The Bears held their usual Sunday conditioning workout this evening under a light drizzle. Cal actually is doing more on Sundays than they have in the past. It used to be a chance simply to get the players to strech out, do a little running and meet as a team. But so far this season, they also are walking through some of the upcoming opponent’s plays, getting a head start on game planning for the week.
As I noted earlier, Cal will be traveling on Thursday this week to prepare for Saturday’s early start time in Minneapolis. As we all know, the Bears waited until Friday to travel to Maryland last season for the same start time (9 a.m. PDT). Many have debated if the the Bears had enough time to acclimate to the time difference, and if that contributed to the loss to the Terrapins.
Coach Jeff Tedford has repeatedly said he doesn’t believe the travel itinerary had anything to do with the outcome; it’s just that the Bears didn’t play very well. But obviously, Tedford is open to testing out the theory, because he decided to give the team the extra day in the new city this time around, even though it’s actually one time zone closer.
Tedford said the travel arrangement may help the Bears feel like they’re not in so much of a rush.
“We want to try it,” Tedford said after practice tonight. “Some people do it. You don’t know until you try it. We’re going to give it a shot and see if that helps us not be so hurried.”
The travel schedule won’t disrupt Cal’s usual routine for a road trip too much. The Bears will still practice at home Thursday, just a few hours earlier than usual before boarding their charter that is scheduled to leave in the early evening. It should put the team in Minneapolis around 11 p.m.
Instead of holding their Friday walkthrough in the afternoon, they will be able to do so in the morning, which will simulate Saturday’s kickoff time. They will have their usual Friday meetings in the afternoon rather than in the morning.
A couple of other notes tonight:
–Tedford said fullback Brian Holley sustained a minor concussion in Saturday’s game “should be fine” for the Minnesota game.
–After looking at the tape, Tedford said it looked as though Cal should have been awarded a safety on Eastern Washington running back Taiwan Jones’ run up the middle on the game’s second play from scrimmage. He said quarterback Matt Nichols wasn’t in the end zone when he was sacked on the first play.
–Tedford has watched tape of Minnesota’s first two games, but he might as well throw one of them out the window when it comes to scouting the Golden Gophers’ defense. Minnesota played Air Force yesterday, and the way the Gophers defended the Falcons’ spread option looked nothing like how htey will attempt to stop Cal’s pro-style offense on Saturday.