Aug. 25, 2010
SAN FRANCISCO - Cal head coach Jeff Tedford spoke to a group of Cal football fans at the inaugural March to Victory luncheon held Wednesday at Gordon Biersch Brewery and Restaurant. Tedford commented on the team's upcoming 2010 campaign that begins with the season-opener vs. UC Davis at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 4 (1:00 p.m.), before sticking around and answering several questions from attendees.
Tedford started his comments by highlighting how hard the Golden Bears have worked in camp and the productivity that it has brought.
"It's been a very productive camp, no doubt about it," said Tedford. "I'm very excited about the way camp has gone."
One of the biggest highlights during his comments was a ringing endorsement for starting quarterback Kevin Riley.
"Kevin Riley has had a phenomenal camp," said Tedford. "I've never seen him play as well as he's been playing consistently all through camp."
Later during the question and answer portion of the event, Tedford added that "Kevin Riley is clearly our starting quarterback" and said that he has as "much confidence in him right now as any quarterback I have ever had."
He stopped short of saying Riley was as good as former Golden Bears and current Green Bay Packers starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers but explained that in his opinion "Aaron Rodgers is as good as any quarterback in the NFL right now."
Tedford also emphasized how important it is for fans to create a home field advantage for the Bears at Memorial Stadium.
"I can't express to you how much our home field advantage depends on your support," he said. "When we have 65,000 fans in the stadium it's awesome. The players feed off the energy, so we really need your support to get out there and create that atmosphere."
He also praised the team's two new coaches in defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast and special teams coordinator/tight ends coach Jeff Genyk, both of whom bring a series of new philosophies and strategies to their roles.
"Clancy has really brought a lot of enthusiasm to the defense," he said. "The defense is fired up."
"Jeff has done a great job with our kickers making sure we keep the ball in the field of play to give us a chance to go down and cover it," he added.
In addition, he let fans know there will be several newcomers he expects to play in 2010.
"There are a lot of new young guys," he said. "You're going to see a lot of new faces that are playing for this year."
He pointed out that among the newcomers he expects to play are four wide receivers - Keenan Allen, Tevin Carter, Kaelin Clay and Coleman Edmond - as well as tight end Jacob Wark and linebackers Nick Forbes and David Wilkerson.
He also pointed out the team's improved speed at both wide receiver and in the return game, and called the team's 2010 training camp "the most physical camp we've had since I've been here."
Questions for Tedford included inquiries about the team's offensive and defensive lines, as well as the backup tailback and quarterback positions, and the kicking game.
Tedford was quick to praise defensive lineman Cameron Jordan, talked about the battle between Isi Sofele and Dasarte Yarnway for the team's second tailback spot alongside Shane Vereen, and said that Beau Sweeney is the team's backup quarterback.
He mentioned four players - Marc Anthony, Darian Hagan, Bryant Nnabuife and Steve Williams - that were still in the running for starting cornerback spots. He talked about D.J. Campbell, Sean Cattouse, Chris Conte and Josh Hill competing for the bulk of the action at the safety position.
When asked about who is taking on the team's role as vocal leaders, Tedford pointed out Riley, Vereen, wide receiver Marvin Jones, and offensive linemen Chris Guarnero and Mitchell Schwartz on offense.
Defensively, he mentioned Jordan, preseason honorable mention All-American linebacker Mike Mohamed, safety Sean Cattouse, linebacker Mychal Kendricks and defense linemen Trevor Guyton and Derrick Hill.
But he emphasized that he has talked to the teams junior and seniors a couple of times about leadership and emphasized that he wanted them to divide the responsibility.
"I feel great about the chemistry of the team," said Tedford.
FAN APPRECIATION DAY AND MEET THE BEARS SATURDAY, AUG. 28
2010 REGULAR SEASON OPENS SEPTEMBER 4 VS. UC DAVIS
Day, Date - Opponent - Time (TV)
For a complete 2010 season outlook, visit CalBears.com.
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