The Bears have cut short their practices by a few minutes each day this week because the sessions themselves are so intense. Cal is really focusing on tempo and conditioning as it prepares for Oregon.
The Bears are doing more scout team work than usual, as they try to simulate Oregon’s fast-paced offense. Today, wide receiver Coleman Edmond simulated quarterback Darron Thomas, wide receiver Kaelin Clay was running back LaMichael James and wide receiver Tevin Carter played the part of Oregon wideout Jeff Maehl.
Jeff Tedford said the defense is doing extra running sideline to sideline between plays to help get ready for the speed and tempo of the game.
Both Tedford and defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast said they were happy with the way the scout team was emlulating Oregon. They also both admitted there is now way to really simulate it perfectly until they take the field.
Pendergast said he is planning to use a lot of players against Oregon to keep guys fresh and keep up with the pace. He said there is also a concern with that because not all of the players he wants to play in the game will get a lot of reps during the week.
“You have to be able to play people,” Pendergast said. “You have to get the reps to be able to play well in the game. Getting everybody reps during the week when you know you’re going to play a lot of guys makes you a little uncomfortable.
“We feel like we’re going to use a lot of people. We want to have fresh bodies. The biggest concern I have is the amount of reps those backups get in practice. We’ll be monitoring that. You hope they learn as much as they can from watching film and in the meeting room, but you can’t ever simulate the full speed until you get out there. We’re going to have to play a lot of guys, and that is a big concern of mine.”
Pendergast admitted Mike Mohamed’s cast may have affected him last week. He said he couldn’t shed a few blocks that could have probably stopped running plays sooner. But Mohamed seems to be more comfortable with the cast now that he’s played a whole game with it. Mohamed has surgery last week on his thumb.
“He got stuck on a couple of blocks last week,” Pendergast said. “A couple of those runs, if he had two arms and two hands he would have got off those blocks. He had some limitations but I think it was more of a feel type thing to get through it. Now he’s had it on for a week so I anticipate him being better than he was last week.”