BearTalk

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In the books

By Jonathan Okanes
Saturday, August 23rd, 2008 at 11:34 pm in Training camp.

Saturday marked the end of 2008 training camp. The Bears held a two-hour full-pad workout in the morning, followed by the annual Fan Appreciation Day.

Truth be told, camp really came to an end Wednesday when the Bears held their “mock game.” Cal broke into scout teams Thursday, the sign that it’s a regular season practice, and began preparing for the season-opener against Michigan State.

The biggest news to come out of Saturday’s practice is that Michael Calvin, Sean Young and LaReylle Cunningham appear to be penciled in as Cal’s starting wide receivers. That came from fellow wideout Nyan Boateng, who expressed disappointment that he won’t be in the starting lineup. Boateng may be the most talented receiver on the roster but has had to work his way up from the depths of the depth chart after transferring from Florida and running into some problems off the field and in the classroom.

It appeared as though Boateng was in the mix to start early on in camp when he spent several days working with the first team offense. But he fell off during the latter part of camp and had been running with the second team recently.

Boateng expressed frustration after practice Saturday because he believes he’s done everything he’s been asked to do. But he also said he’s just going to continue to do just that until he gets his shot. And it’s not like he’s not going to play. Jeff Tedford said he’s in the mix for playing time, just not necessarily to start at this point.

Nate Longshore also commented today for the first time since Kevin Riley won the quarterback job. Longshore essentially said the decision won’t cause him to change and he just wants to continue to focus on getting better every day.

You can read about Longshore and Boateng here.

In other news, tailback Jahvid Best didn’t practice yet again, but Tedford said he’ll resume practicing in a full capacity on Monday (the Bears are off Sunday). Tedford also said he hopes Calvin (sprained toe) will be back at practice Monday as well.

I’ll be back with a thorough look back at training camp on Sunday.

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  • Roster

    JO,
    Has Kamaron Yancy joinged the team/is he going to?
    Any roster additions or subtractions after camp?
    Keep up the great work, love it.
    Go Bears!

  • Brian Hoye

    Thank you for all the reporting and great detail. How seriously injured are Thompson, Tepper and Best?

  • C 91

    Boateng sounds like a real malignancy. I suppose that should’ve been expected given his past. I credit Tedford for keeping an open mind, but these comments are potentially very damaging to team chemistry — particularly the implication that the staff has been less than honest.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Boateng go before this gets out of hand. Unlike Desean, he hasn’t done a damn thing, so he’d hardly be missed. Factor in talents like Tucker and Jones, and he seems totally dispensable.

  • Calalum81

    I don’t see where Boateng did or said anything to where his absence from the program would be a positive development. It sounded like he was doing well in practice and it appears he thought he
    was working hard and had earned a starting job, thus his dissappointment. Tedford evidently thought otherwise. When he does get to play, I hope he does well. Maybe some on-field success is just what he needs to giv him a more positive attitude.

  • Top Dog Kielbasa

    C 91,

    I think it’s a little too early to suggest he’s bad for the team chemistry, at least based on this article. He goes on to say in JO’s article, “I’ve been through so much, I’m not going to stop now. Nothing is going to be given to me. I have to go out there and get it. When I get into the game, I’m going to make my mark to show everybody I’m worthy of the hype.”

    Sounds like the kind of thing you’d want a competitive player to say in this situation.

  • Chris

    C 91, I wouldn’t go that far. Boateng is a work in progress. Tedford is putting the bar “here” and Boateng has to clear that bar. Cal at this point is better for Boateng than Boateng is for Cal. But I wouldn’t give up on him so quickly. Tedford hasn’t.

  • Kent

    The poor “chemistry” last year was clearly around the WR’s and Longshore/Tedford. Tedford’s poor decision to continue to stick with Longshore did not sit well with the WRs. While i don’t condone any behaviour that is detrminental to the team, I can understand the WR’s frustration…Tedford’s poor decision was at the root cause of the problem.

  • GBear

    Kent’s post is right on the mark!

  • Steve in Concord

    Kent–

    I think DeSean Jackson probably summed up the receivers’ feelings, and possibly those of other players as well, when he said that he might consider returning to Cal after Riley’s excellent performance in the Armed Forces Bowl. Basically he was saying YES to Riley, No to longshore.

    There might have been other chemistry issues as well. Some of it might have been due to the “attitude” of the receivers themselves. Certainly DeSean was full of himself. He used the word “beautiful” to describe his TD punt return for the Eagles Saturday night. I can’t remember an NFL player ever talking about the “beautiful” play he made.

    This year’s team hasn’t forgotten the disappointment of last season and how things fell apart. The bowl game win seemed to re-energize them though. I think they will re-gain that positive chemistry and do well.

  • Jonathan Okanes

    Roster, as of Wednesday, both Yancy and Gary Doxy are still up in the air.
    Brian, Best appears to be fine. Thompson is on his way back and looks like he’ll be ready by Saturday. Tepper probably won’t play Saturday. He’s healed but has to get into shape.

  • Steve in Concord

    It appears that the Cal-MSU game on ABC will only be broadcast to the PAC-10 states and to Michigan and adjoining states (Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa). Most of the country will be watching the Alabama-Clemson game. There will be no “mirror broadcast” where the blacked out market can watch the game on another station, usually ESPN2.

    I would have preferred that the game had broader coverage but at least if we should play poorly, the whole country won’t see it. Alabama? Clemson? Who are those guys anyway?