Aug. 3, 2005
SAN FRANCISCO - With practice for the 2005 season starting next week, California participated in the annual Bay Area football media day Wednesday at MoMo's in San Francisco. Head coach Jeff Tedford, as well as three of the Golden Bear seniors who were in attendance, provided their assessment of the upcoming campaign.
Head Coach Jeff Tedford
"We are very excited about a new season. There are going to be a lot of new faces in place, we lost 26 guys last season. We are going to be young, but we feel like we have enough talent to be successful. I think we are going to have more team speed than we've had in three years that we've been at Cal and we are very excited about that. I think we are going to have some new faces that step up; they are eager about the challenge and they are looking forward to it. I know they have worked hard all summer long. They are very anxious to get into camp. We report on Sunday and start our first practice on Monday; we are very, very excited about that. We are very fortune to keep our staff in place. I think that has a lot to do with the foundation we've built here at Cal and we are very excited about this season."
On the immediate goals for training camp:
"Just to get our young faces involved; the speed of the game, the expectation of playing at this level. Some of the guys have had the opportunity to be in the system, but have not had a lot of physical repetitions. So we want to get them on the field; get them a lot of reps, and let them make mistakes early. We are going to throw a lot at them early, let them make their mistakes so they are ready for the first game."
On who will start at quarterback
"Right now, if we had to play today, it would be Nathan Longshore. He's really the incumbent. He had the luxury last year of being on the road with us and in all the game plan meetings. He did a good job in the spring. The junior college transfer, [Joe] Ayoob, had a nice spring. I am real anxious to see if he carries over what he took in the spring and through the summer, to see what retention he has of the offense. He's very talented. Both will compete through camp and we won't name a starter until the first week."
Senior Cornerback Harrison Smith
"I think with the talent that we do have, we have the ability to be a really good team. I know there is going to be some growing pains here and there, with some of the new guys having to make a difference early. I think we should get back right where we left off last year, we had that bad game at the end, but we had a good season. So, we'll see what happens again."
"I just want to make sure I contribute to the team. I hope to have a big role again this year, but regardless, I hope to have an impact game-by-game."
Senior Rover Donnie McCleskey
"I expect us to be great. That's the bottom line. We have a bunch of new faces. We are going to get it done with the people we have. I want to stay healthy and lead the team the direction they need to go, stay on top."
Senior Center Marvin Philip
"We feel like we have a lot of talent, probably one of the most talented teams we've had in a while."
"On a personal level, I want to improve on last year. I think last year was the ground breaker for me, showing everyone what I am capable of. Now it's time to improve on that and back up what happened last year."