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Media luncheon follow-up

Here’s a bit more from yesterday’s weekly press luncheon:

–Cal center Alex Mack, on playing against Washington’s senior-laden defensive front: “We’re not going to trick them that easily. They’re going to know football. We’re going to have to play well. If you make a mistake, they’re going to capitalize on it.”

When Mack was asked what advice he would give to the new players making their first road trip this weekend, he said: “My first (road) start was Tennessee. I couldn’t hear myself think. That was intense.”

–Tight end Cameron Morrah talked a little more about his catch Saturday on a pass when Kevin Riley looked like he was being sacked. “I actually thought he had crossed the line of scrimmage. I thought he was running. I was trying to come back and get a block or something. I saw the ball in the air, I was like ‘Oh!’ I just came back for it.”

Morrah also talked Tuesday about his improved attention to blocking. Morrah has always been considered a terrific pass-catching tight end but the belief heading into the season is he had to improve on the physical aspect of playing at the line of scrimmage.

“I’m getting a little more comfortable with it,” Morrah said. “Before, it just wasn’t part of my game. It didn’t have to be. Now that i’m stepping into that starting role, I can’t be just a one-dimensional player out there or else teams are going to really key down on me if I’m just coming in to run a route. My blocking has to continue to grow.”

And does Morrah like that aspect of playing tight end? “I have to like it,” he said. “If it’s going to get more reps for me out on the field and more experience, it’s all better for me.”

–Kevin Riley talked a little bit more about the disappointment of hearing fans boo Nate Longshore: “I remember my first game I ever went to at Cal it was Joe (Ayoob) against USC. From the first pass he threw, they were booing him,” Riley said. “I was like, ‘God, I hope that’s not me.’ (Longshore) goes to school here and represents the school. It didn’t go his way.

“Yeah, they can be upset because bad things happen, but it’s tough going through that. Nate went through a lot last year as well. Nate is a strong kid so I don’t think it will bother him that much.”

Riley also said he’d like to say hi to former Cal running back James Montgomery while the team is at WSU. Montgomery transferred to Washington St. in the spring.

“James is a good guy,” Riley said. “I hope he’s having a good time there. I wish he was still here.”

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.

  • milo

    Morrah isn’t going to be the next Tony Gonzalez…but he can come close. The dude runs close to a WR and can catch. If he picks up the blocking and continues to catch…possible 1st round pick. The 50 yard rope he caught from Longshore was impressive.

  • Gregg

    Riley’s a class act and the student section needs to move to Philly if they’re gonna boo their own guy like that. We may need Nate again this year and we need his confidence up. Let’s not forget what he’s done for this team in the past and lose the “what have you done for me lately” attitude. His confidence is down and it’s been a long time since he played healthy. He’s no Joe Ayoob, and he deserves better. Not that it’s cool to boo any player. A coach on the other hand…I used to boo the heck out of Gilbertson, and I wanted to throttle Tedford last year when he stuck with a hobbled Longshore. They’re grown men and their on salary. But the kids are just playing for the love of the game and the fans. We gotta support our kids, Bear Backers.

  • feveredbear

    First, the crowd wasn’t booing Longshore, they were booing Tedford for repeating the horror that was last year. Riley plays, everybody’s happy; end of story.

    Second, when you’re a veteran QB who plays horribly last year and then this year you take the field (from a successful QB)and complete 40% of your passes to the opponent and cause a 14 pt swing, dude you gotta expect that you’re going to get booed, WHEREVER you live.

    There are 2 ways to prevent it. A) play better than your successful rookie replacement; something that appears to be a lost cause in NL’s case or B) find another career — harsh, I know but your team will thrive without you and its not like you’ve got a lot of career opportunities in the NFL. Being a QB is a tough thing. Not many can do it and, apparently, fewer should try.

    Outside of the Tedford years, I can’t recall any incidents such as this. That could be because Cal hasn’t had much to get excited about — pro or con — in the last 35 years OR it could be that Cal has never had a coach who consistently has insisted on playing the lesser of 2 QB choices. Even the bad ones, Gilbertson and Holmoe. People are pissed and it shows. End of story.

  • toparchitect

    I don’t think they were booing Longshore. I think they were booing the Michigan guy with the flag and the michi monkeying guy at the end zone. Right?

  • rollonubears

    feveredbear, i’m so glad someone else out there agrees with me. the guy makes millions. thank goodness he’s finally come to his senses. i’m glad NL is being a sport as the bears may need him. saturday is going to be a hell of a show if the wideouts make some catches. hopefully a week from now, we won’t have to talk about anything qb related. go bears! 42-17 (hope the bears are on the winning side of this prediction)

  • Big D

    I thought that most of the booing was coming from the student section, you know, 18-22 year olds, some a little juiced up. Not an excuse, but should be noted.

  • Tedfordium

    I was wondering if the players realized that the fans weren’t booing Longshore, they were booing the Michigan St people marching across our field.

  • Fightfor California

    I am a student at Cal, and i was there at the game on Saturday. Let me give you the perspective of a student on the booing situation: We all love our school, its the 5th best school in the world and the best public university in the country. That being said, on the football front we have not had much to show since the Woldorf era and havent won an outright Pac-10 championship since 1978. With the Tedford era has finally come national prominence and a true threat to win the conference every year. Last year was probably the best shot we have had in a while, with the culmination of our receiving corps, experienced QB, and Justin Forsett. I cant tell you how heartbreaking it was to attend the UCLA game, the USC game, and worst of all the Big Game and watching Longshore throw huge interceptions in the fourth quarter of each game. With a new season came hope for a new beginning, one without an unreliable 4th quarter QB. So when Longshore went in we were hesitant, and when he confirmed our hesitation by throwing 2 interceptions, we booed him in disapproval for making the same mistakes and telling tedford, longshore, and even riley, that this season we expect more than terrible interceptions and 4th quarter failures. we want the axe back, we want to beat SC, and we want to play in the Rose Bowl this year….GO BEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Goldiebear

    Big D, It’s one thing for Cal Football fans and even alums to boo, but it’s really terrible when Cal students boo one of their own. They may be young, but they should know better.

  • http://www.lross.net Lawrence Ross

    So we have a troll sending two messages and answering himself? Fevered to Rollon? What a loser.

  • feveredbear

    Lawrence Ross >>Fevered…what a loser<< Not sure why you feel the need to call me names, and I really doubt that you’d say that to my face (though I certainly wish you would). Perhaps we could meet to “discuss” it? No? I didn’t think so. Those of your ilk rarely do.

    The fact is that while the rest of the pollyanas were repeating the death mantra last year (to wit: “Tedford is God. Longshore is Jesus”) the Bears were sliding into (as they say) infamy. It didn’t get better and Tedford didn’t do anything about it. THAT’s why I was critical of Mr. Tedford, and I still am. Cal deserved better. The alums who pay the head coaches salary deserved better. Will they get it? We’ll see.

  • PasadenaBear

    Challenging someone to a fight in a message board? Wow! You are the man Feveredbear!

  • BigAl

    Fight for California: It’s been longer than 1978 since Cal won an outright Pac-10 championship. Cal was co-champion under Mike White in 1975, and co-champion in 2006 under Tedford, but you have to go back to 1958 to find Cal as the outright, undisputed champion (of what was then the Pac-8).

  • Goldiebear

    FightforCalifornia-

    You sound like a spoiled kid to me. You are probably between 18-22 years old and the Tedford era dates back to the 2002 season. During the dark days of the Tom Holmoe regime you were probably about 7-11 years old. Were you actively following and agonizing over the Bears back then?

    You are disappointed because we don’t have the Axe even though we owned it the previous five years. You want to beat USC. Doesn’t everybody! We did in 2003. You want to see Cal play in the Rose Bowl. We haven’t been there since 1959 so lots of Cal fans have been waiting for that return trip a heck of a lot longer than you.

    As a future Cal Alum you need to learn to be a little more patient. It’s going to be a long ride if you are going to stay on board. I don’t think you know how juvenile your desire for immediate rewards sounds to long-suffering Bear backers.

  • Pasadena Dave

    ditto, Goldiebear.

    “Last year was probably the best shot we have had in a while, with the culmination of our receiving corps, experienced QB, and Justin Forsett.”

    Insert JJ Arrington for Forsett and McArthur, Lyman and Makonnen for the recieving corp. That is 2004.

    Insert Russell White for Forsett and Dawkins and Treggs for the receiving corp. That is 1991.

    Look, I’m not saying “wait for next year, or wait 3 years until Marvin Jones is a senior and Shane Vereen replaces an NFL-bound Best. We’re all hoping the new season is when the magic happens. But don’t bring your short-sight perspective as a Cal fan and make it sound like you’re a long suffering fan. I’m not saying long-suffering fans have more or less right to do anything, but your statement demonstrates a lack of respect for those who have seen the same type of lost opportunity scenarios over decades of following the program.

    By the way, we never won an outright pac X championship in 1978.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Pasadena Dave Says:
    September 4th, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    By the way, we never won an outright pac X championship in 1978.>>>>>>>>>> You are so right. That was one of USC’s all time greatest teams and one of the geatest college teams of all time.

  • Fightfor California

    sorry you guys are right, we shared it in 75, and last outright was 1958. Look i hear what you all are saying, and i understand that i sound spoiled and how far the program has come, but i think that its also important to have a spirit as a cal fan, both young as i may be and older as you guys where we expect to win. Tedford has done a great job bringing us to prominence and we all want it to stay that way. And please dont demean me for being younger, i still love Cal just as much as you guys. I never said i was suffering or that I am more important than any of you, I have a respect for you guys who have been loyal throughout the years. But as a new fan, and future alum you guys should be happy that myself and my classmates have a pride in our football team and that we want that to be maintained. Again, we’re all on the same side here so please don’t use the fact that I’m younger against me. I love the school and the community is very strong and supportive, I assume you guys are mostly alums and understand that too.

  • BearsUS

    Wow, this seems harsh for Fight for California… Rock on and enjoy your time there. I graduated over 10 years ago and still feel that passion you have. We had a season where our only win came against Rutgers but what does that matter? Is everyone else saying that because we’ve failed miserably in the past, we can’t expect to win now??? I agree with “fightforCA” 100%. I forgave Riley about a week after he took the sack and kept us from being number 1… It still pains me to think of Longshore the rest of the way. He was terrible and hurt. He should not have been in. We SHOULD expect more and while hindsight is 20/20, we had a much better shot with a healthy Riley than a hurt Longshore (which isn’t necessarily NL’s fault, by the way). I hope every Cal fan has as much passion as you do. Just because teams before you have failed (such as my years), don’t expect to lose or play to lose. This is a Bears team that NO ONE has seen in decades, thanks to Coach Tedford… Go Bears!!!

  • Bear fan in Europe

    Right on Fightfor California! We all want Cal to win every year and we never want to see Stanfurd with the Axe!! Win or lose, Cal Football is exciting…we may not have won the Rose Bowl since ’58, but every football fan in America has seen “The Play” (much better than Flutie’s Hail Mary if you ask me).

    Hopefully, all us Cal fans can stop being long suffering soon…my first heartbreak came watching ucla back into the Rose Bowl in ’75 & then having Joe Roth die after the 76 season. BTW, Pasadena Dave, don’t forget about Roth, Chuck Muncie & Wesley Walker.

    I hope you get all you wish for, keep rooting for the Bears and enjoy your time at Cal…but take Goldiebear’s advice…it’s not cool to boo a fellow student.

    GO BEARS!!!

  • EranSalu

    I see this Longshore situation as a part of Jeff Tedford’s maturation as a coach. He has the label of being a quarterback guru and, as such, I think he is having a hard time admitting defeat with Longshore. But as all great leaders have to learn, you must be quick to make change when it is necessary and you must be able to take a step back to take 2 steps forward.

    Jeff Tedford will take us to the Rose Bowl and farther. However, we must realize this is his first head coaching experience and Nate Longshore is his first big failure with a quarterback. He will learn from both.