Here’s some more from my conversation with Nate Longshore, for the story that ran Sunday:
–Longshore said he didn’t throw for 2 1/2 months after suffering the pectoral muscle in the spring. He said it’s been an adjustment mechanically coming back.
“Coming back from that is real awkward,” Longshore said. “You lose the proper technique. It’s much more of a mental effort. Coach Tedford and Coach Cignetti have been great about letting me know if my mechanics are this way or that way. It just takes a lot more focus to do it the right way.”
Longshore said it takes him a few more minutes than usual to warm up, but then everything is fine.
–On the competition with Kevin Riley: “It’s about me getting better for myself and for what the team needs. The quarterback competition is secondary to the focus of improving the team. If we both go out there and both focus on the quarterback situation, and we both suck, regardless of who wins we’re not helping the team. I think it’s important that we concentrate on helping the team get better and do what we need to do to help the team.”
–On criticism last year, after having success in 2006: “Life these days is about instant gratification. What have you done for me lately? I’m not surprised by it at all. It’s just the way people are now. It doesn’t affect what I do day-to-day. I’m still ready to play Michigan State. I’m excited for our team to go out there and show what we’re all about.”
–Longshore had an interesting response when asked where the talent level on this year’s team ranks against the other Cal teams he’s played on.
“I don’t want to let any secrets out,” he said. “I know we lost some guys to the NFL last year and I know we’ve had some good running backs. Top to bottom, this is the most talent we’ve had across the board. That’s not taking anything away from any of the guys we’ve had in the past. We have more depth.”
–On hwo previous quarterback competitions help him now: “I’ve been in competition every year but last year. In high school, every year. In college, every year. To me, it’s nothing new. I feel like I’ve been in this situation. I know how to focus and work on getting me better for the sake of the team.”
But Longshore also said competition or not competition, he’d still prepare the same. Last year was the only season since he’s been at Cal that he didn’t have to fight for his job.
“It doesn’t matter. I’m trying to improve either way,” he said. “I feel like at the beginning of last season I was just as sharp as I would have been having someone there. The goal every year is just to get better for the sake of the team.”