Football: Mohamed speaks

A sampling of what Mike Mohamed had to say on his conference call after getting picked in the sixth round of the NFL draft by the Denver Broncos:

On if the sixth round was about where he expected to go:

“I was hoping for the best, hoping for something earlier, but I knew realistically that’s about where they had me. I was just waiting it out and just being hopeful and seeing what was going to happen.”

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Football: Spring practice ends

Spring practice 2011 came to an end this afternoon with the final controlled scrimmage of the spring. Several hundred fans showed up to watch on an absolutely gorgeous day at Contra Costa College.

Of course, it was the quarterbacks that were on everyone’s mind, and as I wrote on a post earlier today, junior Zach Maynard appears to getting a pretty firm grip on the job. He took all the first team reps today, and out of the open scrimmages, he had his best performance.

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Football: Saturday afternoon update

Busy day today. Cal wrapped up spring practice a couple hours ago with its final controlled scrimmage. Coach Jeff Tedford said he will have an announcement  next week regarding the quarterback situation, although it probably won’t come until the following week because Tedford is off to the Pac-10 meetings next week.

The suspense regarding the quarterback competition is dwindling. Zach Maynard took all the first team reps today. Combine that with the positive comments Tedford has made about Maynard  this spring, it seems pretty clear he’s at the very least in the lead for the job. It remains to be seen if Tedford’s announcement will be as definitive as announcing a starter. He could just say one player — likely Maynard — will enter fall camp as the No. 1 guy but there will still be competition. That being said, it appears the job is Maynard’s to lose.

The other significant development today is that former Cal linebacker Mike Mohamed was drafted in the sixth round by the Denver Broncos, meaning he will join fellow former Bear Syd’Quan Thompson. Mohamed just recently concluded a conference call and I’ll have more on that later.

Also, much more on today’s scrimmage later as well. For now, gotta get cracking on my story for tomorrow’s paper.


Football: Conte speaks

A sampling of what Chris Conte said during his conference call tonight with the local media. Conte was taken by the Chicago Bears in the third round of the NFL draft:

On what his expectations were going into the draft:

“Honestly, I was very hopeful that I would go today. I had a pretty good feeling that I had a pretty good chance of going today, just talking with teams. A lot of teams had a high grade on me. Coming to the end of that third round, just looking at the teams, I thought I might have to wait another day. Sitting around waiting is not a fun feeling. There were about six picks left and I was looking at the teams and none of them I had talked to too much. The only team that possibly could take me was Chicago. A couple seconds later, Chicago called. That was probably the most exciting moment I’ve ever had. It was the culmination of a whole bunch of different feelings. It was the most excited I’ve ever been.”

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Football: Vereen speaks

A sampling of what Shane Vereen had to say today on his conference call with the local media after getting selected in the second round by the New England Patriots:

General reaction:

“I’m just looking forward to this opportunity that I’ve always dreamed of.”


On if he went higher than he thought:

“I tried not to pay too much attention to the mock drafts. I was expecting second or third round. As the second round was going on, I was thinking ore third round. The call came out of nowhere, really.”

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Football: Oh, by the way…

Cal did practice  last  night, something that got a bit lost amid Cameron Jordan going to the Saints. The Bears held a shortened practice, partly to get guys fresh for Saturday’s final scrimmage and partly to get back to Cal to watch Jordan get selected. The team watched the draft and had dinner together as Jordan’s name was called.

A couple of notes from Jeff Tedford’s post-practice comments yesterday:

  • More reaction to Beau Sweeney’s departure, but nothing new: “It’s good for him. You only get a chance to do this one time. He wants to play and was in a backup role. He’s a great kid. We wish him nothing but the best. He’s an awesome kid. … You only have one opportunity to play college football. That’s what we talked about. He still wants to play so he wants to go somewhere he’ll have an opportunity to get on the field.”
  • Tedford downplayed how much the Bears will incorporate elements of the spread offense  this season. “If there is a play or two that takes advantage of the quarterback’s ability to run, then we’ll utilize it. Thee won’t be a significan change (to the offense).”
  • Tedford said the starters won’t see a lot of action Saturday. “We want to see the 2s and 3s in game time situations,” he said. “Some positions,  we can’t afford to do that because we don’t have the depth. Some guys have to play. But where we do have the depth, we want to make sure we see those second and third guys.”
  • Tedford acknowledged that the play of the offensive line hasn’t been pretty at times this spring. But he also said much of that is because there is a lot of inexperience  with starters Mitchell Schwartz and Dominic Galas sidelined with injuries. “That’s why this spring wasn’t pretty a lot of the time because they are seeing so many looks and figuring out who to block, not just to block them. Those are good lessons to learn. I think there is some ability there. We just have to make sure we continue to grow. We have a lot of work to do on the depth on the offensive  line. Some of the starters we feel good about. But the 6th, 7th and 8th guys are going to be really important.”