By Jonathan Okanes
Monday, May 4th, 2009 at 1:14 pm in off-season stuff.
HELPED HIS CAUSE: Kevin Riley. The junior-to-be started out sharp and was pretty steady throughout. He didn’t do anything to put a stranglehold on the job, but he also played well enough to think that challengers Brock Mansion and Beau Sweeney aren’t close to supplanting him. Riley has positioned himself to nail down the starting job in the fall.
WORK TO DO: Mansion. The sophomore-to-be actually had a lot more work to do before putting together an excellent final week. Still, Mansion isn’t close to being consistent yet. The coaching staff will have to see more than one good week to consider him as the starter. That being said, if a light bulb did go on during that final week and he carries that into the fall, things could get interesting.
WHERE WE STAND: Coach Jeff Tedford ended the spring by saying the position is still open and went so far to list all three quartebacks as equal on the post-spring depth chart. But Tedford did say that the depth chart as it stands right now is based on seniority, meaning Riley will enter the fall as the No. 1 guy, followed by Mansion and then Sweeney. That’s exactly how it went in the spring as well.
MOVING FORWARD: It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Riley isn’t Cal’s starting quarterback to begin the 2009 season. Yes, Mansion came on at the end of spring, but the sample size is too small right now to consider him a legitimate threat to Riley’s position. If Riley continues his steady play, his experience and leadership qualities should give him the advantage. If Riley’s performance were to drop off and Mansion picks up where he left off in the spring, it could be a different scenario. As for Sweeney, he had an encouraging first spring as a true freshman and looks further along than most quarterbacks in their first year in a program. That being said, inexperience showed up at times and his time appears to be a little more off in the future.