Tuesday, December 21, 2010

SF Examiner: Tedford's season hampered by quarterback problem

Glenn Dickey

There are many reasons Jeff Tedford suffered his first losing season at Cal this fall, but none so big as the quarterback problem.  So the most important goal is finding a quarterback who can return the Bears to a bowl, where they are notably absent for the first time in eight years.  “We’re going to concentrate on finding that one guy in the spring, so we can work with him for the season,” Tedford said in a recent interview.

Brock Mansion, who ended the season No. 1 after Kevin Riley’s collegiate career was ended by a severe knee injury in the Oregon State game, returns for his senior season, but he’ll have to show much more than he did at the end of the 2010 season.  Mansion has shown the ability in practice to make all the throws, but he was tentative and inconsistent in games.   “It was like the game was too fast for him,” Tedford said. “We kept waiting for that breakthrough when he’d take charge, but he’d make some nice throws and then just throw one into the dirt. The good thing was that he didn’t turn the ball over.”

In the spring, Tedford said he’ll put Mansion in competitive situations to see if he can develop the poise he needs.

“You can’t do it with 7-on-7 drills,” he said. “It has to be as close as possible to a live game situation.”

Link to rest of article.

Monday, December 20, 2010

SF Chronicle: Bears on Recruiting Trail

John Crumpacker

Although the football season ended badly for Cal, the worst of coach Jeff Tedford's nine seasons in Berkeley, recruiting is apparently going well for the Bears.  According to both Rivals.com and ESPN, Cal has secured commitments from 15 high school players, as many as eight of them considered four-star recruits. One of them is quarterback Kyle Boehm of Mitty High in San Jose. Man, do the Bears ever need a capable quarterback in 2011. I like Brock Mansion but he did not do enough in his time as a starter toward the end of 2010 to justify confidence in him for next season.

Keenan Allen's half-brother, Zach Maynard, is expected to enroll in school next semester and when and if he does, he could move to the front of the quarterback competition. The Bears desperately need someone to demonstrate competence at the position and engender confidence among his teammates.  Until a prep player signs his letter of intent, nothing is official, of course. But as it stands now, Cal is ranked in the top 20 in the country in the qualify of players verbally commiting to Berkeley. The class includes three running backs, three defensive linemen, two offensive linemen, two defensive backs, one linebacker, one tight end, one wide receiver and one fellow listed as an "athlete,'' Jalen Jefferson of Ventura.  Among Tedford's 2010 coaching staff, offensive line coach Steve Marshall accepted a similar position at Colorado while receivers coach Kevin Daft was let go.

Link to rest of article.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Contra Costa Times: Tedford fires two Cal assistant coaches


Cal football coach Jeff Tedford made his first moves to shake things up after the Bears' 5-7 season, firing wide receivers coach Kevin Daft and strength and conditioning coach John Krasinski on Friday.  Daft, a former NFL quarterback, was the Bears' quarterbacks coach in 2007 before moving to receivers in 2008. He held that position the past three seasons.

The Bears have suffered a void of playmaking from their receivers in recent years, and it's contributed to a subpar passing offense. Marvin Jones has been a consistent producer the past two seasons, averaging 46.5 catches, 708 yards and five touchdowns. The Bears haven't been able to find anyone else to be a consistent playmaker, although freshman Keenan Allen showed promise.

Krasinski spent the past nine years as Cal's strength and conditioning coach. He was heavily involved in the plans for the new Student-Athlete High-Performance Center currently being constructed adjacent to Memorial Stadium.  Colorado coach Jon Embree confirmed the hiring of Steve Marshall as offensive line coach. Marshall's departure from Cal, where he was the offensive line coach the past two seasons, was initially reported last week.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

ESPN: Todd Barr Commits to Cal


It was a whirlwind recruitment for Lakewood (Calif.) defensive tackle Todd Barr. His leader changed a few times but the one constant was always Cal and on Monday, the talented lineman decided to end the recruiting process.

Barr nearly committed to Cal after an unofficial visit back in the summer. He decided to take his official visits but then nearly committed to the Bears following another unofficial visit during the season.

He held off once more and took official visits to Washington, Florida and Oregon. Following his visits to the Swamp and Eugene, word was he wanted to commit to each school but something always held him back. Just a week ago, Lancer coach Thadd MacNeal said Oregon was the leader and he could commit soon. Barr decided to take one last official visit to Berkeley two weeks ago and now he's a Bear.

ESPN: Cal Posting a Big Recruiting Week


California didn't have a great season on the field, but it's surging in recruiting.  The Bears received commitments from two ESPNU 150 players this week: defensive tackle Todd Barr of Lakewood, Calif., and linebacker Jason Gibson of Serra (Gardena, Calif.).  And they might pull a trifecta: touted defensive back Avery Walls of Eagle's Landing Christian High School (McDonough, Ga.) is expected to decide Tuesday between the Bears, Oregon and Michigan.  Barr and Gibson give Cal 14 commitments.  Barr, 6-foot-3, 265 pounds, is ranked the nation's No. 3 defensive tackle and No. 31 overall prospect. He made official visits to Oregon, Washington and Florida, but he had offers from every BCS conference.  "It's where I always wanted to go," Barr told ESPN's Greg Biggins. "I have a great comfort level there and I'm very comfortable with all the coaches. I'm super tight with Tosh [Lupoi], the defensive line coach and that made a big difference for me. I think the defense is a great fit for me, I love the academics and I like how the school is far enough away from home to get the college feel but still close enough to come home whenever I want to."
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Gibson is ranked the No. 6 outside linebacker and No. 129 overall in the nation. He also received offers from every Pac-10 school, among others across the country.  The Bears' 2010 class finished ranked 15th in the nation. Is this one on pace to match or even eclipse it?

ESPN: Jason Gibson Commits to Cal


Monday was a big day for Cal as the Bears locked up Lakewood (Calif.) defensive lineman Todd Barr earlier in the day and then landed Serra (Gardena, Calif.) linebacker Jason Gibson at night.  "I'm a Bear, I'm excited to get this out of the way," Gibson said. "I called up coach [Jeff] Tedford and told him I was ready to be a Bear and I could tell he was real excited too. Cal just felt right to me and I've been leaning there since the spring. In fact, I was close to committing there before the season started but I decided I wanted to take some visits first.  "I liked Oregon a lot too, that was a cool visit but Cal was just the best fit for me. I like the academics, I like the defense and I think the 3-4 scheme fits me really well. Some schools liked me as a defensive end because I can rush the passer but size wise, I think linebacker is the best position for me and at Cal, I'll get the best of both worlds. I'll be able to play linebacker and still rush the passer."

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Contra Costa Times: Cal's Offensive Line Coach Departs

Cal offensive line coach Steve Marshall will take the same position at Colorado under new coach Jon Embree, rivals.com is reporting. Neither school confirmed the move Thursday, and Cal coach Jeff Tedford didn't respond to a text message seeking comment.  The move will require Tedford to hire his second offensive line coach in less than two years. He hired Marshall in January 2009 after longtime coach Jim Michalczik left.