Football: Thursday night update

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.

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.

  • javidbestforpres

    Riley looked good. He looked confident and made good throws. I’m getting excited. Go Bears!

  • Tony

    I’m probably being way too paranoid here, but…JO, your ostensibly innocuous mention of Jahvid having an “appointment” has me in a cold sweat, haha. Please reassure us as soon as possible that it was just a dentist appointment or something even less harmless.

  • Josh

    I am really, really nervous about Best’s toe. A toe injury is annoying, painful and slow to heal. God I hope it’s a dental appointment.

  • rollonubears

    we’re deep at TB, an i love watching shane vareen, but best is essential because everybody’s worried about him busting loose for 80 yards, which really opens up the passing game. really, i think we’re deep enough at TB to be a title contender even when he’s out.that’s not taking anything away from him, but i think the psychological effect he has on the opposing team’s defensive schemes is a little overplayed. i really don’t understand why we don’t use him for kick off returns, if he’s healthy. why just punts?

  • Calduke

    I certainly hope not, but, we may be facing a
    ‘Year without Best’

  • VatoZapato

    please! no more Best is injured nonsense!

  • Bears

    An injury is a torn ligament, broken bone or torn muscle. Every football player has nicks.
    It’s a huge year for Best because he is a leader/game breaker who makes the team better. My guess is he will be fine and will have a break out year of good health helping to lead the team to new heights.
    Go Bears!

  • covinared

    Pessimists- an appointment can be more than medical. Maybe he was meeting with Kurt Herbstreit for a heisman promo.

  • ToparchiBear

    Relax. Best had one whole year and 1/2 under his bell. It is important for him to rest a bit more to let his toe to heal and get stronger for the real battle. All he need is to remember the playbook right now, condition himself, and prepare mentally, and you will see him stirring the dust behind him when he dash that 80 yds to the end zone.

    And, I agree not to use him on the kick off return. Let him focuss on the running game and on the punt return from time to time.

    And, I like to also see him more on pitch or short pass and run. If he pass the first line, he will be so illusive that opponents will catch air behind his back.

    Go Bears!

  • Mike Munday

    Why does the Bear Talk Blog still list Thanksgiving and the Big Game as recent stories?

  • Calduke

    I’m looking forward to the Friday Night Update

  • ConcordTom


    Say, JO:

    Here’s a news story for you. I just read the wires that the Pac 10’s 2nd place team (provided one does not go to the National Championship) will go to the Alamo Bowl vs. a Big 12 team starting at the end of next season (2010).

    What’s going to happen to the Holiday Bowl arrangement? And how does this affect the other bowl tie-ins?

    We all know that Tom Hansen stepped down as Pac-10 Commissioner, and was replaced by Larry Scott. I had heard people saying one of his priorities should be to upgrade our Bowl Tie-In’s. I guess he didn’t take long to get that done.

    But, could you please report on why we made such a move – how it improves our bowl positioning? Do we get more money? Are we Pac-10 fans sick of traveling to San Diego? Do we want better competition than the tie-in with Holiday gave us?


  • toparchiBear

    Sound like the Holiday Bowl will still be there, but, just got bump to 3rd tier.(if Holiday Bowl accept the idea) And, the lowest tier Bowl may eventually be bump out. Not bad for $3 mil for each team. However, still wish that #1 to BCS championship, #2 to the Rose Bowl is the best combination. But, that is less than likely to happen every year.
    By just adding the Alamo Bowl has an indication that the PAC-10 has increase its recognition and its exposure is expanding.


    Go Bears!

  • abe

    gosh i certainly hope we not only have Best this year, but a really healthy one. yes our passing offense will get better but folks make no mistake about it no Best, for about this season being one for the ages. simply put Best IS THE OFFENSE. PERIOD. and this is not just b/c of what he can actually do that no other back in the roaster, hell nation, can but it is also psychological. if you don’t think the psychological aspect of the game is relevant i would like to direct your attention to you know when, (07). this team has really high hopes and a lot of it is due to Best so if he is out or significantly inhibited again forget about it (watch basketball). and finally if you think toe injuries are like typical other injuries like ankle sprains (Forsett), i would like to direct your attention to Joe for $c, who has been battling nagging toe injuries for much of his collegiate career and is yet to fulfill his promise. toe injuries are simply the most tormenting b/c they are not severe enough to completely take you out of the game yet enough to limit and really frustrate you. cal fans lets pray.

  • Pete Carroll

    I think the Alamo Bowl move is a great move. The Holiday Bowl is played so far ahead of New Years Day that it hardly gets any coverage. It also will pit the #2 teams and pay out more money.

  • Where was Javid Best? Hmm….

    I got a voice mail from my son who was standing in line at the airport for a flight to Medford OR. He said, “Guess what, I’m getting on a plane with Javid Best” Going to Medford? What Shakespeare, or an “appointment” in Eugene with Nike, maybe….”