Sept. 7, 2010
Press Conference Video: Jeff Tedford | Kevin Riley | Cameron Jordan
Head football coach Jeff Tedford, senior quarterback Kevin Riley and senior defensive lineman Cameron Jordan spoke with the media at the weekly press conference on campus prior to the second game of the 2010 season, with California hosting future Pac-10 foe Colorado at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 11 (1:00 p.m. PT). Following are selected quotes of what the trio had to say.
On whether he was surprised by the impact of freshman Keenan Allen in his first collegiate game
"No, it wasn't surprising. We've watched him practice for a month now and he's performed like that during practice. He's a very good football player, no question about it. It's one game, though, so we have to make sure not to get too carried away with it. He's a great kid, more than being a great football player he's a great kid and really into it. Been a great addition just for the chemistry of the team as well."
On when he first saw Allen either on tape or live and his impressions
"He was in our camp a few years ago, couple years ago, whenever it was. It was very evident at that time he was gifted, no question about it, on both sides of the football. In high school he played both sides of the ball and he's a great defensive player as well, so at that point we started recruiting him, just stuck with IT and fortunately was able to have him come here and attend Cal. He's done what we thought he would do. All summer long you heard from quarterbacks he was doing great and things like that. I think one of the most impressive things about him is how he's comprehended the offense so quickly. Anytime you have a freshman, true freshman, after just one camp, he didn't make any mental mistakes the other day [vs. UC Davis], which is very unusual for a true freshman."
On Allen's half-brother quarterback Zach Maynard, who will transfer to Cal from Buffalo and will be eligible to compete in the 2011 season, and whether he could be a potential starter next year
"Sure, yeah. He will compete for the job. He'll be here in the spring. Hopefully, if he gets all his academic work done, yeah, he will compete for playing time. He's already played quite a bit of time at Buffalo, so it's nothing new to him."
On whether the upcoming game against Colorado this Saturday has any extra meaning to him considering the Buffaloes will be joining the Pac-10 conference in 2011 or 2012
"No, not really. That's not something - it doesn't really matter when they're coming into our conference. This year is this year's game and they're a very good football team, played really well last week against Colorado State. As far as, I don't even know how the league is going to be divided when it becomes the Pac-12, so no, this is all about just this week, not about the future."
On his memories of Eric Kiesau, the Buffaloes' offensive coordinator and former receivers coach at Cal from 2002-05, and whether he might recognize any Cal influence in Colorado's offense
"Eric, we had good times here, Eric did a great job while he was here. Conceptually there are some things that they do - not all of it. Over the last few years it's obvious that he's grown and has some new ideas about things. But there are some concepts there that are some that he took from his time here."
On whether it could be an advantage to recognize Cal-inspired aspects of Kiesau's playbook
"Not really. Watching the game [Colorado vs. Colorado State], there wasn't anything glaring that you could say, `This is what they're doing' or anything like that. They've done a nice job of mixing things up."
On whether he was surprised by the Bears' explosiveness of offense against UC Davis
"It's really hard to tell. Playing Davis - even though I have a lot of respect for them, they played very, very hard - the speed of the game is going to be different this week, much more challenging. But I was pleased. Anytime you come out, the first game, you're worried about first-game jitters or false start penalties, substitution errors, all the communication things that could go on. We really didn't have any of that. We had one, actually two false starts and one delay of game. You know, besides that I think it was pretty clean and it's nice to see that there's some playmakers on the field when you have Marvin [Jones] on one side and Keenan, Michael Calvin - you're talking about three 6-foot-3 receivers that can run. Jeremy Ross as well. And then Shane [Vereen], Shane played decent. Didn't get in the open field or in the secondary, but him and Isi [Sofele] did a nice job. I think there's some potential there to be able to spread the ball around."
On whether Allen may find it tougher with opponents having game tape to assist with their scouting
"Yeah, but that's the beauty of having some other guys out there. If they're going to do stuff to him, then you have Marvin. Marvin played great, made a great catch on the long ball and did a real nice job. And then like I said there's some other guys there as well, and then the tight ends, the backs. I don't think they can - there's enough talent across the board that I don't think they can just focus on one guy."
On aspects of Colorado's offense that stand out to him
"That's the difference between their team this year and their team last year, is they have more speed at the receiver position. Scotty McKnight was really their only playmaker last year that I saw, and now they have a few others that can really run and stretch the field and do stuff with the ball in their hands once they catch it. And then they have two little running backs that are very good players. Their quarterback, he can hurt you in the passing game and he can pull it down and run with the football. He's very athletic, so we're going to have to keep him contained. He can make some big plays there. And then they average 300 pounds along the front, so they're a big, physical offensive line as well. Very good football team, plenty of speed and plenty of size and strength, and can pound you as well."
On his impressions of Boise State's win over Virginia Tech on Monday and whether it was a statement game for West Coast football
"Boise's been doing that for a while. Those are two very good football teams. I remember when we played Virginia Tech in a bowl game years ago [2003 Insight Bowl], and so, know what type of talent they have. I didn't get to watch the game, I just saw the highlights. Looks like it was a great football game, but the poise that Boise has, obviously being in the West, they're one of the best football teams in the country. So if that's making a statement, it is. But to be on that stage as they have numerous times, they've always responded to the challenge. So yeah, I think Boise's one of the best teams in the country."
On whether he knows any effect on Cal's scheduled trip to Colorado next year if the Buffaloes become members of the Pac-10 Conference in 2011
"No. I have not heard anything about that and I'm sure the whole scheduling is going to turn upside down when they come out with the divisions and who's going to play who, then I assume that will get resolved at that point. But I haven't heard anything about that."
On Cal's offensive line play from new starters against UC Davis
Well, [Brian] Schwenke and [Justin] Cheadle were the starters [at guard] and then [Dominic] Galas ended up playing some center for us, most of the game. But they did alright. We could improve there. They need to, we all need to be better, up front, everywhere. We need to be better each and every week, and that's the whole thing about the process of, as long as we can continue to improve each week, then that's the goal. But they played fine. I thought Dom played really well at center when he went in."
On whether he would have gotten more out of an intrasquad game compared to UC Davis from a competitive standpointQUARTERBACK KEVIN RILEY
On the debut of Keenan Allen and how his talent adds to the offense and helps teammates
"No. It's always nice to play someone different, and Davis played very hard. I give their defense a lot of credit. I thought they played very hard up front and did some nice things, and they had a real good safety who played hard and made some nice plays, number 20 [Danny Hart]. But it's always nice to have all your guys on one sideline and playing someone different. That's what you prepare for, and you know, Davis is going to win a lot of football games. I think they're picked to win their conference and I can see them doing that for sure. I think they have a lot going for them."
"He's a big weapon. Now in our base setup, when you have Marvin Jones
and Keenan Allen
on each side, those are two very good receivers. So you have to be very aware of where they are at all times. It can open up the offense and it's going to keep the defense more honest."
On how aware the team was on Saturday that it was playing a Football Championship Subdivision opponent
"Very aware. Davis is a good FCS team but in all honesty, they can't compete with us on the football field, as you saw. And I think our football team is very aware of that. But it was good for everybody just to go out there and play a game, get some kinks out, have some drives, moving the ball. We know Colorado is a much better team. They're a much better team than their record showed last year. They're a Big 12 team and they played a lot of teams tough last year. Not positive on this, but I've watched a couple of games, and the Nebraska game they lost 28-14 but Nebraska had two defensive touchdowns. So you know their defense is solid, we're going to have to be very ready to play."
On whether Colorado's future as a fellow conference opponent adds anything to this game
"Yeah, I believe so. I mean, I won't be here for it, but it definitely, you definitely want to show them what they're going to come to in the Pac-10, show them what type of conference we are, how we play football, and I feel the Pac-10 gets a bad rap every single year, West Coast football in general. We've just got to show them what Cal football is all about and what the Pac-10's all about. That's all you can really do, and it's exciting because it's kind of a preview - I think this is the only Pac-10 team they play in their preseason - for the whole conference as well."
On Colorado's defense
"[They] bring a lot of pressures, bring a lot of field dog and things like that, what I've seen. Like I said, I haven't seen too much film, but what I've seen, they like to bring pressure and mostly they use nickel a lot more than most teams. If you're in a base set they'll have four down linemen, two linebackers and five DBs. So they use their speed, but they bring safeties in the box and they mix it up pretty well."
More on Keenan Allen, how quickly he realized this summer how special he could be and whether Allen's performance vs. UC Davis was a surprise
"Not really surprised. Everybody said they saw it in camp. You could just how fluid an athlete he is with the ball. One of the first days [of camp] he made a diving catch, kind of like the one he almost made in the game, in 1-on-1s and that was just something you're like, OK, this kid's obviously good. You never know how it is until you put pads on, but he put pads on and kept on doing the same things."
On whether he thought the crowd and TV audience would be surprised by Allen's talent
"Definitely, you knew he was going to do something special, which he did, and people were going to get excited. It's just good for our fans to get excited about football after the way last year ended. And you can't forget what Marv [Jones] did either. I mean, he made that one-handed grab off the guy's helmet. We have four or five very good receivers this year, which is something we haven't had in the past couple of years."
On Colorado's big cornerbacks, Jalil Brown and Jimmy Smith, and how to game-plan around them
"They like to stick their corners a little bit, so you've got to be aware of that in the run game. They are some big corners but it's kind of like Chris Conte, when he used to play corner. It's hard to tell right now in our game plan how we're going to move around it, but we're not really a team that kind of schemes our game plan around their players. We do what we do and you've just got to go through your reads."
On whether the addition of Keenan Allen opens things up more for all of Cal's weapons on offense and makes it harder on opposing defenses
"Yeah, absolutely. When you heard preseason things [i.e. predictions] I was pretty frustrated and just felt like a lack of respect, because we return almost everybody, and with the addition of all our receivers got better, and Keenan. And offensively, we should be more consistent every single game and we have to continue to get better every game. It's up to us to do what we can do. We should be able to put up points every single game and we just got to go out there and execute."
On whether he saw the Boise State-Virginia Tech game on Monday and his impressions on Boise State
"They win football games. They always have. Going into the game, people who don't get to see them - people on the East Coast don't get to see them very much. People don't understand that they can run the ball and their defense has always stepped it up in big games, especially when they have time to prepare. Virginia Tech game, a couple of points in the beginning, but Boise State was moving the ball during the game. Both those quarterbacks were pretty impressive - that's something that I watch more than anything - and they're both great quarterbacks. I think [Boise state quarterback] Kellen Moore was solid at the end and that's what you need to be."
On whether Keenan Allen's future makes him wish for more eligibilityDEFENSIVE LINEMAN CAMERON JORDAN
On how much greater the level of play will be, going from UC Davis to Colorado
"It does a little bit. I remember in fall camp, Beau Sweeney was talking to me and was like, `Man, don't you wish you had another year after this one, too?' Because you could just see the effort of our receivers and how much better they've gotten since the past couple of years, and it's tremendous effort by them to work and know they want to get better."
"Anytime you face an opponent on the field, you're hoping for a battle. As far as being a D-lineman, I'm hoping they're going to come downfield, they're going to try to hit us in the mouth. I love that downhill offense that I can get my hips and explode into it, where as this last week we were more lateral and running with them. As long as I can make my own path, I can be happy."
On how different the speed and strength of the opponent will be this weekend
"As far as speed and strength go, I'm hoping it's an upgrade. I'm really looking forward to a battle, because we've put in a lot of work within the last year. We definitely should have beaten the team we played this last weekend, and now we've got Colorado on the line, and I'm looking to win there, too."
On whether Colorado's joining the Pac-10 makes this weekend's contest any different than another non-conference game
"It's Colorado, it's a different opponent. They're not in the Pac-10 yet. I won't even be here, I'm pretty sure, when they do join the conference. So, I wouldn't like to say that I don't care that they're joining the conference, but they're an opponent that I'm facing."
On how much of the defensive playbook was unleashed last Saturday compared to what we'll see this Saturday
"It was real basic. It was a little bit - you saw a little taste of it, and you know, you'll see a little bit more this week."
On Colorado's offense and whether Cal has gotten a chance to look at it
"We definitely watched a little bit of it this morning, as far as the last game they played. I'm looking forward to it. It's a little more physical and a little more downhill, like I said before. Anytime you're going downhill, it's always going to be a battle. As D-line, that's what we do - we fight. So anytime you can get someone to fight back, it's going to be fun. It's going to be entertaining, anyway."
On whether he was surprised by how explosive Cal's offense was against UC Davis
"No, not really. We've pretty much seen them in the spring, and it's been a great surprise this past summer with the new additions to our offense. Clearly, you've seen the young guys step up a notch. Marv [Jones] and Keenan [Allen] will definitely do their thing and so will Isi [Sofele]. Isi will probably juke your shoes off. It's fun to watch."