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Football: Sunday night update

The Bears got back together tonight after the weekend off and seemed to have an extra bounce in their step. After the offense wrapped up the final period of practice going against the scout team defense, they gathered in a huddle and began jumping and chanting, as though they would before taking the field before a game. Moments later, the defense did the same thing. Then the whole team converged and punctuated it with some more hooting and hollering before breaking into stretch position to wrap up practice.

Coach Jeff Tedford had said while he wanted his players to spend some time thinking about UCLA over the weekend, he also wanted them to get away from the game a bit and “decompress” so they would come back to the practice field refreshed.

“I felt like they came back today pretty refreshed and ready to go,” Tedford said. “We got a little bit of the game plan in last week so they were able to focus on a little of that today. It gives them an extra day. They were ready to practice.”

The Bears will do things a little differently this week by taking busses down to UCLA  instead of their usual charter flight. The decision was made in an effort to cut some costs in light of the current economy. But their expenses won’t be cut quite as much because  the team has decided to travel Thursday night rather than Friday, which means an extra night in a hotel.

Tedford said the decision to leave Thursday was made after Monday’s announcement that the game will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. He feared too late an arrival Friday might make the team feel rushed for kickoff, something he thought might have been a problem on last year’s road trip to Maryland.

“We are going Thursday night so we don’t run into a deal of bussing down there late Friday, having a late walkthrough and then having a 12:30 game,” Tedford said. “We will for sure have gotten over the bus ride. I don’t think the bus ride will be an issue. If anything, the bus ride will let us have some position meetings. It gives us some extra time to all be together.”

Tedford said the original idea of bussing to Los Angeles was something that was suggested to him and he felt the program should do its part in helping the university troubled by the economy.

“We definitely want to do our part,” he said. “To do our part to alleviate some of the issues …we have a responsibility. But when it became a 12:30 game, we felt like it was necessary to go on Thursday.”

The Thursday departure won’t affect the Bears’ weekly routine. They will still practice at their normal time on Thursday and drive down that night. It will allow Cal to hold its Friday walkthrough at the Rose Bowl around the same time as kickoff.

Tedford said that left guard Matt Summers-Gavin (shoulder) and wide receiver Nyan Boateng (foot) still look promising to return Saturday. Both are doing more at practice but are still limited as of now. Boateng ran some routes on Sunday night and Tedford said he should be able to do even more at Tuesday’s practice. Summers-Gavin hasn’t participated in contact drills yet but may do so Tuesday.

But Boateng’s return might only offset another absence, as wide receiver Verran Tucker missed practice Sunday with what Tedford called a recurring calf problem. Tedford said Tucker has been experiencing intermittent swelling his calf for the past couple of weeks. Tucker was scheduled to see a doctor after practice tonight.

Tedford also had said reserve tight end Spencer Ladner may be back this week, but he said tonight that he’s not ready.

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.

  • calbear

    “We definitely want to do our part,” he said. “To do our part to alleviate some of the issues …we have a responsibility. But when it became a 12:30 game, we felt like it was necessary to go on Thursday.”

    Try cutting your salary… do you really deserve that much if our team isn’t prepared to play? How can you explain getting paid that much to score 6 points in 2 games? And one of those against a team that lost to a 0-12 squad.

    I’m not saying fire Tedford at all. He’s perfect. But…really, that much money?

  • rollonubears

    i think the alumni pay tedford’s salary, and the school pays for trips, but i see your point. he could cover it himself, but then it would probably be some sort of a violation. we’d get busted for that. usc probably does that on a regular basis.

  • mike

    he did take a 10% paycut in the salary portion payed by university.

  • Wingnut

    The two weeks of preparation should lead to at least 6 points for the O this week. Go Bears!

  • Robert

    Credit to JT for going down on Thursday to make sure the team is ready. Also, I like reading about the spirit of the players. Great job guys!!!!

  • Calduke

    Some unimportant info: Cal is favored by 3 points by those folks who bet money on games. It will be interesting to see if the odds hold through Friday

  • rollonubears

    Chalk up another Nobel Prize in Economics for the Bears!

  • Dan

    I wonder if I can catch a ride sown with them? I am going down for business (wink, wink) and will be staying down to go the game with 3 buddies. If I coul it would sure save my compnay money in this tough economy.

    Hey, hear’s an idea… if they win, they get to fly back. If they lose, they take the bus back and have to kick in their meal money to pay for gas. If the coaches stink again, how ’bout we leave them there??

  • Larry

    Too bad they didn’t show that lively practice attitude during the past 2 games. Instead they were standing around in a daze.

    I hope they got their stuff together with the time off this week.

    I can’t wait for this Saturday to get this stink off of our Bears.

  • calbear

    i sure as hell can. i have gone to LA since 03 and we have not won there. it is a curse.

  • CalAlum97

    Regarding Tedford and a salary reduction, sounds like this is something that’s either a work in progress or has been done already and just not reported…from August of this year:
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/08/03/SPMR193BBK.DTL

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    This Thursday arrival into LA looks to be an act of desperation. LA is a one hour flight from Oakland. Leave Friday morning and save the cost on the hotel. Plus missing another day of school can’t be a good thing.

  • Will

    Let’s do this, baby! No matter how much we stunk it up the last couple of weeks, I’ll stick with these boys through the end of the year. Let’s turn this ship around against UCLA.

    and Rollon…yup, way to go professor williamson!

  • MoreNCsarecoming
  • Will

    Sorry Moren…are you trying to say something? Or is that just a pest flying around my ear? I can’t really hear what you’re saying LOL!