Football: Sunday practice update

As I reported in an earlier post, Jeff Tedford said today that the quarterback position will be competitive this week and didn’t name a starter for Saturday’s game against Washington State.

Here are some of Tedford’s comments this afternoon regarding the quarterback situation:

  • “We need to improve. He needs to be more consistent. He plays real well at times and other times he lets the ball get away. Really, consistency is the key.”
  • “He’s making the right reads. Now it’s a matter of being accurate with the ball. He’s seeing the coverages. It’s just some of the timing and some of the accuracy we need to improve on.”
  • On Maynard’s mental state after Saturday’s game: “It bothers him because he cares. He’s a competitor. He wants us to be successful. He’s a big part of it because he has the ball in his hands. He cares. My take on it is he still is confident and wants to work hard to be the best player he can be.”
  • On whether Maynard should be more consistent by now: “We’d like┬áhim to be more consistent than he was (Saturday). He played great against Utah. There’s no doubt the learning curve needs to improve.”
  • On Maynard’s performances against USC and UCLA: “The interceptions yesterday were totally different than the USC interceptions. He forced those into coverage (against USC). These were tipped balls or balls just a little bit high and safeties sitting back there cherry-picking them. The SC thing was him trying too hard. That improved, and then yesterday was a couple errant throws.”:
  • On how Bridgford has looked in practice this season: “He’s looked fine. We have confidence in Allan. That will be a competitive thing to make sure the competition stays strong there. He prepares really well and we have confidence in him.”

Bridgford, meanwhile, said Tedford hadn’t talked to the quarterbacks Sunday so he didn’t know the situation yet in terms of how many reps he will receive this week, etc. But there’s no question he is excited to possibly compete for the starting job against the Cougars.

“I think it would be awesome,” he said. “I’m going to do whatever is asked of me, of course. It’s up to the coaches. I”m just going to work hard and do my thing.

“It gets your blood going, that’s for sure. It would be super exciting and I’m ready for it. I’m going to do whatever the coaches ask me. I’m just ready to have fun out there.”

Even though Bridgford only gets about one-third of the practice reps and has yet to play in a meaningful situation, he seems confident if and when he gets the chance.

“I feel like I’d be ready to play in a game, no matter what,” Bridgford said. “I know the playbook inside and out.”

Center Dominic Galas gave the obligatory politically correct, but also seemingly sincere, response to a possible quarterback competition.

“Whoever is back there I trust completely,” Galas said. “I have 100 percent confidence in Zach and I have 100 percent confidence in anyone else. Everybody is busting their (butts) every day out here, getting up at 6 o’clock in the morning. I have 100 percent belief and trust in Zach and anyone on the team, for that matter.”

A few other nuggets today:

  • Tedford said it was a very quiet bus and plane ride back home Saturday night. “The team was very quiet last night after the game, which is actually a good thing. It means they care. It means they’re bothered by the loss. You could hear a pin drop on the bus and the plane. These guys are invested and they care about what’s going on. I think they’ll be dedicated to come out and have a really good week of practice and try to correct some of the areas we need to improve and be ready to play a tough game.”
  • Tedford said he thought about if anything need to change in the team’s practice habits. “I think we’re fine with practice. I looked at it to see. There’s nothing wrong with the way we practice. We just need to make sure that we focus on practicing fast and we’re concentrating on each drill and we’re doing everything we can to improve every single day.”
  • I asked Tedford if the defense took an emotional hit since linebacker Mychal Kendricks was suspended for the first quarter. But he said the team was prepared for it since Rob Mullins took most of the reps all week. “I didn’t want it to be a distraction and talk to the team about it. I don’t think they thought about that much.”
  • When asked to summarize his strengths as a quarterback, Bridgford said: “I feel like I can make all the throws; smart; I feel like I can lead an offense up and down the field. I’m not the kind of guy who is going to lose a game for you. I can make some throws that will keep the chains moving. Most of all, it’s just understanding everything and having a feel for the game.”



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.