May 16, 2011
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SAN FRANCISCO - Cal head coach Jeff Tedford and Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour joined Fresno State head coach Pat Hill and Director of Athletics Thomas Boeh at Candlestick Park on Monday. The group was assembled to speak with the media during a press conference at the home of the San Francisco 49ers and site of the TicketCity Battle By The Bay matchup on Saturday, Sept. 3 that will serve as the 2011 season-opener for both teams. Cal senior safety Sean Cattouse was also in attendance for interviews, as well as Fresno State sophomore quarterback Derek Carr and sophomore linebacker Travis Brown. The event was emceed by Joe Starkey, the long-time radio play-by-play voice of Cal football. Following are selected comments of what Barbour and Tedford had to say at the podium.
HEAD COACH JEFF TEDFORD
"Great to see you all at this time of year. We're very excited about this football game. I want to thank Washington [Football], Inc. for putting this game on, and Russ Potts. A very exciting matchup; it's going to be great for our players to be able to come and play in this type of venue. There's been so much great tradition here; I know our players are going to be very excited about it. I want to congratulate [Bulldogs head coach] Pat [Hill] for everything he's done at Fresno State. Had the opportunity to work with Pat one year, his first year at Fresno State, and he does everything the right way, really has a great passion for the program at Fresno State and for his players, and I admire Pat and his family a lot. As he mentioned, our families are very close. The kids kind of grew up together.
"I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce the player that I brought today, Sean Cattouse, our safety. Looking forward for a great season from him. He's going to walk this weekend, he's going to graduate [with a degree] in Social Welfare, so congratulations, Sean, nice job, way to go. Obviously that's a very important part of it at Cal - to make sure that we're able to take education very seriously and for them to leave with their degree.
"Want to wish the two Fresno State players [LB Travis Brown and QB Derek Carr, who also came to the press conference] all the best in the world. I have a big background with them as well - Travis Brown, growing up there I worked with his father, Dan Brown; and then Derek Carr, when [his brother] David, when I was coaching [David, now with the 49ers] at Fresno, Derek was about this tall and we'd stay around after practice and throw Nerf balls around. So, I remember that a long time ago, too. We're getting kind of old, Pat.
"Excited about this game and I think it's going to be good for the fans. I know and have a great deal of respect for the Fresno State program and their fans, the Red Wave, and what they represent. I know they will be here in full force and I'm sure our fans will be, too. I think it's an exciting year for us, even though there's a lot of transition being made with our program right now with our facilities, to open this year up here and then obviously to move into AT&T [Park], but we're very excited about this season, about this football game. I think it's going to be a great game. We all understand what Fresno State's all about. Fresno State's a great football program, very physical football program with great coaching, and so we know what they're bringing and we're going to have to be prepared and reach our full potential to be able to compete to win this football game. We're looking forward to the challenge. It's going to be a great challenge for our football team."
On playing against his former team Fresno State, where he played and coached
"Well, I really haven't thought about that much. It's been a long time. Had great days at Fresno State, no question about it, both as a player - obviously I got my degree from there - and then my coaching experience there and all the great relationships that I built over the years in the Valley with the people there. I still have a lot of friends who live there. I know I'll probably get a lot of phone calls that week before that game from all those people, but just had great days there and have a great deal of respect. I've told everyone over the years what a great job Pat has done there, in following a legend with coach [Jim] Sweeney and doing the things that he has done, and he talked about the loyalty of staying at one place like that, I can't believe it's that long. He's done a nice job, and when Joe [Starkey, the emcee] talked about what he has done against BCS teams, it's been phenomenal. So I love Fresno, love the people and the associations I've had there, but obviously my first and foremost thought, and where my passion is, I bleed blue and gold now. Going back to the day of my first week at Cal when someone raised their hand and said, `Do you bleed blue and gold?' I said, `I've been here a week. Not quite yet.' But now were going into our 10th season so I can say that. Pat talked about the investment with his program that he's built, and I feel the same way at Cal, so looking forward to it."
On the naming of Zach Maynard as the Bears' starting quarterback for 2011 and why the decision was made two weeks after spring ball
"I thought Zach did a great job through spring football. He grasped the offense very quickly. I thought physically he did a nice job and did a lot of nice things and brings an added dimension to our offense with the escape dimension that he brings and his athleticism. I felt it was very important for someone going into the summer to take that leadership role at quarterback, even though it's still going to be competitive. Even though we named him the starter, competition never ends and that will go on through the summer and in the fall camp. And as we get in fall camp and we have a chance to get back with the players again, we'll see how the summer went for them and then evaluate them every day through fall camp as well. But I felt like he deserved it, felt like he did a very nice job and I think it's important for him to be able to assume the reins of a leader, because he is new to the program, he's been there for one semester. So I want the team to rally around him as that leader and I'm sure they will. As I saw that progress through spring football, I could feel that every day and I thought he deserved the job."
On Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr and what he expects to see from the Bulldogs quarterback
"I know one thing having coached David, his brother. I know the passion that Derek has for football. When he was five years old or maybe even younger, when he was out on that field, he's grown up in a family of football, around a guy like David Carr, who's had a great career. So I know he has a great deal of passion for the game. He's a great competitor and he has a lot of skill. So it's going to be interesting going into this game because you're going to have two guys who are starting their first game against quality competition. I think Derek coming into our game is going to see a good defense and I'm positive that going into the game, Zach will also see a great defense from Fresno State, so it's going to be interesting for those two guys to start off their career. But after that game, I wish Derek nothing but the best. Obviously I love David Carr and their family, and Derek as well. They have a quality family, I've enjoyed my relationship with them over the years, and looking forward to seeing how his career progresses."
DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS SANDY BARBOUR
"Obviously a very exciting event for us and I certainly reiterate some of [Fresno State Director of Athetics] Thomas' [Boeh] comments and thank them for partnering with us in this great event and an opportunity to bring an event to the City. When we planned it, we didn't realize it was going to be the first regular-season college football game at Candlestick but exciting to be a part of that. And, obviously, lots of attractive subplots in this game, from coaches to players. Great presence by the Fresno State alumni in this area, we obviously have great presence in the Valley that makes this a really attractive matchup and a really attractive event, not to mention the fact that two very, very good football teams are going to put on a great show on that particular day. I want to thank WFI [Washington Football, Inc.] and Russ Potts and all the energy that's gone into this, as well as the City and former Mayor, now Lieutenant Governor, Gavin Newsom, for his part in putting this together, making it possible; San Francisco Parks and Recreation; obviously Candlestick and the 49ers. A lot has gone into this, a lot will between now and the game and we're just looking forward to a terrific game on that day and a great event from our student-athletes, our coaches and our communities."