Football: Practice report (Tuesday)

In what has become a familiar trend this spring, Cal practiced among swift winds Tuesday at Contra Costa College. The Bears have had several windy practices, although coach Jeff Tedford said they haven’t been severe enough to affect his evaluation of the quarterbacks.

As I walked into the stadium for the media access at the end of practice, the first thing I saw was a substantially underthrown pass to Marvin Jones deep down the middle of the field. I literally was walking in so I couldn’t see which quarterback threw it. I then proceeded to watch a few more uninspiring reps which included a false start and a fumble by Mike Manuel.

The media only gets to see a small sample size of practice, but what I have seen this spring is an offense that really needs a lot of work.

Tedford was asked about the progress of the offense after practice.

“Making progress,” he said. “Some of the backup linemen are still figuring it out. They’re making a lot of progress. It’s been very productive. Spring ball has been good. We saw a lot of things against our defense, which gives you a lot of looks. It’s been good.”

With center Dominic Galas and offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz out for the spring with injuries, a handful of inexperienced offensive linemen are getting reps this spring. Tedford said it’s been especially challenging for them because Cal’s defense does throw a lot of looks and formations at the offense.

“The guys with experience are doing a fine job,” Tedford said. “There are a lot of moving parts and the young guys are learning every day. Playing against our defense, you have so many looks coming at you. It’s a great learning experience.”

I asked Tedford if it was harder to evaluate personnel when the younger players aren’t used to multiple looks they are facing from the defense.

“I would rather see the hardest thing possible so they get the experience,” Tedford said. “If they can block our defense and we can get all that stuff taken care of, we should be in pretty good shape. It’s still about moving your feet. When you block a lot of different looks, it forces you to move your feet.

Tedford has decided not to make up one of the practices that was postponed earlier in the spring. That practice had been switched to Friday, but now the Bears will just close out the spring with an abbreviated Thursday practice and then the final scrimmage of the spring on Saturday (Reminder: Saturday’s scrimmage is open to the public. It runs from 12-2:30 p.m. at Contra Costa College). Tedford said the team would also do a lot of team drills on Thursday.

Tedford said he wouldn’t put too much extra stock in Saturday’s scrimmage because it still  is just one practice and they have plenty of film to go over during the summer. That being said, Saturday will be the last thing the coaching staff and players will remember until fall camp so they would like to finish off with a good performance.

“It’s not going to come down to just that practice,” Tedford said. “I’ve been pleased with all the things that we have on tape and all the mistakes we’ve been able to make. Saturday, you want to come out and be sharp and execute. But we have to come back in the fall and start all over again.”

A couple of notes:

  • Freshman running back Darren Irvin tweaked his ankle and is out again. He came back for one practice before re-injuring the ankle.
  • Center Chris Adcock has been practicing with torn ligaments in his thumb and will have it operated on after spring practice. It will be second time he’s had such a procedure done.
  • Linebacker Mychal Kendricks is still out with a concussion. Nick Forbes was taking his first team reps at the end of practice.
  • One highlight from the end of practice was a crisp out pattern ran by wide receiver Michael Calvin, who made a good catch before going out of bounds. It wasn’t anything spectacular, but the kind of solid play Cal really needs  from Calvin this 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.

  • CrumpeckerSherm

    Doesn’t instill much confidence.

  • Gooch

    JO, is is fairly certain that Brock is number 3 on the depth chart?

  • David

    Just spring ball, boys.

  • CalChicago


    It would be nice if you mentioned which QB threw the pass to Calvin? Or anything at all about the QBs. That is obviously most fans obsession at this point…

  • Calduke

    Cal just got 2 ‘preferred’ walk-on commits for 2011.
    Might be of some help.

    JO – any comments??

  • H8sRed

    Can someone please define what a “preferred” walk-on is?

  • milo

    As I understand it, preferred walk-on means a spot on the team but no guaranteed schollie…but probably a scholarship if things look good/work out.

    Kickers and punters are often given preferred walk-on slots and if they progress it usually becomes a full schollie. I think Trevecio (sic) was a preferred walk-on. I also think legacy players get this kind of offer…like maybe Will Kapp, but not sure.

    Regarding the rest, as David said, it’s spring ball. I’d love to see all the positions locked down and everyone ready to roll but that’s not happening this year.

  • Dave T

    My understanding is that a perferred walk-on means guranteed admission into Cal but no guaranteed scholarship. A scholarship can be earned in the future.

  • Jan K Oski

    Preferred walk-on have a better chance at getting a schollie than a regular walk-on. That’s the only difference.

  • Allan B

    This Spring you have players like Spencer Hagan and Dan Camporele who came to Cal as preferred walk ons in 2009 and have developed into potential future starters who will quietly become scholarship players sooner than later ,

  • ScottyBear

    A “preferred” walk-on is a player who is recruited, given a spot on the roster and practice squad but obviously has to make the team. They usually sign a letter of intent, and are registered as a student athlete with the academic dept. so they get the same benefits (such as early class registration, tutoring) as scholarship athletes. The only difference is they aren’t on scholarship and typically they don’t receive any promise of getting one if they do well, even though it’s customary to give them some type of aide. Regular walk-ons just show up and ask for a chance to make the team. Preferred walk-ons are already given that chance. That was your “One-Minute Preferred Walk-On training for the day”, for those of you who remember those Mug Old Fashioned Root Beer radio commercials from the 70’s. Go Bears!

  • covinared

    Scotty: Does this mean Jan K Oski was not completely correct for once?

  • ScottyBear

    It must mean he was incompletely correct! Preferred walk-ons also are given in most cases those on-campus jobs where you watch paint dry, grass grow and snow melt even though that financial aide is not considered scholarship since you work for it.

    FYI, my job like that in the 70’s was to paint the football field the day before home games at Memorial. Every yardline and logo in the end zones had to be painted with our backs to the press box, never with our backs to the student section, all so the field was crisper and prettier for filming and TV. Sunday morning 6 a.m., the job was wearing a blower and starting on the top row of seats and blowing all the peanut shells and beer cups down each level to the bottom and trucking it all away. Yes, beer was prevalent in the stands ion those day. Go Bears!

  • Gooch, not at all. I’d say Bridgford is No. 3 right now and Mansion is No. 2. But that could obviously change when things get ramped up during fall camp.

  • Cal, I believe it was Mansion, but I can’t say for sure. But it was Calvin’s route that caught my eye, not the pass.

  • Cal, don’t know much about the preferred walk-ons, so don’t have much to tell you. It’s rare that preferred walk-ons make much of an impact.

  • H8s, a preferred walk-on is a player that is recruited and guaranteed a spot on the roster once fall camp begins. A “regular” walk-on has to try out for the team and there are no guaranteed he will make the roster.