Sunday, April 23, 2006

SF Chronicle: Cal's spring ends with Longshore in the saddle


Bruce Adams, Chronicle Staff Writer

After completing six passes in nine attempts for 113 yards and two touchdowns, Nate Longshore was named Cal's No. 1 quarterback -- for the time being.  Coach Jeff Tedford made the announcement Saturday after the Bears' final spring session, quickly noting "it really doesn't matter."  While Longshore will take the first snaps when fall camp beings, competition will continue between him, Joe Ayoob, who didn't play Saturday after incurring a high ankle sprain earlier in the week, Kyle Reed and Steve Levy.  Longshore, who missed most of the year with a severe ankle injury, still needs to get his mobility back, Tedford said.  In Saturday's scrimmage, Longshore and wide receiver DeSean Jackson connected on a 70-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the day.  Tailback Marshawn Lynch ran for 50 yards and two touchdowns and backup Justin Forsett gained 45 yards and scored one touchdown.  Reed went 7-for-8 for 23 yards and one touchdown. Levy was 3-for-9 and 32 yards.  Cornerback Tim Mixon intercepted a Reed pass and returned it 85 yards for a touchdown.  The Bears now go into offseason conditioning, reporting back for fall camp in early August. They open Sept. 2 at Tennessee.  

Spring grades: Tedford said players having outstanding springs included center Alex Mack, defensive back Bernard Hicks and fullback Will Ta'ufo'ou.  "We got a lot done," he said. "We learned a lot."

Coaching plan: The coaching staff will spend a good portion of the offseason fine-turning the Bears' new offense.  The team will be incorporating elements of the spread-option.  New offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar ran the spread at Northwestern, where the Wildcats had the No. 4 ranked offense in the nation last year.  Tedford said the staff would try and determine the extent the team will run out of the old conventional system and the recently popularized spread, which can spread receivers across the field while retaining a strong run game.

Position changes: The Bears made two significant position changes in the spring.  David Gray was moved back to wide receiver. Gray began his career at Cal as a wideout and was moved to tight end last year.  Tedford said that in spread formations Gray, who is an accomplished receiver, can still line up inside where his size -- he is 6-foot-3, 232 pounds -- could be put to use as a blocker.   Chet Teofilo was moved from the defensive line to the offensive line where he'll be used at tackle. Line coach Jim Michalczik said coaches believe Teofilo, 6-3, 295 pounds, has more potential on offense.


No comments: