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Football: Media day quotables

A sampling of what was overheard today at Bay Area College Football Media Day:

COACH JEFF TEDFORD 

On Zach Maynard entering camp as the No. 1 quarterback:

“As we go into camp, it’s still going to be competitive because he still has to perform. Bridgford and Brock are right there on his heels. I think he’s even going to be even better going through the fall. We’ve only seen him through the spring. He did a nice job.

“He has the physical ability. He’s competitive. It’s a matter of getting a good feel for the offense and I think he’ll do that as we go through camp.”

 

On installing the offense for Maynard:

“The spring is only 15 opportunities. We tried to put in as much as we could through the spring to get him acclimated to what the offense is all about. He did a very nice job with that. I anticipate he’s going to be even more comfortable in the fall.”

 

On Maynard having experience at Buffalo:

“It’s different than being a true freshman. He’s been in the arena, played against teams like Pitt. He understands the speed of the game. That’s really the biggest transition between high school and college. He can play fast but he can play under control and not panic. He has a feel for the pocket.”

 

On whether Maynard will get all of the first team reps during camp:

“The other guys will get some. We always do that in camp. He will get most of the first team reps.”

 

On how much will be installed for Maynard at the beginning of camp:

“Typically our approach is to put everything in early and then back off a little bit. He needs to be introduced to everything all over again. We’ll see how he goes from there to have a good gauge of how much he can handle and what do his receivers tend to do. Typically, you ask a quarterback what he feels comfortable with. They are the ones playing. We’ll see how it goes. He did a nice job in the spring.”

 

On whether having camp at Witter Rugby Field will result in any differences:

“I don’t think so. It will for meetings. We’re going to be in a tent on the softball field. Actually, it may be more convenient because they are going to walk right outside the back door of the locker room and right on to the field. There will be less travel. There’s not as much walking.”

 

On the condition of the practice field:

“They are still testing it. They did a water test on it the other day. They had to redo it wtice and then it flooded once. They had to check on the drainage system.”

 

On whether Isi Sofele can be challenged for the starting tailback spot:

“He’s the starting tailback right now. From what we saw in the spring, I think he had a pretty good grip on that. But we had some injured guys that weren’t there. I’m very excited to see our newcomers — all very good players.

On the status of incoming freshman tailback Brendan Bigelow:

“Bigelow, from my understanding is coming along quite well. We’re going to have to watch him closely. It may be the type of thing where we limit his reps. From my understanding, he’s looking great. I think we’re going to have to rely on some of the new guys to create some depth there. We’ll see as camp goes how much playing time they’re really going to get.”

 

How the defense might be different now that coordinator Clancy Pendergast is in his second year with Cal:

“I think we have the ability to be even better on defense this year. Our players are more comfortable with our system and Clancy is more comfortable with college football. You watch the NFL, it all looks the same. College football one week you have the no-huddle spread, the next week you have the pistol, the next week you have a downhill, two-back team. Having the variation in college football, Clancy has studied in the offseason and he feels really comfortable with how he wants to attack that. Our players have a great understanding and a feel for what he wants to do. Our defense did a great job in spring football and I think they are very comfortable with what’s going on. We have a lot of team speed. Even though we lost three great players, I think we sill have the ability to be a very good defensive football team.”

 

On how many of the incoming freshman have a chance to contribute immediately:

“I think most of them have the opportunity to contribute. There are a lot of guys on the defensive front. The corners for sure. Those guys are going to be in the mix from day one. They were recruited to come in and play right now. We don’t have a lot of depth at the corner position. We feel like we have three really good guys there. Moala is a guy who is physical enough to play right away, but you have to physically, mentally and emotionally ready to play this game. Physically, the guy should be ready to play. He came in a little overweight so we have to get his weight down a little bit, but beside that he can play.

“I remember after recruiting season saying this group is probably the group with the most capability to come in and contribute at an early age.”

 

On the overall tailback situation:

“This is the first year we haven’t gone into a season with a proven tailback. We’ve always had a 1,000-yard rusher coming back at tailback. We have a guy who has some experience but not a lot of production. That is really a focus, to find out who those two, three , four guys who are going to be in the rotation.”

 

On using Keenan Allen this season:

“He’s a special player. We need to utilize his ability. He’s such a gifted guy. Our job is to put him in position to make plays. He can do it all. Keenan is definitely a guy you put on the board and make sure you get the ball to him. We will definitely make sure we have a probably a long list of how to get the ball to him. It won’t be a short list.”

 

On DB Josh Hill, who missed the spring to get his academics in order:

“Josh Hill  is ready to go. I’ve seen Josh Hill from time to time and I think he’s matured and grown more than anyone on our football team. He had a setback. Now I think he understands the opportunity he has to play college football and his attitude is totally different. He’s turned into a very strong leader for his team.”

 

LINEBACKER MYCHAL KENDRICKS 

On how much more the defense can do now that they are comfortable with Clancy Pendergast’s system:

“There’s more to be had. I’m excited to see what he has for us. We had one year getting acclimated to his system. I think we’ll be able to get more done now.”

 

On how tough it was learning the system last season:

“It wasn’t tough but it was new. It was a little challenging because it was so different. It was so fast-paced. But I like that.”

 

On replacing three NFL draft picks on defense:

“People come, people go. That’s how it is. Those players will be greatly missed but I’m excited to see the new guys come in and contribute to our success.”

 

On whether the defense can be better than last year, when it led the Pac-10 in total defense:

“We can be better. You can always be better. You should always raise the bar.”

On dealing with a lot of preseason accolades:

“I’m not worried about it. I’m blessed. I take it day by day. I try not to pay attention to it. I’m focused on today.”

 

On becoming a leader this season:

“I don’t go out of my way to be a leader, I just do what I do every day. I let the team know how I feel when I feel a certain way. I try to get us to come together, as does any senior who is in his last year. We want to end it right.”

 

On the team’s mindset heading into camp:

“I feel like we’re more together as a team than we ever have been. They are ready. We’ve been working hard with Coach Blasquez (strength and conditioning coach Mike Blasquez). I feel like in the workout room, we overcome adversity and that’s going to carry over on to the field. I can see that we’re ready. I’m confident in our team and excited about it.”

 

OFFENSIVE TACKLE MITCHELL SCHWARTZ 

 

 On the team rallying around new quarterback Zach Maynard during the summer:

“That’s big for a quarterback. It’s a big responsibility. He’s done a great job.”

 

On practicing at Witter Rugby Field:

“If anything it will be good. It’s not like AT&T (Park) is in our comfort zone either. You have to be comfortable being uncomfortable. You learn to forget about your surroundings and just focus on what is going on the field.”

 

On the return of Jim Michalczik as offensive line coach:

“It’s been huge. I had him for two years. He’s a perfectionist. You obviously want to do your job and do it well. You may demolish a guy and make a great play, but if you use poor technique, he’ll point it out to you and may not get the grade on the play you thought you deserve.”

 

On being a leader:

“If guys look up to you, you’re a leader. You have to start being a little more vocal. I feel like I’ve always been a pretty good teacher. We’ve had a tradition on the offensive line where the older guys help out he younger guys. Coach M puts it on the older guys to help out the younger guys. That’s part of our responsibility.”

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.

  • Calduke

    Brock is ‘right at his(Maynard’s} heels’.
    I would feel better if Maynard was rated better then that.

  • rollonubears

    “Typically, you ask a quarterback what he feels comfortable with. ”

    This is the problem. Nobody’s going to say they don’t feel comfortable with the whole playbook, out of fear of being benched. Need to come up with a better way to decide how much op the playbook is appropriate for the player.

  • Yoda

    Well, what if it was Bridgeford, who was the first guy he named as being on his heels? Would that make you feel better?

  • Calduke

    Yoda

    Yes, or Hinder or Wertenberger or Boehm.

    Do you feel comfortable about Maynard knowing that Mansion is close to Maynard’s capabilities. Let’s hope there is a large separation between these 2 QBs or else it’s 2010 again.
    That’s what I assumed Tedford’s comment to indicate.
    I assume the QB depth chart will be out in a few weeks.