The Bears continued their bye week practices Thursday, going in full pads and doing some more game planning for UCLA.
For the veterans, this was really the last practice until next Monday. Friday, as is tradition during the bye week, Cal’s younger players will scrimmage while the veterans will simply do conditioning. Then players and coaches will part ways for the weekend.
A couple of notes:
–Cal coach Jeff Tedford said it’s still too early to determine if some freshmen will redshirt. He said he still hasn’t made a decision with receivers Kaelin Clay and Tevin Carter because injuries can change the plans quickly. He said it’s when there are three or four games left in the season that he starts getting concerned about burning a player’s year of eligibility.
–Speaking of receivers, Tedford said he is hopeful that JC transfer Coleman Edmond will make an impact at some point this season. He compared his development to former receiver Verran Tucker, another JC transfer who took about a half a year to get comfortable in the offense and then became a major factor in the offense.
“Coleman is coming along,” Tedford said. “He just has to be patient. Every week is a new week.”
–Tedford said he has been happy with the development of Clay and Carter in practice, although Carter has been hampered by a hamstring injury recently.
Now, less than an hour away. Hope to see everyone there.
I visited with Mike Montgomery for a few minutes this morning, and he’s happy with the state of all his players, and encouraged by what he’s seen so far from his five freshmen.
“Their attitude’s terrific,” Montgomery said. “They had a great summer, really worked hard and look good physically. They’re freshmen making an adjustment both academically and on the basketball floor. They’re just freshmen and they’re going to be freshmen ’til they’re not. There’s a learning curve, but I like their talent level, like their attitude.”
Cal currently has just 10 available scholarship players, so the freshmen — Allen Crabbe, Gary Franklin Jr., Richard Solomon, Alex Rossi and Emerson (not Cameron!) Murray — all will get the chance to make substantial contributions.
Here’s what Monty had to say on various other topics:
Cal may have a bye week, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have another live chat. See you tomorrow, 1-2 p.m.
The Bears used Wednesday to get a jump start on UCLA, beginning to put the game plan in for the Bruins. Of course, topic No. 1 with UCLA is its pistol offense, and if Cal can have any better luck stopping it than it did against Nevada.
There are two major differences between UCLA’ pistol and Nevada’s: it’s new to the Bruins, and UCLA doesn’t have a 6-foot-6, strong-armed quarterback who runs like the wind.
“They’re just starting out with it so I don’t know that they do quite as many things as Reno does,” Tedford said. “But they’re still efficient with what they do.”
While UCLA quarterback is athletic, he isn’t the unique athlete that Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick is. Kaepernick also is in his fourth year running the offense while this is just the first for Prince.
“(Kaepernick) has been in it for a long time, so he really understands it,” Tedford said. “Secondly, he’s fast. Not that Prince isn’t — when Prince gets out on the edge, he can hurt you as well. But (Kaepernick) is just used to that offense. That’s his offense, and he runs it perfectly. UCLA does a nice job with it, but they’re not as in-depth as Nevada, as of yet.”
The Bears will hold a full pad practice tomorrow and continue preparing for UCLA. On Friday, Cal’s younger players will scrimmage while the veterans do conditioning. Then the team will break for the weekend and meet back up on Monday to continue game planning for UCLA.
Jeff Tedford said today that he feels bad about the sports that were cut from Cal’s athletic program yesterday and that the football program will continue to try to be creative in cutting costs.
“The football budget has been reduced. We do everything we can,” Tedford said. “It’s a team effort. Everybody has to shoulder the burden of the budget crisis and things like that. We try everywhere we can to make sure that we’re very responsible with the budget and do our part.
“It’s unfortunate that athletes and coaches have to make different plans. It’s never a pleasant situation when something like that happens. It’s unfortunate, but something that needed to be done. We’re going to continue to do our part to make sure we’re responsible financially.”
Just to clarify, Tedford’s annual salary, which comes out to $2.8 million per season, doesn’t have much effect on the athletic department’s operating budget. Only a little over $200,000 of it is paid for by athletics. The overwhelming majority of his salary is paid through private donations.
The Pac-10 announced starting times for basketball games that will be produced by FSN. Cal games involved will be carried by CSNBA or CSNCA.
Here they are:
— Dec. 4: Cal at Iowa State, 11 a.m.
— Dec. 22: Kansas at Cal, 8 p.m.
— Jan. 6: Cal at Arizona, 7:30 p.m.
— Jan. 8: Cal at Arizona State, 11:30 a.m.
— Jan. 16: Washington at Cal, 7 p.m.
— Jan. 27: Oregon State at Cal, 8 p.m.
— Feb. 20: UCLA at Cal, 7 p.m.
While chasing down interviews earlier today related to Cal’s athletic-department cuts, I got an unexpected call from David Kravish.
The 6-foot-9 forward from Lee’s Summit HS in the suburbs of Kansas City, Mo., confirmed what his coach told me on Monday, that he enjoyed his recruiting visit to Berkeley . . . and that he has no idea where he’ll end up playing college ball.
“I liked it a lot,” Kravish said of Cal. “I thought I’d be able to make a quick decision. It’s not going to be as quick.”
What did a Midwest kid think about Berkeley?
“It was kind of different, but not as different as everybody said it was going to be,” he said. “It’s a beautiful campus.”
Kravish said he cannot currently decide between Iowa, who he visited several weeks ago, and Cal. He has a trip scheduled to Colorado this weekend, and hopes to make a decision by next week.
But he knows it won’t be easy.
Here’s my notebook today, much of which was covered on the blog yesterday.
The Pac-10 announced the UCLA-Cal game on Oct. 9 will begin at 12:30 p.m. and be Fox Sports Net’s national telecast. It will air locally on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.