Things are kind of sleepy at practice these days. Maybe it’s because we’re back to standard time and it’s dark during practice now. There used to be a handful of “friends of the program” that would come and watch practice every night. Now there’s only a few. Lots of empty bleachers. Seems like some people have jumped off the bandwagon.

Actually, things got a little lively during the beginning of practice when several police officers were called in because apparently a man was sitting on the ledge just on the other side of the rim of the stadium. It took awhile, but the man eventually was escorted down through the bleachers in handcuffs. Don’t worry. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t anybody from Washington’s coaching staff.

Rulon Davis and Marcus Ezeff have returned to practice, but are still limited. Davis seemed to be working hard during one set of individual drills, then had to be stretched out by a trainer. Jeff Tedford said they are still day-to-day.

Tedford also said he was waiting further information on the hip injury to Jahvid Best. He underwent an MRI and the results aren’t available yet. I asked Tedford if he thought the injury was serious, and he simply said the tests were to make sure they aren’t.

Best’s presence will be missed most on special teams. He has become one of the most impressive gunners you will ever see on kick and punt coverage. At one point Wednesday, the Bears were using Zack Follett at gunner. Not sure if that was just an experiment, but that would be intriguing to see.

There was a brief scare during scout work when wide receiver Michael Calvin went down, clutching his leg. A couple of trainers rushed to him, and after a few minutes he got up on his own power and appeared to be fine. May have been a cramp. Calvin is the future at wide receiver for Cal.

I talked with Nate Longshore tonight for a story I will have in Friday’s paper. I won’t disclose too much of what he said here (don’t want to scoop my own story), but he was forthcoming and candid, as he always is. You can tell he wants to make things right, and admitted Saturday’s game is big for him to demonstrate he can lead the team to a win. He said his family has helped him get through some tough times during the past month, while Cal has been losing and his play has been uneven.

For the record, there are some out there who wonder why Tedford hasn’t addressed his reluctance to replace Longshore with Kevin Riley. There’s a very simple reason for that. I don’t think Tedford has seriouisly considered it. He doesn’t see Longshore’s shortcomings as dramatic as some of the harsh critics out there.

I tend to agree with him. Yes, Longshore has thrown some crucial interceptions, but he’s had his productive times as well. To suggest that he’s suddenly become a bad quarterback doesn’t make sense to me. I certainly don’t think his overall play warrants replacing him with a guy who has played in one college game and played well for about half of it.

Longshore also addressed some of his problems late in games and that will be in Friday’s story. Speaking of this Saturday’s game, it could be messy again like last week. Last weather report I saw calls for a 70 percent chance of showers. Not exactly breaking news in Seattle.

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.

  • Oski

    Hey J.O.

    I saw a convincing argument on another website that leads me to agree with your assessment. Riley was certainly spotty in his 4th Quarter just like Longshore has been in nearly all of his. I would like to see Riley led a goal line offense. He brings another element that Nate can’t. It is too bad that wasn’t used by Tedford when the stacks were a lot higher. Oh well! Live and learn!

  • Big D

    I just want to see Riley get a few series in the remaining games. I don’t see why Tedford won’t do this. Maybe a little option, trick play, then hand off, then pass. This would keep the defenses honest and give Riley more “experience” and allow Longshore to keep his job. I see it the same as when Best comes in and Forsett goes out. Nobody really thinks that Forsett will sit the rest of the game, but now the offense has another wrinkle that the D has to take into account. I don’t see why that is such taboo with Tedford and CAL. Everybody knows that Longshore isn’t going to run. So why not have more options instead of less options, it doesn’t make any sense to me.

  • B

    Hindsight is 20/20, but 3 losses and 1 ugly win are a far cry from “productive.” NL’s recent record may not suggest “dramatic” shortcomings but are clear and fundamental failures nonetheless.