Lots of good stuff today at practice. Everyone is always in a better mood after a 50-17 win, especially compared with last Monday when the Bears were attempting to move on from the USC disaster.
One thing that we never got to after the game Saturday is why Jeff Tedford was bleeding before the game and had a cut on the bridge of his nose. Turns out Tedford, while doing his usual routine of wishing each player well before a game, got a little fired up with linebacker Jarred Price and ended up head-butting him. The top of Price’s face mask caught Tedford’s nose.
“It was just a high energy moment,” Tedford said. “I got caught up.”
Tedford reiterated that Brock Mansion is the No. 2 quarterback moving forward. This is a big deal for Mansion, who has spent more than a year buried on the depth chart even though he came to the program with more expectations than Beau Sweeney and is a year older.
Now, Mansion appears to be moving into good position to get ready for the quarterback competition that will ensue in the spring.
“I’m trying to stay with what I’ve been doing all season and not get ahead of myself,” Mansion said. “I got back to where I wanted to be but I have to keep a level head and keep doing the things I’ve been doing.
“I want to establish myself more concretely with the offense and grow more trust with the coaches. But it’s going to be good the rest of the season if I can just maintain what I have here.”
Mansion has always had all the physical tools. He’s big, mobile, has a strong arm and can throw on the run. But being in complete control of the offense has been a challenge in his development. He appears to be finally getting a total grasp of things.
“This year, I feel really comfortable with the game plans,” Mansion said. “My mechanics kind of transferred over from understanding what we’re trying to do. I feel like I’m a lot more comfortable this year with the offense and it’s helped me play a lot slower and make me concentrate on the smaller things. And I’m throwing the ball more accurately.”
It’s been a tough 13 months or so for Mansion. For awhile there, it appeared Sweeney was solidly the No. 2 quarterback and Mansion was a distant third.
“It’s been humbling, I’ll tell you that,” Mansion said. “It also gives me a chance to be a really good team player and help in any which way I can. I just hope I can continue to be as consistent as I have been.”
Tedford gushed about the way Mansion has handled things.
“Brock is an unbelievable young man,” he said. “He’s a team player all the way. He’s supportive of whoever is playing. He’s really into it on the sidelines. He epitomizes a team guy. He always has a great attitude and he’s always working hard.”
Other notes today:
- After saying safety Sean Cattouse earned more playing time with his performance Saturday, Tedford said his status on the depth chart this week is still up in the air. Cattouse got his second start of the season against ASU, primarily because the Bears used five defensive backs. “There’s no question he had a great game the other day,” Tedford said. “He’s earned his way by playing well and practicing hard, so that’s a good thing. I don’t know yet what the game plan is going to be. Clancy (Pendergast, defensive coordinator) will figure that out as the week goes along.”
- Tedford said Darian Hagan, who didn’t start Saturday, was the third cornerback behind Marc Anthony and Steve Williams. But that doesn’t mean it’s permanent. “Each week, depending on how they practice and compete and the energy they bring to practice – those types of things will dictate who is playing.”
- Speaking of Williams, Tedford was happy with his performance and felt bad for him that he missed a sure interception on the game’s first play from scrimmage. Williams had a ball bounce off his cast and into the hands of wide receiver T.J. Simpson. Williams had thumb surgery earlier this season. “He plays the ball very well,” Tedford said. “Sometimes it’s hard on corners when they’re running like that to judge how deep the ball is. He did a nice job judging the ball. It’s just unfortunate it bounced off his cast.”