The Bears parted ways after this morning’s practice, as many players headed for the airport or their cars to go home for the weekend.
Typically, players will use the bye weekend to visit their families. But in most cases, they don’t do so in the middle of game planning. But with Cal’s next game on Thursday instead of Saturday, the Bears needed to start preparing for Oregon this week.
Coach Jeff Tedford always wants his players to use the bye weekend to get away from football, both physically and mentally. He still wants that, but hopes the two game planning practices the Bears had this week will still be fresh in his players’ minds when they return to the practice field Sunday.
“We’ll definitely have to go over it again after two days off,” Tedford said. “I hope they will continue to focus and their minds are on what’s going on. It’s good to have a foundation for what we’re doing. It will come back quickly.”
While Cal’s players are getting away from it all, the coaching staff will have an eye toward the future as different coaches hit the road to go recruiting.
When coaches and players return Sunday, it will be like a Tuesday practice because the game will be just four days away. The Bears will hold a regular, full-pad practice Sunday afternoon.
As the game gets closer, the excitement level should build. Not only are the Bears playing the No. 9 team in the country and one of the favorites to win the conference title, but Thursday’s game will be nationally televised on ESPN.
Tedford said his players aren’t caught up in that — yet. It’s too early.
“You can’t peak too soon,” Tedford said. “You start getting amped up right now — you can’t stay amped up for a week. They’ll take a little time off and rest and recover and then come back and really be focused on what we’re doing in practice. You really have to build up to the game.”
Tedford also said there’s a danger in getting overly excited for a game. Yes, you want there to be energy and enthusiasm, but there’s also a threshold point you can’t cross.
“You have to manager your emotions,” Tedford said. “You can’t be so fired up that you can’t execute and you’re out of control. You have to play with intensity but you have to manage your emotions all the time.”