Mar. 5, 2012
2012 Cal Football: Season-Ticket Info/Memorial Stadium
BERKELEY - Cal head coach Jeff Tedford addressed a group of media during a teleconference call on Monday to talk about the team's upcoming spring football practice sessions scheduled to run from Tuesday, March 13 - Saturday, April 21.
Following are selected comments of what Tedford had to say.
On the quarterback situation going into spring practice
"It's not that much different than it looked before. We have one more guy, Zach Kline, who enrolled this semester. Brock [Mansion] is gone and Zach [Kline] comes in, but Zach Maynard and Allan Bridgford are the first two. We'll divvy up reps between the other three as we get going. There's really no change as of right now."
On the importance of Zach Kline being in school now and at spring practice
"It always helps. Any time you have the ability to sit in meetings, comprehend the offense, go out and throw the ball, be out there, run the offense and so on and so forth, you're a lot further ahead than if you try to do it in August."
On the chances of Kline being active for the 2012 season
"I have no idea. We'll have to see how everything works out in the spring. He is a true freshman. There are some other guys in front of him who have experience. While he is a gifted guy, I think we have to be careful about putting too much pressure on him. He's a talent and working really hard. I'm glad he's here this spring so he can get some experience under his belt."
On the expectations of Kline
"There's such a thing as putting too much pressure on a kid early. I just want him to come in here, be able to concentrate on what he's doing, process the offense and do his best without all the expectations, especially in this day and age with everybody who has a say in everything in terms of social media. He's a very good player, no doubt about it, but he's got to go through the phases. It's a different game at this level. We'll have to see how it goes, but we don't want to put any undue pressure on him."
On what Zach Maynard needs to work on this spring
"If you take a look at the second half of last year, Zach played really well. If you took the last four [regular-season] games, he completed 68 percent of his passes and had a rating of 154. If you took the UCLA game out, he was at the same type of numbers going back all the way to the Utah game. He really started managing the game well; he let the game come to him. He was smart with the football in terms of not turning it over. He needs to continue to understand the speed of the game. I think he's taken big steps in understanding what we're doing on offense, and now I think through his experience, he understands how to manage the game. When he did that, he played really well for us."
On Maynard's alleged academic issues
"There's nothing there as of now. He's just like anybody else on our team."
On what the team is going to focus on during the spring
"I think we need to replace some guys on defense with some of the younger guys here. You're replacing two linebackers - D.J. Holt and Mychal Kendricks - who are very good players. The youth needs to step up and take over. The guys like Jason Gibson, Jalen Jefferson, Nick Forbes and the guys who have been here for a year now. Hopefully we can keep David Wilkerson healthy, and Cecil Whiteside, Chris McCain and having those types of guys step up. There's some talent there to take the lions' share of the reps and really develop. At defensive line, we need to solidify that with [Mustafa] Jalil, Todd Barr, [Viliami] Moala, Deandre Coleman and Brennan Scarlett. There are a lot of young guys there, and it's their turn to take the next step. That's what you use spring football for, to get those guys to step up. It's the same thing on the offensive line. Bill Tyndall, Geoff Gibson, Chris Adcock, Mark Brazinski, Tyler Rigsbee and Matt Williams, all those guys need to step up. Richard Rodgers is another one at tight end. We need to get him more involved. We know what a lot of our starters in the past can do. [The question is] how do you replace the guys who left with some of the younger guys?
On who will replace graduated left tackle Mitchell Schwartz
"Well, we have Tyler Rigsbee, Bill Tyndall, Matt Summers-Gavin, Matt Williams and the freshmen. Christian Okafor, I'm so anxious to see what he can do; Freddie Tagaloa as well. Another guy I'm really interested to see is Brian Farley."
On Tagaloa's chance to start as a freshman
"I think as far as his ability, his athleticism and his size, I think he has all that. We're going to have to see, as far as the learning curve on the offensive line. Freddie is a very smart and gifted guy. If anybody has the chance to do it, it would be him."
On who will punt in the spring
"We're going to have some of the backup kickers do it a little bit. Vince [D'Amato] and [Benjamin] Calder will do it a little bit and Richard Rodgers has punted before. We'll have the backup kickers do that. We'll see what Richard does. I hear that he's done it in high school and is good at it, but we'll find out if he can do something to help us in the spring until [2012 signee] Cole [Leininger] gets here."
On who will be the kicker for the 2012 season
"Vince D'Amato is the guy right now who has inherited that position. He worked really hard last year, and was actually on Giorgio's heels all year long. He's just like one of the other positions. It's his turn to step up. We're anxious to see what he does through the spring."
On the players' review of the Simpson Center
"It's awesome. I don't think there's any doubt about how they feel about the facilities as far as where they're working out and the efficiency that they're able to work with. They're very proud of the new locker room. Having everything right here, as far as the academic component, training table and food, everything is right here for them. They've been through so many ups and downs through everything with all of the moving around, it's really nice for them and I think they're really happy about having one place where they can have it all under one roof and be efficient."
On if the players are looking forward to playing in the new stadium
"I don't really know. I'm sure they will be, come August. I'm sure they're looking forward to coming back home. I think that's going to be really nice for us. Last year, not just moving around for practice, but moving around for games was something that we had to deal with. When we're able to get back in the stadium, that's also our practice facility. Not having to walk around the stadium going to Witter will be nice. Getting the stadium back for practice purposes where we can just open the back door and be on the practice field will be nice. They're very anxious to get back in the stadium in front of our home fans on our home field."
On if the stadium is still on target for the first game of 2012
"That's what I understand, yes. As far as I have been told, everything is going to be game-ready for the first game. I don't know if the stadium will be complete, but it will be ready to go for us and the fans. That's what I've been told. We've been fortunate to have a lot of great weather, so there haven't been a lot of delays in construction. I think they're on track."
On what may not be ready by the first game
"I don't know. All I know is we're going to be ready to play football. There's going to be fans in the stadium and a football game on the field. All of the other things, I'm not really sure. I don't really know exactly. We're still not totally finished with the Simpson Center. I just half-moved into my office on Friday. There are a lot of little things that need to get finished up. It's a process that will take a little bit of time. But everything I've been told is good to go."
On the performance of Mychal Kendricks at the 2012 NFL Combine
"It was great. It was so nice to see the test results that he had with his 40 time being the fastest 40 [by a linebacker] and his vertical and his broad jump. He just did an excellent job. I got a chance to watch some of it as well and even on his drill work, things that didn't get timed. The measurables were there but to watch him do all of his linebacker drills and catch the football, he looked excellent. I'm really happy for him. Cal's pro day is coming up here soon, and I'm looking forward to all of them coming out and doing more. I'm very proud of Mychal. He's worked very hard to be where he is."
On whether any academic situations will affect spring practice
"Midterms were a week ago. As we start getting midterms back and see how people are doing we'll make the determination then as to who we will need to pull off the field and focus more on academics than football, which happens from time to time in the spring. We want to make sure everyone understands that the number one priority and focus is taking care of school work. I assume you asked the question because you know that's happen in the previous springs here, so as we see how guys have done, we'll make a determination at that time on who we're going to hold off the field to concentrate on school."
On whether veterans may be held out of spring ball reps to give younger players more
"Absolutely, when you look at the backfield ... it's going to be a big spring for [Brendan] Bigelow, it's going to be a big spring for [Daniel] Lasco, Darren Ervin. You have those young guys there that really need lots of work. We're pretty sure what Isi [Sofele] can do. He's played a whole year; he's a 1,300-yard rusher. Not that he can't improve, he can. But really to get a lot of the reps at every position we talked about, the young guys need to step up and get some turns. Bigelow, Lasco and Ervin are all guys there [at tailback] that need to do that. In the receiving core as you know, we scholarshipped five guys this year that are freshman coming in and obviously they are not here yet. But Maurice Harris is a big one [that needs to get reps this spring]. Some of our guys like [Ryan] Bostock and [Jackson] Bouza, Stephen Anderson is a guy who I'm really anxious to see what he can do as well. Keenan [Allen] will get very limited reps."
On how quarterback reps will be divided in the spring
"We're in the process right now of putting our practice plans together. Again, spring ball is a little bit different than fall camp because of the numbers that you have. The number of receivers we have don't really coincide with the number of quarterbacks that you'd like to get that many reps with. There are going to have to be things that we manufacture, be it half 7 on 7's rather instead of full 7 on 7's, to get the quarterbacks enough reps. We're in the process right now of putting that all together as far as reps for those guys. It may vary from time to time, too. For instance, there may be times where we do four plays of team and then if we didn't have enough linemen do three plays of 7 on 7 right behind that, then four more plays of team and three of 7 on 7. It just depends on what the depth is. I think at the line positions we're actually pretty good, so we may do some 9 on 7's where we're getting a lot of work with the run game, and the offensive and defensive lines and the running backs, then sprinkle in the receivers depending on our depth there and how they're feeling as far as their legs are concerned. We want to be able to have quality reps with those guys when it's actually a pass play. You have to be a little creative sometimes in spring ball depending on where your depth is."
On how quarterback reps will be divided in the spring
"There's five guys there. We've been though fall camp with five guys. He [Zach Kline] is just kind of taking Brock's [Mansion] spot. Brock's out and he's in. We'll just kind of take it from there. Typically, we'll go three groups - we'll go 1's, 2's and 3's, most likely. And then we'll break up all of them with the quarterbacks and let them have a chance with each group. From day to day it make change, and from drill to drill it may change."
On whether he expects 2012 to be Keenan Allen's last season at Cal
"I don't know; we haven't talked about that. Obviously, he's played very well for us the first two years. He caught 98 balls last year and he's one of the top receivers in the country, but we haven't talked about it. I think he's focused on what needs to happen know. We haven't really gone into that topic. I'm sure we'll have that discussion sometime through the summer, just to make sure that I know what's on his mind and he's able to handle it properly, whatever it may be. I know that one of the things his family is really eager about is to have him graduate, so we'll just have to see how it plays out. But right now, he's doing great, happy and working hard. We'll see what happens."
On whether he feels recharged going into the spring
"Yeah, actually this weekend ... I was telling my wife this was the first weekend we haven't had something, so she recruited me to hike up half of Mt. Diablo and tried to kill me [laughter]. I felt like this was supposed to be my first weekend off, but it didn't turn out to be that way. But it was relaxing. I got a chance to spend some time with her and my kids, so it was nice. I do feel recharged. Moving into the new building has kept us busy, and now we're on to the next recruiting class and getting ready for spring ball. It's very exciting where we are with the new facility ... there's a breath of fresh air when you move in to a new facility. But to be able to take a deep breath and decompress a bit for a couple of days is always good. I let our staff off a few weekends in a row recently so they could do the same. I think everybody's recharged and ready to get after it for the spring."