On Tour

Coach Jeff Tedford, along with basketball coach Mike Montgomery and athletic director Sandy Barbour, kicked off their 2008 Coaches Tour on Monday with an event at Back Forty BBQ in Pleasant Hill. It’s the first of seven stops — four in Northern California and three in Southern California — over the next couple of weeks.

I stopped by the event last night and it was estimated that there were 450 Cal fans on hand, which is expected to be the biggest turnout. I’ll talk just about Tedford and football because that is the parameter for this forum, but those who attended will confirm that Montgomery stole the show with his wit and insight.

After Tedford made his prepared remarks, it was Montgomery’s turn. Before he said anything about the basketball team, he said “Let’s cut to the chase and ask Jeff about the quarterback situation.” It drew a roar from the crowd.

After Tedford, Montgomery and Barbour addressed the crowd, it was time for the question-and-answer session. Emcee Ed Kleinhans, who some of you might know better as the public address announcer at basketball games, got the questions started by jokingly asking Tedford who the starting….center would be?

Tedford took the hint and addressed the quarterback situation. He didn’t break too much new ground, except for one nugget: He hinted that the competition might not just run through the fall, but the season-opener against Michigan State.

“It may be the evaluation needs to go into the games,” Tedford said. “Both played very, very well in the springtime. They will compete through the summer, they will compete through the fall, and possibly both play in the Michigan State game and see where we are.”

Tedford reiterated what he’s said all along, that he’s not a fan of the two-quarterback system. He repeated his plea to support Nate Longshore if he is indeed the quarterback.

“We’re blessed. We probably have the best 1-2 quarterback combination in the conference,” Tedford said. “We have to keep their confidence high, both of them. We can not draw lines. We can not pick sides, we can’t cheer for one and not the other. They both have to have extreme confidence when they hit the football field. That’s what I’m asking for. Support them both. They are both going to play their hearts out.”

Tedford also had an interesting update on running back Jahvid Best. The training staff recently put him through two weeks of simulated two-a-day practices to test his hip. Tedford said they “put him through all kinds of things, threw him on the ground, everything you could imagine.” Best apparently passed with flying colors.

Tedford said there was still a chance Best could have underwent surgery, and that he needed to go through that kind of test now to make a decision. If Best was going to have surgery, he would have had to do it right around now to be back for the start of the season.

Tedford said in addition to the bruised hip Best suffered last season against USC, he also has a hip impingement that potentially can cause some pain. But Best reportedly feels great, and the two weeks of simulated two-a-days demonstrated that there is no cause for concern.

“He feels great and he’s ready to go,” Tedford said. “He will not have to have surgery, so we’re really, really excited about that because as you saw, he’s a difference-maker. I feel great that he’s going to be back in the fold.”


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.

  • Bill

    Last night was NOT the first of these..There was one yesterday AM (5/19/08) in Marin County, and the ambiance and the feelings were the same.

  • Jan K Oski

    I unfortunately missed this due to my son getting a molar tooth. A real bummer, since I live blocks away from Back Forty, but my colleagues thought it was awesome for the reasons you JO mentioned.

    It is refreshing to here that Tedford is giving both QBs a fair chance. Some fans are whining about Riley receiving a raw deal in how Tedford describes him, but your quote completely contradicts that sentiment. Thanks for the exceptional update, JO…

  • Kensington

    Fantastic news on Jahvid. He’s gonna make big plays for us in 2008!

  • MoreNCsarecoming


    What’s with this article about DeSean Jackson? Please read and comment.


    Here are some excerpts…

    “DeSean has not had a quarterback since he played Pop Warner football. He didn’t have a real quarterback at Long Beach Poly or at Cal,” Bill Jackson said.

    “His coach at Cal said we were too involved in his life,” said Bill Jackson, 63, who is retired from FedEx. Moments earlier, he had concluded a phone conversation with DeSean in Philadelphia. “This is a real family. This ain’t people in the street . . . I don’t understand it. I worked hard all my life . . . we’re a good family. Me and DeSean’s mother, we’ve been separated for years, but you wouldn’t know it. I’m at her house right now . . . I ain’t never been in jail. I’m a good citizen, I vote. I saw on TV before the draft, about [running back] Darren McFadden’s mother [having been addicted to cocaine]. I see things on the Internet about me being a bad parent.

    And finally this one…

    Jackson has an ego, isn’t shy about touting his own abilities. When his college team flopped spectacularly the second half of last season, from 5-0 to 6-6, stalling his bid for the Heisman, he acknowledges he grew frustrated, and talked about wanting the ball.

  • ShattucknWalnut

    Jackson is an ingrate and a jerk.

  • milo

    I heard on the Marin leg of the tour Monty gave JT a big bear hug. Great stuff…I hope ‘furd is twisting on that.

    Any way, looking forward to the start of the season and reports from fall practice.

    Go Bears…

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    I guess what I got from the article is that Tedford really is always looking out for his players. I didn’t see it as a slight to Jackson at all. He’s a star athlete and of course he wants to contribute and of course there are a lot of people whispering in his ear that probably shouldn’t. Hopefully Tedford is right and he has grown a lot from his experience because we all know he has a TON of talent. best of luck to Desean in the pros. Really wish he would have come to SC, but ya can’t get em all.

  • N8Bear

    where can we get a schedule of where he’ll be in SoCal?

  • The Real N8 Bear

    Further proof that Amy suffers from multiple personality disorder and can’t keep her opinions straight:
    “These reasons and others were why we did not want him at USC. Any player that got offended that his number was given to another player shows he isn’t a team guy. Our coach Pete Carroll knew this.
    Posted by MoreNCsarecoming” see: http://www.philly.com/philly/hp/sports/20080521_Eagles_-_Eagles_draft_pick_DeSean_Jackson_sets_record_straight.html?posted=y&viewAll=y#comments

    Yet right here, despite referring to the above article and comment, Amy says “best of luck to Desean in the pros. Really wish he would have come to SC, but ya can’t get em all.”

    Please, JO, can you get your IT to block the IP address of Amy so that real CAL fans can enjoy your wonderful blog without her incessant, inconsistent and illogical comments?

  • The Real N8 Bear

    For “N8Bear” and all others, the “Coaches Tour” schedule is available here:

    So-Cal stops are San Diego on June 2, Irvine on June 3 and Pasadena on June 4.

  • Forever Bear Football Fan

    We will continue to support Bear Football, because we love the Game, and deeply appreciate what Jeff Tedford has done for the Program. That being said, the QB, position like any other must be earned. Based on last year’s game performance Kevin Riley earned the support of Bear Fans. Nate Longshore, for whatever reason, lost it. Quite frankly his performance beginning with the UCLA game was simply abysmal. We will never be demonstrably negative to a Bear Football player, no matter how poorly he plays; however, if Riley does not get first look, and Longshore’s performance is similar to last year’s (increasingly poor performance as the game progresses), then enjoying Bear Football will have to wait another year!

  • Calfan

    Go Bears!

  • Bearholic

    Monty and Tedford, what a tandem!

  • CalBearFan


    Contact the AD! I received a letter from them about the events, because I’m a bear backer.

    Go Bears!

  • Jan K Oski

    Hey Forever Bear Fan,

    Or, should I call you Thomas Jefferson? When did you become spokesman for all Cal fans? On bearnecessity.com, Avinash presents an interesting reflection on booing, and I personally wouldn’t boo a player due to the Golden Rule. Still, I think other fans have a right to express themselves as they desire. In the same way, I reserve the right to disagree with them, and poke fun at them, when they fail to support the team with positive noise. Yeah, I’m talking about the typically silent, old alumnus.

    On a discussion on Longshore vs. Riley, let’s not forget that Dennis Dixon had a huge turn-around in one year, and he was the main reason why Oregon was contending for the Rose Bowl before his injury. Why couldn’t Longshore surpise us in the same way? Aren’t we all capable of improving ourselves? I’m not defending Tedford or Longshore, but there’s been several major changes in the program, so I believe we should judge this season on itself, and let the past be the past…

    Finally, in an objective analysis, Riley should have gained 50% of our admiration, because he contributed to one loss and one victory which is hardly enough stats to judge his true ability. In fact, that’s almost equivalent to Nate’s contributions last year. However, I don’t think either player is single-handily to blame for the losses or credited for the wins, since this is a team sport. There were several major problems: questionable and predictable play calling, an absent pass rush and poor rushing defense, that neither player had an influence on. It is easy to dwell on Riley and Longshore, but there are a lot of other big questions for the current team beyond them. Can Best be a 20+ back? Will there be a letdown, when he is off the field at the RB position? Will a DE finally step forward to pester opposing QBs for the entire season? Will the LB corp dramatically improve on stopping the run? Will we be watching dropped passes from an inexperienced WR corps? Is Anger the real deal? Will we painfully watch low and/or short kicks again on kickoffs? If I thought about it longer, there are probably several other questions. And, who is to say that they will not be decisive for this year? This is one reason why I love college football. You never really know what the season holds unless you’re like Ohio State with 3 easy games and a poor conference, but let’s not go there! Go Bears!

  • Jan K Oski

    I forgot!


    Pass it along!


  • Jan K Oski

    The Real N8 Bear Says:
    May 22nd, 2008 at 10:15 am
    Further proof that Amy suffers from multiple personality disorder and can’t keep her opinions straight:


  • milo
  • The Real N8 Bear

    For the other N8Bear and everyone else, here is the schedule for the “Coaches Tour”


    NorCal locations finished last night; SoCal locations are: San Diego June 2; Irvine June 3; Pasadena June 4. See the URL above for specific locations/times.

    GO BEARS!!

  • Forever Bear Football Fan

    JO…I agree with the points you have made.

    As Coach Tedford mentioned, the selection of the QB may extend into the first game of the season. In the final analysis the only thing that really counts is “game day” performance.

  • Big D

    The season could’nt get here soon enough! I’m growing tired just thinking about Longshore or Riley. I just want the season to start already! Let’s find out if the Changes Tedford made this offseason makes a difference. 98 more days until kickoff. UUUGGGGHHHH!

  • amythicalprogram

    Great article today in the CCTimes by Carl Steward.


    I love this quote…

    “Beat Stanford – Aboslutely!”

    However the answer should be absolutely not. That is not until you can stop losing to your rival in men’s football, twice in men’s basketball and 3 times in woman’s basketball.

  • Cal Bear Band is great, but…

    Hey JO,

    If you hadn’t noticed, The Band is out on the field link will be dead in a few days, maybe it is time to change it to other quality blogs or its replacement?

    Go Bears!

  • iamalcindor

    I spoke to a friend yesterday who is a high school football ref. He told me he did two games last year for a school in Napa and he saw the best high school football player he has seen in 20 years of officiating Northern California. When I asked him where the kid is going to college he said “Oregon”. He added that the kid never considered any Northern California schools and only two Pac 10 schools were on his radar. It must be because of bad grades.

  • Jan K Oski

    Hey JO,
    I was wondering what you and other think about hydrotech’s analysis on californiagoldenblogs.com. It is certainly enlightening to me on the QB controversy, and it has further convinced me that Riley might be the better QB for this team due to his mobility.

  • dball

    Cal fantasy camp is coming up!!!! I can’t wait. I know other schools do this and Cal did it for the first time last year. My friend went and said it was great, so I signed up this year. Not sure if anyone else here is going, but thought I’d check in and share my enthusiasm, can’t wait to run thru the Tunnel……Go Bears!

  • Big D

    I went last year. It was really cool. Met all the coaches and a few players: Decoud, Cody Jones, Hawkins, Stevens, Van Hoesen, Longshore as well as some former players. Also, Nick Harris was there launching punts for us to catch. Besides the old blue we thought was literally having a heart attack, it was freakin awesome. You’ll have a great time! I’ll be in NYC, so I’ll miss it this year. Have fun! Go Bears!

  • iamalcindor


    Do you have any of the latest information on the Marshawn Lynch hit and run felony?

  • iamalcindor


    Still another negative article has come out on D Jackson. Have you ever addressed the cancerous attitude he brought to the team and how that resulted in the greatest collapse in college football history?