Quick Sunday notes

The Bears held their usual Sunday evening conditioning workout at Memorial Stadium. Afterward, coach Jeff Tedford said he didn’t think Cal’s problems were major in scope. He said the Bears aren’t doing the little things that would allow them to be successful, especially in close games.

Tedford said quarterback Nate Longshore’s ankle came out of Saturday’s game fine, even better than he expected. He also said wide receiver Robert Jordan didn’t play against UCLA because he didn’t feel like he was able to. Tedford had said on Thursday that Jordan would play, but Jordan told Tedford before kickoff that his shoulder just didn’t feel right. Tedford said he expected Jordan to play this Saturday at Arizona State.

Tedford also said defensive end Rulon Davis would resume practicing this week, probably in a limited capacity. Davis has been out since Sept. 15 with a sprained foot. He went through some agility drills after Sunday nght’s practice.

Defensive coordinator Bob Gregory also said he thought his unit’s problems were correctable and didn’t require drastic changes. He said he watched the tape of Saturday’s game and found that the Bears are making mistakes at inopportune times and not always doing what is fundamentally sound. He acknowledged that determining what was wrong with the defense was a big topic of discussion on Sunday.

Jonathan Okanes

Jonathan Okanes is in his fourth year covering Cal's football team. Previously, he covered Cal's men's basketball team for four years. He can also be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/OkanesonCal.

  • Alexei Barrionuevo


    Is Gregory feeling the heat? That defensive scheme seemed so pathetic on Saturday. There has to be consideration of dumping the guy. Cal’s defense hasn’t been decent since 2004. Also, I don’t understand why a sportswriter should be an apologist for a QB. Nate folded in crunch time, as he has most of his career, and that HAS to be a concern for Tedford and co.

  • ConfusedBear

    Your blog makes it seem like the coaches view the current situation as something minor that needs to be corrected. Do you get the feeling that is REALLY how they feel? I mean, a power running game like UCLA’s just ran up the middle at will on the defense. Follet even said they were luckly to be in as close of a game as they were. Tedford’s playcalling makes it seem like he just wants to play keep away from having his defense on the field. These do not seem like minor things. Gregory’s comments, if they represent how he truly feels, seem out of touch with reality. Yes, two games in a row were close, but I think that is deceiving.

  • Greg

    So how hard was Tedford grilled on the play calling? Would it have been more prudent to throw the ball more towards the end of the 3rd qtr and beginning of the 4th qtr rather than futiley running it?

  • CalAlum97

    I find it funny that Gregory is willing to point out the mistakes of the players (which is definitely valid), but not his own! I’m not an expert in football strategy, but the packages Gregory is calling seem ineffective and cautious. Rarely do we blitz (especially when our d-line is struggling to get pressure), rarely do we double-cover, rarely do we add a 5th down lineman to help, etc. J.O., is there some polite way you can ask Gregory whether he thinks his style of play has been effective?

  • G Spot1

    Hmmm…we are in week 7 and having problems with fundamentals on defense. Oh, but don’t worry, it’s all “correctable”….

    I’m officially on the “Fire Bob Gregory” bandwagon.

    JO, I heard the ABC announcers mention that during practice, Cal emphasizes ripping the ball out on defense. I think they said if you rip three in practice you don’t have run after practice. Do other top ranked teams do this? I’m wondering if this is related to the tackling problems we’ve seen all season. Worrell Williams is capable of doing this, as he showed, but Cal has had a lot of trouble tackling in the secondary and I’m thinking they should concentrate on bringing the guy down and avoiding 60 yard runs.

  • BluenGold

    Your article today regarding Cal’s defensive shortcomings is timely and informative. If you get the opportunity I hope you will ask Coach Tedford about his extensive use of the run up the middle play when UCLA was doing such a good job of stopping it.

  • Jan K. Oski

    Gregory called a blitz on that 60 yard run, and it back fired. Just goes to show that you can never make every fan happy.

  • Jonathan Okanes

    Barrionuevo, it’s hard to say how much heat Gregory is feeling. I do know that Tedford expressed confidence in him at Tuesday’s weekly press conference. And I respectfully disagree that I am being a Longshore apologist. I simply said that the Bears (at times) protected the quarterback well and Longshore took advantage. Yes, he made a mistake on the final drive, but overall he played a pretty good game, I thought.

    ConfusedBear, I have no reason to believe the comments coming from Tedford and Gregory aren’t how they really feel. I think that is validated when you consider Tedford’s comments yesterday that no drastic changes are needed becasue overall the way they have done things at Cal have worked, for the most part.

    Greg, Tedford was asked a lot about the playcalling on Tuesday. Our columnist, Gary Peterson, wrote about it in today’s paper.

    Calalum, Gregory has been asked about it before and he has said in the past you have to pick your spots when you blitz. On a related note, he did point out his own mistake, ironically by calling that blitz on the play that went for a long running play in the first half.

    G, I don’t think ripping the ball out is a focal point of practice.

    Sorry about these responses coming a bit late. Because of technical problems, your comments just showed up today.