BearTalk

Cal Sports Live and Direct

Post-practice: Tuesday

By Jonathan Okanes
Tuesday, August 5th, 2008 at 10:03 pm in Training camp.

Monday may have been the first day of practice, but Tuesday was the first day the Bears really sunk their teeth into a lot of things. Cal eased into things Monday with mostly individual drills. Tuesday, there was much more 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 action, as well as a couple of special teams periods.

Highlights included:

–The beginning of practice the past two days has been spent on turnover drills, things like practicing diving on fumbled balls, tip drills, scooping balls up off the turf, etc.

–Jahvid Best, Shane Vereen and Syd’Quan Thompson took turns returning punts. it appears Cal isn’t going to limit Best at all after his hip injury. Cal coach Jeff Tedford said after practice today that it’s full speed ahead with Best, and that the Bears want to utilize his talents as much as possible. Tedford also said when the Bears go in full pads for the first time Friday, Best will not be in a yellow uniform, meaning he is free game to be hit.

–Nate Longshore probably had a little bit better day than Kevin Riley, but Riley was victimized by poor pass protection playing with the second offensive line. Still, Longshore got rid of the ball a couple of times under pressure.

During 11-on-11s near the end of practice, Longshore looked sharp completing two consecutive passes to tight end Cameron Morrah and one down the sideline to Michael Calvin. When the second unit took the field, Riley was just 1-for-4 but was under pressure on all three incompletions.

The Bears then placed the ball at the defense’s 25-yard line and attempted to score. Longshore hit Morrah with a touchdown pass on the first play.

–Morrah had a terrific practice, catching several balls throughout the session. Much has been said about the development of converted defensive end Tad Smith, but Morrah served a reminder Tuesday that he’s still the best pass-catching tight end the team has. He simply needs to improve his physical presence at the line of scrimmage.

–Chet Teofilo played left tackle again for the injured Mike Tepper and Mitchell Schwartz was once again at right tackle. The second offensive line was Sam DeMartinis at left tackle, Mark Boskovich at left guard, Chris Guarnero at center, Justin Cheadle ar right guard and Matt Laird at right tackle.

–There were a couple of notable plays when the third and fourth units were going at it. Freshman defensive end Trevor Guyton got into the backfield to stop running back Covaughn DeBoskie for a loss, and linebacker D.J. Holt and defensive back Chris Little made interceptions on tipped balls late in practice.

–The first team defense remained the same, with Eddie Young once again manning the outside linebacker spot opposite Zack Follett and Mika Kane playing nose guard. The second team defense had Derrick Hill at nose guard with Cameron Jordan and Ernie Owusu on the ends. The linebackers were Devin Bishop, Mike Mohamed, Charles Johnson and Matt Russi. The secondary was Charles Ahmadi and Darian Hagan at corner with Brett Johnson and Gary Doxy at safety.

–Wide receiver Drew Glover made a terrific diving catch of a Longshore pass during one-on-one drills.

–Defensive coordinator Bob Gregory said Young and Bishop were the top two players opposite Follett on the outside. He said Mohamed would roam between middle and outside linebacker.

–Tedford said Best would no longer be a gunner on special teams. No surprise there, given the additional responsibility he will have this season. But that actually goes down as a key loss for the Bears. Best was an All-Pac-10 special teams first team player last year as a true freshman.

–Freshman wide receiver Marvin Jones had his second consecutive impressive day of practice, exhibiting terrific hands.

More later…

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

  • Dan

    JO.
    Your updates are the hightlight of my day. Keep’em coming. Are you somewhat surprised that Eddie Young and Devin Bishop are ahead of Mohamed? Does that mean Mike will be the primary backups for Follet and the other MLB?

  • sighsofrelief

    If Nate Longshore returns to at least 2006 form, I’d be happy with him. Of course, he has the potential to exceed that, but from what I remember 2 years ago, Nate Longshore was a pretty good quarterback.

  • Mike D

    JO,
    I went to the spring practice/scrimmage and have been a long time Bear follower. I realize what I saw was just one day but I seem to remember DeBoskie looking really good in that scrimmage, save for a fumble. It seems a bit surprising DeBoskie is down to 3rd and 4th string. Owusu looked GREAT in that scrimmage…Seemed like the fastest guy on the line. Do you anticipate him playing much? Also, any word on Matt Summers-Gavin? Seems he was a much-hyped recruit 2 years ago but after getting hurt and enrolling late I don’t see him mentioned in the 2 and 3 deep of the O-Line. Also is P-Bryan Anger still booming them 60 yards like he did in the scrimmage? Keep up the good work.

  • Brobrobro

    Hey JO:

    You are doing a great job, I look forward to your column and blog posts. One thing though, about the yellow jersey. I know they look yellow, but aren’t they supposed to be gold? You know in keeping with the blue and gold thing?

  • Jan K Oski

    Great post, JO! It is good to see that open competition is alive and well at Memorial Stadium. I hope that Riley does earn and get a fair chance, as Tedford has promised. I still Trust in Tedford, though!

    Bro, they’re just shades. Now, if you had a problem with red, I’d agree and say, “take off that red shirt”.

  • KAB

    JO,

    Thanks for these great reports.

    Is Nate throwing off his front foot and getting zip on the ball? During the time he was injured, the most concerning thing (besides that he was immobile) was that he was throwing off his back foot and not getting anything on the ball — e.g. that duck he threw at ASU where Desean had like 3-4 steps on Justin Tryon & in the 4th quarter v. USC.

    I saw some youtube footage of Nate playing against Minnesota and it was like I was seeing a different person – pretty mobile, throwing with great balance and the ball had zip and trajectory. Is that Nate back or is it the Nate that’s gotten into a habit of throwing off his back foot and lobbing the balls?

    Keep up the good work, JO.

  • CALiforniALUM

    JO, any word on Ezeff? He was such a bruiser last year and save our collective arses on the last play of the Oregon game. I would have thought he would have made some mention this year. Keep up the good work.

  • http://www.bearswithfangs.com bearswithfangs

    For the record, I believe (correct me if I’m wrong) that our official colors our Yale Blue and Golden Yellow. So I suppose a shade of golden yellow should work just fine.

    BTW Mike, I’m actually really okay with Deboskie redshirting. While Deboskie had a decent spring, I would much rather save his eligibility and allow Best and Vereen to split carries, while utilizing Slocum as a bruiser and third down back as much as possible.

  • Jan K Oski

    Bw/F, If Slocum is getting first-team reps, the coaches are looking at him as more than just a bruiser or 3rd down back in mHO. Go Bears!

  • Jonathan Okanes

    Dan, I am surprised. Mohamed was so productive last season in limited action and really flew around the field. But Young has always looked good in practice. I still think Mohamed will get a lot of playing time when it’s all said and done, whether it be on the outside or in the middle.
    Mike, I’d be surprised if DeBoskie doesn’t redshirt. He may have looked good in the scrimmage, but he’s still probably not as explosive as Best or Vereen. Summers-Gavin is behind a lot of guys because he wasn’t around last year. He’s basically like a true freshman and the Bears are deep on the offensive line. Anger looks incredible. Of course, it could change in a game situation. But so far in practice he looks like a potential All-American.
    Bro, my apologies. But even around the team they refer to them as gold jerseys.
    CAL, Ezeff is penciled in as the starting strong safety and has been running with the first unit, as expected.

  • milo

    Great stuff JO…the break downs are great.

  • KoreAmBear

    JO,

    Thanks for these great reports.

    Is Nate throwing off his front foot and getting zip on the ball? During the time he was injured, the most concerning thing (besides that he was immobile) was that he was throwing off his back foot and not getting anything on the ball — e.g. that duck he threw at ASU where Desean had like 3-4 steps on Justin Tryon & in the 4th quarter v. USC.

    I saw some youtube footage of Nate playing against Minnesota and it was like I was seeing a different person – pretty mobile, throwing with great balance and the ball had zip and trajectory. Is that Nate back or is it the Nate that’s gotten into a habit of throwing off his back foot and lobbing the balls?

    Keep up the good work, JO.