Cal coach Jeff Tedford touched on a number of topics yesterday at Bay Area Media Day. Time to run them down:
–On Jahvid Best: “There’s a lot of talk about him, and that’s all well and good. But make no mistake about it. Jahvid is team-above-self guy all the way, first and foremost. He has the greatest amount of respect for his teammates, as do his teammates for him. I know he’s focused on our team goals this year.”
–On Best’s Heisman Trophy chances: “Those awards just happen naturally. There’s a certain amount of responsibility that we have as a university to make sure that people know about Jahvid Best. But the team goals are No. 1. Typically, individual accolades come with team success, and he understands that.
–On the health of wide receiver Michael Calvin: “Michael is 100 percent. Anytime you go through an ACL reconstruction, you’re always going to start out a little tentative. I don’t care how much you rehab and how much you run on the side or on your own. When it becomes real football, it’s a mental thing that you have to overcome being tentative and just letting it loose. I think the first part of camp is going to be very important for him to overcome that. I don’t think it’s something that you can take lightly. He’s going to start out practicing with a brace on his knee. He’ll then go from a brace to a sleeve. It’s a mental thing. I think he’ll work through that.”
–On possible distraction of Best’s Heisman campaign: “I think if it’s not handled properly, or you have somebody that is not a team guy, I think it can be a distraction. I think we do have a responsibility as a university to make sure that we give Jahvid every chance and our team every chance to make sure people know who he is. That’s the role. Besides that, it comes down to team success. There isn’t any doubt that Jahvid appreciates that and the team appreciates that. The team has a great deal of respect for Jahvid and he has a great deal of respect for his team. If you know Jahvid at all, you know that is legit. He’s going to do everything he can to focus on the success of the team and understands the personal accolades come with success. If that comes, so be it. If it doesn’t, he’s fine being productive for the team.”
–On the significance of Best’s possible Heisman run: “I think it’s great for the university. I think it’s great for the program. I think everybody can take a sense of pride in something like that.”
–On the first half of the schedule: “I can appreciate the difficulty and challenges that we have through the first five games. I’m not saying that we don’t after that, but after five games we get a bye. I think at that time we’re going to sit back and evaluate what just happened and where we are and how do we go forward.”
–On the experience on the defensive line and secondary helping out the linebackers: “With a veteran defensive line, you know they’re going to do their job. That’s going to help the linebackers out. It’s not just talent. It’s experience and knowing what you’re doing and making sure we have the right gaps filled.”