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Football: Tuesday night report

By Jonathan Okanes
Tuesday, April 19th, 2011 at 10:00 pm in Football, off-season stuff.

The Bears were back at Contra Costa College this afternoon as Cal embarked on the final two weeks of spring practice. So was the offense any sharper today than it was during Saturday’s sloppy scrimmage?

“We caught the snaps. That went right today,” Coach Jeff Tedford said.

Saturday’s performance was marred by false starts and bad shotgun snaps. Tedford did go on to say that indeed the offense wasn’t as sloppy this afternoon.

Good news for Cal on the health front. Linebacker Dave Wilkerson, who missed the previous four practices with a hip flexor injury, was back and practicing at full capacity, running with the first unit. On the flip side, linebacker Ryan Davis sat out after getting stepped on and injuring his big toe. Defensive end Deandre Coleman fell on his back and suffered a back bruise.

An update on backup tight end Spencer Ladner, who injured his knee last week. It turned out to be more serious than previously reported.  Ladner tore either his MCL or meniscus  and has undergone surgery to repair it. Tedford said Ladner will miss 3-4 months, meaning he could be back by the start of training camp.

One position group that is hard for the coaching staff to evaluate this spring is the offensive line because of the injuries to tackle Mitchell Schwartz and center Dominic Galas. Both players figure to be solidly entrenched as starters, but their absence is forcing the coaches to juggle different players along the line. Players like Tyler Rigsbee, Sam DeMartinis and Bill Tyndall are getting a lot of reps, but things will obviously be different when the injured players return.  

Something else to consider: It’s not a given that Schwartz is penciled in at left tackle. If Zach Maynard wins the quarterback job, Schwartz will move to right tackle. That’s because Maynard is left-handed and the Bears will want Schwartz to protect the quarterback’s blind side.

As for the switch from San Ramon Valley High School to Contra Costa College for the final open practice on April 30, Tedford said it was a matter of “Controlling the environment. They have some construction going on. We’re familiar with (Contra Costa College). It’s a nice facility. This is just fine.”

Freshman running back Darren Irvin, who has been out since spraining his ankle on April 2, returned to practice today. Tedford said Irvin is ont back at full spseed yet and has a lot of mental work to do since he’s missed out on so many reps.

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  • Thisiscal

    JO,
    Anything on QB play?

  • Ed

    So to be clear, one more open practice on the 30th. No open practice this week.

  • Bears

    I’m really excited to see what Cal does this year offensively.
    I think we are going to see at least two QB’s behind center 6 Running backs, 5 TE’s, 6 WR’s and some fun stuff. We are going to need our depth and I think we are going to see a lot of new players making plays and excitement from the unit.
    The energy and excitement is key!
    Major question mark is the OL, will they be good enough to pave the way for success?
    That’s the major story line for the offense until Sept, in my opinion.

  • rollonubears

    i think if we’re going to see 6 running backs, we’re not going to see too many victories next season.

  • Uh Huh!

    The offense is sounding like a patchwork of players.
    But I’m betting that the Defense carries the day in 2011.

  • Kevin Thomas

    I’d caution Bears above not to get too excited for the reasons he stated. Tedford is a very conservative coach, with a very complicated and predictable offensive system. He will choose one QB, one running back and a backup, and two receivers with one main backup. That is what he has done every year since he arrived. This philosophy may not get us to the next level, but it works fairly well much of the time.

    Tedford gives the defense much more flexibility, and with the mix of veterans and new faces on defense. Now that gets me excited. The defense could be a real weapon.

  • c98

    Over the next few years our D is going to be so good that if the offense can just be competent, not turn the ball over, and do okay in time-of-possession we will do fine. Maybe more than fine.

  • dgoldenbears

    Great, now we just leaked to our opposition that the best way to take down our linebackers is to step on their toes.

  • milo

    Seriously, Cal’s D should be pretty damn good and maybe will repeat as the best in the Pac-12…and thus perhaps the developing offense should play against the 2s for a bit.

  • CrumpeckerSherm

    On the good side of things OSU, UA, ASU, UCLA, WSU should be down too but I still see no better than middle of the Pac

  • Calduke

    Are T Briggs and D Yarnaway still around?

  • takeoffthatredshirt

    I’m pulling for Bridgeford.

    That does not mean I think I know better than TedHead.

    And, that doesn’t mean I’m fully confident TedHead will make the right choice.

    I just hope if it’s close we go with youth.

  • SteveNTexas

    Its way too early to write off the offense. Maybe we are just really deep at certain positions. Its just Mid-April – lots can happen with young kids by September.

  • http://bearterritory steve geremia

    At least Bridgeford can throw a psss.We have several who can catch it.We have Maynard to run red zone.If we keep down on turn overs like bad snaps ,we can win 4 games.I do not think the D can win anymore than that

  • http://deleted Robert

    Maybe Coach M can work some magic in the fall with Schwartz, Schwenke, Galas, Cheadle and MSG !!!!

    All have experience playing, some a ton of it. Average to above average line play can do a lot for a team. Allen and Jones will be two of the better receiver in the conference.

    The potential is there.

    D will be the best in the conference. Clancy being in the conference for a second year will make a difference!

  • Calduke

    Crumpecker

    Why do you think ASU will be down.
    They will be a top 20 team.

    Middle of the pack?? What 5 conference teams do you think Cal will beat??