Football: Bears try to move on

There were no solemn hymns playing, no announcements of dramatic changes, no grim reaper lingering nearby. The Bears returned to practice this morning and simply said they have to move on from Saturday’s disaster in Los Angeles.

“It’s one game. You look around football, things happen,” Tedford said. “Who would have thought Florida would lose three straight? It’s one game on our schedule and it’s very important that we learn from it and we prepare and we focus and get ready for this week.”

The reality is there is only so much the Bears can do after a loss like that. There is a growing faction of fans who would like to see Cal make a change at quarterback. But Saturday’s loss was about so much more than the quarterback that it probably wouldn’t make too much of an impact.

The question really is why did Saturday’s beatdown occur? Yes, USC still has talent, but based on the Trojans’ previous results so far this season, it’s clear they are not the team they once were. Even with a couple of leaner recruiting years, it’s hard to believe USC is that much more talented and athletic than Cal.

Were the Bears properly prepared? Properly motivated? Outschemed? Outcoached? These are valid questions.

One thing that is usually consistent is you don’t typically see a whole  lot of demonstrative emotion on the Cal sideline, good or bad. That’s obviously a reflection of  Tedford, who would prefer to keep his animated moments behind closed doors.

Some feel that the lack of emotion on the sideline hurts the Bears, that if they would get a little  more upset when things go bad they may turn things around. It can’t all be about schematics and correcting assignment mistakes, etc. Then again, that can make a difference as well.

“Of course, there is emotion that goes along with it,” Tedford said. “But is it going to do any good for  me to yell and scream and put guys down? When it’s needed, it’s there. There is definitely a time for emotion. You’re not happy when you’re losing.”

Tedford resisted the notion that the lack of animation on the sideline is an indication that it’s OK to be on the receiving end of such a beatdown.

“It’s not OK. If you want me to sit here and cuss and scream and things like that to give you the idea that it’s not OK, it’s not. Nobody thinks it is. Nobody feels like it is. But I’m not going to put on a show out here and yell at people. The things we talk about as a team inside, there’s emotion involved  with it.

“It’s not OK. Arizona, it wasn’t OK to lose by a point, either.  They know it’s not OK. We all know it’s not OK.”

Tedford said immediately after the game that he expects his on-field leaders to surface to make sure the team responds. But he said it takes a couple of days for that to happen because the loss is still so fresh right afterward.

“It’s an open wound,” he said. “It takes a day or two to sort of let it sink in. I think you need to process it and not act like it didnt’ happen. But it can’t be all-encompassing. We need to deal with it, which we did this morning. Now, we move forward. We’re 3-3 and every game is a new opportunity. That’s how we’re going to approach it.

“I do believe as the week moves on that with our leadership and work ethic, we’ll have a good week of practice.”

When asked if a game like Saturday’s might prompt some lineup changes, Tedford allowed that “some guys may get more playing time based off of performance. But he went on to say “you’re always looking to evaluate that to make sure you put the best guys on the field.” So it sounded more like a generic response more than one reacting to the USC game.

Back to the on-field leadership, linebacker Mike Mohamed is one of the guys who should be the most respected leader, of not the absolute most, on the team. Problem is Mohamed is a quiet guy. He’s admitted as such. He said repeatedly during the preseason that he had to become more vocal, but knew it would be a hard task for him.

Well, if the Bears ever need on-field leadership, it’s now.

“I’m just going to try to be as positive as I can and encourage the guys and focus on this next game,” Mohamed said today. “I”m going to have  to step up, whether  it’s just a couple of words at meetings  or practice. I just think I have to keep encouraging and staying positive and guys will respond to that. I still have my head up. I’m still optimistic. I think that will translate to some of the other players.”

Mohamed also address this notion that  the team might benefit from more displays of anger.

“As long as you get (ticked) off  in the right way,” he said. “You don’t want to get mad at each other, but you want to get mad at what happened and take it out on the next  opponent. You don’t want to get guys turning on each other.”

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.

  • rollonyoubears111

    As a doctor, if my patient is dying in front of me, my approach is entirely different from someone with a chronic medical condition. A “code blue” is called and people are called in to help revive the patient. I would be firm and direct people to their respective assignments- all with a sense of controlled urgency- I get excited and almost yell. But I yell out constructive things. Being emotional doesn’t mean that you swear or cuss. You have to show that you have control of the matter, but that you also care. It’s a given that you care, but leadership means more than standing there and calling out the next play.

    I think that people are alluding to the lack of going up to, say, the right guard and telling him to “smack a huge whole for your running back! We’re counting on everyone!”. It’s a given that the players are supposed to do this, just as we are supposed to perform chest compressions on someone without a pulse. But what if the chest compressions aren’t working? What if something is going wrong? We have to step up our game while thinking of our differential diagnosis.

    Practice is like taking an ACLS course on an orphan annie dummie. You have a controlled situation. It’s a time to coach, to make up for mistakes that may arise during a real code. But when you perform cpr on a live human being. You have to step it up, ESPECIALLY when things are going poorly. This is when it’s REALLY a time to coach.

  • Scott

    Tedford doesn’t have to limit his emotion to yelling and cussing. He can show emotion on the positive side and maybe smile once in awhile and go over and pat players on the back or high five them after a good play. Nothing. Ever. My Tedford bobblehead doll here at work shows more emotion. Pete Carroll realized that being on TV is a chance to perform and sell yourself and your team to recruits and their moms. Hubba Hubba! Great job guys! Whee! Ain’t this great!

    Jeff, take off those sunglasses and show the world there is a fired up human being under there! You look like a lifeless robot. Get excited and positive about being there and let that energy transfer to your players and fans. Show some life! Saturday was a lifeless energy-sucking experience for me watching the game and I had to get away from the TV before all my energy was vacuumed out of my body. But hey, at least we won the 2nd half!

  • GC

    Yes, you can listen to all the excuses. BUT, this CAL team was not prepared mentally or physically for this game. Tedford has to look into the mirror to see where the real problem is. When he is able to change then the team will change. Enough said.

  • bearupthere

    we were out-schemed big time. our passing game hasn’t been fooling anyone for the last 4 or 5 years.

  • Robert

    The problem is Tedford that it’s not ONE game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Your program has now lost 5 or 6 games by 30 or more points in the LAST YEAR AND A HALF!!!!!!!!!!

    That is a serious, serious MULTIPLE GAME PROBLEM!!!!

    You do not get it! You do not have a clue!

    Your players are not responding to YOU in these games.

  • Old Bear


    It’s worse when compared to the past.

    Tedford went 47 games before losing one by more than 14 points. (11-12-05 to USC 10-35 at Berkeley)

    By the end of his third season, Ted was an God. He got his 2 million plus out of the alumni (I was on the email that asked for a minimum of $5,000 to keep the genius). His reputation brought in the cash for the SAHPC. He was rumored to be on the short list for NFL jobs. Times have certainly changed.

    Go Bears! Saturday in the fall is Cal football!

  • Robert

    It’s so telling that Tedford seems to think that emotion is just cussing and screaming!

    He is clearly showing his lack of intellect.

    He just does not understand that there can be positive emotion; that means firing up his players to go out there and run through a wall!!!

    This isn’t chess you dolt!!!

    You don’t sit as a stoic person, moving around the field

  • konamike

    I could care less whether Tedford is emotional or isn’t. What I do care about is that when we come out of the tunnel, we’re ready to be physical. Generally, who controls both sides of the line of scrimmage usually wins the game. How can you be “high” one week for the JV’s (UCLA)and absolutely “flat” for SC the next? That’s a coaching issue. For the past few yrs., we’ve been consistently inconsistent in this regard. The last time we were “up” for a big game, and it showed, was Nate’s jr. yr. in Eugene when we beat the Ducks. There are legit reasons for losing but it should NEVER be because you’re beaten physically. As a head coach (plus the O & D coordinators) you’ve got to know the pulse of your team entering a game. Ours don’t seem to be very accurate at knowing if Bears or Lambs are coming out of the tunnel. Last week we got hit in the face early and didn’t hit back. The lopsided score didn’t bother me as much as watching us not put up a fight.

  • CalBearEnthu

    Tedford hasn’t had a very talented QB since Rodgers…I’m telling you guys, wait for Kyle Boehm…he’s the real deal.

  • Puhi

    I don’t see what the big deal about emotion is. Personally, I prefer Tedford’s coaching style to Mike Stoops’.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    9.CalBearEnthu Says:
    October 19th, 2010 at 11:20 am
    Tedford hasn’t had a very talented QB since Rodgers…—that’s a fair statement.

    I’m telling you guys, wait for Kyle Boehm…he’s the real deal.— As was Ayoob, Longshore, Riley, Bridgewater, mansion, Sweeney, Hinder, etc.

  • Golden Bear

    MoreNCS_are_ignored – troll post blocked

    Hey doorknob, give it up already.

    Tedford sucks but I hope you’re all ready to be stuck with him through 2015

  • jpf

    Block Amy if you haven’t already:

    that will give you “MoreNCS_are_ignored – troll post blocked” instead of whatever drivel it is spewing today.

  • OdeBesar1

    Maybe they should try holding football olympics on the sideline to spur up SOME emotion.