Football: Training camp report — Aug. 7

There’s a little less to report on when you can’t watch practice (imagine that), but there was one significant development at the second day of practice today.

Wide receiver Kaelin Clay is now on crutches after injuring his knee Saturday. The severity of the injury is still unknown because he needs an MRI and he can’t get one until Monday. Assuming Cal’s staff gets the results in time, we should know more about the extent of the injury tomorrow.

The good news is Clay didn’t crumble to the turf in a heap of pain yesterday. I don’t know how he suffered the injury, but conventional wisdom would be if he incurred something serious, it would have been more painful. Even after limping off Saturday, he was able to limp around on his own power and watch wide receiver drills, etc. I still remember when Michael Calvin crumbled to the turf while running a route during practice┬áin 2008. It looked bad at the time and it was bad — he tore an ACL.

OT Mitchell Schwartz didn’t practice again because of his hamstring injury, but that doesn’t appear to be serious. “He’s a veteran. He knows when he is ready,” Cal coach Jeff Tedford said.

Tedford was asked about the placekicking situation tonight and he definitively said it’s Giorgio Tavecchio’s job. He said Tavecchio right now is handling field goals but he won’t determine kickoffs until they start practicing them. Considering that was Tavecchio’s strength last year (compared with his field goal kickingn), he appears to be in pretty good shape to hold down both duties again.

It won’t be too long before the coaching staff starts getting a better idea of the depth chart, especially which incoming freshman may be ready to compete. Tedford said that process will start Wednesday when the team wears full pads for the first time. After going in just helmets the first two days, the Bears will practice in shells Monday and Tuesday (helmet and shoulder pads).

Tedford said he has been pleased with the accommodations practicing at Witter Field so far. The facility is a lot smaller than Memorial Stadium so it does change the landscape of practice a bit. There is much less space behind the end zones, where typcially the Bears would do a lot of individual drills at Memorial, especially the offensive and defensive linemen. So the coaching staff has had to be careful in its practice planning to make sure there is enough space to do everything they need to. “You just have to be careful not to run into each other,” Tedford said.

I had a chance to talk to linebacker Ryan Davis tonight for a notebook that will run Tuesday. The junior college transfer looks like he will finally get a chance to contribute after redshirting one season and then being buried down on the depth chart last year.

Davis entered camp as the starter at the weakside outside linebacker spot, but he’s being challenged by freshman Cecil Whiteside. I’ll have more on Davis later in the week, but he seems to have a healthy dose of maturity and perspective heading into his senior year. Davis said he hasn’t deserved to play up until this point but feels like he is ready now. He said he’s been attending every linebacker meeting possible, even the ones he’s not required to attend, for newcomers. Davis also said his goal is to lead the nation in sacks. He needs to make sure he pins down the starting job first.

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.