Looking ahead

Cal held its first post-regular season practice Saturday. Technically, practice started up again Friday, but the Bears decided to just go with a short conditioning workout like it was a Sunday following a game.

I believe in an earlier post I wrote that Cal wouldn’t start game planning until it arrived in Fort Worth. That was a misunderstanding. Jeff Tedford said the game plan will start being installed the week of Dec. 17th. Until then, he said the Bears will practice against each other, with a lot of the younger players getting reps. Cal will have a total of 13 practices before the Armed Forces Bowl.

Tedford talked about the importance of getting those extra practices, which is one  of bigger assets of playing in a bowl game. It allows the coaching staff to start looking ahead a little bit toward next season by giving more time to younger players. Tedford said “it’s like an extra spring practice.”

The Bears will practice intermittently until Dec. 22, when the team will part ways for Christmas. They will recongregate in Forth Worth.

I’ve heard from some fans that are wondering about DeSean Jackson’s attitude. I asked Tedford about it and he said Jackson’s attitude “is still great.” Earlier in the season, Tedford said repeatedly that Jackson had a great attitude even though he wasn’t putting up the type of numbers some expected. Tedford said that’s still the case. “He’s not a malcontent by any means,” Tedford said.

Tedford also said he expected Jackson to play in the Armed Forces Bowl. Jackson has missed the past game-and-a-half with a thigh contusion.

Tedford looks better than he has in weeks. It seems like he’s been coughing for two months and hasn’t slept much during that time. He seems a bit refreshed. He admitted he’s sleeping a little more this week because there isn’t a game immediately pending. He said he was going to let the air out of the famous air mattress in his office.

Left tackle Mike Gibson is going to take a couple of weeks off. He suffered a concussion against Washington, missed most of practice for two weeks, played against Stanford and suffered another concussion. He said he probably won’t practice again until the team gets to Fort Worth but fully expects to play.

I had a conversation with Zack Follett, who has talked a lot during the latter stages of the season about becoming a leader. He said he plans on using the next month practicing that role for next season. Follett said he believes leadership fits him but has been hesitant to really let it out because he’s not a senior.

I’ll have more after practice tomorrow.


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.