Football: Riley injury update

Just had a chance to talk with Kevin Riley before Cal’s weekly press conference. He said the biggest part of his injury is a torn calf near his knee. He also has sprains and strains to different knee ligaments and it was hyperextended as well. He said it should take him three months to recover, and he will stay involved with the team as much as possible. More later…

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.

  • noduck

    this is too bad. i’ve always pulled for riley. even in the summer of ’09 when i would tell you (and you would deny) in live chats that the oline was going to be problematic. i really think riley would have succeeded if he was given the opportunity by his teammates. the oline always hindered his success and now they allowed the end of his career. very unfortunate. marshall and tedford should be ashamed for letting inadequate protection exist for so long.

  • vereenmachine

    he overthrew receivers in just about every single game this year and threw picks at the worst times even when his oline was protecting him. its a shame that he got hurt but the team suffered a lot from having a qb of his quality. unfortunately it doesnt seem as if any of the backups are any quality either, seeing that mansion, our new starter, was a backup all year until about 2 weeks ago. also, tedford said that riley was way ahead of any of the other quarterbacks and that riley gave us the best chance to win. if thats the case, seeing as how bad riley was i cant even imagine how bad mansion and sweeney are. lets just hope bridgeford or hinder are any good.

  • wehofx

    does seem like marshall must shoulder some of the blame for the o line’s problems.

    Michalczik was/is a hella coach.

  • JMod

    What a shame. If we make it to a bowl game and he can walk in 2 months, maybe we can give him a ceremonial start where he hands the ball on the first play.

  • David

    Jmod, that is an awesome idea.

  • coolingfan

    “.. he will stay involved with the team as much as possible” says enough of his character. I really thank Kevin for what he did for the university.

  • Kent Wilson

    While I feel bad for Riley…I guess the silver lining in all of this, is that Brock and Beau are likely to get some actual game experience this year…which can only help us for 2011. Sadly, I don’t think Tedford would have ever let the backup QBs play as long as Riley was healthy.

    As for Tedford, he has been awful for the past 5 years…he was great for the first 3 seasons, but he has not prepared the team very well for the past 5 and arguably 6 seasons. For me the turning point for Tedford was his game day decisions during the 2004 Holiday Bowl against Texas Tech…when Cal’s running game was dominatating the Red Raiders and had gotten Cal back into the lead in the 2nd quarter, for some reason Tedford refused to stick to the ground game with JJ Arrington and rely of Aaron Rodgers throwing to inexperienced WRs (if I recall correctly, 3 of Cal’s top 4 WRs were out for that game). The other factor that game was that the Cal D had shown zero ability to stop the aerial attach of Tech and so a strategy of “control the clock by maintaining possession of the ball” seemed to be the obvious route for a Cal victory. The announcers at halftime all stated that Cal would win the game if they gave the ball to Arrington…I had been screaming at the TV screen saying the same thing after the 1st quarter…but Tedford, in his effort to “keep a balanced attack” did NOT feature Arrington as the primary offensive weapon and kept asking Rodgers to throw to inexperienced WRs (who dropped balls, tipped passes and turned them into INTs, and ran wrong routes).

    I go into all of this detail about a game that was nearly 6 years ago, becuase the local Cal media never questioned Tedford about his strategic approach in that game…(although the TV media – immediately 2nd guessed Tedford). It’s been Teflon Tedford for the local Cal media coverage…think about it.

    Cal has underperformed for each of the last 4 years. To me, having an 8-4 record is NOT a good season, when at the beginning of that season you are projected to go 10-2 or 11-1. That’s been the story of Cal with Tedford at the helm. For most of the past 5 seasons, Cal is projected to be the 2nd place team in the conference with only losses to USC (or Oregon in some years)…but Cal routinely would lose to USC and at least 3 other teams (see Tennessee, Maryland, OSU, Oregon, Washington).

    To put it another way, how many times has cal won a game when they were an underdog? How many times has Cal lost when they were favored? Somebody, please check Cal’s record for the past 5 years. I can only think of 1 victory when Cal was an underdog – 2007 victory over Oregon. I think there have been at least 15 losses over the past 5 years when they were a favored team. Having 1 upset victory against 15 losses when you are favored is not acceptable for a coach who is getting paid nearly $3 Million a year.

    Either fire Tedford or Reduce his salary to $800,000.

  • Juancho

    I find it funny and uplifting at the same time that we’re still wondering “if we make it to a bowl game.”

    This team was less than mediocre with Riley in there, and according to Tedford he gave us the best shot to win. So if Tedford’s right Mansion is a downgrade.

    We’re not going to a bowl folks. But I agree with Kent Wilson. The good news is Brock will get meaningful time now and will prepare during the week as a starter. He’ll be ready next year. As long as Tedford doesn’t ruin his psyche like he did with Riley he’ll be fine.

  • rollonubears

    i’d rather not have a senior qb all next season. that doesn’t make much sense. isn’t mansion a jr this year? if he closes strong, AND leads us to a bowl game, fine, otherwise, time to give a freshman or sophomore a chance.

  • Juancho

    That’s a good point Rollon. One thing I found interesting is how all of a sudden Mansion leapfrogged Sweeney after all this time he was seen as the # 3. My initial reaction was, here goes Tedford again with being overloyal. And my cynical side thought that Mansion got the nod because he has seniority on Sweeney. Who knows what’s really going on.

    It still amazes me that we’ll have 6, count ’em, 6 quarterbacks on scholarship next year. That’s insane.

  • Beaver Fan

    I’m an OSU alum – and was sorry to see Riley go down in Corvallis. He played at Beaverton HS near me, his father was the coach at Beaverton then, he is now head coach at a rival school. My daughter played water polo with Riley’s sister.

    I’m sure Riley had a lot of family and friends at that game, and it was disappointing to see him injured early in the game. Regardless of what you might think of his performance to date, hate to see a senior go out for the season.

    Having said all that, I tend to agree with the comments re: Cal/Riley/Tedford above – Beaver fans always have a healthy respect for what they might be able to do, but they don’t always deliver. Don’t despair, we went through 30 years of hell (losing) and any bowl game looks good to us. Also tough to be the second Pac 10 school in a state with the Ducks these days.

  • Eric

    Kent – you have channeled what I have posted for 2 years. I was at the Holiday Bowl, and was screaming for all the fans around me what you were screaming. For years my kids’ favorite Cal saying was “run the ball, Tedford”

    You’ll probably get attacked by the increasingly marginalized set of Cal fans (and, unlike them, I respect them for being Cal fans) who justify Tedford’s grossly inflated salary and obvious mediocrity since the 2004 Holiday Bowl (disguised by better talent) because Tedford isn’t Holmoe and the fact that Cal has gone to a bowl game every year since 2003. They conveniently ignore the declining performance, the blowout losses to inferior opponents, the failure to beat anyone in statement games (except for Oregon in 2007 and Furd last year), the maddening revolving door of coaches, and the inconsistent approach to player personnel. But one by one they are seeing what many of us have seen for years.

  • Dan

    Kent Wilson- GREAT post. Really well stated and I think you are SPOT on with everything you said. Though Tedford at $800K will never happen when he is locked and loaded at $2.8M until $2.8M. I have a hunch his contract will become a MAJOR embarassment and get a lot more attention in the media pretty soon.

    A couple other points/adds-

    Aside from losing when favored and never upsetting anybody, we now get absolutely clobbered in just embarassing, humiliating, unacceptable fashion in our losses. Forget the home-away thing, it’s that good to very good teams just anihilate Cal with lesser, equal or slightly better talent. They do it it all with better coaching- player development, offensive and defensive philosophies, game planning and play calling-not to mention the mental side of things. All just terrible.

    Finally, the local media has been soft on Tedford because they don’t care, the bay area in general doesn’t care, and they are afraid to piss Tedford off. Tedford was a jerk lately to a particular local media member that actually had the guts to ask him 2 tough questions back to back a couple of weeks ago at his weekly Tuesday press conference. So I think the media figures why bother. If Tedford was many of the top programs around the country at his salary and his performance for the past several years, I agree going back to the 2004 Texas Tech Holiday Bowl, he would be getting crucified and would have the hottest of seats. Here? Meh.

    I hope the media will start to see the cases being stated on forums like this and will start to take Tedford to task a little bit, and when his gives all the lame, banal, redundant answers, that they would start to push back.

    On another note, did you all relaize we won the 4th quarter Saturday?

  • Dan

    Where’s the accountability? I have often referred to Tedford as the CEO of the Cal football program, but I read somebody else post that within the past couple of days in relation to his $2.8 annual compensation, it just struck me so strongly. This guy would have been fired by most corporations for now several years of declining performance and the bottom falling out this season. But he won’t even be taken to task. What a joke.

    Another state employee with (near) lifetime employment. Great business model. He is the 2nd coming of Ben Braun.

  • Uh Oh


    didn’t we win the 4th qtr b/c the Beavers must have had their 2nd or 3rd stringers in by that point in the game, going up against our (still trying to score and salvage respect) #1’s?

  • Uh Oh

    I will disagree with Kent Wilson’s statement that

    “an 8-4 record is NOT a good season, when at the beginning of that season you are projected to go 10-2 or 11-1.”

    Did you not live thru the 70’s and 80’s when we stank? When you consider our painful history, and that 50% of all teams lose and that 8-4 represents a win rate of 66%, that’s not bad. Not barn burning, but you can’t say it was “not a good season”. Further, projections are based on the confidence media members have in a program, which is based on how the team finished the prior season, how many returning starters the team has, and what kind of new recruits in the pipeline there are. That Coach Tedford has been able to gain such confidence in professional watchers is a sign of success. And yet, those watchers opinions don’t really mean anything. So, if you are going to put stock in them, be proud they think so much of the program, but at the same time, I’m saying NOT to put stock in them b/c they are simply meaningless outside comments. You can’t fire a coach b/c of what media members think the team’s finishing record should be.

    And check out the comment by Beaver Fan:

    “Don’t despair, we went through 30 years of hell (losing) and any bowl game looks good to us. Also tough to be the second Pac 10 school in a state with the Ducks these days.”

    There’s a little honest perspective for you.

    I’m not saying that the Tedford trajectory is upward, or that we should be satisfied with what we’ve seen lately. Just saying that 8-4 ain’t at all all that bad. (How’s that for sentence structure? ha ha ha)