(BERKELEY) - Cal head coach Jeff Tedford addressed a group of media during a teleconference call on Monday to talk about a Cal (7-5, 4-5 Pac-12) squad that is bowl eligible for the eighth time in the last nine seasons. The Bears will find out the 2011 bowl they will be playing in and their opponent when bowl selections are made on Sunday, Dec. 4. For more information on Cal's bowl prospects, visit CalBears.com.
Following are selected comments of what Tedford had to say.
On Mychal Kendricks being named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year
"I think that's a great honor for Mychal. He has worked very hard over the years and been the backbone of our defense. He's made a lot of plays for us. I think Mychal would be the first to admit that he couldn't have done it without his teammates to help put him in the position to do the things that he has done. He's worked very hard, and he's obviously a guy who people have recognized as someone who you have to pay attention to as you game plan. I'm very proud of how Mychal has grown and developed. I'm happy for him to be recognized with that honor."
On the increased value of Kendricks' importance to the defense with the injuries suffered to different Bears on defense this season
"The most important thing is that D.J. Holt was in there from the first snap to the last snap because I think Mychal would tell you that D.J. as far as his partner inside, really helps him with communication and they play very well together and feed off of one another."
On his thoughts on which bowl game Cal will play in
"We really don't know right now. We're making contingency plans for different bowls, looking at different practice schedules so on and so forth. It's great to be back in the bowl scene and to be back in one of the bowls that our conference is affiliated with. I know our players are excited, and I'm really proud of how the team has finished the year, winning three of the last four, and the one at Stanford, only losing by three points. Whichever bowl game we play in, we're going to be excited to be there and we look forward to the opportunity."
On the benefits of recruiting when your team is bowl eligible
"When you're successful on the field that definitely helps. Going to bowl games and with things the way they are right now that's exciting. Put that together with all of the other things that the University of California has to offer with an education and now the new facility, there's plenty to offer. With our guys having the most on the all-academic team in the conference, I think there are many things to showcase."
On emphasizing the Simpson Center for High Performance to recruits
"It's a huge part of it, when they come on campus and they're able to walk through a facility. It's been a long time since we've been able to do that. For 10 years, we've been showing them pictures of things that are going to come, and now it's just nice to know that we can actually walk kids through our facility that is up to speed with our competitors, and they'll have a first-class place to hone their skills, academically and athletically. That's a focal point to what they're looking at when they come on campus."
On focusing more on getting the true freshmen involved in bowl practices or sticking with the starters
"It really depends on which game that we go to. The earlier the game, the less you can do that. The later the game, the more you can just because there are more practice opportunities. If it happened to be a game that was later in December, then you could take the first part of your bowl practices and kind of make it like a spring practice, letting a lot of other guys get in there to help other guys get healthy. Then when you're closer to the game, you have to implement the game plan, and the guys who would be playing would participate more."
On if there are any younger players the coaches want to highlight more
"Not by name, I mean, all of them. All of the guys who redshirted this year, you want to get those guys in and get a good look at them. It gives them an opportunity. They've typically been on the scout team all year, so you let loose a little bit to let them have a little fun, and see where they are and take a good look at them playing football. They've been harnessed with running plays off of cards. They haven't been able to cut it loose. They always have had to go exactly where you tell them. Now, you can let them play."