Sept. 20, 2005
BERKELEY - Below are quotes from head coach Jeff Tedford from his weekly press conference Sept. 20. The Golden Bears visit New Mexico State Friday night, with kickoff set for 7 p.m. PT. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN and can be heard on the Cal Football Radio Network (Flagship: KGO AM 810, San Francisco).
On New Mexico's offense:
"It's similar to Texas Tech's. They spread you out - four wide receivers, two-by-two or three-by-one - that type of thing. They can do some damage, as we saw what Texas Tech did. So we have a good challenge, we have to limit the big play. We can't give away big plays against them. We have to make them earn everything that they get."
On playing with their offensive system:
"I know the defensive staff has been watching a lot of the Texas Tech game to look and see what Texas Tech did against us because I would imagine that they would try to simulate that. Whatever they had success with, I imagine it probably fits into their system. I know that Coach (Bob) Gregory has been watching some of that tape."
On motivating Cal when playing a team that has not won a game yet:
"We have not come close yet to reaching our potential as a team in any phase of the game. We have a lot to work on, and that is mainly what we talk about, getting better week in and week out. It doesn't matter who we play. I know I tell you this all the time, but it is so true. We need to reach our full potential and execute in all three phases of the game, and we have not come close to doing that yet. It's another opportunity for us to go out and get better this week in all phases of the game."
On slow starts in the first half of games this year and getting off to a faster start this week:
"I think we scored a touchdown in the first series of two out of three games, (but) we've scored most our points in the second half this year. So yes, that would be nice to come out and establish something, especially offensively a little bit early. Each game has a different set of circumstances. Last week, they did a nice job of driving the ball and holding onto the football, so we only had the ball twice in the first quarter. We didn't have a whole lot of opportunity to get anything done. There is no question we would like to put together some drives, as in any game, as early as we can."
On wanting to see Joe Ayoob be more consistent:
"I would like to see everyone more consistent. The finger gets pointed at Joe because he is the quarterback, but when players run wrong routes, when you are supposed to come out of a route and don't, when the back takes the wrong track and runs into him, all those things are pointed to Joe because he is the new guy and the focal point is on him. But that is not necessarily the case. Of course, Joe is still learning every time out, but so are all the other young players. It's their first time to get a lot of things done."
On the frustrations of guys being out with concussions because it is unknown when they will return:
"You really don't know when they will return, and it's definitely something that you don't want to take a chance with; they are very serious injuries. Concussions are something that could be a two-day thing or a two-week thing. You just never know how people respond to them. One day you could think this guy is fine and he's playing, and the next day he's not. Like in the game last week, we thought that Andrew (Cameron) was coming around a little bit and he has still not fully recovered. You can't tape it up like an ankle and play on it a little bit. With concussions, you don't take those chances."
On OG Bryan Deemer and OT Scott Smith, who had their first starts vs. Illinois last week:
"I thought Smith played real well. I thought Deemer, given the opportunity, could play better. It goes along with any position, you get in there for the first time and there are things that you do well and things you wish you had back from time to time. I thought Deemer had a few more of those plays that he wishes he could have back, but I thought Scott did a pretty good job."
On freshman linebacker Anthony Felder starting this week:
"Yeah, I would foresee Felder starting again. He made a lot happen and he was all over the field. He is very athletic, very fast. He can cover sideline to sideline very well."
On freshmen linebackers Anthony Felder and Zack Follett:
"Both of those guys are getting a lot of playing time. Number one, Coach (Justin) Wilcox is doing a great job of coaching them and getting them to understand what they need to do. Number two, they are both very attentive and responsible young men who are mature. They pay attention to details and, not to mention, they have the athleticism and speed to recover from their mistakes from time to time. I am very pleased with those two linebackers. They are all first-year guys. Whether it be those two or Desmond Bishop or Mickey Pimentel, all those guys are doing a pretty good job."
On missed tackles in the Illinois game:
"We are flying to the ball and we are hitting people hard. But I think our guys were a little surprised with how good Illinois' running back was, how strong he was and the balance he had. They put some good licks on him, and a lot of people go down from that. But you get into the big-time backs, and they don't go down from that. Not only do you have to hit them, but you have to run your feet through them and arm wrap them. It was a lesson well learned for our guys last week."
On special teams:
"I think every game there has been a special teams play. The first game, we blocked a punt, (then we) made the guy at Washington pull it down, and it gave us great field position there, (and) obviously, the punt return last week and against Sacramento State. I think our guys are doing a great job of playing hard, really enjoying their role and taking pride in their role on special teams. Coach (Pete) Alamar is doing a nice job with getting our guys in position to make some plays; they are playing hard. The more athleticism you have on the team it really increases your play.
"The more athleticism you have, your special teams are going to be better. Special teams players are normally your tight ends, linebackers, running backs, fullbacks, defensive backs, those types of guys. Those are the guys that are covering kicks. The more depth you have at those positions, the better you are going to be with guys that can run and tackle."
On the fan support being better this year than it has been in years past:
"Sometimes I take my headset off to hear the crowd because I wear a double head set and I can't hear anything. So as they had the ball last week, I had to pull my headset off just to hear the crowd, and I was very pleased with the crowd support and the noise in the stadium. They got called for a couple of illegal procedure penalties, and the crowd noise helps that. No question, I am very pleased with the attendance and with the support we are getting."