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Friday practice

By Jonathan Okanes
Friday, April 11th, 2008 at 10:29 pm in off-season stuff.

The Bears held a shorter-than-usual practice Friday in preparation for Saturday’s psuedo-scrimmage. Cal’s practices are broken up into 5-minute periods and typically go somewhere between 20-25 periods. Friday’s practice was 18 periods and was mostly a fundamental-oriented practice with limited work with 11-on-11s.

Coach Jeff Tedford said Saturday’s practice won’t be a true scrimmage but will feature “scrimmage-like situations.” Officials will be used. As most of you know, the practice is the only one open to the public this spring. It starts at noon.

Saturday’s practice will afford Kevin Riley the opportunity to work with the first team offense with Nate Longshore injured. Tedford reitereated what Longshore said Wednesday — that Longshore is probably out for the rest of the spring. But Tedford also said that Longshore’s inability to compete the rest of the spring will not affect the open battle for the starting quarterback spot.

“Like I said all along, the competition isn’t going to be on or lost in the spring,” Tedford said. “It’s going to be all a matter of going through fall camp to see where we are.”

That being said, Riley still has a chance to make an impression this spring, in a good or bad way. He hasn’t been particularly sharp so far, and was disappointed with how he practiced Friday.

“Right now I’m not too happy because things didn’t go too well offensively today,” Riley said after practice. “We had a lot of misreads with receivers and miscommunications.”

Riley didn’t make too much of his chance to play with the first team, although he did say that he gets better protection with the No. 1 offensive line.

I asked Riley to give himself a progress report so far this spring.

“I think I’ve been doing all right,” Riley said. “I’ve been making the right reads every time. I just have to minimize my mistakes.”

Riley admitted he’s missed some receivers with bad passes this spring and is hoping to execute more cleanly during the scrimmage.

Tedford said he’s particularly interested in seeing how some of the inexperienced players perform Saturday.

“I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of learning that goes on,” he said. “But that’s what the spring is for, to get some young guys in some game situations.”

On the injury front, linebacker Zack Follett was back at practice, wearing a yellow jersey. Follett missed the first two practices this week with a concussion suffered last Saturday. Follett said he will play in the scrimmage but was told he will get limited reps.

Wide receiver Drew Glover, who had been opening some eyes with his play this spring, has missed the last couple of practices after suffering a separated shoulder while diving for a pass. Tedford said there is a chance Glover could play Saturday. “He was doing a great job,” Tedford said. “He was really showing that he’s going to be a contributor for us.”

With Friday’s practice confined to mostly drillwork, one player who stood out was punter Bryan Anger, who the Bears expect big things from this season. During one special teams portion of practice he boomed a punt that went close to 80 yards

On offense, Richard Fisher has been running with the first team the past couple of practices at left guard instead of Mark Boskovich. Friday, Mitchell Schwartz played right tackle in place of Chet Teofilo.

Defensive rotations have been harder to draw definitive conclusions from because defensive coordinator Bob Gregory is trying different combinations almost every day. But the starting defensive line has consistently been Mika Kane at nose tackle with Tyson Alualu and Rulon Davis on the ends. Davis had an excused absence Friday so Cameron Jordan ran with the first team.

Friday’s practice was well-attended by several of the players’ families who are in town for the scrimmage. They came on the right night, as the weather was spectacular at Memorial Stadium. For those planning on going Saturday, weather.com tells us that it should be 73 degrees and sunny at the onset of the scrimmage.

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  • Al da BERKELEY KID

    I’m gonna be there in da morning ready to catch the BEARS at MEMORIAL.

  • Al da BERKELEY KID

    all BERKELEY people should be there in STRAWBERRY CANYON

  • ramy

    J.O. I’m curious how Gregory may use the 3/4 D this year. I’m not hearing much about it being a more aggressive or advantageous defense is it? or does the 3/4 look like it will be a new look for Gregory’s BDBD ?

  • Big D

    Spring practice today was pretty cool. Here are some of my observations, what did other people see? Anybody notice the same things I did?

    I noticed #43 Charles Johnson out there a lot at
    LB. Back up Center #54 Guarnero got some time in at guard as well as center. Robles got some field goals in. Kay kept missing FGs. The punter Anger was getting some impressive punts off. Thompson looked like a good option as a punt returner. None of the QBs looked great. DeBoskie kept getting stuffed. TE Esulu physically reminds me of a young Tony Gonzalez, but he still needs to work on catching the ball consistently.
    The DL looks solid and will get better as the season goes on. FB Holley injured his leg and they had to carry him off the field. I got the sense that Tedford was holding back on the intensity and just practicing basic stuff. Play calling didn’t seem too complicated. It was interesting to see the triple FB at the goal line, too bad that’s the play Holley got hurt on.

  • Big D

    Oh yeah, Riley did throw a nice TD pass to Calvin.

  • CalAlum97

    Big D, who were the QBs you are referencing? Just Riley and Mansion or did others get playing time as well? Thanks for the update bro!

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    HAHAHAHA! Daddy told me the best thing about the scrimmage (and her heard this from one of his booster friends) was the punter and no Nate. LOL. From the sound of things that punter will be having a tired leg at the end of the year.

  • Booya

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-uscfb14apr13,1,3291685.story

    Can we talk about this Amy? Why does McKnight need to drop sociology classes this late in the semester? I thought you passed so long as you put your name on the finals at USC. Guess I was wrong. (20 bucks Amy responds to this by ignoring it, or trying to find some article where a Cal player from 40 years ago was academically ineligble).

  • lessncarecoming

    http://www.contracostatimes.com/colleges/ci_8911017?nclick_check=1

    Since there is no where to interact with Stanford fans on this site I will link this article and then add the comment that I am really impressed with Harbaugh and what he is doing over there. It looks as if they are having fun and are believing in themselves.They had one really good quality win last year and a couple of others that were expected but still a win is a win. Me thinks it is a program definitely on the move.

  • Big D

    Riely was running with the 1st team, Mansion with the 2nd team, and Smits the 3rd team. Longshore was standing around with the QBs in a red jersey, no helmet & no pads.

  • Davidson

    Went to check out the Bears on a sunny and warm Saturday. Some items of note

    – Riley looked good at Saturday’s practice. In warm ups, he looked really solid and his passes had a zip to them. He made some solid throws as he was rolling out of the pocket.
    – For the first half ot he scrimmage, Riley threw the ball maybe once or twice. He handed the ball off to Slocum about 4-5 times in a row at one point. Why? I don’t know. I would say Riley played less than 30% of the total scrimmage, as Mansion and Smits got a lot of reps. Riley did have a nice TD throw to Calvin.
    – We have a lot of receivers, and they are big.
    – Boetang is the real deal. He looks ready to play already. His size and athleticism is evident.
    – Michael Calvin also looks solid. He is a very big receiver and looks very athletic.
    – Slocum looks like the #2 back (I say #2 b/c Best is #1 in my books). He looks patient as runs in between the tackles well.
    – Deboskie lacks experience. He was stuffed a lot. He looks like he’s just running straight and not really waiting for his blockers.
    – Boetang & Syd Thomp took turns at punt returners. Thomp had a nice punt return for a TD. Boetang’s returns is reminiscent of Djax…but not in a good way. One play he ran laterally and was tackled.
    – We have a good new punter. Anger. He has big booming punts and think he had the loudest ovations throughout the day.

    Overall, I’m excited about the new season. As long as Riley has the reins, I’m sure we’ll see alot of TDs to our big receivers. If best is 100%, our running game will be solid with him and Slocum. Our personnel on D is roughly the same except for the safety slot. I’m anticipating a better finish than last year for sure.

    GO BEARS!!!

  • Tyler

    Davidson,

    Did Boateng get much reps at WR?

  • Jan K. Oski

    Davidson,

    which Nyan were you watching?

    I saw and cal blog seconded it that Nyan was visibly frustrated, since he dropped several passes:

    http://goldenblogs.blogsome.com/

    And, warm ups aren’t going to capture the starting QB position. This is afterall a team sport. The scrimmages are far more telling, and Riley didn’t realy have a chance to do anything, as Tedford ‘n Company had the running game going and going and going. Basically, it was another boring spring practice, which is becoming a Tedford habit. If he wants to attract more than 2,000 people, he must inject some entertainment factor. I suppose that could have been Best, so injuries contributed like they seem to always do in spring.

    Let’s hope Riley improves during summer practice, or else, we will see Longshore start due to seniority, if that injury is only minor. By the way, I prefer Riley behind center, but we need to be a little objective on our perspectives. Riley didn’t do much in the scrimmage to convince me that he should start.

    I agree with everything else you pointed out with the addition that Slocum will be the power back this year. The lightning (Best) and the thunder (Slocum)?

    “I” cares, Go Bears!

  • Davidson

    Tyler – from what I can tell, Boetang was on both first and second teams. There are a lot of receivers, and every was rotated in and out. Towards the end of the scrimmage, Riley was running with 3 receivers, Boetang, Calvin and Cunningham. I would be very comfortable if those are our 3 starters.

    Jan O – I was watching #8 of course ;) . Sure, he didn’t have any spectacular grabs, or any grabs at all from what I remmeber. But then again, Riley never really threw the ball much all practice. Mansion and Smits weren’t accurate at all, so I wasn’t judging Boetang on his catches. What caught my eye was just how smooth he looked on the field. He’s big and strong and looks like he just belongs on the field. I could be biased, but Nyan is a wildcard for us that can turn out to be a huge contributor.

  • Al da BERKELEY KID

    JAN were you even in MEMORIAL?