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Football: Sunday night update

By Jonathan Okanes
Sunday, September 27th, 2009 at 9:38 pm in Last game tidbits.

I wasn’t able to attend Cal’s conditioning workout tonight, but Jeff Faraudo did and provided this sampling of Jeff Tedford’s comments:

–Breaking down the Oregon tape: “Painful. When you look at it, there were so many opportunities. Typically, it was one thing, one guy. It really becomes evident, it’s just so important that 11 guys play together. You have 10 guys doing the right thing and one guy doesn’t do his thing . . . it’s a lot of opportunities we didn’t capitalize on.
 
“But again, you give Oregon a lot of credit because they played very, very well. They played about as good as I’ve ever seen ‘em play. They were hitting on all cylinders and anybody that’s as explosive as they are, when they get that thing rolling . . .”
 
“It’s on the coaches, it’s on the players, it’s on everyone. Everybody looks in the mirror when you’re not successful and you have a setback.”
 
–On what he learned about how teams might prepare for Cal:
“Oregon is kind of specific to what they do. The spread and things like that. You typically go in trying to defend Oregon totally different than you would defend someone else, just because of what they do.”
 
–Opponents’ ganging up on the run:
“Everyone is going to do that, just because of who we are and what we do. But again, Oregon’s defense does things that are specific to them. Typically, teams are who they are. They do this and they do that. They may throw a wrinkle in there.”
 
–Too simplistic to say only way to keep them out of the box is to complete some passes?: “You can do it different ways, with formations. But they can always outnumber you in the box. So yes, it’s important to have a balanced game, to be able to throw the football, to make some big plays in the passing game. One of the differences from the first few weeks is we hit our long balls for big plays (in those) and we missed our long balls this last week. We had a couple guys running open and we didn’t hit them. Those are big plays.”
 
Concerns about team’s confidence or psyche:
“I don’t. I was pleased during the game with the look in our kids’ eyes. There were no excuse-making, no finger-pointing, nobody laying blame. Everybody was still encouraging each other. In the locker room, it was the same way. Looking at the tape they can see it’s about us. If we do what we do, then we have a chance to be successful every weekend. And if we don’t have, we have the ability not to he successful.”
 
Mood of players today:
“It’s good. In the meeting, pretty subdued. But as we talked about moving forward, kids are pretty resilient. They’re more resilient than the coaches most of the time. The only way for me to get past it is to go up there and look at tape of USC. You can beat yourself up over and over and over by laying awake all night long about what you could have done in preparation or travel or meals. You think about everything. Could I have said something different?”
 
What he thinks about the old agage that it’s perhaps easier to lose by 39 than lose by 1?
“I’d have to say that’s probably true. They were the better team that day. We got beat pretty soundly yesterday. I don’t think it’s a reflection of who we are as a whole. It’s that day in that environment. Very difficult place to play. It just seemed like we couldn’t put anything together. We had spurts, then we couldn’t finish it.”
 
How will players put the Oregon game behind them?
“I sit up in my little coccoon up here and stay pretty insulated. But for them to be out there, a lot of people say different things to them. A lot of people have different opinions about things. And so it’s really important that our guys don’t listen to all the opinions that are thrown around out there and just focus on next week.”
 
On USC and QB Matt Barkley:
“He looks very poised, very confident. He has ability, there’s no question about that. And he has a good group around him. He’s got a lot of tools _ a great offensive line, explosive running backs, great tight ends, explosive receivers, a great defense. They have a very solid squad. It’s not on him. They’ve made a point of that to him. You look at them on tape, and they haven’t changed much.
They are who they are _ they’re a good football team, a very talented group.”
 
Imnportance of the game, even though it does not match two unbeatens, as might have been anticipated:
“No question, it’s very important. Everytime you get in league play, everything just cranks up a notch. It’s early and we played Oregon, which is one of the better teams in our conference, then SC, which is traditionally the best team in our conference. It’s two great tests right off the bat.”
 
Is the league looking pretty balanced?
“I haven’t seen anybody on tape yet and I haven’t watched anybody really on TV, but to take a look at it it sure seems that way. Seems like everybody is doing good things and having success. But it’s always that way in the Pac-10. You’ve got to bring your `A’ game every week to be successful.”
 
What kind of atmosphere do you expect here Saturday for USC?:
“I would expect it to be cranked up. Our fans have done a nice job of that, really creating an advantage for us at home. I would expect it’s going to be packed and they’re going into it. A 5 o’clock game, they should be primed and ready to go.”

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  • David

    “But as we talked about moving forward, kids are pretty resilient. They’re more resilient than the coaches most of the time.”

    Arghh… I’m glad to hear the kids are resilient, but FIRST and foremost the coaches need to be as much, if not more. I didn’t really like hearing that one.

  • C.J. Roses

    “It’s on the coaches….” Tedford should have stopped there.

  • abe

    Yep, for all the lack of execution, especially on offense, it really seems like Oregon came with a far superior game plan. If we had executed better that could have amounted to a closer, perhaps more competitive, I still think we would have lost the game in the end simply because Oregon had better game plan. I was especially disturbed by how little, if any at all, pressure Masoli had to deal with. I really believe that Bob heavily underestimated Oregon’s passing offense coming into this game and I think that led to a game plan, defensively that is, centered around that underestimation. Shear pain.

  • Robert

    Is Tedford trying to convince himself that the players didn’t quit? That is questionable. Same with Gregory. He seemed to lay down…

  • rollonubears

    the game plan was abysmal on both sides of the ball. and there were no adjustments, on either side of the ball. yes, tedford, the long bomb wasn’t working against oregon, so why did you continue to go to it, all day? the kids were so wound up on the field that their first mistake was enough to derail the entire team, mentally. they had a chance to stick to oregon in the first 5 minutes. we may still have lost, but it would have been an entirely different game. coaches failed to sense it then, and fail to accept it now. my bears deserve better than that.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    It is the responsibility of the coaches to put the team in the position to win. That means mental as well as physical. Your team was not prepared sufficiently in either category. Let’s begin with your QB. He has a million dollar arm and a 1 cent brain. Seriously!!!! Tedford job is to either replace your QB with another one more suited to the offense or to simplify the offense so that a neanderthal can understand it. It has been widely known that he shrunk the field in half for “Jesus in cleats” and that is why the kid never did well in the pros. He could not read NFL defenses. However he did have a good final season in college. Let’s take your defense next. They simply quit against the Ducks. Players quit when they do not feel like they can make plays because coaches have no confidence in them. Why should they give it up 110% when the coaches aren’t? You see the problem? YOur defensive schemes are deplorable. Bring the heat especially on passing downs. Oregon pinned their ears back and came at you with everything.

    Your loss was definitely on the coaches. As for the taunting penalties that is always because the player lacks confidence in his abilities. He doesn’t think he can get the job done consistently and attempts to psyche out his opponent. I will add some more thoughts later.

  • GoldenBear 77

    As a former player, I can say it is a shared responsibility. Yes, it is the coaches’ responsibility to prepare, but ultimately, it is the players who execute. This nightmare falls on everyone. Now the fun part begins — does the team respond like after the loss in Tennessee in 2006, or like the loss against Oregon State in 2007. I love college football for the character of the players and coaches. Now is the time to see how ours will respond. Go Bears.

  • Pete Carroll

    It is an all around loss. The offense couldn’t sustain a drive to keep the defense off the field. The defense didn’t cover. Players took themselves out of position more often than the opponent. Coaches didn’t adjust play calling or schemes.

    I was very disappointed with Kevin Riley’s execution. He got very inaccurate with his throws and reads due to the pressure. It’s like last year, Riley doesn’t handle the pressure and can’t execute the passing game which doesn’t free up the running game. They needed to adjust the plays to make more executable passes.

    On top of that, Oregon looked great. They really were hitting on all cylinders.

  • calbear91

    GoldenBear77: I couldn’t agree more with your sentiment. Fascinating from a leadership perspective to see how people respond. Go Bears!

  • Calduke

    I am a big JT fan and I’m convinced he has truely upgraded Cal football, BUT, his Sunday night comments don’t seem to recognize his team’s problems. I hope the coaches have been made aware of their unproductive schemes and decisions.

    This is a convenient time to stomp on JT, but, boys and girls, for the last 5 years JT has had to face saturday game days having to choose from Ayoob, Longshore, Riley. He has done a great job considering his choices.

    The Bears need to win Saturday to stay in the top 25, otherwise, they will be ‘others receiving votes’ along with Stanford, UCLA and Arizona.
    If you had attended the first 2 games and watched the Bears in person you could see that they don’t have the talent nor versatility to be a top 15 team. The coaches
    are doing the best they can with what they have.

    Sorry to have to stay these things, but, reality has arrived.

    I think the Bears will take this game Saturday.

  • ToparchiBear

    Lady and Gentleman:

    Welcome to College Football. Any thing can happen. Look at the top of the ranking world in the last couple of weeks. Beside, #1, and 2, they all crumbled.
    I do believe they prepare hard, right after the day they took down the Minny. However, they could not excecuted. In this game, I had to give the Oregon credit that they knew what was comming, so, they went all out to.

    One thing I didn’t agree to the play calling was that, they did not have much action plays. The only few that action play applied, they gained big yardage. And, why not had some short passed mixed in the play, intead of long bombs. The percentage of long bomb are always low. And, Best always fast to run outside, and none was executed. And, what worked the last few games, they didn’t implemented at all.

    I hope they do change some play calling next week against the $C.

  • Bearupthere

    We need to be more DIVERSE in our play calling. I’m seeing the same plays, or slight variations, called 3/4 times each game.

    If I know what’s coming at times…you can be damn sure the opponents who have been watching hours of film know too.

    And we’re not adapting to what the defense is doing. 8 in the box with man on the corners is begging for short/ medium depth crossing routes and slants. I can’t remember anything but long stemmed routes from our receivers (who are obviously not getting much separation).

    Riley is also locking on his receivers too long…Against SC’s cover 2 you have to move the zone with your eyes (which Riley seldom does/ or is not asked to do).

  • rdchokjo

    With a Heisman candidate in the line up why not let him
    carry at least 25-30 times a game. The ball’s not heavy. (John Mc Kay)

    Looks like JT was looking to the $C game and got plucked…………

  • Pug

    I agree the coaches didn’t do a very good job but I also agree the players made some bad mistakes. If Riley hits Tucker, or if Tucker can make a great catch, on the first drive it’s a TD. If Ezeff doesn’t fumble away his fumble recovery it’s great field position with the Bears leading. If Tucker doesn’t get called for taunting, a stupid mental error, it’s great field position again and the game is still close.

    It did look like the Bears quit at 18-3 but it wouldn’t have been 18-3 without mistakes the players made.

    I didn’t understand the opening of the second half, either. Riley connected on a 56+ yard pass on the first play, then they follow that up with three straight incompletions. They abandoned their offense just when they had a chance to get going.

  • Oski88

    I do not think his comments after the game were for the benefit of fans except for the last one. He is not going to say, boy, we really sucked. Frankly, the players played terribly. There may not have been a great game plan, but it was the standard Cal game plan. No other Tedford team just rolled over, even two years ago. This was a game where the offensive line gave up, where the defensive line got pushed around by a bunch of new Oregon offensive linemen. We got manhandled. Regardless of the score, the players quit, and I don’t care what the coach says or does not say – that is on them.

    It is not like Tedford is the worst coach in the world that would drive these folks to quit on him. I think most players actually like the coaches and the coaching staff. The question is, why did they quit? Was it because they saw their season go up in flames, and started to pout? This was a personal disgrace to the players.

  • Rob

    Oregon fan here. We were as surprised as you were that the Ducks played the way they did. Having sat through the three previous games, I assumed that our ineffective passing game would hold us to fewer than 20 points and that you’d put up at least 38 on us. I am even more surprised, however, to see the Ducks ranked below you in the two polls that count, given what occurred on Saturday afternoon. Had we won by seven, I could understand the pollsters chalking the Bears loss up to a “bad day at Autzen.” But a 39-point loss suggests that there may be more going on, either positively for Oregon or negatively for the Bears. Why don’t the pollsters see it?

  • CalBear

    Two Words: Bob Gregory. Regardless of Riley missing throws, or stupid penalties, or weak line play, it is no damn secret Oregon plays the Zone Read. The optimum word there is “ZONE”. So, a prepared defense plays man, or, at least, hybrid man/zone, with blitzing DB’s.
    OK….let’s say, for some reason, Gregory was high, or had some surprise zone scheme to fool Oregon. Didn’t work, Bob. Masoli has too much time to find receivers in the flat, and just wait til one gets a step on a LB. So, at half time, adjust, right? Wrong. Gregory came out with the same stupid defense, no pass rush, no blitz, no heat. Masoli was playing sand-lot football, just hanind off once in a while.
    Wait…there was one blitz…I think it was Bishop…and Masoli lofted it up to his leaping TE in the middle, who caught it, slipped through 2 missed tackles, and scored. Bob, wtf were you smoking, and how come JT doesn’t blame u at all???

  • jpf

    I love Jeff Tedford and what he has done for Cal. But one thing that kind of bothers me is the whole “balance for balance’s sake.” Balance is important as a FINAL statistic because it reflects success in both phases. But balance creates predictability if you over-rely on it as a philosophy DURING a game. Tedford needs to go back to his philosophy of coaching to the SITUATION. Which is what made Aaron Rodgers SOOOO good. He was a good QB athletically but he was a GREAT QB tactically. He knew what to do based on the moment, not on how many times Best had touched the ball or even if they were in a “passing down.” It was the only time that Cal hasn’t had a predictable offense.

    As for the defense Saturday…no excuse.