By Jonathan Okanes
Thursday, August 27th, 2009 at 8:58 pm in Mid-week.
Every year right after school starts, freshman are invited to come watch practice — a little introduction to the Cal football team. The cheerleaders make an appearance and Jeff Tedford makes some brief comments afterward.
Today was that day. Tedford told the wide-eyed newcomers that he needed them to fill up the student section this season and get the place rocking on Sept. 5. It drew a nice smattering of applause, but nothing like the response when a lucky fan won a trip to Minnesota for the game on Sept. 19.
While these shenanigans were going on, we were busy asking Tedford why Jahvid Best wasn’t at practice. That’s right, there was no No. 4 present when we watched the first 20 minutes and final 10 minutes of practice. Tedford said Best had an “appointment” and would be back tomorrow. No details on what kind of appointment, if it was medical or otherwise. The team is off tomorrow so we’ll find out more Saturday morning before Fan Appreciation Day.
It was a warm afternoon at Memorial Stadium and Tedford said a few players suffered from fluid loss, which can lead to cramps. When we were summoned back into the stadium to watch the final 10 minutes, Tyson Alualu was gingerly walking up and down the sideline with a trainer. Turns out he cramped up. I talked to him after practice and he seemed fine.
An update on linebacker Robert Mullins: He will miss a month to six weeks with a sprained knee. Tedford said he thought it was the Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL). “Some type of CL,” he said. Mullins had been taking pretty consistent second team reps so this is a significant loss.
Also, tight end Skylar Curran suffered what Tedford called a mild sprained ankle and should be out for a day or two.
Tedford said they the team only had one opportunity to kick a field goal during two-minute drill today and Giorgio Tavecchio nailed it (didn’t provide the yardage). He also said Tavecchio did a good job with kickoffs today. Tedford said they “were getting a little closer” to deciding on a kicker. All signs are pointing to Tavecchio.