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Day 11: Cal Works Out at AT&T Park
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  08/17/2011

Aug. 16, 2011

2011 Cal Football: Tedford Post-Practice Interview | SAHPC, Memorial Stadium Taking Shape | Fan Appreciation Day | Outlook | Schedule | Tickets | Gameday Tee

(SAN FRANCISCO) - The 2011 Cal football team took a close look at the AT&T Park venue the team will call home in 2011 on Tuesday. The Golden Bears went through a light workout in helmets only that was followed by a team poster shoot and Bryan Anger punting balls into McCovey Cove as part of a "splash punt" segment that will be featured on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area's upcoming Cal Football Preview Show.

"We just got kind of familiar with the settings, the grass, the infield," Cal head coach Jeff Tedford told reporters after the workout. "We just kind of got everyone used to it a little bit. This is really the only time we'll be able to be here before the first game. I wanted to make sure we had a chance to get a feel for the field."

One of the first subjects to come up during Tedford's post-practice interviews with the media was a drill that the team went through at the end of the workout, when all of the Bears' players and coaches, including Tedford, lined up and ran into the left field wall that will be just beyond the north end zone to reassure everyone it will be properly padded.

"They have to know it's padded," Tedford said. "You look at it and you don't know how hard or how soft it is. When you run into it a couple of times, you understand it's soft. You can run into it. It's no big deal."

That type of information was one of the main reasons that the Bears conducted Tuesday's practice at AT&T Park.

"I hope they're smart enough not to go head first," Tedford added with a laugh after being asked by a media member if he remembered when former NFL quarterback Gus Frerotte sprained his neck after ramming his head into a padded cement wall as part of a touchdown celebration when he was with the Washington Redskins.

Tedford also addressed the psychological element of AT&T Park being the one-year home of the Bears in 2011 while Memorial Stadium in Berkeley undergoes an extensive renovation and retrofit.

"We've been talking about where our teammates are that's where our strength lies, and if our teammates are here and we're together then we'll be together," Tedford offered. "It doesn't matter really where we play or where we practice. We started on them very early last spring, practicing all over the place. They've adjusted really well. They're used to it by now."

Tedford went on to emphasize that it was still important for his players to become familiar with AT&T Park.

"You need to know what it feels like," he said. "Is it slippery? Can your cleats fit in, what happens with it? We're not used to that. We're used to just practicing on our stadium field, so as much as we can get that experience the better we're going to be."

Tedford was asked if there was a small part of him that was hoping the Giants wouldn't advance to the postseason so the infield dirt at AT&T Park would be replaced by grass sooner.

"I'm rooting for the Giants," Tedford responded quickly and without a hint of levity.

Following practice and a team poster shoot, Anger made his run at McCovey Cove. He hit one punt from home plate and then picked up the ball where it came to a stop in the outfield grass. From there he successfully splashed a pair of balls into the Bay. "They told me this would be the first ever football splash hit," Anger said. "I hit it deep and really crushed the second one. I hope that's the one they show."

Anger said he didn't see the ball splash but will be looking forward to catching the video when the Cal Football Preview Show makes its debut on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area on Tuesday, Aug. 23 (7:30 p.m. PT).

Several other Bears also chimed in on the practice at AT&T Park.

CHRIS MCCAIN
Practicing at AT&T Park...
"I thought practice was kind of cool. I like the grass. It feels like I'm back home, no turf. It was alright. We did a little walk-thru and just got used to it, got used to the gravel and everything. There are rocks down here so you've got to get used to that, but other than that everything was good."

Playing home games at AT&T Park in 2011...
"I'm going to love it. I always wanted to come to a game out here just to see Barry Bonds, but now I'm going to be out here and playing a season here. I'm going to love it. I'm going to try to show out."

VILIAMI MOALA
Playing on the dirt infield at AT&T Park...
"It feels weird, that's why we have to practice in it. It's kind of weird because you're cleats don't really sink in, so you have to really practice on that. You have to practice on keeping your gravity centered."

Playing at AT&T Park in general...
"This is amazing. I've never been in a stadium so big before. Just looking around you see how close the sideline is to the field. You feel like if you make a big play, you can look and see all your family in the crowd."

ISI SOFELE
Playing on the dirt infield at AT&T Park...
"It's hard to adjust to it, but eventually we're going to get used to it. We're over here on this field and on the [baseball] field back home in Berkeley. It's going to be hard to adjust to, but we'll get there."

Playing at AT&T Park in general...
"I'm excited, I can't wait, just the environment that we're in. It feels good to practice here. I can't wait until game time. I know I can [call this place home]. It feels like home. Everything about this is home, so we're ready to go."

GIORGIO TAVECCHIO
Kicking on the dirt infield at AT&T Park...
"It feels different. We got a good amount of practice out at Contra Costa College [last spring], so it wasn't completely new. We also got some time at Evans [Diamond], but it's going to take a little more practice getting used to. We have some ideas as to how we're going to approach it, but I approach every kick the same way. I'm going to try keep that mentality whether it's on turf, dirt, carpet, or the beautiful San Francisco grass."

Playing at AT&T Park in general...
"It was a great experience and I had a lot of fun being in San Francisco today. It was beautiful, a magical day out here, blue skies, sunny. I walked in here for the first time in a couple of years, and it really donned on me that we're playing here [in 2011], and I got a warm and tingly feeling inside."

The Cal football team is currently in the midst of training camp to prepare for the 2011 season. Single-game tickets for the season-opening TicketCity Battle by the Bay at San Francisco's Candlestick Park against Fresno State on Saturday, Sept. 3 are on sale now. The neutral-site season opener for both teams is not part of the Bears' season-ticket package.

Tickets are also on sale for Cal's five home games this season at San Francisco's AT&T Park. Cal will host Pac-12 opponents USC (Thu., Oct. 13), Utah (Sat., Oct. 22), Washington State (Sat., Nov. 5) and Oregon State (Sat., Nov. 12) at the venue after playing Presbyterian in its home opener on Saturday, Sept. 17.

Tickets can be purchased online at CalBears.com or by calling the Cal Athletic Ticket Office at (800) GO BEARS.

After playing the last 88 seasons and every home game at Memorial Stadium since the facility opened for the 1923 Big Game, Cal will host its home games outside of Berkeley for the first time in 2011 while Memorial Stadium undergoes an extensive renovation and retrofit. For updates on the progress of the renovation and retrofit of Memorial Stadium as well as the Memorial Stadium webcam, visit stadium.berkeley.edu.

2011 CAL FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

Day, Date - Opponent (Time, TV)
^Sat., Sept. 3 - Fresno State (4 p.m. PT, CSN California)
Sat., Sept. 10 - at Colorado (1:30 p.m. MT/12:30 p.m. PT, CSN California)
Sat., Sept. 17 - Presbyterian (2:30 p.m. PT)
*Sat., Sept. 24 - at Washington (TBA)
*Thu., Oct. 6 - at Oregon (6 p.m. PT, ESPN)
*#Thu., Oct. 13 - USC (6 p.m. PT, ESPN)
*Sat., Oct. 22 - Utah (TBA)
*Sat., Oct. 29 - at UCLA (TBA)
*Sat., Nov. 5 - Washington State (TBA)
*Sat., Nov. 12 - Oregon State (TBA)
*Sat., Nov. 19 - at Stanford (TBA)
*Fri., Nov. 25 - at Arizona State (8:15 p.m. MT/7:15 p.m. PT, ESPN)
!Fri., Dec. 2 - Pac-12 Championship Game (TBA, FSN)
Home Games in Bold at AT&T Park, San Francisco, Calif.; ^TicketCity Battle by the Bay at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, Calif.; *Pac-12 Game; !Pac-12 Championship Game at Home Site of Regular-Season Champion; #Homecoming


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