By Matt Kawahara
Responding to a team-wide upbraiding by coach Jeff Tedford at the end of Sunday's practice, senior Marcus Ezeff delivered a passionate address of his own to the players around him on the importance of maturity. And like that, the typically reserved safety became the Cal football program's next true -- if somewhat surprising -- vocal leader.
Tedford lectured the team for several minutes on representing the program in light of an off-the-field incident that he called a "team thing."Ezeff described the incident as "just the guys being the guys during camp, trying to have some fun because, like I said, every day out here is an everyday grind. Got to find some type of fun to be a kid ... Nothing happened to anyone."
Then, while the players stood in stretching lines, Ezeff walked out into the middle and spoke his piece. A team that wants to compete for the Pac-10 title, he said, needs to "grow up." He also stressed that "the only place where we can (mess up) is in here, not out there," referencing the need to limit mistakes outside Memorial Stadium, where consequences can be stronger. "I haven't really been passionate like that since high school," Ezeff said after the nearly three-hour practice. "I just felt like Coach Tedford was talking to me, so I had to do what I had to do. "I believe a lot of guys got the message."