Football: Thursday report

After cutting the first two days of practice this week a little short, Cal worked overtime today.

Thursday is usually more of a polish day, so my guess is the extra  work with tempo, pace and conditioning was lightened a bit today. But coach Jeff Tedford was very happy with the look the scout team gave the defense this week, and the conditioning and pacing the team went through.

Tedford said another thing the defense has put an extra focus on this week is tackling. Against most spread offenses, there tends to be more open-field tackling. That becomes even more crucial against the Ducks because of their speed and athleticism.

“They get you in space and have a lot of athleticism and a lot of speed,” Tedford said. “Being sure tacklers is a major part of this game. It’s been a major emphasis this week.”

The tackling is even more paramount with the back end of the defense. Typcially, defensive linemen dont’ make as many plays in a game like this.

 “There has been a major emphasis this week on the back end with open-field tackling and doing it at a very fast pace, where you get them gassed and they still have to tackle,” Tedford said.

I  asked Tedford today to compare new quarterback Brock Mansion’s comfort level today with last Thursday.

“I think each week it’s going to improve,” he said. “He practiced really well, threw the ball really accurately. He’s playing with confidence and studying really hard to make sure he knows the game plan. He’s had a good week.”

On another note, Tedford confirmed some of the players that will be redshirting this season: wide receivers Kaelin Clay, Tevin Carter and Terrence Montgomery; linebackers Dave Wilkerson and Nick Forbes and defensive back Michael Coley. That’s in addition to some of the other freshman that we reported were redshirting near the beginning of the season.

He said in the case of Wilkerson, it will actually be a medical redshirt. Wilkerson sustained a concussion earlier in the season.

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.

  • DaBears

    Is it really smart to go that hard 2 days before what promises to be a very physically challenging contest? Isn’t this usually the point where you have to rely on your base level of conditioning and get your body fresh and rested for competition? I don’t know the answers to these questions, it just seems like what Cal is doing is counter-intuitive.

  • Wilkerson is going to be a beast for the Golden Bears in years to come

  • Rand

    DaBears: Cal has morning practices (done before noon), so they have more than two full days to recover before the 4:30 kickoff on Saturday. Plenty of time to re-fuel the tank. Conditioning/practicing hard on Thursdays is a discretionary thing that different programs do differently.

    Considering Cal has usually not conditioned hard on Thursdays this year, maybe the routine this week will benefit the Bears?

    On a more general note, I’d like to see Cal incorporate the fast-paced practice model. Next year. Gets the kids fired up, ready to work hard for four quarters on gameday.

  • covinared

    I was wondering what happened to Wilkerson. He got in a few games early and then never saw him again.

  • CalHipHopHead

    I’m getting excited for this game. Call me crazy, but I think Cal has a shot at pulling off the impossible. If not, it’s another opportunity to watch the Oregon offense. Man they are fun to watch. Go Bears!

  • Old Bear

    I hate to suggest something unethical, but when your’re playing the #1 team in the country and you’re a 20 point dog….

    In order to slow down the Duck offense, how about a few leg cramps when the pace is at its most frantic.

    The “hurt” player would have to come off the field, but most of the front 7 are subbed for during the game anyway.

  • Jim

    Legs cramps aside, avoid mental cramps is more critical

  • Old Bear

    Another thought on Oregon’s temp:

    Would Tedford use time-outs on defense to slow down the machine; especially on third down?

    Go Bears!

  • steeeeve

    I agree with Rand – why can’t Cal run the fast-tempo offense? It would seem to be consistent with Coach Tedford’s philosophy since he was not happy the last time the rules changed regarding the speed of play. I would definitely recruit for it.

    Go Bears! Beat the Ducks!

  • calbear

    yea that will work actually, the time outs…when we’re down by 40 why not burn a couple of time outs

  • Juancho

    Should be a fun game to watch. We’re a huge underdog and it’s obvious the team is approaching it with the “we have nothing to lose” stay loose approach.

    I think Mansion will be a star next year. The experience he’s getting know will be invaluable next year. If Vereen and Marvin come back next year, I think we’ll be in the upper echelon of the pac-10 next year.

    One thing I’ll be interested to see this Saturday is how we deal with the hurry up O of Oregon. Will Tedford use timeouts early to get his guys time. Who on defense will have the authority to call time outs if he feels the D needs a breather, and how will the D lineman recover play after play in the hurry up.

    Too bad about Wilkerson. I wonder if he got hurt. The LB crew even without Martin will be good down the road. Let’s hope all the guys get their academics or other issues cleared up and can play. Can’t wait to see Gabe King.

  • Jim

    As I recall, there are only three (3) timeouts per half. Using timeouts won’t slow Oregon when they get off 2-3 plays per minute.

    Oregon, interestingly, takes Thursday as their “refresh day” then go at it full speed on Friday so that they estabish their tempo for Saturday. Cal takes Friday to “refresh”. I’m not sure what difference it makes but, on the other hand, the results do seem to suggest that Oregon’s approach is yielding lots of points and lots of wins.

    Meanwhile, Cal has a verbal from one (1) OL and there are fewer and fewer OL still available which doesn’t bode well for the future.

  • mbbear

    so much stuff thrown against the wall to see what sticks:
    first, the strong conditioning mid-week is fine…body recovery at that age is pretty quick….
    O-line recruiting: Cal is in the running for a few JC O-linemen, tackles specifically…the one recruit that Jim refers to is only among the top rated guards in the country.
    Cal is fine if they come up with like 3 o-line high schoolers…

  • GldnBear71

    Another ugly loss is coming our way.

  • rollonubears

    one of the problems with this season is that we have sucked so bad in big games, a lot of the fans have just given up. as evidenced by our weak showing during the last home game. that just opens the door to more oregon fans, turning our stadium into an a’s/red sox type atmosphere. that’s not a big advantage, and we need the crowd to have any chance. it makes a huge difference.

  • Eric

    Old Bear – while I credit the strategic thinking, both Furd and U$C did it, and it looks bad. Hairball is still being criticized for the poor sportmanship. And I think it just fires up Oregon to go for the throat.

    But we should use all three first half time outs, hopefully ONLY on defense so as to throw off Oregon’s rhythm. Make it look fully intentional that we are trying to screw around with them. No reason to keep the time outs (and don’t be stupid using them to ice the kicker right before half).

  • Bear … In The Woods

    Can we win, or at least stay in the game if we can establish the run early and keep their offense off the field. I’m afraid if we come out throwing it’s going to be a blow out – especially with the dropsies problem the receivers have had as of late.

    I’m talking about a heavy dose of inside power running, miss-direction, QB keepers (Mansion is pretty athletic, right), just keep pounding then with our stable of RB’s. Even if we get down big, stick with it and wear them out – who knows. I’d rather have 3 and outs that take up 3-4 minutes of game time running the ball instead of 3 and outs passing that stops the clock.

  • Got Couth

    Cal never loses at home under Tedford–except to Oregon State or USC, so even though we should not be within three touchdowns of the Ducks from the mid second quarter on –stranger things have happened —-Have Mansion (Kaepernick?) look for lanes to run in like the 27 yard scamper last week as an alternative to Vereen —get Allen, Ross and Jones in space and maybe we can make it interesting –on defense just force the issue–I know this means big plays when we are out of position or one on one with great athletes but so what– they will score anyway and a turnover or occaisional stop may keep us in this thing—-Still I would rather beat Stanford and the Huskies if I had to choose.

  • rollonubears

    We’ve got nothing to lose in this one. I expect tedford’s gameplan to take that into account. Have Vereen throw a pass or two from the wildcat. Run the pistol with Mansion a few times. Use the fullback. Find the tight end. Run reverses. Try a fake field goal. Go for an onside kick to start the game. Show you balls Teddy. Show your balls.

  • Rocko

    I am all for replacing Oregon’s Gatorade with that stuff they give you to take the day before your colonostimy. Talk about runs, that stuff will have them running to the locker room every five minutes. If you ain’t cheatin you ain’t tryin!

  • Mr. B


    i would prefer that RoboTedford show us he *has* balls, rather than actually showing us his balls.

    but yeah…he’s gotta be creative, be aggressive, and generally get back to the plays and play-calling from the first few seasons. Remember his opening game against Baylor? Touchdown BEARS on the first play from scrimmage. Show us you want this job and deserve the $$ you are being paid.

  • LR

    There have been a handful of “nothing to lose” situations over the last few years (including last year’s bowl game), and Tedford has shown no tendency towards risk or creativity in those games.

    Tedford continues to coach scared, and nothing will change tomorrow. You’ll see plenty of stuffed first down runs between the tackles that will only serve to fire up the Duck defense. You’ll see Cal use all of the play clock to allow Oregon to catch its collective breath on D every time. You’ll see Mansion throw picks (although this can be forgiven given his inexperience). You’ll see CDJ on the bench. You’ll see mindless rotation on the OL. You’ll see our DLers and LBers with hands on their hips as UO runs up and down the field. And you’ll see huge chunks of green in the stands and a 30+ point loss.

    The coaching staff needs a dose of youth, energy and courage (courage most of all) in order to build the kids’ confidence and interest and to revive recruiting. Fans needs to send Sandy a clear message by staying away from Memorial. The prospect of losing the cash cow on which girls’ field hockey and softball sucks is the only thing that will motivate the AD to pressure JT to change his ineffectual ways. It isn’t mutiny, it’s common sense. Do the right thing, Cal fans….

  • rollonubears

    lurr, i think a lot of us would like to see the bears take on the #1 team in the country. i could understand not donating anymore until they prove they are committed to winning again, but i don’t think not showing up is going to help the cause that much. chicken and egg. do you want the program to get even worse before it gets better?

  • Pug

    LR, why don’t you just conduct your own personal boycott? Stay away.

  • LR


    I intend to. Unfortunately, fans like you who are content with high-priced mediocrity will continue to endorse our fraud of a head coach and, by extension, Sandy’s notion that all is right with the world.

    Sad. Really sad.