Three people were near the top of Tightwad Hill late Thursday afternoon taking a quick peek at the Cal football team’s spring practice. The trio was spotted by Cal security and one of them, standing at the top of the stadium rim with a bullhorn, ordered the onlookers to move along.
Yes, things were fairly intense for the Bears’ first day in pads this spring, with plenty of big hits, nice plays and overzealous security guards.
“First day in pads, I was happy with the intensity,” Cal coach Jeff Tedford said. “Pretty physical today, a lot of hitting. I was pleased with it.”
In early 11-on-11 drills, QB Kevin Riley had a lot of running plays but looked sharp with some of his throws. Brock Mansion and Beau Sweeney alos took snaps and had to deal with more pressure from the defense, but overall didn’t look too bad considering it was just the third day of spring ball. Riley said he was already starting to feel comfortable with new offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig.
With Jahvid Best still nursing a foot injury, tailback Shane Vereen got several reps and found a few holes. Kevin Lewis, the former DB, showed some explosiveness when he was able to get into space. Tedford said Lewis obviously still has to learn some things on offense, but was impressed with his quickness and his ball-catching ability.
The defense made some nice plays as well with a few interceptions and even a sack, something that’s usually verboten in practice, as Trevor Guyton and Ernest Owusu corralled Sweeney. Nobody was hurt. Syd Thompson also came up and had a couple of big hits at the line of scrimmage.
The team is off for spring break until March 31. Your boy, J.O., will be back then to fill you in on all the details. I have a feeling he’ll post some items next week, though. He just can’t help himself.
– Curtis Pashelka