Dec. 6, 2009
BERKELEY - California head coach Jeff Tedford addressed the media Sunday in the Hall of Fame Room at Memorial Stadium following the Golden Bears' accepted bid to play in the San Diego Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, which takes place Dec. 23 at 5 p.m. PT in San Diego at Qualcomm Stadium, with television coverage on ESPN.
HEAD COACH Jeff Tedford
"We're looking forward to going and playing in the Poinsettia Bowl. We've had the opportunity to be in San Diego before with the Holiday Bowl, and all our understanding is it's very similar. They're very hospitable, they do a great job of putting on bowls there, so, looking forward to the opportunity to have one more game. When we finally find out who our opponent's going to be, I'm sure they're going to be a quality opponent and we're looking forward to the preparation and experience for our kids."
On getting another chance to play after losing the final regular-season game
"That's big. You hate to end the season on a note like the game we played yesterday, so it gives us the opportunity to go out and compete and put our best foot forward."
On how the relatively short time until the Poinsettia Bowl affects preparation and schedules
"It makes it pretty tight. There's a lot going on. There's finals, there's recruiting weekends, there's home visits that need to be made. What this does, it takes away a recruiting weekend, so we have to get a lot of work done in a short amount of time and so that makes it very challenging. Preparation for the game, we should be fine. I don't remember the dates as of right now, but this week we're going out recruiting. Next weekend, we have practice, which will be a generic practice, offense vs. defense. Then we will game plan through the first of that next week, practice starting on, I believe, Wednesday, that will go through until Saturday, and then I think our departure date is Saturday if I'm not mistaken, and so we will practice down there Saturday, Sunday, and then the game is on Wednesday, and we'll get a practice on Monday."
On the travel itinerary and practices after arrival in San Diego
"Most likely we'll fly out early that morning [Saturday], get there, get organized in the hotel, and then practice there. But we're trying to tighten those things down right now to see if those are absolute times."
On whether he is frustrated that Saturday's loss prevented the Bears from participating in a different bowl game
"Of course, you want to play in the biggest bowl you can, but the frustration comes in just not playing our best and not finishing the season like we would like to have finished it in conference play. There's what, five teams at 8-4 in our conference, and it's been a very competitive year that way, and you always strive to do the very best you can. The way the whole bowl picture played out this year, there were a lot of different options. We would have created more options for ourselves, obviously, if we would have won yesterday, but we're still looking forward to the Poinsettia Bowl. I don't want to look down on that at all because I know it's a very good bowl game, it's usually against a very quality opponent, which I'm sure this one will be, and so we're looking forward to it."
On the use of Isi Sofele as a kick returner against Washington and whether he filled that role because of any injury to Jeremy Ross
"J-Ross was dinged up and Shane [Vereen was] dinged up, and so we were trying some different depth there. We put [Chris] Conte back there as well because Isi was banged up through the week as well, so last week, going into the game, we had quite a few questions of who was going to do what because we had quite a few guys banged up. He did a great job, it was very promising."
On his perspective now following his as well as Shane Vereen's comments after Saturday's loss to the Huskies that the Bears did not appear ready to play
I didn't get that feeling so much, as far as preparation was concerned and going into the game. I didn't get that feeling. Maybe Shane knows better because he's in the locker room but I didn't get that feeling at all. My opinion on the game was they made more plays than we made. [Husky QB Jake] Locker is absolutely on fire, making throws, the receivers making plays on balls that guys are covered, and they're going up and making plays, and we didn't make enough plays. And that's what happens. It wasn't because anybody stopped playing or quit playing or anything like that. The guys played hard the whole game. They just made more plays than we did. If I said that, I don't know that I meant that we weren't ready to play ... I didn't necessarily mean that we weren't ready to play, because I thought going in the game we were prepared to play, but we didn't make enough plays. That's my opinion on the game, is we didn't make enough plays yesterday. They outplayed us. Whether that's `we weren't ready to play' or not, I thought going in, we were [ready]."
On what degree the up-and-down regular season reflects parity in the Pac-10 overall, versus a lack of consistency on Cal's part
"I think it's a little of both. I think it's matchups - there's a lot of things that go on through a long season. I don't want to make excuses about it, that's one thing I don't want to do. At times, there's certain things, we don't have guys who practice and were dinged up, but if I say that, that sounds like we're making excuses, so I don't want to do that. We play with what's available at the time, whether they've practiced or whether they haven't, because that's what we need to do. We go out there and give it our best, and we've run into some teams that played very, very well against us."
On whether he knows if Jahvid Best will try to play in the bowl game
"I don't know that."
On the results of Best's examination in Pittsburgh
"That was all positive. I think they're looking toward having Jahvid do some working out this week, whatever the extent of that, I don't know, and I think it's completely on how he feels from day to day on how much he will do. The feedback I got from the medical staff was that he can start progressing and doing some physical activity, but I don't think anyone knows how he's going to respond until he does it."