Jim Mora Jr. made headlines on Wednesday when he ripped into freshman quarterback Josh Rosen at practice in front of the media. During a Hail Mary drill, Mora repeatedly got onto his star freshman.
“You’re not at ... Bellflower St. John Bosco,” Mora screamed, according to the Los Angeles Times. “That’s why you have not been named the starter.
"You can’t hit an open receiver down field with no defense.”
“The ‘Anointed One.’”
“Go back to Bosco and beat some more [bad] teams.”
Eventually, Mora turned to the media and said, “Tell your readers that is why has not been named the starter.”
That outburst led some to criticize Mora for so openly ripping into his quarterback in front of fans and media -- particularly telling the media specifically to explain that this is why he hasn't been named a starter.
On Thursday, Mora spoke after practice and explained his methods and why it was all part of a tough love approach.
"This is football," said Mora. "I'm not going to change the way I coach just cause there's fans and media out here. Like I said at the start, you try to put these guys in stressful situations. You're trying to test them, sometimes set things up to see how they handle it.
"[Practice] is to me where you do all of that. On game day what you see with me is support those guys and be there for them. Out here, it's about toughening them up physically, mentally and emotionally to be able to go out in front of close to 85,000 fans against a great opponent and perform in stressful situations.
"If the music was up, you wouldn't have heard that! I do that stuff all the time. You can ask 'em. Hell, I got Jerry today. You saw it. It's just part of the deal.
"I told them after practice. Am I an a--hole? Yeah, I'm an a--hole. Out here, I'm an a--hole. I'm an a--hole because that's my job to make sure they get the most out of what God gave them and protect all that they worked for and are working towards. I'm not going to let anyone go through the motions at any time."
Mora's explanation certainly makes some sense, but it still seems strange that part of toughening them up would involve asking for added scrutiny from the media present. Him yelling at Rosen is understandable and part of trying to get him to play better and practice at a high level all the time.
My only point of contention would be the turning to the media and telling them to write that this is why he doesn't have the job, because that seems to be asking for a potential distraction most coaches work to avoid.