Aug. 8, 2009
BERKELEY - California head coach Jeff Tedford and Kevin Riley were among the players to address the media following the team's first 2009 training camp workout on Monday. Following are selected comments of what they had to say.
On the team's experience
"With the leadership you have out there, you can move fast and let the young guys kind of pick up on their lead. There's no question that the experience in our defense, the experience with our offense, and with all the returners everything just moves much more smoothly."
On Kevin Riley
"He looks much more compact in his fundamentals, and he's much more confident with what he's doing. You can tell when he gets to the line of scrimmage that he has great command of what he's doing in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage."
"He's taken on a leadership role. He's really the veteran quarterback. Every day, people are going to do things differently if they get called on to do something, and he was called on to do it today."
"Certain guys flash, yeah. You take a look at Ryan Davis; you take a look at Isi (Sofele). Those guys just really kind of flashed today. Dasarte (Yarnway), a lot of them. But again, we're in helmets today and you really can't tell much except just how they're moving around and how athletic they are."
On keeping a team with high expectations and a No. 12 national ranking level-headed
"It's good. We're not trying to hide from the expectations. What the ranking means is that we have potential to be a good football team. What we do with that potential is up to us and how we practice every day, and how hard we work. It's all in our hands to take care of business. I think they are a veteran enough group that they understand what it takes on the practice field day-in and day-out to be successful."
On whether the word "Heisman" is being thrown around casually
"It's never thrown around on this field. You won't hear anybody out here talking about it. Jahvid (Best) has handled it very well. Our job is to try to manage that for him, so he doesn't get overwhelmed with it. This team takes pride in that, but it's not the ultimate goal. If that comes with our team success then great, but we have team goals first and Jahvid knows that as well as anyone else."
On Jahvid Best practicing after missing spring ball in 2009 while recovering from elbow and foot surgeries
"It's nice. It seems like he's never left really. He looks as good as I thought, so it's nice to see him practicing. He's still fast."
On be being back at training camp
"Check-in day is awesome and being with them for the first time, and then to get out here and start running around and getting to see what they've been doing all summer is a great environment. It's very exciting."
On getting the 2009 season started
"It feels good. I'm ready to play. Football is a sport where you don't play many games during the season. You have to wait a long time to play them again. You get tired of playing yourself as a team during practices and get excited for the first game. It's just fun to be out here again playing, and going against our defense is just going to make us better."
On the benefits of the voluntary summer workouts
"You're just more on the (same) page. Comparably to last year's first fall practice, I would say we threw the ball better. It's fun when you get better every day."
On being comfortable on the field
"I just know what I'm doing. You don't always know exactly, but before every play I usually know what the defense is doing. That makes the game that much easier. On the pick ... (laughter). There was no communication. I tried to stop because they were supposed to run a dig, but he didn't come in. While I was throwing it, I saw he wasn't coming, and I was like, `No.'"
On the team's experience
"No one was asking questions. (They) were lining up where they're supposed to. The offensive line knew all the calls and all their adjustment calls. We know our routes before the play. It's nice just having experience on the team. We had experience last year, but I think we have more this year than we did last year."
On being excited for the first practice
"It was kind of weird. Everybody's a little giddy. It's been a while since we've played. Coming out for the first practice was exciting. (When) you get the shells on, that's another day you get excited again. I can't wait for that day and a little bit of real football."
On a long pass to Marvin Jones during practice
"It was a nice play by Marv and it was a good ball. It worked out well. That's what we were working on over the summer. It worked out."
On being a vocal leader
"I'm one of the more experienced guys on this team. I've been on a couple of teams that have lost a lot of games in a row, gone on some winning streaks, so on and so on. I think people just look (at me) like I know what I'm doing. So people ask me for questions on what they have to do. I feel like I've kind of matured with my old age. I'm one of the oldest guys on the team."