Aug. 9, 2008
BERKELEY - After a cold Friday afternoon practice, the Cal Football team conducted its first double-session of preseason camp under bright sun and clear blue skies on Saturday at Memorial Stadium. Both practices focused on situational drills with the morning session being conducted in shells while the afternoon marked the Bears' second full-contact practice of the season.
"We're always going to work on situations," head coach Jeff Tedford said. "[We want] to teach everybody about game situations, not just practicing mindlessly. They need to understand the situation, understand the clock, understand the field [position]. All of those things help you gain experience so we'll try to practice as many situations as we can."
The prettiest play of the day may have been sophomore Kevin Riley delivering a perfect 33-yard pass to senior Sean Young in the end zone. Young also made an impressive leaping grab of a Riley pass to continue his excellent camp.
"Sean Young's having a great camp," Tedford said. "Right now he's definitely in the rotation. He's probably had the most consistent, best camp of any of our receivers. It's great to see because he's been here a long time and he's finally staying healthy, knock on wood. He's always shown flashes; he's doing a great job and catching a lot of balls."
Other highlights of the day included senior Nate Longshore again hooking up with junior Cameron Morrah for a long touchdown strike and interceptions by junior Marcus Ezeff (his second of the day) and freshman Marc Anthony.
Redshirt freshman Brock Mansion did a nice job creating offense by finding his running backs. One play went to sophomore Tracy Slocum, who broke free for big yardage and Mansion also found true freshman Langston Jackson, who ducked and dodged into the end zone for a touchdown.
"Tracy Slocum looked very good; he did a nice job," Tedford said. "He ran hard, broke a couple of tackles and wrapped the ball up."
"It's a lot faster than high school, I can tell you that," Jackson said. "There is so much more to learn. The guys here hhave been really helping me a lot. Coach Gould is teaching me so many things - footwork, speed, blocking and ball protection. I'm definitely learning a lot from him."
During situational drills with the offense starting play from its own five-yard line, there were mixed results. Riley directed the offense 95 yards on one drive, completing the effort with a short delivery to true freshman Marvin Jones, who dodged one defender and glided into the end zone from 20 yards out. However, two other drives ended in interceptions, one by junior Syd'Quan Thompson, who read an offensive pattern perfectly and took the pickoff to the end zone; and another by true freshman Mychal Kendricks, who made a diving interception on the offense's 10-yard line.
"I'm doing whatever I can to make the team better, as well as myself," Hagan said. "I might have come here thinking I was `The Man," but this has been a wake-up call for me. I appreciate it; it's helped me grow up and take the game more serious. I am working my technique and getting more physical. Me being a small guy, I appreciate the taller, quicker receivers we have like Nyan [Boateng] and Mike [Calvin]; they're helping all of us corners."
Morning action again saw the defense controlling the action. Interceptions were collected by Ezeff, senior Worrell Williams and true freshman D.J. Campbell. Despite the strong defense, which usually faces a shorter acclimation period, the offense did have its share of highlights with three different quarterbacks completing passes for long gains - Riley found Morrah for a 60-yard touchdown, Longshore connected with Young for a long pick-up and Mansion successfully went downfield to a diving Marvin Jones. True freshman Charles Satchell also caught some eyes with an impressive catch-and-run in 11-on-11 action.
The Bears return to the gridiron on Sunday for their seventh day of preseason camp.