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.