Aug. 17, 2004
With training camp wrapping up its first week, head coach Jeff Tedford sat down with Bay Area media Tuesday to discuss the progress his team has made thus far. The Bears are working out in preparation for their season opener at Air Force Sept. 4.
Have there been any surprises yet?
Camp is going well. It feels like they're working really hard and are really focused on what goes on in practice. I'm happy with their intensity in practice. Think it's a little bit different than last year in that we had so many (junior college) players that we were looking to make a contribution that we were moving a little bit slower with it. Now, we're going pretty fast because those guys are no longer first-year players. Those guys are starting players and as much as anything, we're not teaching schemes, but the expectation on how to work and practice and how to get from drill to drill and how drills are organized. You're not coaching drills. So you are spending more times on schemes?
No, we're not spending more time. We are going a little faster. We can really go a little bit faster with that because of the experience level we have. On the progress of freshman tailback Marshawn Lynch
Marshawn is a player that we can't put with the 3s and 4s anymore. Part of the transition with young guys is to learn the speed of the game. Well, he plays so fast that the transition ... it looks like he's been here for four years. So, he can get in bad habits if everything around him is so slow. We really try to practice him with the 1s and 2s so that he gets in good habits and sees the way the game should be played and not the speed he's playing it. Is tailback Terrell Williams back where he was two years ago?
Terrell is doing really well. Terrell has had a good camp so far. He's done a good job of blocking. He's running with the ball really well. So, he's having a good camp. All those backs are. (Running backs) coach (Ron) Gould is doing an excellent job of preparing those guys. They're very prepared when they come to practice every day. They take care of the little things. Coach Gould has done a tremendous job with them. Have you talked about any possible redshirts?
Those decisions haven't been made yet. We'll discuss those in the next week. What do you see so far out of your rush ends, especially Justin Johnson and Phillip Mbakogu?
Flashes, you know. They flash. They do good things. They're going to be very good players. They learn every day, which is what practice and camp is all about. But they learn their fundamentals and techniques every day and learn new lessons, new blocking schemes coming at them. It's a learning process for them, but it's evident they have the ability to play. It's just a matter of getting into the system and doing the right thing. How is the kicking game developing?
In the punt drill (Monday), (punter David) Lonie looked great. Was anybody at practice yesterday to see that 80-yarder he booted out there? Out of the end zone? He looks really good punting the ball. Consistency, still, is key. He's kicking the ball well on field goals. We only kicked off one time so far; that just got stalled yesterday. And (placekicker) Tom Schneider actually did a good job on kickoffs. (Placekicker) Anthony Binswanger has done a nice job. They all have their days. Schneider is like a sharpshooter in field goals. His range and sight is very consistent. Those other guys are known for their leg strength. Have you decided on a field goal kicker?
It's still open. Nobody has won a job in any of it yet. Do you know how you're going to separate all of your wide receivers yet?
We really haven't tried to separate them. That's the thing about camp. As a receiver, you need them all. You have guys that pull groins and hamstrings and things like that, and they all have to rotate and play. So, they're all getting a lot of turns, which is good. On the progress of David Gray
He's not full speed yet. He came off of surgery, and he's been rehabilitating all summer long. So, he's trying to work himself back into shape. David provides all of those things: big receiver with good hands. But it's very competitive for him. He's got a few young guys battling with him for those positions. Why do you think Cal has been such a good road team since you've been here?
I think our guys stay really focused. There's not a lot of leisure time when we travel. We get there, they have 10 minutes to drop their bags off in their room. We're at meetings. They eat, they go to bed, they get up and play. There's not a lot of lounge-around time. It's a business trip all the way. I will also say - and I've mentioned this before - that the venues we play in have the atmosphere of big-time college football, and I think they get pumped up to play in that type of atmosphere.