Sept. 13, 2005
Below are quotes from head coach Jeff Tedford from his Tuesday press conference leading into Saturday's game vs. Illinois. The Golden Bears host the Illini at 2 p.m. in Memorial Stadium.
On facing first-year Illinois coach Ron Zook:
"It's difficult in the fact that you don't know what they are going to do so you have to double the tape. You look at last year what they did and try to get a tape of their team last year, where the coordinators came from and you try to get a little personnel and what they are doing this year. This week for example we are watching their first two games against Rutgers and San Jose, but we are also watching the Florida tape from last year. You just don't know what you are going to get. If their personnel matches what they did at Florida, it makes it more difficult not having a history with exactly what they are going to do with their players."
On what type of coach Ron Zook is:
"From what we can tell, they are pretty similar to what they did at Florida, both offensively and defensively - the same schemes. They have the same coverages; they have some of the same blitzes. But you know that there is going to be more coming because they haven't done it all in their first two games. In watching the Florida games, you can tell that there is more there both offensively and defensively."
On what characterizes the Zook offense:
"It's a lot of deception. It's the Utah-type stuff, they spread you out, fake the ball underneath, give shovel passes, options out of shotgun. They are not a two-back down offense, they are a spread you out, trick you - that type of thing. It's very similar to what they did at Florida last year and what Utah runs."
On why the offensive spread is becoming more prevalent:
"Maybe some of it has to do with recruiting. You give scholarships to fullbacks and tight ends and tailbacks. A lot of time you can have all receivers and eight tight ends and one back and you can spend a lot of your energy recruiting those guys. I think it's very effective to spread people out, getting shotgun, doing a lot of deception-type stuff if you have good athletes and you give your athletes some space. That type of offense moves the pocket pretty well and that type of offense makes everyone play very disciplined with what they are doing because of all the misdirection and the play-out options."
On Illinois' defense:
"They move a lot. They do pretty much that same thing that everyone else does. They zone blitz, they are a big cover-two team, more than what we normally see. They do a nice a nice job of bringing blitzes. Very rarely do you find anyone who plays true man anymore, all their blitzes come from zone pressures. I'd say that is the difference in what they do: they play two deep, a lot of line movement to try and mess up the angles of the blocking schemes."
On this team being as good as the one Cal faced two years ago in Champaign:
"Yeah, I think so. I think they have the ability to be very explosive on offense, and so far it looks like they are fairly stubborn on defense. So I don't know that they are going to give up a lot of good plays. You are going to have to earn everything that you get against them."
On how important it is to have a linebacker that sets the tone:
"I think so, a lot of schemes are predicated to keep offensive linemen off of linebackers. So if you are putting it in the linebacker's hands to make the plays, then they need to make the plays. If you have a guy that is making plays, then your defense is working. If you have a guy that doesn't have the instinct and isn't making the plays, then your defense is not working. It's very important to have linebackers that are doing their job and are disciplined and understand their role in the scheme of the defense."
"I think that there are a couple positions on offense and a couple positions on defense that can set the tone - linebacker being one of them. When the fullback leads through there on an iso play, who's going to win that battle, because that sets the tone? Your tight end sets the tone on the edge, whether your defensive end holds point or whether your tight end wins that battle. On an iso, when a fullback is coming down hill to block a linebacker in a hole, who's going to win that match up? Those are the types of things that can set the tone. Guys like Desmond (Bishop), when those guys are coming through there in the open, he is going to win most of those match-ups."
On WR Robert Jordan's improvement since last year:
"Last year, consistency was an issue. Any time you are a true freshman, right off the bat you don't figure out exactly why you are being asked to do something. I think through him struggling a little bit last year with his consistency and catching the ball, he used that as fuel to catch a lot of balls in the offseason and really work hard. I was very happy to see him have the day that he had because of the effort and hard work that he has put into it. Also the maturity, not only the physical maturity, but the mental and emotional maturity that he has gained over the last six or eight months has been awesome. He is a great leader for that group and a great leader for our team. Just to give you an example, Robert was going to start and right before the game we told Robert that DeSean (Jackson) and Lavelle (Hawkins) were going to go in for those two long balls. It didn't faze him a bit. He's a team player. It was great to see a guy who takes that attitude into the game, to have the game that he had."
On QB Joe Ayoob running down the field to make plays:
"He got down, I don't know that he took that many hits. He needs to protect himself and get down just like any quarterback needs to. I am not interested in him breaking a ton of tackles and bouncing off people. Your quarterback needs to protect himself."
On Robert Jordan's 11 catches in the last game:
"It was more in the flow of the offense. Very rarely does a quarterback in our offense go back and say I want to throw it to this guy or to that guy because he's catching the ball. The reads determine where you go with the football. It just so happens that the other day some of the reads were for Robert and he made it. The long touchdown catch that he had when he jumped over the guy and made a great catch, that was really supposed to go to DeSean crossing the field. But because Joe got pressured and had to pull out of something, he had to come to a secondary guy, which was the deep post."
On how Joe Ayoob has stepped up as a leader:
"He matured big time after the first week. He used to be kind of a happy-go-lucky guy, kind of stood in the back. Every now and then you would turn and see him goofing off with guys or whatever. You don't see that anymore. There is a whole different maturity with him now as far as focus. I was really, really pleased with the way he handled the huddle last week. It was a difficult environment to go into, and there was a big game plan. More than the physical things that he brings, whether he makes a play or he doesn't, the mental part of the game and the leadership he provides in the huddle has changed dramatically in that last week and a half."
On how good a player OT Ryan O'Callaghan has become:
"He's a dominating player. Now, you get to the point in pass protection where guys give up sometimes. He's so big and he's so athletic and he knows our scheme so well that very rarely does he make a mistake. I don't know if he has made any this year. Like on the shovel pass underneath to Marshawn (Lynch) the other day, he did a great job of recognizing it. Not only is he very smart, he is a big person with a lot of athletic ability. He's one of the best offensive linemen I have ever seen."