Jeff Tedford: Hi, this is Coach Tedford. I'm here and ready to start answering your questions. There are a ton of questions, so I won't be able to get to all of them, but I am going try to touch on some of the most common questions. Thanks for your support and Go Bears!!!
Steve - Livermore: Is the QB position wide open for 2010?
Jeff Tedford: We might as well get started with one of the most asked questions. The answer is yes, the quarterback position will be open and competitive through the spring, summer and fall. That being said, I would like everyone to understand that whoever plays quarterback will not be perfect. There are many complications involved in playing that position. It's very important that the entire offense functions at a high level for the quarterback to accomplish his job. It's imperative that all positions on the offense continue to improve so that whichever quarterback plays they can perform at a high level.
Jim Faulkner (Castro Valley, CA): What are you going to do to improve the special teams, especially the kickoff and kick returns?
Jeff Tedford: I agree that we need improvement in those areas and have started by making a staff change to incorporate new philosophies and enthusiasm. We need to continue to improve our consistency by our kickers so that all other players on that team have a chance to be successful, therefore creating positive field position for the offense or defense.
Jim Davis - Alameda: Will you and your defensive coordinator use a more aggressive defensive scheme this year? The zone defense and 3 man rush with an occasional blitz was largely ineffective in putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks last year. Isn't it time to try more confusing blitz packages with some man-to-man secondary coverage since the passive system clearly didn't work last year?
Jeff Tedford: The answer is yes. In reflecting on last season, we agree we need to be more aggressive as a philosophy. While there are times to use a three-man rush, our mindset next season will be more aggressive.
Ross (Portland): Hey Coach Tedford, big fan of yours here. What is the main focus this spring regarding improving the passing game? The offensive line protection? WR route running? QB accuracy?
Jeff Tedford: Thank you for your support. The focus will be all of the above. To have an effective passing game includes protection -- and that includes offensive line, tight ends and running backs -- route continuity, quarterback decision-making and accuracy. We will focus on all of them.
Evan Pollack, Bryn Mawr: Can Cal be in the Rose Bowl in the next 5 years?
Jeff Tedford: That's a great question ... and one that's been asked for the last half-century. In all seriousness, there is a burning desire from everyone in this program -- coaches and players -- to accomplish that. This past season for the first time in eight years, a team other than USC represented the Pac-10 in the Rose Bowl. Even though over the past eight seasons we are the second-winningest program in the Pac-10, which has been an admirable accomplishment by our players, we are working harder than ever to accomplish the goal.
Mark (Martinez, CA): Will the Memorial Stadium rennovations be completed by the beginning of next football season? Ive heard rumors of possibly Cal needing to play home games at the Oakland Coliseum. Thank you and GO BEARS.
Jeff Tedford: The Memorial Stadium renovations are moving rapidly and are very exciting. The goal is to occupy the first phase [Student-Athlete High Performance Center] in July of 2011. We will play our games away from Memorial Stadium in 2011, while the second phase is completed to return to Memorial Stadium for the 2012 season. Where we will play in 2011 is yet to determined.
Greg SF: How strong does academics play in attracting recruits? Cal is more like Stanford than USC when it comes to the academics. How do you present this to a recruit who may not be so confident in making it in the classroom at Cal?
Jeff Tedford: Academics play a vital role in recruiting. The Cal degree will last the student-athletes a lifetime. The focus is to combine successful academics, athletics and a social environment that Cal provides. While competitive in the classroom, we dedicate many hours of support, and a great deal of resources, to help make the classroom experience successful. It is very gratifying as a coach to see the growth and development that these young people have with their confidence and self-esteem that is gained from their academic successes.
Thomas, SF, CA: Coach Tedford, Can you address the skeptics who think that this chat is not live, and that all questions were answered ahead of time? Thanks!
Jeff Tedford: Yes, it is live and it's lunchtime! My media guy has me handcuffed to the chair to answer all the skeptics. Just kidding. I feel like it is important to interact with you all from time to time.
Greg F. (San Anselmo): With the inclusion of the 2010 signing class this past week, is this the most recruits by percentage to sign from outside the state of California? How did you go about securing such a class? Go Bears!
Jeff Tedford: We are fired up about this year's recruiting class. Our recruiting philosophy is still to focus on the Western United States and only spend our time and resources on national recruits who have an interest in Cal and are good fits for our program. Our staff works very hard during the recruiting process, as did our players do a nice job of creating a positive and welcoming environment for the recruits.
Joe Davis (Honolulu): How can we fans help the most?
Jeff Tedford: The most positive way the fans can help is by providing unconditional support for the program. I have noticed in this day and age of blogging, message boards, etc., that people are eager to give negative opinions. While I understand the frustration from time to time, there is nothing positive that comes from that. It doesn't make for a positive environment for our players and coaches, and only provides fuel for negativity in recruiting, which is used against us. So if you want to help, stay positive. It will go much further than the negativity.
Jeff Tedford: I want to thank all of you for your interest and passion for Cal football. We've had nearly 300 questions and I'm sorry I can't answer all of them, but I tried to touch on some of the more consistently asked ones. Moving forward we are going to continue to evaluate and focus on consistency, execution, leadership and enthusiasm for this upcoming season. Please know that we have strong dedication and passion to reach our goals and to make you all proud.