Fall Camp Notebook: Day 16
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Category: Sports > Fall > Football
Cal held its last two-a-day of camp on Saturday, practicing in shells in the morning and full pads in the afternoon, while hundreds of students moved into campus housing a few blocks from Memorial Stadium.
The implication was clear: August has gone by fast.
"The zone of proximity's closing in on us," Bears coach Jeff Tedford said as the fog rolled in Saturday evening. "Soon we're going to be doing a lot of game situations and then it's game planning pretty quick."
Only two practices, one of them Monday's scrimmage, remain before the Bears start to settle into their in-season schedule on Wednesday, which is also the target date that Tedford has set for having a solid depth chart heading into the Maryland week. The players have Tuesday off from practice, so the coaches will spend the day making the depth chart.
The scrimmage itself will have little impact on depth, Tedford said, as the coaches already have a "pretty good idea" about who is fitting in where. Monday, then, will consist of mostly game situations featuring the first- and second-teams.
"I've seen enough as far as hitting each other and blocking and tackling and all that," Tedford said. "We're pretty much done with that part. The scrimmage on Monday is going to be a very controlled scrimmage."
The scrimmage will also include tailback Jahvid Best, who played through contact Saturday for the first time since the start of practice.
"He probably took 10 team plays today, and looked going doing it," Tedford said.
Best also practiced with the kick returners in the morning, which he hadn't done in over a week while missing time due to a bothersome toe. Tedford has insisted that Best needs to take some hits during camp, and that the earlier he experiences contact the better. Even if it is controlled, the scrimmage will likely be the most realistic game experience that Best will get before Sept. 5.
Freshman tailback Dasarte Yarnway may need surgery on his foot, but that still needs to be verified by a foot specialist.
Yarnway injured his foot in practice in the middle of last week. Tedford said that Yarnway "actually practiced fairly well" on the foot Thursday, but he missed Friday's session wearing a protective boot and had an MRI later in the day. Although Cal is clearly deep at running back, Tedford has said that Yarnway could potentially contribute to the team this season.
Center Chris Guarnero returned to practice in full capacity Saturday morning. Guarnero had been out since Tuesday after having surgery on a torn ligament in his left thumb, and Tedford said he would return whenever he could tolerate the pain. Guarnero participated in team sessions Saturday, his left hand still wrapped.
Receiver Alex Lagemann also returned to practice after missing some time with a bruised quad.
Jordan Performing Better After Switch
Tedford said he has been pleased with Cameron Jordan's reaction to being moved down to the second-team defense. Jordan wasn't playing with enough intensity before, Tedford said, but over the past few days "he got a fire lit under him."
Better to have it happen now than in the middle of the season.
"It's never a good thing, but it's a good thing that he realizes right now what it takes to stay on top of your game -- you never get in a comfort zone or a low performance level," Tedford said. "He got a little wake-up call and the thing about it is he didn't pout about it. He changed his attitude and he's playing much harder."
Trevor Guyton replaced Jordan at first-team defensive end after the team's first scrimmage. Jordan, though, appeared to be working with the ones toward the end of Saturday's evening session.
Cal Ranked 12th in AP Poll
The Bears are ranked No. 12 in the AP preseason poll, which was released Saturday morning. That equals the program's second-highest preseason AP ranking under Tedford and is also where Cal stands in USA Today's preseason rankings.
"The expectation thing is not something new to us," Tedford said. "I have changed my philosophy as far as what I say to the team and that's that the final results really are what matters, but it does mean that people think we have the potential to be a good team. What we do with that potential is totally up to us."
Contact Matt Kawahara at [email protected]
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