A few notes and thoughts from Tuesday and Wednesday:
–Cal coach Jeff Tedford gave his players a reward for their hard work this camp by cancelling evening practice Monday. The Bears were scheduled to have a double-day, but they practiced only in the morning. Instead, the team went to the movies and saw “Rush Hour 3.”
–Running back James Montgomery and left tackle Mike Gibson returned from injuries on Tuesday night. Freshman running back Jahvid Best had a minor case of back spasms and was held out of some action Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Free safety Thomas DeCoud is recovered from a twinge in his hamstring.
–The Bears will hold their first of two intrasquad scrimmages Thursday, and they appear ready. The final installment of 11-on-11s near the end of Wednesday’s morning practice got a little chippy, with a few incidents of offensive and defensive players barking at each other and getting a little rough.
–Cal opened Wednesday’s practice with some work on the two-minute offense, and quarterback Nate Longshore hit tight end Craig Stevens with a long touchdown pass. Later, backup defensive end John Allen sacked backup quarterback Kyle Reed.
–This may be the best freshman class in Jeff Tedford’s time at Cal. There is quality all over the field, including a handful of guys who could be potential stars. I’ve mentioned Best a few times, but watch out for wide receiver Michael Calvin. He’s big and may have the best hands of any receiver on the team. He’ll surely redshirt this season because of the Bears’ depth at receiver, but Calvin certainly will be a player to watch down the road. He made a terrific leaping catch down the left sideline Wednesday morning, prompting a high-five from Tedford.
–Many of the starting spots are coming into focus, so Thursday’s scrimmage may be more important for determining the second team. Defensive coordinator Bob Gregory said the scrimmage will help determine such things as the backup defensive tackles and second unit cornerbacks.
–It looks as though there are six defensive lineman vying for four starting spots: Cody Jones, Tad Smith and Rulon Davis on the outside and Matt Malele, Tyson Alualu and Mike Kane on the interior.
–Of course, the biggest competition has been for the No. 2 quarterback spot between redshirt sophomore Kyle Reed and redshirt freshman Kevin Riley. They appear pretty even at this point, and it seems Reed may have the edge just because he’s been in the program a year longer.