Oct. 24, 2006
BERKELEY - Currently riding a seven-game winning streak, the No. 12 University of California football team has a bye this week. Cal held its ninth press conference of the 2006 season Tuesday in the Hall of Fame room at the historic Memorial Stadium. Head coach Jeff Tedford and numerous players attended to speak with the press.
On taking advantage of the bye week for injury rehab:
"Like I told the team, it's not a week off that way. You don't wait until next week and then start doing all of your treatment. We should be getting two and three treatments a day right now, and take advantage of this week, not only to rest but to rehab and do all of the things that go on in the training room."
On the plan for this week:
"We'll have some cross over offense vs. defense to try and get some of the younger guys in there. Whether it is the younger guys on the scout teams or some of the guys who just haven't been playing, we will get some of those guys involved in what's going on. As we work into Thursday, we'll have a light scrimmage for some of the young guys like Kyle Reed and Kevin Riley; those guys will have a chance to play in that. If we're healthy going into Thursday, we will have a little scrimmage, if we're not, then we'll have a regular practice."
On how much playing time Marshawn Lynch got last Saturday:
"I was going to leave it up to him and see how he felt. He came in and talked to me on Thursday about how he was feeling. I told him it would be a total game-time decision. If he came to me at pregame and said he felt good, then he would play. If he didn't feel good, then we weren't going to play him. The intent was to just see how he felt. Before the game I asked him, he said he felt great. He wasn't going to start because he hadn't practiced in a week, and that wasn't his issue; he really didn't care if he started. He wanted to help contribute to the team. It was all completely up to him on how he felt."
On the Cal offense:
"You're not going to play perfect all the time. We missed a couple passes on third down that would have kept drives alive. Some things have been hit or miss, and that is normal football. Whether it be a protection break down and the quarterback gets hurried, or a dropped ball or a ball overthrown, we still didn't turn the football over last week, which is very promising. You play against good teams in the conference that are coming after you and they get coached and they have good players too. Not everything is always going to click. We just haven't been as consistent as we were before. We were hitting everything for a week or two, but I wouldn't call it bogged down. We can play better, no question about it. To beat UCLA, we're going to have to be very consistent offensively, throwing the ball and staying away from the turnovers.
On the Cal defense:
"Coach Gregory is doing a nice job of putting our guys in position to be successful. Experience in the secondary has been good. Daymeion (Hughes) who leads the team in interceptions, his experience is showing and it's very evident that he has great instincts to the football. It's a little bit of everything. It's the player's experience, the game plan that coach Gregory's putting them in and it's the team speed. I don't know if you would see two better interceptions than our linebackers made last week, Zack Follett's interception and Worrell Williams' interception. I think that comes down to athleticism and those guys are playing very well."
On the Washington game:
"I was most impressed with our togetherness. We talk a lot about togetherness and that united we're strong. We have to play together in all three phases of the game, and I thought we did that last week. There were times when it would be easy for one group to get frustrated, but you never saw it. Even when they completed the Hail Mary, there wasn't anybody complaining at each other. It was `ok, let's go do our job.' In the fourth quarter there were a couple key drives, huge third down conversions. Robert Jordan's catch on the sideline was maybe the biggest play in the game. The togetherness of the team and they way they all stuck behind each other was the most impressive thing to me."
On the way running back Marshawn Lynch carried the team:
"Marshawn always has confidence in his abilities. More than any other game, he was driven to have the team be successful, not that he's not any other time. To be able to suck it up and to play injured like he did, when we're in that situation, I complimented him after the game of what a performance it was, and the first thing out of his mouth was, `I'm just trying to do my best to help the team win."
On Marshawn Lynch as a Heisman candidate:
"I don't know where all that stands. I haven't kept an eye on that. He's been consistent; averaging seven yards a carry, he's had [six] 100-yard games, but he hasn't had a lot of carries, because he's been a little bit dinged up through the year; he hasn't been completely healthy. He carried the ball six times for over 100 yards against Portland State, but he was out because he was injured and the game was out of reach by halftime. To continue to put him in there to gain 200, 300 yards or something was not worth risking his ankle injury. Obviously I think Marshawn is a great football player; I would find it hard to believe there are many football players as good as him or better than him throughout the country. He's a great, great player and a very versatile player. It's up to them [the voters]. We're not going to put him at risk."