Sunday, August 26, 2007

Contra Costa Times: Reed disappointed at not being top backup

Tedford says Riley isn't necessarily the heir apparent to Longshore

BERKELEY -- Cal's Kyle Reed said he was "disappointed" and "kind of confused" when coach Jeff Tedford informed him he had given the No. 2 quarterback job to redshirt freshman Kevin Riley.   Tedford made the decision Thursday to have Riley back up starter Nate Longshore, although he said the competition was close and it was a "day-to-day thing." Reed and Riley had been competing all through training camp for the position.  "I didn't understand," Reed said. "I feel like if that's what Coach feels is best for the team, then it's something that I just have to deal with." Reed, a redshirt sophomore, said he has no plans to transfer or change positions. "I'm a quarterback. I'm going to stay at quarterback," he said.  Tedford said the decision doesn't necessarily mean Riley is the heir apparent to Longshore, a junior. The Bears won't need a new starting quarterback until 2009 (barring injury), and Tedford said the competition will be ongoing until then.

Still, Reed is clearly disappointed with the decision, something Tedford said is to be expected. "That's natural," Tedford said. "When a guy puts in that much time and energy, you can't expect him to be chipper. He's bounced back. He's had a good attitude the last couple of days. I have a lot of confidence he's going to stay focused on what he needs to get the job done and be ready." Even though Reed has had a couple days to digest the news, it's clear he's still trying to make peace with it. "I'm not going to lie. It's still something that's wearing on me," he said. "I have to suck it up as a man and try to better myself through this process."

The finish line

Even though the Bears started preparing for Tennessee on Wednesday, Saturday marked the official end of training camp. The biggest revelation during the past three weeks was the quality of the freshman class, which has a handful of players who should make contributions this season. "You always think you have a good class," Tedford said. "From top to bottom, you have some situations where it's really solid and then you have some guys who don't make the transition all that well. This year, it has met all expectations. They are a great group." Tedford said defensive back Chris Conte, defensive end Cameron Jordan and running back Jahvid Best will play this season, and didn't rule out others.

Tedford said the tone of training camp has been different during the past couple years since the Bears have established themselves as a national-level program. "As the expectations have grown over the years, it used to be something we talked about," Tedford said. "Now it's not something we talk about. It's just is what it is. Over the last couple of days, some of the seniors were kind of reflecting that this was their last day of camp. It wasn't 'hooray', it was more of a sentimental thing. They have a lot invested in this."



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