2012 Fall Camp Breaks Out

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By Nam Le, Contributor
Posted Aug 5, 2012
If by BearInsider Staff or Contributor, this article is Copyright © 2014 BearInsider.com


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On a cold, deeply foggy evening at Cal's Witter (Rugby) Field, the Cal Golden Bears football team officially kicked off their 2012 season with their first fall practice, one of just four that will be open to the media. From today's ninety minutes or so of practice, here's what we can report.

 

Tedford was pleased with the team's work: "Good day. Great day. Loved the tempo, guys flew around, practiced really well. A lot of the young guys really studied hard; we were able to incorporate them on day one, which is great, so I was really happy with the tempo."

The offensive line is still in progress. With Dominic Galas' recent biceps injury, the team has had to reshuffle up front, and that was evident throughout the practice, with Geoffrey Gibson sliding into Galas' spot at right guard on the first team.

Following practice, Tedford mentioned that the team was beginning the process of, "finding those 8 or 9 guys on the offensive line that can move to different positions and interchange", and that, "some of the other guys are gonna have to step up. The offensive line will definitely be a focal point of fall camp."

First team starters on the offensive line - in 7 on 7s - were Tyler Rigsbee, Jordan Rigsbee, Brian Schwenke, Geoffrey Gibson, and Matt Summers-Gavin.

The wide receiver freshmen five of Bryce Treggs, Kenny Lawler, Cedric Dozier, Darius Powe and Chris Harper impressed. Though today's practice was really only, "scratching the surface, a couple formations", said Tedford, he added that he was, "pleased for the most part with everybody's work," from several months of playbook study and mentoring.

When asked for his thoughts on the group of new receivers, quarterback Zach Maynard said that they were, "pretty fast, pretty athletic", particularly singling out their speed.

Bryce Treggs was a standout today. His highlight play came during one-on-ones where he turned Michael Lowe inside out on a post route for a "score."

Treggs mostly saw time when quarterback Zach Kline was behind center, and the two could be developing some chemistry. Treggs was the target of many Kline passes throughout today's session, though this did work against them for one play – defensive back Joel Willis read the two of them perfectly and intercepted a pass for a pick-six.

Another player who stood out in one-on-one drills was Maurice Harris, who could be an emerging Marvin Jones. Like Treggs, his day can be characterized by one highlight: Matched up against Josh Hill in one-on-one drills, Harris burned Hill on a corner route to provide evidence that he may have the best hands in the family.

Penn State transfer Khairi Fortt will probably attend Sunday's practice. Tedford reported that he would arrive into the Bay Area late Saturday. Whether he would immediately slip into a starting position was much less clear: "We'll see. We'll see how it goes. He still has to learn the defense. I think the speed of the game, and all that kind of thing, we don't really have to worry about, since [Fortt's] played in some big time games already, so you don't worry about the 'big eyes' at all. It's just a matter of understanding what we're trying to do here."

Whatever the issues may have been with Cecil Whiteside, Tedford didn't want to discuss them. "It's personal," he said, discouraging media from seeking Whiteside's availability for interviews on the subject.

Though it appeared that C J Anderson took more of the first team reps today, Tedford said the team will be using both Anderson and Sofele as a one-two punch, perhaps even having the two on the field at the same time.

"Those two guys are the top two guys right now," Tedford said, although he feels rather confident about the running back depth as a whole. "We're pretty deep in the backfield with Lasco and Bigelow and Ervin, and all those guys back there. We have a pretty good stable of backs."

The Bears may not need to rush sophomore cornerback Stefan McClure back from his ACL injury. Though Kameron Jackson may be emerging as the team's nickel corner, the interceptions he made today didn't hurt; he displayed a nice physicality in press coverage throughout the drills.

McClure was at practice, on the sidelines, but did not participate.

The tight end position may be a point of increased emphasis.

Coach Tedford spent three days this last summer with the New England Patriots to study how they deploy tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, and commented (today) on how he hopes to use the tight ends in 2012.

"The [the Patriots'] offense runs pretty much runs through their tight ends, and that's something we want to have the ability to do.

"We want to bring the young receivers along, we want to take some of the pressure off Keenan (Allen), and you can do that through the young receivers, the tight end play, some of the versatile play that our running backs have, to be able to catch the ball, things like that.

"To be able to be in different personnel groups, especially with tight ends on the field, and still have the ability to run your whole offense, and run a spread game, and be able to anchor the edges down, and still be able to run the ball that way too, really, that's what you're looking for."

Tedford spoke highly of sophomore tight end Richard Rodgers, while also noting that he, Spencer Hagan and Jacob Wark would all contribute.

"We have a 270 pound tight end in Richard Rodgers who can run - and has skills like a receiver - so we think he has characteristics like those guys…"

Tedford added that freshman Maximo Espitia as could be seen as being in the Hernandez mold – but also said that such versatility might require that the training staff to bring him along slowly.

Punter Cole Leininger turned heads today – media reps remarked on his punting hang time. Tedford was impressed as well.

One wag insisted that one punt disappeared up into the Berkeley August fog - and never came down.

Notably, this was the first day Tedford had seen Leininger kick, and after practice praised the freshman, saying that he was "a pretty cool customer, a definite keeper."

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