Football: Tuesday practice update

It’s unusual for a Pac-12 football team to get two days off in a row, but Cal coach Jeff Tedford thought his team needed it after a hard-hitting game against Stanford. The Bears were back at it today. They’re practicing lightly all week before playing Arizona State on Friday night in Tempe. Tedford said three days of workouts is enough quality practice reps while at the same time giving players enough time to heal up. If you noticed, Cal had players being helped to the sideline all game long against Stanford. Lots of young guys were shuttled in along the defensive line as ends Trevor Guyton and Ernest Owusu got shaken up and missed time. Mustafa Jalil – one of Cal’s hotshot D-line recruits last winter – saw lots of time, and Tedford said he liked what he saw from Jalil, a 285-pounder who the Bears could look to play inside at tackle on occasion. “He has so much potential right now. I really wish I could be here to see him develop,” said Owusu, a senior. “I’m telling you guys right now, mark my words, he’s going to be very good.”

My story for tomorrow’s paper weighs in on Jalil and other young players who seem to set up Cal’s defense well for the next few seasons. There are holes to fill on offense for 2012 – Mitchell Schwartz and Justin Cheadle are seniors on the offensive line, and Cal will need another receiver to complement Keenan Allen with the departure of Marvin Jones. But the defense seems to have the depth to adequately fill voids.

–Speaking of players banged up in the Big Game, receiver Michael Calvin had an MRI on his injured knee that showed no tear in the anterior cruciate ligament, which is great news for the senior. Tedford said it’s possible Calvin could return – and he didn’t rule Calvin out for Friday’s game.

–So ASU is looking to bounce back following a close loss to its natural rival. Sound familiar? The Bears and Sun Devils are in the same boat in some ways, looking to rebound at Sun Devil Stadium. But ASU is in a more fragile state, having lost three straight to put coach Dennis Erickson on the hottest of hot seats. It makes me wonder how the Sun Devils will respond Friday night: Are they a lost ship that has no shot at getting back on course? Or will they come out sharp knowing that they’re still alive for the Pac-12 South championship?

Tedford sees ASU as an athletic, physical team with a solid quarterback in 6-foot-8 Brock Osweiler. “Their quarterback spreads it all over the field,” Tedford said. “They get you in (open) space. Any time these kinds of teams get their athletes in space and you’re a one-on-one tackler, you have to make sure you get them on the ground. It’s really important we tackle well in space.” Osweiler ranks second in the conference at 307 yards per game and he’s got a dangerous receiver in Gerell Robinson, fourth in the conference at 100 yards receiving per game.

Here’s what Osweiler had to say about Cal …

Joe Stiglich

  • Rollonubears

    Wow. They are going to be so unprepared for this Friday. Seriously? Two days off on the week of an early game? On the road? Good luck guys. Your coach seems cool with phoning this one in. After all, we’re “bowl eligible.” can’t you just rest the injured guys? This is ridiculous.

  • Steve W.

    It would indeed appear the Bears have decided they have nothing to play for. It’s conceivable that a win could put them in the Holiday Bowl. If Washington and Utah go down on Saturday, Cal would be in a great spot with a win to get into a quality bowl.

    But why should our coach give a whit? He’s going to some bowl, and that apparently validates his job next year and beyond. ASU is going to come out with it’s hair on fire on Friday. I look for a reprise of the 09 season finale at Washington.

  • Easy Ed

    Gentlemen is it possible that the coach might know more about the physical condition of the team than we do?

    I saw a very physical game saturday night against Stanford.

  • covinared

    This late in the season, rest and recuperation are more needed than repetition, especially for a short week. Anyone who has actually played or coached football would know this. The guys should know how to do what they’re supposed to do by now, but if they are too stiff and sore to do it, they won’t.
    I am glad I was wrong about Calvin.

  • wehofx

    I just played hs ball – back up – but I played enough including practice that my body felt like sh*t by third game and never really recovered until a few weeks after the season ended. 90/95% of the guys felt the same, esp the starters. (There are always a few genetic freaks who are bullet proof.) I can barely imagine what Sunday morning must feel like after the hitting in a Pac 12 game.

    That said, I will be very disappointed if we don’t beat asu to make up for losses to ucla and uw. We need to keep improving. We need a good road win.

    Go Bears!

  • Steve W.

    Cov and We….not buying the rest and recoup a argument. I actually played 7 years of football including one year of JC ball. The players are MUCH more specialized these days, routinely shuffling in and out of the lineups. The hitting is undoubtedly more ferocious in this era, and players are bigger and faster. But I just can’t accept the argument that two days off in a short week in a s statement game is going to give Cal any kind of edge. Did the Stanford team take two days off in preparation for Notre Dame?

    I am expecting a “mail it in” performance on Friday. Hope I’m wrong.

  • covinared

    I just don’t buy into the pessimist’s argument that this is a sign that the coaches and/or team has decided to quit. They have played every week since usc without a bye.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    I am wishing a very Happy Thanksgiving for all of my fellow posters on this board.

  • covinared

    Got my tx on stubhub. 4 40 yard line seats for $20 each! Go my rested Bears!

  • rollonubears

    I’m thankful for continued u$c sanctions, including the loss of 10 scholarships per year for the next 3 years.

  • Kyle

    Wow you guys sure know it all. They looked so unprepared and obviously weren’t playing for anything. Please keep these moronic posts to yourself. Actually no keep posting them we can all use the comic relief. GO BEARS!!