered by his jersey.

Thompson-Robinson had made significan­t progress in his recovery this week. He went from not throwing Monday during the portion of practice that was open to media to putting some zip on his passes Tues- day while appearing to be a full participan­t in practice.

But Speight continued to work with the first team, a pairing that would continue a few days later against Utah.

They’re out too

UCLA played without receiver Kyle Philips and linebacker Bo Calvert.

Philips has missed four straight games because of an unspecifie­d injury, last playing against Colorado on Sept. 28. Calvert, who had played in every game since making his college debut against Fresno State, had missed practice this week for unspecifie­d reasons.

The Bruins were also without linebacker Marcus Moore, who missed a second straight game after being suspended for an unspecifie­d violation of team rules.

The century mark

UCLA receiver Theo Howard’s 24-yard catch late in the second quarter was the 100th of his college career. The junior became the 25th receiver to hit that threshold in school history.

Howard has also caught at least one pass in 24 consecutiv­e games.


Colin Samuel suffered an apparent right knee injury on the opening kickoff of the third quarter Friday and had to be helped off the field.

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