Bears Go Thru First Padded Workout of Spring
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  03/20/2012

March 20, 2012

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BERKELEY - Cal put on full pads for the first time Tuesday as the Bears began their second week of spring practice at Witter Rugby Field.

"We got a chance to get after it a little bit," head coach Jeff Tedford said after the workout. "Guys were flying around and having a good time with that."

Notable plays during team sessions included a couple of long catches by Maurice Harris, another by Richard Rodgers and a long run by C.J. Anderson on the offensive side of the ball. Steve Williams' fumble recovery was arguably the most dramatic play on the defensive end.

Most of Tedford's post-practice conversation with the media revolved around the team's wide receiver and defensive line positions, including the move of former defensive back Joel Willis to a wide receiver position this spring.

"We've moved Joel Willis to receiver," Tedford said. "He's going to be great addition for us at that position the way he runs and with his athleticism. It's a good fit for him. He's been kind of chomping at the bit to play receiver and with our receiver depth right now it's a good time for him as well."

When the talk turned to the defensive line, Tedford pointed out the play of Todd Barr, Deandre Coleman, Mustafa Jalil and Gabe King at the defensive end position. "Both of those guys played a lot last year and are talented guys," Tedford said about Coleman and Jalil. "I'm expecting both of those guys to step up and be leaders at that position. Todd Barr made a couple of nice plays today as well, but those two guys [Coleman and Jalil] should be the starters there right now. Gabe King is doing a nice job as well. He's really gained some size and has kind of transformed his body, but he hasn't played so he needs to gain the experience that Coleman and Jalil have."

Tedford also praised the team's two new coaches Wes Chandler (wide receivers) and Todd Howard (defensive line).

"Wes is learning the offense and learning the players, and building relationships there, and the same thing with Todd," Tedford said. "I'm really pleased with the way they're coming along. The players are really receptive to what's going on and they're responding to them."

National honors candidate Keenan Allen also spoke with the media for the first time since having ankle surgery earlier this month that will cause him to miss the team's 2012 spring workouts.

"I should be ready to go by summer," Allen said when asked about his prognosis. "I'm not really concerned at all, I feel good. The doctors feel good about it, too. They said I'll be back by then and ready."

Allen joked that having to temporarily get around on crutches will help his arm strength.

"I need some arms," he said.

He also talked about next year's incoming group of five receivers and his returning teammates at the position.

"We definitely have a lot of guys coming in trying to play receiver," Allen said. "They are going to come in and compete with the guys we have now, some of who played this last year like Ross Bostock and Jackson Bouza, and also my cousin Maurice Harris. Everybody's trying to compete for a job."

Allen had praise his new position coach and former NFL wide receiver Chandler.

"He's great," Allen said. "Especially in the meetings, he's real hands on. He can demonstrate for us because he's done it before."

"I'd heard of him," Allen added with a laugh when asked what he knew about Chandler's pro career that ended in 1988, four years before Allen was born. "I pulled up a highlight on YouTube but it didn't have a lot, old school."

A reporter chimed in that Chandler was "before YouTube."

Cal will practice once more this week before spring break and then resume spring practice the first week of April.

The team's 2012 spring football practice sessions are scheduled to continue through April 21 as the Bears prepare for a return to a renovated Memorial Stadium in 2012, opening the season at home against Nevada on Saturday, Sept. 1. Cal's seven-game home slate will also feature Pac-12 contests against Arizona State, Oregon, Stanford, Washington and UCLA, as well as a non-conference tilt against Southern Utah. Cal plays on the road at Ohio State, Oregon State, USC, Utah and Washington State.


Day, Date - Opponent (Time, TV)
Sat., Sept. 1 - Nevada (TBA)
Sat., Sept. 8 - Southern Utah (TBA)
Sat., Sept. 15 - at Ohio State (TBA)
*Sat., Sept. 22 - at USC (TBA)
*Sat., Sept. 29 - Arizona State (TBA)
*#Sat., Oct. 6 - UCLA (TBA)
*Sat., Oct. 13 - at Washington State (TBA)
*Sat., Oct. 20 - Stanford (TBA)
*Sat., Oct. 27 - at Utah (TBA)
*Fri., Nov. 2 - Washington (TBA)
*Sat., Nov. 10 - Oregon (TBA)
*Sat., Nov. 17 - at Oregon State (TBA)
!Fri., Nov. 30 - Pac-12 Championship Game (TBA)
Home Games in Bold at Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, CA; *Pac-12 Game;!Pac-12 Championship Game at Home Site of Pac-12 Regular-Season Champion); #Homecoming | All Times Pacific