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Spring practice preview: offensive line/tight ends

By Jonathan Okanes
Friday, March 14th, 2008 at 6:08 pm in off-season stuff.

The Bears have done a terrific job recently of plugging the holes in their offensive line when they lose players to graduation, and it looks as though this year should be no different.

For the second straight season, Cal will have to replace the left side of its offensive line. Tackle Mike Gibson and guard Brian De La Puente have moved on. Mike Tepper will move from right tackle to left tackle to replace Gibson. Tepper showed substantial improvement between his sophomore and junior year and will need to be even better as protects the quarterback’s blind side.

Mark Boskovich, who was pushing Noris Malele for playing time at right guard at the end of last season, gets the first crack at left guard. Boskovich started taking some first team reps away from Malele during practice at the end of last season.

With Tepper moving over from right tackle, that position becomes open, and Chet Teofilo is slated to fill in. Teofilo played pretty well for Gibson in the last couple of games of last season when Gibson was forced out with a concussion.

Of course, any transition in the offensive line is made easier by the presence of Alex Mack, who will be one of the top returning centers in the country last season. Mack’s decision to stay in school for his senior season ensured the offensive line will once again be a strength of the Bears.

Over the last two seasons, Cal has allowed just 24 sacks, the third-best mark in the nation.

Cal also is high on several young offensive linemen which should provide some quality depth. Sam DeMartinis was a scout team MVP last season and Justin Cheadle is another top young prospect. Chris Guarnero is Mack’s heir apparent at center, while Richard Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz could also be in them mix to become a backup.

Plus, dont’ forget a couple of wildcards: Kevin Bemoll, a well-regarded lineman who was suspended last season, has returned to active duty. And Matt Summers-Gavin, one of Cal’s top recruits in 2007, has finally enrolled in school after taking last year off because the effects of a bad concussion.

Cameron Morrah has big shoes to fill at tight end, but he showed glimpses of being an accomplished pass-catcher last season. Morrah has to improve his blocking. Coach Jeff Tedford seems intrigued by Tad Smith, who has made the switch from defensive line. Skylar Curran is listed No. 2 on the spring depth chart behind Morrah. In the fall, the Bears will welcome highly recruited tight end Spencer Ladner.

We’ll switch to the defense next, but with the beginning of spring practice being pushed back, I plan on holding off on those previews until we get closer to March 31.

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  • BluenGold

    Amy/moronsarecoming applied to Cal but was rejected and has held a grudge ever since.

  • moreNCsarecoming

    Keep believing stupid myths

  • moreNCsarecoming

    I read the part where the HC is now having the players read John Maxwell’s book Talent is Not Enough. Could this be their most difficult reading assignment for the academic school year?

  • morencsarecoming

    Here is the link. Please read my comments.

    http://www.contracostatimes.com/raiders/ci_8593290

  • Jan K. Oski

    Does anyone know a sane person who spreads hate on their supposed vacation time? Someone needs to plan an intervention.

  • CalBearPete

    Jonathan:

    What about Justin Pruiett and Matt Laird? These are a couple of guys who should just be emerging (as a sophomore and junior)? Any word on whether they are expected to contribute this season? A dominant O-line makes the rest of the work for a team seem like going downhill. Go bears!

  • amythicalprogram

    JO, no comments about Berklee Basketball’s NIT appearance? How can a team with 3 future NBA stars finish in 9th place?

  • amythicalprogram

    I miss Jau Heater. He was a friend of mine and has always responded to my posts

  • amythicalprogram

    * – Jay Heater

  • Jonathan Okanes

    CalBearPete, Laird and Prueitt are definitely in the mix. On the spring depth chart, Laird is listed as the backup left tackle and Prueitt is listed as the backup right tackle.
    Amy, my policy is I respond to all legitimate questions and comments. As for now, this blog is limited to just football. I don’t cover the basketball team so I really have no legitimate insights on the matter.

  • moreNCsarecoming

    BTW speaking of Jay Heater I must commend him for his impeccable timing. He got out while the going was good. Who would have wanted to cover that debacle of a season?

  • Dick Cheney

    Is Amy George W. Bush? If so, get back to work boss? He’s probably still pissed his daddy lost to Cal in the 1947 College Baseball World Series? Hey Amy, my daddy was really rich too so I got into a sweet law school too. What firm you work for?

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    JO

    Are you holding out on your fan base? Is there some substantial information that is not being reported?

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    JO

    Since you didn’t report Montgomery’s departure, I would question your journalistic abilities. Obviously you don’t rank very high with the media arm of the team you cover. How can we believe anything you say now? You are a tool, JO.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Amy, my policy is I respond to all legitimate questions and comments. As for now, this blog is limited to just football. I don’t cover the basketball team so I really have no legitimate insights on the matter.
    ———————

    JO, but if Berkley basketball was any successful, you’d be writing about them too. Don’t resort to bandwagonist journalism.

  • Jan K. Oski
  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Welcome to yesterdays news Jan. I posted the Jarrett link 3 hrs after the arrest on USC’s scout page.

    What’s next? News from 1950s when Berkley made the Rose Bowl?

    You are a joke.

  • Case_Study

    the real joke is someone who posts contstantly throughout the day while on “vacation”.

    good thing your daddy did well, but despite his success in business, he weeps knowing that his petty child is the biggest failure of his life.

  • Scotty Mon

    MoreNCsarecoming: Your posts are getting predictably stale and in the way of my reason for coming to JO’s site: Reading about Cal football. Take a hike!

  • Case_Study

    wow. a hour without a snappy response? MoreNCs daddy must be buying lunch. But behind his goggles, he looks at his child’s wasted life with pity.

    Greatness Skips a Generation.

  • CalAlum97

    Mods! IP BAN PLEASE! Get rid of this idiot! He/She is even bad-mouthing your own coworker! Forget the audacity of hope, this is the audacity of a DOPE! Get Amy out of here! How long will you let this go on?

  • feveredbear

    DON’T FEED THE IDIOTS! Evidently Moronsarecoming is encouraged by the responses. Just ignore Amy and she will go away

  • Jan K. Oski

    Poor Amy, did I touch a nerve? Maybe, daddy can buy you another anti-depressant. Oh yeah, you’re living “a Beautiful Mind” story. Lawyer Daddy is a figment of your imagination. Prove otherwise by proving a Law office, girly man.

  • Tyler Jacobson

    Amy you really got yourself off on this thread…..you must be shooting blanks now!