By Jonathan Okanes
Thursday, November 5th, 2009 at 10:09 pm in Mid-week.
A couple of interesting notes from Thursday after talking to defensive coordinator Bob Gregory:
–We now have a better explanation why safety Marcus Ezeff hasn’t played quite as well as the past couple of years and has fallen out of the starting lineup. Ezeff has been practicing in full just one day a week. It turns out Ezeff has one class he needs to take to graduate by December, and that class is only offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays during practice. It ends in time for Ezeff to join the team for about the last 10 minutes of practice. He practices in full on Wednesdays.
Gregory said it didn’t make sense for Ezeff to simply take some other classes just to play football and extend his stay at Cal another semester just to take the class next semester.
“That’s a guy taking care of business first,” Gregory said. “He’s getting his degree from Cal. That’s a good deal.”
Gregory said it’s been hard for Ezeff to maintain a high level of play because of all the practice time missed, especially when you consider he always misses Tuesday’s practice, the only day during the week Cal goes in full pads.
“It’s just hard to get better, especially at that position, if you’re only practicing one day a week,” Gregory said. “I feel totally bad for him. We all do.”
–Gregory said Josh Hill will continue to start at corner opposite Syd’Quan Thompson. When asked if Darian Hagan will play Saturday, Gregory said “We’ll see.” Gregory said Hagan is no longer suspended but implied that Bryant Nnabufie and Chris Conte might see the field before Hagan. “I think Bryant did a good job when he went in there and i thought Chris Conte played well.”
–While Gregory said the four starting linebackers — Eddie Young, Mike Mohamed, Devin Bishop and D.J. Holt — will remain the same, he expects Mychal Kendricks to see more playing time. That might be because Gregory needs as much team speed on the field as possible to contend with Oregon State’s explosive Rodgers brothers — Jacquizz and James. “They’re awesome,” Gregory said. “It’s a big challenge. People say they only have two guys. But those two guys are good.”
–Gregory said Sean Cattouse will continue to start at safety. Cattouse played well against Arizona State on Saturday and has emerged as a vocal leader of the defense. “He’s a very positive leader,” Gregory said. “He has kind of a special deal. I think he’s going to be a really good football player and good leader for us. He’s leading these guys right now.”
–Coach Jeff Tedford officially ruled out left guard Matt Summers-Gavin (shoulder) and nose tackle Derrick Hill (stinger) for a second straight week. No decision yet if Mark Boskovich or Richard Fisher will start for Summers-Gavin. Aaron Tipoti will continue to start in place of Hill.
–Tedford said the kicking duties will once again be a gametime decision, but did say that as of “right now, it would be Giorgio (Tavecchio).”