Wednesday, March 30, 2011

SF Chronicle: Tedford Takes Reins of Cal's Offense

John Crumpacker
When Cal takes the field for its games this season, there will be a new man calling plays for the Bears. In this case, however, it's like the old Who song: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Jeff Tedford hopes that's a good thing, because he's the boss and he'll be calling the majority of plays in an effort to make his first losing season as Cal's head coach his only losing season.
"I did it the first three or four years here, then went back and forth," Tedford said. "You've got to be all in or out, one of the two. There's got to be a role you play. You get to set things up, have a good feel for things." For Tedford and his team, it begins anew with spring practice, 15 sessions spread over a month's time, starting today and running through April 30. Because of the renovation of Memorial Stadium and unexpected structural issues at adjacent Witter Rugby Field, the Bears will be primarily a road show this spring.
Link to rest of article.

Contra Costa Times: Cal football team begins its first road trip, with spring practices set at six different venues

Jonathan Okanes
Cal's football team embarked on its 2011 spring tour Tuesday, opening spring practice at Skyline High in Oakland, one of six venues the Bears will call home between now and the end of April.
Cal usually practices on campus at Memorial Stadium, but the facility is undergoing renovations. The Bears were supposed to use nearby Witter Rugby Field instead, but the recently installed field turf was not done properly and is not suitable for football practice.
So Cal now will hold most of its spring practices at Golden Bear Field on the school's Clark Kerr campus and Laney College in Oakland. The Bears would have practiced at Golden Bear Field on Tuesday, but the recent heavy rains made conditions there unplayable.
"We'll manage it," Cal coach Jeff Tedford said after the Bears wrapped up their first practice. "It's not as convenient as walking out your back door. There's work to be done. No matter where we practice or where we play, we need to focus on the job at hand. It's all about focusing on the job that we need to get done."
In addition, the Bears already had planned to hold three off-site practices that will be open to the public. Cal will practice at Grant High-Sacramento on April 9, Valley Christian-San Jose on April 16 and San Ramon Valley High on April 30.
Link to rest of article.

Monday, March 28, 2011

SJ Mercury: Quarterback is Just of the Issues Confronting Bears

Jonathan Okanes
For the first time in his nine years as Cal's coach, Jeff Tedford enters a spring practice coming off a losing season. Not surprisingly, there are issues.
Tedford started the process of repairing the program during the offseason by replacing five of his assistant coaches and bringing in his second consecutive top-15 recruiting class. But now is when the real improvement needs to begin.
There are several areas in which the Bears need to improve, starting with the not-so-insignificant matter of finding an effective quarterback. Cal also has no experienced tailbacks, a dearth of proven wide receivers and three key defensive players who each will be drafted into the NFL next month. Tedford also has to keep the team focused on the task at hand while it busses to different locations for spring practice sessions.
The following are the top five storylines to watch during Cal's spring practice:
1. Find the frontrunners at quarterback. Tedford has said he likely won't have a starter in place by the end of spring, but he'd like to narrow it down to a top three. There are five scholarship quarterbacks on the roster this spring, although redshirt freshman Austin Hinder likely isn't realistically in the mix simply because of his lack of seniority.
Link to rest of article.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Donate to Save Cal Baseball

The Chronicle reported today that the Save Cal Baseball campaign, headed by Stu Gordon, has raised $9 million of the $10 million needed to save the baseball program. Click here to go to the site and make a donation.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Cal Football Forced to Relocate Spring Practice

Cal announced today that the newly installed artificial turf on Witter Rugby Field will have to be replaced "in order to assure safety and suitability for student-athletes and intramural sports teams" due to unanticipated structural issues. The field was converted from natural grass to an artificial surface in the fall.
"The structural base and drainage systems are simply not performing as required, and we are moving swiftly and aggressively to rectify the situation," said Bob Milano Jr., Assistant Athletic Director for Capital Planning and Management.
The repairs should be completed by early June. Cal's football spring practice, which starts Tuesday, March 29, will move to two primary venues - Golden Bear Field on Cal's Clark Kerr Campus and Laney College in Oakland. All football team workouts are closed to the public except on the following dates - April 2 (Laney), April 9 (Grant High School, Sacramento), April 16 (Valley Christian High School, San Jose) and April 30 (San Ramon Valley High School, Danville). The off-site practices in Sacramento, San Jose and Danville had been previously scheduled.
"Although we are disappointed that the physical condition of the turf at Witter Rugby Field will not allow us to hold our practices at the facility this spring, it is important that we do everything possible to ensure the safety of our players," head football coach Jeff Tedford said. "Moving our spring practices is something that we've determined is necessary for us to do while the turf is being repaired."

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sports Illustrated: Burning Questions for Each Pac-12 Team

California: Will Jeff Tedford develop a big-time quarterback?
Tedford was once known as a quarterback guru, but it has been a long time since he had one who made anyone salivate. Kevin Riley's gone, and five -- count 'em, five -- guys appear to have a legitimate shot in a wide-open competition. When Riley was injured, Brock Mansion started the latter part of last season. The others: Allan Bridgford (sophomore), Austin Hinder (redshirt freshman), Zach Maynard (junior) and Beau Sweeney (junior). Who will it be? It's an important question to answer, because it's time for the Golden Bears to get back to winning. What Tedford has done in Berkeley is underappreciated; he's been working with substandard facilities (a problem that's finally being rectified). But college football fans aren't known for their patience. Watching Oregon -- and especially Big Game rival Stanford -- surpass Cal in the conference hierarchy has to sting.