July 29, 2010
LOS ANGELES - On Thursday, July 29, California head coach Jeff Tedford and preseason All-America linebacker Mike Mohamed attended West Coast Pac-10 Media Day at the Rose Bowl, where both answered questions from the media along with their fellow conference peers and opponents. Following are some of the things coach Tedford and Mohamed had to say.
Head Coach Jeff Tedford
Walking down that tunnel [of the Rose Bowl] and seeing the green grass really puts you in the mood to play some football. We are ready to get back to camp and get the team back together. The guys have been working very hard here in the offseason. We want to get to work on a new season. Very excited about the new season. I think we have a great nucleus of guys and leaders. Some people tell me we are not ranked as highly this season as we have in the past, but we are not going to focus on that. We have to really focus on our internal expectations and competitive excellence. We feel very good, we have two new coaches that will be key to our success. We need to get better on the special teams side of things to get field position.
Defensively we have a new defensive coordinator with Clancy Pendergast, who, a couple years ago, was on the verge of winning a Super Bowl with the Cardinals. We are going to be much better on defense. A goal for us is to really put pressure on the quarterback. Offensively we feel like we have some firepower. The quarterback is the question of the time. We are going to have great competition at the quarterback position, but Kevin [Riley] is the guy who takes the first snaps. Kevin is the active leader in the Pac-10 win wins, touchdown passes and starts. We are really hoping that his experience will really help us and translate to more success on the football field. The team has a lot of confidence in him. He has worked very, very hard and he feels that this is his team.
Fortunate to have Mike Mohamed here. He is a great young man, conference leader in tackles last year... and will graduate in business in the fall. He has been a great representative of our program and a great leader with us.
On perceived parity in the Pacific-10 Conference
I think there is a lot of parity in this conference, there is no doubt about it. Last year we had five teams with the same record. Very difficult to go through this conference unscathed. Very competitive. There is firepower on offense and a lot of great defenses. You have to bring your A-game every week to be successful in this conference and win. There are a lot of great coaches. This is a great conference.
On the defensive changes for the Golden Bears
The philosophy has changed a bit. We are still in the 3-4 scheme but we really need to get after it and be aggressive. We will be more multiple. We really need to get after the quarterback. We weren't very good with pass rushing last year, so we need to get better at that. That will help us to get off the field and give the offense a chance. Clancy will bring those concepts in with him. Our guys have really had fun with it.
On what would constitute a successful season for the Bears
A success will be to go to the Rose Bowl. That is what we are here for. We are going to work our hardest to reach our full potential. It used to be 8 or 9 wins was a good season. People were satisfied with that. But that is not good enough anymore. We have to get over that hump. We have a burning desire to go to the Rose Bowl. Our fans do, our coaches do, our players do. We are going to go out there and work our hardest to reach our goal. I wouldn't go and say that if we lose and game or two and don't make our goal that it's a failure. I am not putting that on our backs. We want to reach our goal and have fun doing it.
On the trip to New York for East Coast Pac-10 Media Day
I was a proponent of it. I thought it was a great idea. Hats off the Commissioner Scott and his team for putting on a class trip all the way. I thought it was very productive to get out there and get the Pac-10 some exposure on the East Coast. To be able to shake hands and put names to faces, I think that will help. Spending time with the New York Times and going to ESPN, I thought it was very well done. I thought it was great.
On conference expansion
Of course when it came out that the Pac-10 was involved, I was very interested. I want to see how it is aligned. I really want to be able to play the Southern California teams every year, but everyone wants that. So I think it's great that we are growing our conference and making it more successful.
I think the parity will increase. I have a lot of respect for Colorado and Utah. Not only athletically but they are a good fit academically. It i will just improve the competition. They have great facilities, great culture. This will help them to recruit and expand their California footprint."
On the renovation of Memorial Stadium
The stadium renovation is going great. There is a huge structure there. It is very impressive [and] we are very excited about it. It has been a long, drawn-out process, but it is finally almost here. The people at AT&T Park will do everything they can to make it feel like a football stadium [in 2011]. They are great partners. We are looking forward to that.
On defensive end Cameron Jordan
Cameron does have great potential and ability. What is going to help him in the new scheme is if we are rushing four or five, he will be able to get to the quarterback. He is very gifted.
On talent in the Pac-10
I think there is quite a bit of star power in the Pac-10. Mike Mohamed sitting right next to me is one of them. There is a lot of fire power in the Pac-10. I think the Pac-10 has plenty of talent.
On losing Jahvid Best, the first-round NFL Draft pick of the Detroit Lions
I think the key is to stay balanced. We will never be successful if we are one dimensional. We need to create the depth at running back, which we have always had when our running game goes well. We need to have some young receivers step up and change some of the play calling to put Riley in better situations to get rid of the ball more quickly.
Senior Linebacker Mike Mohamed
On he feels the weight of high expectations this season
No, not really. I am aware of the preseason accolades but my main focus is the team. I want to win the Pac-10 and play in the Rose Bowl. It doesn't really affect me. I just need to get out there and have a great season and help my team as much as I can.