Cal finished up its first weekend of practices in preparation for the Armed Forces Bowl, and it seems like the Bears have an extra bounce in their step. The past couple of days were Cal’s most energetic practices in weeks. There was a lot of talking, hand-slapping, ooohing-and-ahhhing and energy. A couple of theories for the extra pep: These are more like training camp practices because the Bears haven’t started game planning for Air Force yet. That means there are no scout teams, and Cal’s offense goes against Cal’s defense the entire time. You can tell the players enjoy the competition for team bragging rights, etc. Also, game week practices can sometimes bog down with walking through plays, etc. This is just good ole-fashioned football.
Wide receiver DeSean Jackson appears to be moving better and better. He was back returning punts at practice today.
A lot of younger players are getting reps since it’s not like game week practices. All four quarterbacks are playing. It’s fun to watch some of the younger players who have been in scout uniforms all season with their Cal jerseys back on. Freshman running back Shane Vereen, for instance, is getting a little chance to strut his stuff.
The Bears are off tomorrow, practice Tuesday, then don’t practice again until they go Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Finals begin Thursday.