Feb. 28, 2008
BERKELEY - While head coach Jeff Tedford and his coaching staff have been bunkered down in their offices preparing for an intriguing spring camp, the Golden Bear players have been working hard in the strength and conditioning areas while also competing amongst themselves in 7-on-7 drills. Coach Tedford took a few minutes to answer some questions regarding what he sees at this point heading into spring camp, which begins on March 17.
What are your goals for the spring?
To evaluate our young talent. To stratify depth throughout our team at all positions. To work together to form a great chemistry for the 2008 team.
What are the team strengths heading into spring?
I would have to say our linebacking crew. They have the most experience on our team.
Things that you will focus on improving?
What are you looking for at quarterback?
We're looking for healthy competition, to be able to run our offense and put us in the best position to be successful.
What are your thoughts on the running back position?
Our running back situation, we feel very fortunate to be in a position to have great depth at running back. Even though Jahvid [Best] won't play in the spring, he showed us great potential last year to be a strong contributor. James Montgomery showed last year his ability; we'll get him more in the mix. We have some other young guys with a lot of talent in Tracy Slocum and Shane Vereen who have shown signs of being very explosive and exciting players. And Covaughn Deboskie is a young guy that's here that will get his feet wet and we'll get a glimpse at what he's bringing to the program early.
What are you hoping for out of the wide receivers?
We need to increase the learning curve. We're very young there. Our freshman and our young guys are able to get quality reps and get a great understanding of our offense coming out of spring practice.
Which offensive linemen do you see stepping into key roles this year?
I think it's important that we have a good nucleus of young guys. It will be great to see how they fit into the offensive line chemistry and really form the top 8-9 guys in that group. Guys that have been here a couple of years like Chet Teofilo and Chris Guarnero have some time in the program; the young guys like Mitchell Schwartz, Sam DeMartinis, Justin Cheadle, we are really excited to see what they can do come spring time.
What do you hope to see defensively this spring?
We're looking to incorporate some of our young players that redshirted last year. I think there's a lot of talent and a lot of character with those guys. We'll see a lot of those young guys start to fit into the system - D.J. Holt, D.J. Campbell, Sean Cattouses, Ernie Owusu, Scott Smith, Solomona [Aigamaua], all those young guys that came in in last year's class; we'll see how they can fit in and help us on the defense.
What are you hoping for on the line?
One of our goals is to create more of a pass rush. I think spring is going to be really important to evaluate some of those young defensive lineman.
Any specific young guys you see stepping up?
There's a lot of them. Everyone will have an opportunity to make an impact this spring and become key parts of this team.
Any concerns with going with a freshman punter?
Bryan Anger is as good of a young punter as there is in the country and we have high expectations for him.