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Tedford presser follow-up

By Jonathan Okanes
Wednesday, March 12th, 2008 at 10:41 am in off-season stuff.

In addtion to pro day, Cal held its press conference with Jeff Tedford to preview the beginning of spring practice. Here are some of the highlights:

–Running back James Montgomery, who is recovering from minor knee surgery, might be limited during the first week of spring practice. But the Bears then take 10 days off because of spring break, and Tedford said Montgomery should be 100 percent when the team returns to the field afterward.

–Projected starting defensive lineman also had minor knee surgery and will be limited throughout the spring. Tedford stressed that it wasn’t anything serious.

–I will have much more on the quarterback situation in an upcoming story, but one revealing comment is that Nate Longshore will enter the spring taking the first team reps. That doesn’t mean Longshore is the favorite or the frontrunner, but it makes sense if the competition is truly even to begin the spring, the guy who is a returning two-year starter begin with the first team.

–Tedford has continually said that Brock Mansion also will be part of the quarterback competition, but admitted Tuesday that his lack of experience likely puts him behind Longshore and Kevin Riley. But you can tell Tedford is very high on Mansion’s potential — as he should be. Mansion is as talented as any quarterback in the program. Tedford said he still believes Mansion will push Longshore and Riley simply based on his talent alone. “As he gets better and better with the mental part of the game, then he definitely would be in the mix,” Tedford said.

–Tedford said running back Tracey Slocum has come a long way, both physically and emotionally. With Montgomery and Jahvid Best backing up Justin Forsett last season, Slocum became somewhat of a forgotten man. Tedford hinted after the season that Slocum has to get in better shape, and he apparently is doing so. Spring practice could provide Slocum an excellent opportunity to get into the running back conversation, since Montgomery will be limited and Best is out while he continues to recover from his hip injury.

–Former defensive lineman Tad Smith has moved to tight end, and Tedford seems intrigued by his potential there. “He gives us that physical presence,” Tedford said. “He’s a guy who’s very tough at the line of scrimmage. He’s shown it as a defensive lineman. He’s athletic and catches the ball, and he’s physical. I’m really anxious to see what he can do because I think he’ll bring some of that physical part of the game that we could always depend on from Craig (Stevens).” Cameron Morrah is the projected starter at tight end, but his backup is anybody’s guess. Skylar Curran is listed No. 2 on the depth chart.

–Tedford said he thought Stevens was the Bears MVP last season. “Craig has been kind of an unsung hero around here,” Tedford said. “He’s kind of a guy that nobody ever noticed.” Tedford said out of all of Cal’s pro prospects, Stevens has the best chance of being a surprise in the NFL. Stevens did very well at last month’s NFL combine. “I think his toughness is going to take him a long way.”

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  • RollOnBears

    stevens was the man! he would have gotten more media if nate threw to him more often.

    that’s another thing with nate, he doesn’t like to make the short pass (5-10 yards) into the middle. so that made it easy for the linebackers to drop into coverage deeper.

    coaches…let kevin riley play. please?

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  • http://gkelly.blogspot.com Gil

    He can’t be serious that Stevens was the team’s MVP… 17 catches and 3 TDs.

    Forsett + Hawkins IMHO were much more valuable last year. I’m starting to wonder what’s going on in JT’s head.

    KR in ’08!

  • CalAlum97

    I still don’t get how, if the QB spot is truly open, Nate is listed 1st on the preliminary roster and now taking snaps with the first team? A-huhhh? Riley should be given equal time in every aspect of practice, and that includes first team reps. To me, and this is just MHO, this is sounding like a disaster waiting to happen…another season with longshore.

  • morencsarecoming

    So Longchoker has the inside scoop? This is good news to all Pac 10 teams. Let the beatdowns begin.

  • Jan K. Oski

    I’m perplexed as well, Richard, but I don’t think we should blow this out of proportion. J.O.’s point about experience is probable Tedford’s justification for this. Plus, Tedford knows these kids better than the combination of all of our facts, so there might be greater complex reasons behind this. Riley is my first choice as well, and I’ll pray that I see him behind Mack on August the 30th, but I’ll give my voice to the cause, if Longshore is back there, too… As you said to the moron, it is just a game. May the best QB win! GO YOU BEARS!

  • Al da BERKELEY KID

    everyone better be in MEMORIAL on APRIL 12 for the open practice.

  • morencsarecoming

    Jan K Oski

    So it is just a game and yet you pray about the different decisions your team must decide. I guess that must make it more than just a game. However in your case if Longshore starts your team will be put in the category of “one without a prayer.”

    And if it is just a game then why does your program come top of this list of Pac 10 teams just slighty under ASU? Here have a read…

    http://blog.al.com/bn/2008/03/southeastern_conference_at_75.html

  • Morencsarecoming

    My Dad told me today that his 2 friends (season ticket holders for the last 20 years) are not renewing their tickets. They are tired of the great expectations and mid-season collapses.

  • concord bear

    moron said:
    My Dad told me today that his 2 friends (season ticket holders for the last 20 years) are not renewing their tickets.

    That’s nice.
    Maybe they can join you at UCDavis games. BTW, that list you posted to Jan shows that Cal has had 6 infractions to your beloved bandwagon team USC’s 5. Not exactly a huge difference considering NCAA looking the other way (see Reggie Bush, Jarrett, etc…)

    Aren’t you supposed to be skiing or spending some time with Spitzer?

  • CalAlum97

    CCTimes Admin, where are you? Can’t you put an I.P.-block on moroniscoming, the troll of all trolls? I think most of us are doing our best to ignore moroniscoming, but we are only human and eventually someone is going to respond…and what happens then is we clog the discussions with her filth and our responses. PLEASE, JO, can you talk to the site admin about blocking this nut-case? Thank you.

  • CalAlum97

    And make it an I.P. ban because he/she is known to use many aliases.

  • CBKWit

    Or just delete the comments when they come in. Not that hard since you guys have administrative privileges.

  • Facts from the peanut gallery

    Delete! Delete! Delete! It’s just one click, come on admin. You’ve done it before! You can do it, again!

  • Very Blue Bear

    The secret of being a Bear football fan/Cal alum is to simply expect the worst and have a certaintude that what APPEARS to be promising actually isn’t. Perhaps the worst thing that Tedford has done to us is to cause us to forget that in his first 2 years. (The second worst thing is validating that idiot Amy with Ayoob & Longshore 2.0). Longshore vs Riley? Tedford’s gonna make the wrong choice & we’re going to get humiliated…just like we have in MOST years, recently. See, it’s an EASY thing to conceptualize and it *does* take the stress out of the issue. Of course, we also have to ask ourselves why we need the 2nd highest paid coach in the conference to make this wrong choice, but I guess that’s another issue. And no,I’m not an $C fan in disguise, just an alum who has been around a LONG time.

  • JonathanOkanes

    Cal, somebody has to be listed No. 1. It wouldn’t make sense to list Riley over Longshore since Longshore is the returning starter with more experience. But that doesn’t mean Longshore has an edge. It’s a depth chart. Somebody is going to be No. 1 and somebody is going to be No. 2. Given the choice, Longshore makes sense, for now.

  • david

    Craig Stevens…I did like him, but it seemed like he dropped a lot of balls last year. Maybe it’s just me…

  • Jan K. Oski

    Hey Very Blue,
    Your point is well taken, but can we give Tedford a chance to make the decision before we hand him over to the tree people? Unless you have a powerful listening devise, and can present unedited Tedford to support your point, Riley is a super hybrid of Ayoob and big-heart Levy. Take it from a molecular biologist hybrids are always better than the combination of their parts.

    GO YOU BEARS!
    Jan K. Oski, the guy who constantly yells at you alumni to get off your…

  • STEVE IN CONCORD

    Although Coach Tedford will certainly make the final call on the Longshore vs Riley competition, there is sure to be a lot of input from new OC and QB coach Frank Cignetti who will be viewing the situation from a an unbiased viewpoint. Also receivers coach Kevin Daft (last years QB coach)will be watching the contest closely. If these two both push strongly for Riley it’s going to be pretty hard for Tedford to go with Longshore, especially in view of last year’s performance (Longshore’s).
    If Nate does begin the season as the starter I would imagine he will be on a pretty short leash, as Riley proved last year that he could both start and relieve on short notice.
    The QB competition, along with the all the new receivers and the opportunities for Deboskie, Slocum, and Vereen will certainly make for an interesting Spring Practice.