Wednesday, February 16, 2011

ESPN: Cal's Schedule Appears Finalized

Ted Miller
Thanks to some nice legwork from the California Golden Blogs, it appears we now know the Golden Bears final 2011 schedule, which includes a conference game that is not a conference game and a battle with the Blue Hose. Seriously.
Cal has yet to make official the filling of two voids -- Sept. 10 and Sept. 17 -- on its schedule, but Presbyterian College (the Fighting Blue Hose) apparently couldn't wait to announce it will act as a sacrificial lamb on Sept. 17 in the home opener at AT&T Park, where the Bears are playing home games while Memorial Stadium is being renovated.
Link to rest of article here.


Like most Cal fans, my dream of playing for the Bears was never realized, or attempted. However, that doesn't mean you can't play against the Bears. You can live the dream by immediately applying to Presbyterian College's school of pharmacy, which, from what I can tell, is the only graduate program at Presbyterian College.
Once admitted, you can try out for the Blue Hose football team. Of the 1,200 undergrads, 50% describe themselves as female. That leaves 600 males competing for 101 slots (per the current roster you can find here). That's a 1 in 6 chance of making the team. You'll be competing against the likes of 161 pounder Hunter Counts for a coveted wide receiver position.
On the down side, the school of pharmacy isn't actually accredited yet, and it costs $30,000 a year. But you only need a 2.5 undergrad GPA. You'll also have to relocate to Clinton, SC, a town so small it doesn't have a single Starbucks. But you'll be playing at AT&T Park in September.

SF Chronicle: Cal to Play Tiny Presbyterian College at AT&T Park

John Crumpacker
In one of the most puzzling football scheduling decisions in school history, Cal has agreed to play Presbyterian College of Clinton, S.C., on Sept. 17 at AT&T Park to fill one of the two vacancies on its 2011 slate. The school with an enrollment of 1,200 students is a member of the Big South Conference and is in the Football Championship Subdivision, formerly Division I-AA. The Presbyterian Blue Hose finished 2-9 last year, losing to the likes of The Citadel, North Greenville, Coastal Carolina, Stony Brook and Gardner-Webb.
"Cal will be a great trip for us," coach Harold Nichols said on the school's website. Coach Jeff "Tedford is doing great things out there and it'll be a fun game and a great experience for our guys." While Presbyterian trumpeted the game on its website, Cal has yet to make a similar announcement and had no comment Tuesday. Cal had been hoping to announce both of its remaining unfilled dates at the same time. The other date is Sept. 10.
Link to rest of article.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Oakland Tribune: Michalczik Happy to be Back at Cal

Jonathan Okanes
Jim Michalczik says he feels like he's come home, which is kind of funny because the home looks nothing like it did when he left.
Michalczik was hired last month as Cal's new offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. He coached the Bears' offensive line from 2002-08 before moving on to coach the Raiders' offensive line the past two seasons. He was also Cal's offensive coordinator in 2007.
When Michalczik left Cal after the 2008 season, construction of the Student-Athlete High-Performance Center was just getting going and the renovation of Memorial Stadium had yet to commence. Michalczik returned to find significant progress to the SAHPC, as well as a torn-up stadium. The football offices have been moved from inside Memorial Stadium to temporary portables near the softball stadium.
"The real cool thing with this is nine years ago this was a vision of Coach (Jeff) Tedford's," Michalczik said. "We were all part of it and we sold it to some kids along the way. The neat thing is to see it coming true and the commitment that the school and the alumni have made."
But while things may look a lot different, Michalczik said it didn't take long for him to feel comfortable back in Berkeley. He was gone only two seasons, meaning there are players still on the roster whom he knows and some he recruited.
"There's a little bit of feeling like you came home," Michalczik said. "I can't emphasize enough the way Coach Tedford runs the program.
Link to rest of article.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

CBS Sports: Since Rodgers, QB Cupboard Bare in Berkeley

Dennis Dodd
It wasn't entirely a redemptive, feel-good story this week with Aaron Rodgers. With his success, Green Bay's Super Bowl savior also shined a light on the quarterback situation at his alma mater, California. Since 2005, The Replacements -- the quarterbacks to follow Rodgers in Berkeley -- haven't come close to measuring up. Only once since Rodgers left has a Cal quarterback finished in the top 60 in NCAA pass efficiency. Pac-10 cellar-dweller Washington State has had quarterbacks finish in the top 50 four times in the same period. Something has happened since then. Rodgers was the sixth first-round quarterback overseen by Cal coach Jeff Tedford. The mojo/momentum/magic that started for Tedford in 1992 at Fresno State has, inexplicably, died. Sure, Cal has won but the coach who built his career by building quarterbacks has been forced to do it a different way lately.
If we're going to judge Tedford by his quarterbacks' post-college accomplishments -- and we are -- then it's only fair we zero in on the post-Rodgers group. Among them are a current broadcaster for a high school cable network and a couple of guys with arena league teams, including one with a fever. Rather, a guy with the Fever. That would be Joseph Ayoob (Cal, 2005-06) of the Tri-Cities Fever.
"The last great one [at Cal] was Aaron," said Rick Kimbrel, a West Coast recruiting analyst and a one-time contributor. "Guys that they picked just haven't panned out. I have no idea what's going on with that quarterback situation. When that happens, you're picking the wrong guys." Tedford built a large part of his reputation as offensive coordinator at Fresno and Oregon before going to Cal in 2002. His NFL prodigies include Trent Dilfer, Akili Smith, David Carr, Joey Harrington, Kyle Boller and Rodgers. Two of those -- Dilfer and Rodgers -- have won Super Bowls. Dilfer, Smith, Carr and Harrington all threw more interceptions than touchdowns.
Rodgers was the exception in that group -- a difference maker drafted 24th overall by the Packers and bred as the eventual successor to Brett Favre. Tedford was at the top of his game following Rodgers' final college season in 2004. His program was emerging as the primary Pac-10 challenger to Southern California in the mid-2000s. Rodgers had beaten the Trojans in a three-overtime epic in 2003 and fell just short in 2004 despite completing 23 consecutive passes against the Trojans.
Link to rest of article.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Top Aaron Rodgers' Superbowl Photo

Nate Longshore Joins San Jose Sabercats

Press release:
The SaberCats today announced former California QB Nate Longshore has joined San Jose. QB Kevin Lopina was placed on re-assignment. “Nate enjoyed a great career at Cal and showed his abilities at quarterback,” said Owner/Head Coach Darren Arbet. “He will create depth for us at the quarterback position.” Longshore (6-5, 235) played in 39 games (31 starts) at California, totaling 6,783 passing yards for 51 touchdowns, good for fifth and fourth in Cal history, respectively. He enjoyed his best season for the Golden Bears as a redshirt sophomore in 2006 after becoming only the second quarterback in Cal history to throw for over 3,000 yards in a season (3,021), ranking second in the Pac 10 in passing touchdowns (24), passing efficiency (141.6) and third in passing yards per game (232.4). He earned All-Pac 10 honorable mention honors for his efforts. A graduate of Canyon (CA) High School, Longshore earned All-America honors his senior year after throwing for 3,449 yards and 34 touchdowns, completing 223-of-360 passes (62 percent).

With regard to Longshore's predecessor, Joe Ayoob, it looks like he is no longer with the Tri-Cities Fever of Arena 2. Kyle Boller is still listed on the Raiders' roster.

SJ Mercury: Cal Offensive Staff is Stanford-esque

Jon Wilner
So here’s how the offensive staff looks, in case you read or heard about it over the weekend and have already gotten confused (because it’s confusing):
Jeff Tedford: quarterbacks coach (unofficially)
Marcus Arroyo: quarterbacks coach (officially)
Jim Michalczik: offensive coordinator and offensive line coach
Ron Gould: run-game coordinator and running backs coach
Eric Kiesau: passing-game coordinator and receivers coach
Playcaller: to be announced
A few thoughts:
Tedford wanted to get the old gang back together, and Kiesau and Michalczik certainly were successful in their previous stints in Berkeley. (The reason for doing so, it should be noted, was so he could leave the offense to a staff he trusted while out performing his head coaching duties … or teaching Brock Mansion how to read a defense.)
Cal fans should be encouraged by the changes but disappointed that Tedford repeatedly failed to find the right fit for offensive coordinator/playcaller/QBs coach over the past 3-4 years.
There are so many cooks in the Bears’ offensive kitchen, it’s like an episode of “Top Chef.”
The onus will be on Tedford to make sure roles are well defined, responsibilities don’t overlap, egos are checked at the door and the playcalling process functions properly in the limited time between plays.
It doesn’t matter who’s on the staff if the quarterback stinks.
The new setup reminds me of the manner in which Jim Harbaugh organized the Stanford offensive staff the past few years, and I can’t help but wonder if Tedford looked across the Bay for his model. Harbaugh had run-game and passing-game coordinators during his four years (although nobody held those specific titles last season). Harbaugh was a head coach who also coached the quarterbacks — just as Tedford will do, although he won’t hold that title. Harbaugh’s offensive coordinator, David Shaw, was neither the QBs coach nor the primary playcaller — just as Michalczik is Cal’s offensive coordinator but neither the QBs coach nor (educated guess) primary playcaller.
Link to rest of article.

Colfax Record: Colfax High Grad Arroyo Named QB Coach at Cal

Mike Ray
Marcus Arroyo’s ascent up the collegiate football coaching ranks continued here Saturday afternoon when the former Colfax High grid standout was named the new quarterbacks coach for the Calfornia Golden Bears. Arroyo, a 1998 CHS graduate who directed Colfax High to a pair of league championships and earned Cal-Hi Sports all-state quarterback honors in his senior season, takes the new position at Cal after being the offensive coordinator at Wyoming the past two seasons.
“It was a tremendous opportunity that I couldn’t pass up,” said Arryo Saturday. “To be able to get to the Pac-12 and coach under a coach like Jeff Tedford is something I’ve always dreamed about.” Saturday was a busy day for Tedford as he also announced Jim Michaelczik as the Bears’ new offensive coordinator and offensive line coach and promoted Ron Gould to the team’s run game coordinator.
“Marcus is a tremendous addition to our staff,” said Tedford in a Cal press release. “He has done an excellent job developing quarterbacks throughout his coaching career. He’s young and enthusiastic, but he also has more than a decade of experience coaching and playing the posiotion at the collegiate level. We’re excited to bring him into our program.” Arroyo noted that growing up in Northern California he has always followed and admired Cal’s program. "I'm excited to have the opportunity to join the football coaching staff at the University of California," said Arroyo. "Growing up in Northern California, I have long admired Cal as a place that is a fabulous university with an excellent football program. I hope that I can add to what Cal already is by bringing my energy, enthusiasm and knowledge for the game of football and specifically the quarterback position."
Arroyo, who turned 31 in January, started his coaching career at San Jose State as an undergraduate assistant in 2003. In 2004, he went to Prairie View in Texas where he was the offensive coordinator. He then returned to San Jose State in 2005 working as an assistant coach and quarterbacks coach.
Link to rest of article.

Aaron Rodgers on Letterman

Monday, February 07, 2011

Daily Cal:Michalczik Returns to Cal As Offensive Coordinator

Jack Wang
The wait is over. After weeks of silence despite persistent rumblings, Cal has finally officially announced the return of Jim Michalczik as both offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. Michalczik, who served as Cal's offensive line coach from 2002-08. He spent the last two seasons working at the same spot for the Oakland Raiders. His return is balanced by the arrival of newcomer Marcus Arroyo, a former San Jose State signal-caller, as Cal's quarterbacks coach. The pair solidifies the offensive coaching staff, which was joined by wide receivers coach Eric Kiesau - another former Cal staffer - earlier this offseason.
"My entire family is excited and fired up to be returning to the Cal football program," Michalczik said in a press release.
"I am thankful for the opportunity coach Tedford has provided me to return to his staff and resume working with him. I am proud of what we have accomplished at Cal in the past and am looking forward to what we can accomplish in the future." The Bears also have reason to be excited about Michalczik's return, even if it continues a pattern of hiring familiar faces.
Cal won five of six bowl games during the last six years of Michalczik's tenure and produced 1,000-yard rushers in all seven. The team also averaged at least 350 yards of offense in each season, and ranked in the top 10 in rushing offense in 2004 and 2005.
Michalczik, who has spent 19 years coaching college football, also helped oversee the development of former Cal center Alex Mack. Mack, who was named to the All-Pac-10 first time three times, was named to the 2011 Pro Bowl Roster as an alternate. This past NFL season, the Raiders ranked second in the league in rushing, sixth in scoring and 10th in total offense. The team fell outside the top 20 in each the previous season.
Link to rest of article.

Autographed Aaron Rodgers' Football

Back in 2004 I took my 1 year old son to fan appreciation day at Memorial Stadium and had some of the Golden Bears sign a football. That #8 signature (Aaron Rodgers' number at Cal) is now looking pretty sweet.

SF Examiner: Tedford to Focus on Coaching Cal QBs Again: 6 QBs Competing

Jake Curtis
Head coach Jeff Tedford will return to focusing his coaching attention on the quarterback position this spring, hoping to rebuild a position that has let the team down the past two season.
“Yes, it’s going to be like the old days where I’m with them every single day,” Tedford said Wednesday. That was the approach Tedford used through his first six years at Cal, acting as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach while letting position coaches handle other aspects of the team. The past three years, though, Tedford took a different approach, trying to oversee the team as a whole and turning over many of specific coaching chores to position coaches. Andy Ludwig was the quarterbacks coach the past two seasons, and while Tedford still took part in coaching the quarterbacks, he was not nearly as actively involved with them as he had been.
That’s over. Tedford will serve as quarterbacks coach. Period. Tedford hasn’t been calling all the offensive plays for the past few years either, as he had for the first several years at Cal, and he hinted he may go back to calling the plays in 2011, too. No one on the staff has the official title of quarterbacks coach now. Jim Michalczik will return as the Bears’ offensive line coach, but, contrary to recent reports, Michalczik will not hold the title of offensive coordinator, Tedford said. Tedford did not reveal exactly what titles people will carry, but it’s another indication Tedford will take a more active role in the offensive in general and the quarterback position in particularly. Eric Kiesau holds the title of passing game coordinator, so perhaps Michalczik will be named running-game coordinator.
Read the rest here.

ESPN: Tedford Reconstructs Offensive Staff

Ted Miller
California's offense will feature a lot of chefs in the kitchen this fall as the Bears attempt to rediscover their mojo following the first losing season under coach Jeff Tedford. As expected, Jim Michalczik has been announced as the offensive coordinator and line coach. Marcus Arroyo, an offensive coordinator or co-offensive coordinator at Wyoming the past four years, has been hired as quarterbacks coach. Associate head coach and running backs coach Ron Gould has been promoted to the team’s run game coordinator. Receivers coach Eric Kiesau will serve as passing game coordinator.
It is not yet clear who will have final word on play calls. That might be Tedford, who has said he will be more involved with the quarterbacks -- the competition starting this spring is wide open -- and he also said Wednesday that it's "possible" he will call plays.
Michalczik and Kiesau previously coached with Tedford when the Bears' offense was rolling up big numbers, on the ground and through the air. Michalczik spent seven seasons coaching the Bears’ line from 2002-08. He has been the offensive line coach for the Oakland Raiders the past two seasons after 19 previous campaigns in the collegiate coaching ranks. “We had a tremendous amount of success in our offensive line play during Jim’s previous tenure at Cal and we plan to resume and surpass that level of success in the future," Tedford said in a statement.
Link to rest of article.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

SF Examiner: Tedford Not Afraid of Change as Coaching Staff Overhaulded

Glenn Dickey
Cal football coach Jeff Tedford has been making sweeping changes in his coaching staff, trying to rebound from his first losing season with the Bears. Not all of the departures have been announced as firings, but you can be certain that those who have left voluntarily did so because they were encouraged to do so by Tedford. The most significant moves are probably the departure of offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig and offensive line coach Steve Marshall.
Marshall has already been replaced by Jim Michalczik, who is a familiar face, having spent seven years with the Bears before leaving to do the same job for the Raiders the last two years. He did a terrific job this past season, transforming a weak unit into one of the strengths of the Raiders as they broke their streak of seven seasons with double-digit losses. Ludwig’s replacement may be named today but, whoever he is, he won’t have all the responsibilities that Ludwig had because Tedford has announced that he’ll be calling plays at least part of the time next season. Tedford was hired as head coach at Cal because he had been an outstanding offensive coordinator at Oregon. He continued to call plays for the Bears through the 2007 season, and the Bears were known for their quick-striking offense.
Link to rest of article.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

SF Chronicle: Cal Nabs Top 15 Recruiting Class

John Crumpacker

Over a span of 5 hours, 38 minutes on Wednesday morning, a total of 22 faxed national letters-of-intent arrived in Cal's football office, giving the Golden Bears a recruiting class expected to be ranked in the top 15 in the country.  There was one new name on the list, that of defensive back Kameron Jackson from Long Beach Poly High School, alma mater of former Cal great DeSean Jackson, no relation.
At 4:12 a.m., the first letter-of-intent to arrive was from wide receiver Maurice Harris of North Carolina, 12 minutes after the official start time of 7 a.m. Eastern standard. The last to come in was at 9:50 a.m. from defensive back Jordan Morgan of Lakeside, Ariz.
Three signees are already in school as of the spring semester in defensive back Avery Walls of McDonough, Ga., running back Darren Ervin of Houston and offensive lineman Matt Williams of North Dakota.  The big catch for coach Jeff Tedford was defensive tackle Viliami Moala of Grant High School in Sacramento, the only five-star recruit on Cal's list of 22. Moala and high school teammate Puka Lopa, a defensive end, wanted all along to play for the same college and now they will.
Read the rest here.

Former USC Quarterback Arrested in Drug Sting

Sad ending for Mitch Mustain. LINK.