Football: Monday update

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.”

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.

  • David

    Glad to hear Mansion is playing better. He has the most awesome name ever

  • Juancho

    That’s pretty cool to hear about Tedford firing the guys up. That’s one of the critiques I’ve had on him. I didn’t know he did that type of stuff pre-game. Hopefully he keeps it up.

  • That young secondary for the Bears looks promising, Steve Williams has impressed me each time I’ve seen him this year.

  • Jan K Oski

    How does Anthony beat out Hagan? I’m sorry, but I’ve never seen a corner look so out of place on so many plays as Anthony. Is anyone else seeing the same thing this year?

  • RandUmBear

    I’m still not sold on the Bears after the win. I grew up with a schizophrenic father. He was violent on some days and on other days he was the happiest person I had ever known. It drove me crazy growing up. This win over ASU doesn’t mean anything if the Bears don’t show up this saturday, or the saturday after that or the…you get the picture. A schizophrenic team drives me crazy. If Tedford and the team want me and my family to show up at the Fan Appreciation Day in 2011, I would like them to show up every saturday. I’m not demanding a win. I just want them to show up so that I can be proud to be a Golden Bear.

  • tightwad phil

    Yeah, it’s good to hear that Tedford actually got fired up and head butted somebody. It’s also good to hear that he still has a pulse and circulation. Watching him stand stoic on the sidelines during that disaster at U$C, I was wondering whether he was maybe a cyborg.
    From my perch on Tightwad, I actually saw him step on the field and yell at Riley after one of those boneheaded sacks. It was good to see him show some passion. I’m not sayin I want Mike Stoops out there, but damn, coaches, show a little anger, a little happiness, a little life. Butt heads, slap backs, give hugs, give high fives, get in players’ faces, get the boys fired up!

  • Hungry

    If Tedford really wants to prepare Mansion for Spring next year he needs to give him some serious playing time, with some pass plays as well.

  • Bears07

    I too noticed a bit of Tedford’s enthusiasm during the game (on TV). I think it was toward the end of the game but as Sofele was coming off the field, Tedford gave him a big smiling one-handed hug. In disbelief, I had to watch it again to confirm it was Tedford. Not sure if he’s been doing this all along and we’re only noticing it now since we’re looking for it, but nonetheless it’s nice to see that there’s passion on the sidelines.

  • SteveNtexas

    Hungry is correct.. Let’s see what we have at QB and let Mansion throw. Mansion and Allen might be a great combination.

  • Rocko

    I am shure he throws to Allen in practice. What do you want another Longshore/Riley fiasco. Sorry but you put Mansion in at the end of the game. I think he threw one pass Saturday. Maybe if he hadn’t fumbled that resulted in an ASU touchdown he would have thrown more. He was lucky that Tedford put him back in the game.

  • rollonubears

    i like our chanced up there in the middle of the day. playing at night, in the cold, on halloween eve, against a team that wears orange and black…it’s a bad combination. daytime games take the crowd out of things, although the bears got walloped at u$c.

  • Juancho

    I’d like to see Mansion start one or two games at the end of the year. Other than Stanford.

    If he goes through a week preparing as the starter, he’ll learn a lot about what it takes and get some silly mistakes out of the way this year and be more ready next year. Plus he’ll have a starter in Riley to ask questions.

  • rollonubears

    that would be great, but it might severely compromise our chances to make a bowl game, which is a big deal for $ and recruiting, and for the players and alumni, too. we’re not a lock for a bowl, by any stretch, so unless we have 7 wins, I’m guessing we won’t see mansion at all, unless he’s in as part of a blowout.

  • GldnBear71

    I am very skeptical of our ability to beat OSU. We haven’t had very good success against them.

  • rollonubears

    we haven’t won a road game all season. that doesn’t help, either.

  • covinared

    thanks for sharing your feelings. the odds makers agree. I am optimistic about our chances.

  • Bears

    That cut on Tedford’s nose is vintage coach Tedford. He’s no pretty boy, he’s a tough sob, his internal fire burns hot. He showed it more his first few years as HC. I’m glad he’s getting back to his roots showing a little more of who he is. This past game was Tedford at his best on the sideline. We came off bad loss, rain and small crowd and he clearly was ready for the game and had his team breathing fire.
    I think Tedford has turned a corner as a HC. He hit a lull and now appears to have caught a 2nd wind. I hope he keeps it up!
    Loved the cut and the controlled aggression and leadership he displayed Saturday vs ASU. Now need to build off it and sustain it!
    Go Bears!

  • Juancho

    I agree with you Rollon. But that assumes we lose those games Mansion starts. I’m also not necessarily saying I would play him the whole game. Give him the experience of what it’s like to prepare with the team seeing you as the starter all week. Then if he comes out and doesn’t get it done – have a quick trigger and take him out. Like the Raiders do.

    Not being bowl eligible isn’t worth the risk. But if it’s already clear we won’t be bowl eligible, then it would be a good time to get Mansion that experience. There’s no replacement for experience. Just like when someone’s promoted to a manager at work. You can think about it and prepare for the day all you want. But until it’s real, it’s not REAL.

    Bears I am on board with your comment. I hope coach Tedford has turned the corner. I’ve always felt great gratitude to him for his turnaround of our program. I’ve critiqued him over the past year or so for what I perceived as a lack of fire. Of course how the hell do I know if he has the fire or not, all I do is see the games on TV. But if he can get back to the pre-Oregon State Tedford that was up with the ups and down with the downs – I will be a happy alumn.

  • Pug

    Tedford is 2-6 vs. Oregon State.

    Either it’s hopeless or the Bears are due to win one.

  • OSU is a solid team but the Bears are better than them, when they want to be of course. I think we have a good chance provided they get the coaching that they need this week. Am I the only one left in the dark about Sweeney? Did I miss something? Why isn’t he getting any reps? I figured he pissed off Tedford. Maybe he’ll see the field in another two years or so.

  • Calduke

    Jan Oski

    Please help me!!
    Where is Bridgeford??
    Where is Hinder??

  • Steve W

    The key to a Cal victory Saturday lies with a player on the other team – Oregon State’s sophomore QB. If Katz plays like he did at Arizona and throws accurately for 300 yards or so – and Quiz sneaks in his average of 110 yards on the ground – then OSU wins the game.

    If the Bears can stuff the Quiz early and rattle Katz off his game with some hurries and sacks, then Cal wins. Sounds cliche, I know, but I think we will have a clear winner in this game after the first quarter. The first two Cal possessions will be critical. I think everyone knew that Cal was going to lose after its first two possessions against SC.

  • rollonubears

    i like it when we start on defense. our defense is stronger than our offense. i think tedford has started to realize that and has elected to defer when winning the toss. it’s so much nicer to get that ball again in the second half. you always feel like you’re down 7-less than you are, if you happen to be down.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    It will take 3 of your OL to block Steven Paea. BTW anyone hear the latest rumors about Moala from Grant?