Football is an emotional game and the player leading the charge in that department for the Cal football team is senior linebacker Devin Bishop.
Before every practice, the Bears choose a teammate to lead the squad in pre- and post-practice chants during stretches. So far during Fall Camp, Kevin Riley, Brian Holley and Marcus Ezeff have all earned that honor.
But, there is one player who is chosen everyday to lead a chant. In fact, he has led a chant everyday in practice for the last two seasons. That player is none other than Bishop. The 6-foot-1, 239 pound 'backer is outgoing in everything he participates in, from cheering on teammates, making plays, running sprints and yes, leading cheers.
Bishop not only possesses athletic prowess but also a howling voice. The chants he's led the last two seasons is one where Bishop yells out "Cal Bears!" and teammates respond with a version of "Ahwoo." So far this Fall Camp, Bishop has added another chant.
Bishop: "Pac-10 champs!"
Everything Bishop does is with high energy and high emotion. That includes playing linebacker.
The younger brother of former Cal great Desmond Bishop, Devin Bishop has began Fall Camp holding onto a highly coveted position of Cal's 3-4 defense that was left behind by the super-productive Zack Follett.
Follett (87 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, 5 forced fumbles) recorded one of the best defensive seasons in recent memory for a Cal defender. Bishop - who was one of the first reserves off the bench last season - knows he has big shoes to fill, but it's nothing he isn't used to.
"Well," Bishop said. "Trying to replace someone's shoes is something I felt I've always had to do because of my brother. I just don't think about it."
Like his older brother, Bishop came to Cal from City College of San Francisco, joining Jahvid Best and other teammates in the '07 recruiting class. To help him adjust to Division-I ball, Bishop decided to redshirt that year and in the long run Bishop feels it was a big benefit for himself personally.
"It helped me a lot," Bishop said. "Coming in and learning a defense is a new thing. Sitting out was my opportunity to get mental reps and I took advantage of that. Out here on the field I feel like I have a complete grasp of the defense."
Bishop's roommate in camp is fellow senior Eddie Young, who is in a heated battle himself for a starting role. Currently, Bishop and Young make up Cal's starting outside linebackers. While that can change later on down the line, the two athletes feed off each other's strong personalities.
"That's my boy," said Young. "I played with his brother and I knew him through mutual friends (before that) when he was at City. He's a funny dude. We crack jokes with each other. He does poetry so I make fun of him about that."
So far in camp, Bishop has played like a player that doesn't want to give up that coveted starting role. Bishop's position is the hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker role that is a featured spot of this particular 3-4 defensive scheme. Bishop tallied 13 tackles last season and if he earns the starting role after Fall Camp is done in last August, Bishop's overall production and numbers should explode.
"I've been waiting on my opportunity," he said. "There's a time to wait and a time to shine. Now is my time to shine. I'm not worried about stepping into anyone's shoes. I'm worried about my own."
"Now it's simply about being a football player."
In many ways, Eddie Young was born to be a Golden Bear.
The personable athlete was born and raised in Berkeley and starred at nearby Berkeley High. Young's older brother Sean Young also played at Cal so if there was ever an athlete who bled Blue & Gold, he would probably fit that distinction.
"I was a Cal basketball fan back when Jason Kidd was here," Young said. "I followed football a little bit but I was a (basketball player) back then though."
As his senior season was winding down in high school, Young - who had long switched from the hard court to the gridiron - had a handful of options when it came to choosing a college. With several offers on the table, four of which from Pac-10 schools, the then Rivals.com three-star linebacker went back-and-forth as to where he wanted to attend.
"Honestly, I wanted to go to UCLA first but they didn't offer me early enough," Young added. "Cal jumped in early. And with my brother here, the school being close to home, it made the decision easy. Very easy. Cal wanted me so I wanted to be here and play in front of my family and friends."
Five years later, Young is one of the true veterans of an experienced, deep and talented defensive unit. Young himself paces a linebacking corps that needs to replace three quality starters from last season, including the aforementioned Zack Follett. Even though he was considered a Division-I athlete coming out of Berkeley High, the 6-foot, 239-pound Young has made tremendous improvements since he first arrived on campus.
In fact, Follett - who came into Cal with Young in the famed '05 recruiting class that also featured DeSean Jackson - admitted Young wasn't exactly the player he thought he would be.
"Truthfully, when I first saw him I didn't think he was going to see the field much during his career," Follett admitted last year. "But Eddie is one of the most improved players. He's one of the most physical guys on the team. He'll hit you, he always plays with a high motor."
Young, who racked up 40 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss last season, is expecting to do a whole lot more this upcoming season. Young is entrenched as the strongside linebacker and is in a battle against teammates such as Charles Johnson, Ryan Davis and Jerome Meadows.
"I'm really working on things that I had trouble with last year," Young said. "Fine tuning stuff I wasn't great at like my pass drops, pass rush, just getting better at all that stuff."
While Young has made big-time improvements since the beginning of his collegiate career, even the cagiest of veterans could use Fall Camp as a way to get better. During Sunday's practice for example, Young received a "talking" from position coach Kenwick Thompson after running back Shane Vereen blew right by Young in the 11-on-11 session.
"My feet were just off a little bit," Young said. "I had the stack and I was outside and he was inside. He ran right where I was supposed to be. It was just a little alignment adjustment that needs to be made."
While Young is focused on earning a starting job, the jovial athlete is always having fun out there on the field. One of his biggest compatriots is fellow senior Devin Bishop, who lines up just feet away from Young on every snap.
Young and Bishop make up quite a talented duo.
"Right now we are roommates in camp," Bishop explained. "We talk about a lot of things and go over a lot of things. We have a lot of camaraderie so when we out on the field we make eye contact."
"(Sometimes) it's kind of hard to see him with his visor on though. I tell him to take it off but anyway," Bishop joked as he put his hands up. "But we get the hand movements, we make eye contact, we know what's going on. We have a real good relationship on the edges."
One thing Young vows to do before his career is over is take an interception into the end zone. Young has two career interceptions and both came just short of the end zone.
The first happened during Young's freshman season, when he picked off a pass late in Cal's Holiday Bowl win over Texas A&M and ran it down the sideline and almost into the end zone.
"That was funny man," Cal safety and good friend Jesse Brooks said back then. "Eddie had a clear path to the end zone and he just tripped on his own. We tease him all the time about it. We'll see the next time he gets a pick whether it'll be a different result."
The next time came last season, when Young picked off a pass against Stanford.
"I got one in the Big Game last year and I should've scored on that," Young claimed. "But I didn't have the field vision. I didn't touch the rock all season so I'm working on my hands and when I get one I'm going to take it all the way this time."
NOTHING SMALL ABOUT LITTLE
Since the first time BearTerritory saw athlete Chris Little in action was during his freshman season at Castlemont High in East Oakland, it was clear he had the potential to be a big-time player on the next level.
Little possessed formidable athletic skills that included good size and good speed. But, the thing about Little that stood out more than anything else was his willingness to lay his shoulder into any and all opponents that tried to take him on.
Even as a young high schooler, Little was never afraid of contact.
Fast forward to the present and Little is still trying to dip his shoulder in everything that crosses his path, albeit this time as a Division-I athlete. After coming to Cal in the '08 class as a safety, Little - who excelled at wide receiver and linebacker in high school - was moved to linebacker during the middle part of Spring Ball and hasn't looked back since.
Little explained exactly how and when the switch took place.
"One day we had a lot of linebackers go down in practice and I had to go in," he said. "I went in and I did my thing so it was like 'light bulb!, we can move him down because we need depth anyway.' I came down and did what I had to do."
Standing 6-foot-2, 224 pounds, Little had the foot speed to be a strong safety despite his bulky size. However, Little admits he loves being at linebacker.
"That is my natural position so I was already used to it," he explained. "I tried to hint at (moving to linebacker) since I got here because I knew the coaches knew I had the ability to play linebacker."
"For me it's hard not being able to hit," Little added. "I like to be in the action. Playing safety was a little bit too far away."
Little excelled right away at the weak-outside linebacker spot - or "Liz" - in the Spring and has performed well so far in Fall Camp. Little is consistently running with the second team and has put his hat in on a handful of plays so far.
There's no doubt though that Little still has some learning to do at his position. There has been more than one occasion this camp that Little has been pulled aside by position coach Kenwick Thompson to receive further instruction on what he is doing on the field.
Little has also received help from his older teammates Devin Bishop and Eddie Young.
"They have helped me a lot ever since I've been up here," said Little. "They give me a lot of help and that is a big reason why I'm starting to pick everything up. They are real open and every time I ask a question they help me to make sure I know everything."
Is Little happy now that he's playing his preferred position?
"Oh yeah," Little responded. "It's good to be able to rush because I get to hit the quarterback."
NOTABLE TIDBITS LEADING OFF
Senior wide out Nyan Boateng missed practice due to a death in the family. Meanwhile, punter Bryan Anger also missed practice because of a class requirement.
Several 11-on-11 sessions, highlighted by four touchdowns in the final period, three of which went to tight ends.
A day after chewing out his team for a lack of effort, head coach Jeff Tedford said he was happy with the tempo.
Tight end Spencer Ladner was carted off the field at the end of practice but Tedford noted he doesn't think it's anything serious.
The big guys up front bang heads during the first 1-on-1 session of Fall Camp.
TEDFORD speaks …
… on the pace of practice Sunday: "Really good. Guys were flying around. Nice to see us get the shoulder pads on a little bit. A lot of good things happening."
… on playing in shells compared to only helmets: "It's much more realistic. It will be even more realistic when we put the full gear on. The pace starts to pick up a little bit."
… on the balancing act of working hard yet keeping players fresh: "You absolutely have to balance and be smart about it. That's why we practice at different tempos. We still have to make sure we get what we need. These aren't professionals. These are college kids so you have a lot of drill work that needs to be done."
… on Mike Calvin: "He's doing fine. He's getting more comfortable. When you go through (a knee injury) there's a certain amount of comfort that you need to have. Each and every day he's becoming more confident."
… on the impact of not having Calvin around last season: "It really depleted our depth. We were looking forward to him doing special things so it was unfortunate. It's good to have him back now."
… on the linebacking corps: "There's athleticism. They can run. I think we have the potential to be a strong group there again."
… on Devin Bishop: "He's in the mix. But they are all still kind of finding out how they fit in. Nobody has locked themselves into anything yet. We still have to figure all that out."
… on the young defensive backs: "They are doing well. You look at Charles Amadi, Josh Hill and Marc Anthony. Steve Williams, the freshman, has flashed as a young guy as well. I think we have some depth at that position now."
… on Matt Summers-Gavin: "I'm really happy. He's doing a nice job so far. He really did a nice job in the spring. He's that much more experienced."
Unlike Day 2, where Kevin Riley and Brock Mansion split first-team reps, the junior Riley took the majority of all first-team reps Sunday evening.
Beau Sweeney, Allan Bridgford and walk-on Ryan Weternberger from Laguna Hills High all saw snaps as well.
Overall, the quarterbacks had a decent but not spectacular day. There were a handful of throws that were a little off target. Of course, considering the fact that the team were in shells that allowed more contact and the fact that the defense appeared to do a little more rushing and blitzing Sunday evening, a slight drop in passing accuracy is expected.
The quarterbacks did come on strong late in practice though, highlighted by some solid passes in the final 11-on-11 session, which included four touchdowns in the red zone.
It'll be interesting to see how the first-team snaps will be divided this coming week between Riley and Mansion.
Statistically, here is how each quarterback matched up in the team sessions. It's important to note though that these stats do not tell the whole story of how each quarterback performed, as these numbers exclude good and bad reads, longer/shorter passes down field, great catches to save incompletions, bad routes, pre-practice game plan to work on certain throws, etc …
11-on-11: 2-for-3 (first session), 3-for-5 (second session), 1-for-3 (third session), 2-for-4 (red zone): 8-for-15 (total)
11-on-11: 3-for-4 (first session), 4-for-4 (second session), 1-for-3 (third session), 4-for-5 (red zone): 12-for-16 (total)
11-on-11: 2-for-3 (second session), 2-for-4 (third session), 4-for-4 (red zone): 8-for-11 (total)
11-on-11: 1-for-1 (third session), 0-for-1 (red zone): 1-for-2 (total)
11-on-11: 1-for-1 (second session), 1-for-2 (red zone): 2-for-3 (total)
Running Back Notes
Is this year's backfield the most explosive ever under Tedford? While that notion can be up for debate, there is no question Cal's feature 'backs this season all can take the ball to the end zone if given a small lane to run through.
Jahvid Best and his explosive speed is a given, but watching Shane Vereen and Covaughn DeBoskie-Johnson in action these first three practices, you get the sense that while they are do not possess the top-end football quicks that Best has, they too can bust off a 20-plus yard carry at a moments notice.
Specifically in regards to Vereen, the redshirt sophomore actually battled through a nagging ankle sprain last season that never quite healed correctly as the year went along. As fans know, arguably Vereen's two best runs of the year came against
>Michigan State in the season opener and a week later against Washington State, both of which went for touchdowns.
Suffice to say, it is no surprise that those two runs came in the beginning of the year with a healthy Vereen. While he's not Jahvid Best explosive, the Valencia native is no slouch either if his legs are fresh.
Meanwhile, same theory applies to DeBoskie. The former Army All-American has shown flashes of his ability in practice, but practice is just practice. It'll definitely be interesting to see DeBoskie receive some carries, albeit maybe in a limited fashion, in an actual game this season.
Kevin Lewis, Langston Jackson, Dasarte Yarnway and Peter Geurts continue to split reps with the third and fourth teams.
Lewis and Geurts took some vicious hits in the team sessions Sunday evening.
Position coach Ron Gould worked a lot with his players on blocking Sunday evening, especially with the fullbacks. The position is going to be closely watched all camp, and so far it appears that the race is between Brian Holley and Will Kapp.
Both guys notched some decent blocks in the team sessions, especially Kapp, but both guys were also knocked off their feet on various runs as well.
Like the wide receiving battle, the fullback competition will probably come down to the wire.
Wide Receivers Notes
Nyan Boateng missed practice due to a death in the family. Tedford said he expected Boateng to be back in time for Monday's practice. In Boateng's place, Alex Lagemann took first team reps with Marvin Jones.
Tedford said yesterday that "seven guys" are vying for rotation minutes. Looking at the depth chart, one would assume that those seven would be Boateng, Jones, Jeremy Ross, Mike Calvin, Lagemann, Charles Satchell and Verran Tucker.
In regards to Tucker, talent is not really the question, but you get the sense that after having to sit out Spring Ball due to academics, the former junior college transfer has to re-earn his starting role this fall. Tucker has taken snaps with the second and third teams so far in camp and has played like his usual self.
Tucker's highlight reel from last season exemplified the fact that Tucker might still be Cal's best deep threat this coming year. The 6-foot-1, 204 pound senior caught 21 balls for 362 yards and three touchdowns last season and came on stronger as the year went along. Tedford reiterated after Saturday's practice that Tucker was behind the other guys mentioned.
After an off-day catching the ball in Day 2, Tucker reverted back to his strong form during Sunday evening's practice. Tucker caught most balls that came his way, including a running one-hander in the 1-on-1's that looked very similar to his spectacular grab against USC last season.
Tedford commented after practice that Mike Calvin is looking better and better out there. Watching him the first three days of camp, the 6-foot-2, 205 pound Calvin still looks a little tentative running certain routes but the one thing that is incredibly noticeable is his penchant to out-physical defensive backs for balls in the air.
Calvin admitted during the summer that he still needed to get over the mental hurdle of thinking about getting hurt after ripping up his knee last season. "I tore my ACL when I ran that post-corner so I have that thought in the back of my mind a lot," he admitted. " I kind of try to avoid (running that route) because it doesn't feel right. Mentally I have to get my mind right."
If healthy, Calvin will be a huge asset for Cal's passing game this season.
At least in the passing game, it appears that sophomore Anthony Miller is separating himself a bit from senior Tad Smith. Miller made a couple of very nice catches down the field, including a touchdown catch in the final 11-on-11 session.
The tight ends also worked a lot of blocking Sunday evening. One drill that was interesting was a three-step drill that had the tight ends get low and duck under a plastic barrier, come right out the crouch to swim nail a tackling dummy right before pivoting back to the line of scrimmage to catch a pass.
Speaking of the tight ends, the unit had one of their better pass-catching outings of recent memory. Especially in the red zone 11-on-11 session, the tight ends showed off some tremendous hands hauling in three touchdowns.
The grabs by Skylar Curran and Garry Graffort were two of the better ones of their Cal careers.
Offensive Line Notes
First-team reps continue to go to Mike Tepper, Matt Summers-Gavin, Chris Guarnero, Chet Teofilo and Mitchell Schwartz.
The second team stayed status quo as well, as Donovan Edwards, Mark Boskovich, Richard Fisher, Justin Cheadle and Justin Pruiett made up the next five guys up front.
With the players in shells Sunday in comparison to the helmets-only during the first two days, we were able to focus a little more on what exactly is going on down in the trenches.
The offensive line performed reasonably well Sunday evening, blocking against the Cal defensive linemen for the first time in camp with both sides in pads, albeit only shells. Both Schwartz and Tepper played solidly and the guards produced key blocks on a handful of running plays up the middle.
The player we tried to keep an extra eye out on was Guarnero, who has the heavy burden of replacing All-American Alex Mack. Guarnero is not the same type of player as Mack and no one should expect him to play the same. Guarnero weighs a good 20 pounds lighter than Mack and is not going to bull rush opposing defensive tackles. Guarnero's big "strength" is his body leverage and technique, which is very advanced.
The 6-foot-3, 275 pound Guarnero more than held his own Sunday evening, especially in the 1-on-1's.
The first lineman to run a lap because of a false start this camp? Mitchell Schwartz, who flinched forward when Riley got up under center to call an audible. Schwartz got right up and after the play was over ran a lap around the field.
Defensive Line Notes
Most fans know about the starting three down linemen that Cal will feature this season in Cameron Jordan, Derrick Hill and Tyson Alualu, all of whom were big contributors last season.
But, who will back those three up?
You can almost pencil in nose tackle Kendrick Payne as a player who will see a lot of time this season and after that, as much as six players are essentially battling for the 2-3 other rotation positions.
The leading candidates are Aaron Tipoti and Keith Browner, who have both been taking majority second team reps with Payne. The other players in the mix are Ernie Owusu and Kevin Bemoll. Veteran Mike Costanzo has seen some snaps in camp as well.
Costanzo and Bemoll provide some beef up front if Cal needs but the most impressive of the group outside of Payne has probably been Tipoti, who is very quick and despite his 6-foot-2, 281-pound frame is stronger than one would think.
The two interesting names to watch as well these next few weeks are true freshmen Deandre Coleman and Keni Kaufusi, who both made a number of tackles in the 11-on-11 periods Sunday afternoon. Coleman is a big body who is very athletic. It is easy to see why he was so highly touted coming out of high school.
Coleman has shown a good motor so far in camp and once he gives his body some time to mature into a Division-I, the Washington native could very well become an All-Conference player one day.
Kaufusi looks like a solid prospect as well. Not as big as Coleman, Kaufusi plays with a very low center of gravity.
The starting four were Eddie Young, Mychal Kendricks, Mike Mohamed and Devin Bishop.
As highlighted above, Young and Bishop aren't going to give up their starting gigs without a fight. The two athletes were in on several tackles Sunday evening.
One of the more noticeable issues surrounding the linebacking corps so far is the depth at both outside linebacking positions. After Bishop and Young, Charles Johnson, Jarred Price, Ryan Davis, Solomona Aigamaua, Robert Mullins and Jerome Meadows are all competing for the remaining spots.
In the middle though, things are a little thinner. After Kendricks and Mohamed, D.J. Holt and J.P. Hurrell make up the second team. Fans are familiar with Holt and Hurrell has looked solid. But, Hurrell is technically in his true freshman season, as is fellow middle backup Steven Fanua and Meadows - who also plays the middle - is in his first year as well.
If Kendricks or Mohamed go down with injury some point this season, the Bears might have to do some shuffling around.
The first unit was the usual, as Syd'Quan Thompson, Darian Hagan, Marcus Ezeff and Brett Johnson comprised of the first four guys.
The second unit consisted of Bryant Nnabuife, Marc Anthony, Sean Cattouse and D.J. Campbell. Chris Conte also saw a lot of time at safety on the second team.
Hagan has had a solid three days of camp so far, reacting quick to routes that are in front of him. After battling then-true freshman Conte for the starting role two seasons ago, Hagan is playing like he wants to keep his starting job.
One of the more noticeable catches of watching the secondary every practice is observing position coach Al Simmons in action. Every coach has their style of teaching. Some like to yell, some are very energetic and some are mellow.
Simmons is just as demanding as any other coach out there, but his coaching methods definitely scale more towards the relaxed side.
A Bay Area native, Simmons joined Tedford's staff last season and the results have been through the roof. If fans don't think coaches make that big of a difference, just look at what Simmons has done to help the defensive backs get better over the last year and a half. Absolutely night and day.
Every practice during 7-on-7's and 11-on-11 sessions, Simmons stands way behind the last safety on the field, presumably to get an 180 degree look at the entire field. The second a play goes dead, the springy Simmons sprints back towards the line of scrimmage to talk to his players.
Additionally, when a running back breaks off a big run and gets into the second level, Simmons sprints alongside the defensive back that is chasing the ball-carrier and you can hear him constantly say to his player, "finish, finish, finish" as to make sure his players don't give up on the play. Truly one of the more impressive position coaches in the business.
Current defensive coordinator Bob Gregory used to be a defensive backs coach himself. Once in a while, you can see Gregory working with the defensive backs during at various times during practice, as he did Sunday evening.
Important to note that this is the second time in as many days that a member of the program has mentioned true freshman corner Steve Williams as a newcomer defender that has impressed him. Tedford mentioned Williams Sunday evening after Thompson talked about how fast Williams was during Bay Area media day last week.
Special Teams Notes
As stated above, punter Bryan Anger missed practice due to a class requirement.
Jahvid Best recorded 12 tackles his freshman season on special teams, eight of which were solo. Best was so good getting down the field, the only player position coach Pete Alamar could even find a comparison to was when he coached now-NFL cornerback Chris McAlister back when he was at Arizona. Best obviously won't return to his "gunner" role anytime soon, but he will get some touches returning kicks.
Suffice to say, Best was really good in that department last season, as he averaged 26.3 yards per return. If Best is going to make a true run at the Heisman trophy, a couple of kick returns for scores certainly wouldn't hurt his highlight package. More importantly though, having Best back there forces opposing special teams units to adjust their strategy on kick-offs, which often doesn't happen on this level.
Second straight day in camp to see the three kickers compete against each other. David Seawright, Giorgio Tavecchio and Vince D'Amato all kicked the ball well.
Here are stats of how each kicker performed in the sequence in which the kicks were made:
Tavecchio: 6-of-8 (good from 26, good from 26, good from 26, missed from 33 off the post, good from 33, good from 33, good from 40, missed from 40 off the post )
Seawright: 18-of-19 (good from 26, good from 26, good from 26, missed from 26 blocked, good from 26, good from 26, good from 26, good from 26, good from 33, good from 33, good from 33, good from 33, good from 33, good from 40, good from 40, good from 40, good from 40, good from 40, good from 40)
D'Amato: 8-of-11 (good from 26, good from 26, good from 26, good from 26, good from 33, good from 33, good from 33, good from 40, good from 40, good from 40, good from 40)
PITCH & CATCH (NO DEFENDERS)
The staff added some extra routes to warm-up Saturday, including running multiple wide outs on the same snap and running single routes from both sides of the field.
The toughest route to complete Sunday evening was the straight go, which forces wide receivers to make a sprinting over-the-shoulder catch.
Here is how each route broke down by completion rate during the pitch and catch session (no defenders, all three QBs throwing passes);
ROUTE: Quick Out towards north end zone 9-of-11 (two drops)
ROUTE: Quick Out towards south end zone 8-of-11 (one drop, two bad throws)
ROUTE: Curl towards north end zone 10-of-11 (one bad throw)
ROUTE: Curl towards south end zone 10-of-11 (one drop)
ROUTE: Deep Out towards north end zone 10-of-11 (one bad throw)
ROUTE: Deep Out towards south end zone 9-of-11 (two drops)
ROUTE: Post 9-of-12 (two drops, one bad pass)
ROUTE: Seam 8-of-10 (one drop, one bad throw)
ROUTE: Go 5-of-12 (seven players couldn't connect)
1-ON-1's (skill positions)
This session was highlighted by Verran Tucker's spectacular catch against the right sideline. Tucker went deep and Sean Cattouse ran step-for-step. When the ball arrive, Cattouse got into Tucker's body but the wide out used his free arm and stretched out to corral the ball just as he hit the ground diving. Very impressive.
The session also saw the true freshmen defensive backs get their feet wet as well.
Another notable was a specific pass between Tucker and Josh Hill. Hill almost got beat initially but recovered to force an incomplete. Position coach Al Simmons ran over to Hill and yelled out, "Way to read him!, Way to read him!" (meaning Tucker)
- Alex Lagemann short reception in front of Marcus Ezeff
- Tyre Ellison does a good job to knock pass away from Mike Calvin
- Charles Satchell gets a step on Charles Amadi for nice catch
- Pass too high for Marvin Jones working against Josh Hill
- Pass too deep for Jeremy Ross with Syd'Quan Thompson covering
- Steve Williams recovers to tip ball away from Verran Tucker at last moment
- Ross Bostock with short catch in front of D.J. Campbell
- Quinn Tedford hauls in a ball working against Chris Moncrease
- Incomplete intended for Isi Sofele
- Incomplete intended for Jackson Bouza working against Alex Logan
- Spencer Hagan comes back to catch pass in front of Charles Amadi
- Alex Lagemann with a great route to beat Darian Hagan for deep catch
- Mike Calvin beats Chris Conte deep down field for highlight catch
- Incomplete intended for Charles Satchell working against Vachel Samuels
- Marvin Jones goes short to nab catch against Syd'Quan Thompson
- Jeremy Ross shakes off bump to get open and make catch against Josh Hill
- Verran Tucker with spectacular diving one-handed catch of the day down the right sideline against Sean Cattouse
- Ross Bostock reception against Tyre Ellison
- D.J. Campbell sticks out his hand to knock pass away from Quinn Tedford
- Incomplete intended for Isi Sofele with Steve Williams covering
- Jackson Bouza beats Alex Logan deep for catch
- Spencer Hagan gets inside on Chris Moncrease for catch
- Chris Conte textbook coverage to breakup pass intended for Alex Lagemann
- Too deep intended for Mike Calvin who got a step on Jesse Brooks
- Charles Satchell gets inside on Brett Johnson for reception
- Marvin Jones gets step on Vachel Samuels and hauls in deep pass
- Jeremy Ross with a nice double move on Marc Anthony for catch
- Incomplete intended for Verran Tucker defended by Josh Hill
- Isi Sofele with nice shoe-string catch working against Chris Conte
1-ON-1's (big boys)
Good to see the big boys finally get in pads so they can get after each other in the 1-on-1's. This part of practice, along with the receiver 1-on-1's, is arguably the most exciting periods of the entire day.
The big guys didn't waste anytime putting on a show.
- Cameron Jordan opened the session by performing a textbook swim move to get around Mitchell Schwartz
- Justin Cheadle was able to use his leverage against Ernest Owusu
- Chris Guarnero bashed hats with Kendrick Payne and got the best on one specific snap
- Derrick Hill threw down Matt Summers-Gavin to get to the quarterback
- Mike Tepper used his feet nicely to keep Tyson Alualu in front of him
- Ryan Davis knocked over Justin Prueitt. On the next snap, Davis got the best of Prueitt again.
- Mark Boskovich used his hands nicely to ward off Aaron Tipoti
- Donovan Edwards moved his feet to keep the quick Keith Browner at bay
- On the next snap, Browner returns the favor by beating Edwards to the edge
- Sam DeMartinis did a good job on Trevor Guyton
- Keni Kaufusi tried his best to bull-rush Brian Schwenke right into the quarterback
- Justin Gates and Ernest Owusu went after each other in one of the more physical battles of the day
- Tyler Rigsbee withstood a strong bull-rush attempt by Deandre Coleman
- Next snap, Rigsbee used good footwork to throw Coleman to the ground
- Charles Siddoway was able to hold his ground against Mike Costanzo
- Ernie Owusu was able to get around Mitchell Schwartz
- Charles Siddoway got the best of Keith Browner
- Tyson Alualu with vintage hand placement to get angle on Mitchell Schwartz
- Justin Cheadle held his own against Derrick Hill
- Trevor Guyton putting all 300 pounds into a bull-rush attempt against Justin Cheadle
- Matt Summers-Gavin used his strength to stop Keith Browner in his tracks
- Cameron Jordan sped around Mike Tepper
- Next snap, Tepper stands Jordan up straight
- Trevor Guyton was able to get past Justin Prueitt
- Richard Fisher got the best of Ernie Owusu, who tried to spin to no avail
- Dominic Galas was able to get underneath an on-coming Keni Kaufusi
- Mark Boskovich got the better of Aaron Tipoti twice in a row
- Mitchell Schwartz stuffed Tyson Alualu from getting to the edge
7-ON-7's (NO LINEMEN)
No big highlight plays in this session, but tight end Anthony Miller did haul in a tremendous catch down the middle of the field in coverage from Kevin Riley. Miller has really showed off a solid pair of mitts so far in camp.
Sean Cattouse continues to show off his excellent ability to play the ball in the air. Cattouse knocked away two sure-fire catches in this session.
Marcus Ezeff tallied the only turnover of the session, when he picked off Brock Mansion on a pass intended for Jeremy Ross
Kevin Riley under center
- Riley is sacked
- Anthony Miller with a great catch down the field working against D.J. Holt
- Incomplete intended for Spencer Ladner
- Pass too high for Alex Lagemann
- Sean Cattouse knocks away pass intended for Spencer Ladner
- Sean Cattouse comes back the next snap to knock away pass from Anthony Miller
- Riley finds Spencer Ladner for short gain
Brock Mansion under center
- Marcus Ezeff PICKS OFF a pass intended for Jeremy Ross
- Incomplete deep intended for Charles Satchell, who was covered nicely by Syd'Quan Thompson
- Incomplete intended for Verran Tucker who dropped ball
- Mansion hits Skylar Curran for short gain
- Mansion throws to Tad Smith short who dropped ball
Beau Sweeney under center
- Sweeney hits Garry Graffort for short gain
- Complete to Langston Jackson for short gain
Allan Bridgford under center
- Bridgford dumps it off to Garry Graffort for short gain
- Josh Hill with great coverage and almost picks off pass intended for Jarrett Sparks
- Bridgford complete to Jarrett Sparks for short gain
Ryan Wertenberger under center
- Spencer Hagan gets free of Vachel Samuels for short catch
- Wertenberger finds Savai'i Eselu over the middle for decent gain
11-ON-11 (FULL TEAM, first session)
This session was highlighted by defense, especially the bottom seven. The defensive ends were able to get up the field and also played gaps fairly well on running plays.
Jarred Price, junior college transfer from Blinn College, forced a couple of incompletions coming off the edge.
Brock Mansion's strike to Charles Satchell for touchdown was well executed.
Kevin Riley under center
- Jahvid Best with a 5-yard gain running behind Chet Teofilo
- Riley pass is almost picked off by Syd'Quan Thompson who jumped Alex Lagemann route
- With all day to throw, Riley can't find anyone open and dumps it off to Jahvid Best for short gain
- Shane Vereen stuffed by Mike Mohamed behind the line
- Shane Vereen racks up 4 yards before tackled by Tyson Alualu
- Riley hits Alex Lagemann sprinting down sideline for 10 yards
Brock Mansion under center
- Verran Tucker with a nice 10-yard grab working against Josh Hill
- Peter Geurts rushes up the middle for no gain as Keith Browner and Jarred Price combine on tackle
- Pete Geurts gains five yards off right tackle
- Jarred Price forces bad throw which lands short and incomplete intended for Charles Satchell
- Mansion hits Charles Satchell for 7-yard gain
- Mansion fires bullet to Charles Satchell who streaks into the end zone for a 20-yard TOUCHDOWN
11-ON-11 (FULL TEAM, second session)
This session was highlighted by some bone crushing hits by the defense.
D.J. Holt and Brett Johnson got the better of Peter Geurts on two runs while Trevor Guyton put a nice hit on Covaughn DeBoskie.
Meanwhile, linebacker Robert Mullins had a notable back-to-back-to-back sequence while Beau Sweeney was at quarterback.
Newcomers Keni Kaufusi, Deandre Coleman and Jarred Price spent some time in the backfield as well.
Kevin Riley under center
- Jahvid Best rushes for 1 yard before behind corralled by Cameron Jordan
- Alex Lagemann finds a soft spot and is rewarded with a 15-yard catch
- Devin Bishop sacks Riley
- Incomplete deep intended for Jeremy Ross with Syd'Quan Thompson covering
- Shane Vereen with a big run over right tackle
- Jahvid Best finds a hole behind the right side for nice gain
- With all day to throw, Riley lofts a deep pass to Marvin Jones which falls incomplete with Darian Hagan covering
- Riley hits Marvin Jones for 10-yard gain
- Shane Vereen right up the middle for big gain with big thanks to Chris Guarnero who sealed his man
- Riley hits Mike Calvin short
Brock Mansion under center
- Covaughn DeBoskie up the middle for 3 yards before stopped by Cameron Jordan
- D.J. Holt blows up Peter Geurts in the backfield
- With all day to throw, Mansion finds a streaking Skylar Curran deep for a nice gain
- Covaughn DeBoskie is slammed in the backfield by Trevor Guyton
- With all day to throw, Mansion hits Marvin Jones down field for 30-yard gain
- Mansion hits Marvin Jones for 5 yards
- Covaughn DeBoskie gets outside to pick up 15 yards on rush
- Peter Geurts rushes for 4 yards before getting tackled by Keith Browner
- Mansion goes short to Skylar Curran
- Peter Geurts is crushed by Brett Johnson in the backfield
Beau Sweeney under center
- Kevin Lewis is stopped behind the line of scrimmage by Robert Mullins
- Langston Jackson 1 yard gain up middle stopped by Robert Mullins and Aaron Tipoti
- Time to throw, Sweeney goes deep to Jarrett Sparks to no avail with good coverage by Robert Mullins
- Kevin Lewis is stuffed behind the line of scrimmage by Deandre Coleman
- Kevin Lewis takes carry and slips Steven Fanua and Robert Mullins for 4-yard gain
- Langston Jackson gets free for 15-yard reception down sideline
- Trevor Guyton trips up Jackson behind line of scrimmage
- Sweeney avoids rush of Mike Costanzo and dumps ball off short to Charles Satchell
Allan Bridgford under center
- Dasarte Yarnway with a very nice rush after getting tremendous lead block from Will Kapp
- Dasarte Yarnway cut down right away by Keni Kaufusi
- Dasarte Yarnway losses 2 yards after getting smothered by Deandre Coleman
- Bridgford is sacked by Keni Kaufusi
- Dasarte Yarnway gets only 1 yard before getting tackled by Jarred Price
Ryan Wertenberger under center
- Complete deep to Garry Graffort
11-ON-11 (FULL TEAM, third session)
This session was highlighted by a Mychal Kendricks interception, a couple of well-executed catches down the field by Verran Tucker and Jeremy Ross and several runs off tackle.
One of those runs saw true freshman Dasarte Yarnway truck fellow freshman Vachel Samuels.
Kevin Riley under center
- Jahvid Best runs over right tackle for five yards
- Shane Vereen runs right past defenders over left tackle for big gain
- Riley scrambles and finds Jeremy Ross coming back to the ball for big 20-yard reception
- Incomplete intended for Shane Vereen
- Incomplete intended for Jeremy Ross after getting a bump by D.J. Holt
Brock Mansion under center
- Covaughn DeBoskie gains 3 yards behind right guard
- Mansion throws short to Spencer Ladner with Chris Conte covering
- Mansion scrambles and tries to hit Jeremy Ross to no avail
- Mansion is PICKED OFF by Mychal Kendricks
Beau Sweeney under center
- Sweeney looks for Garry Graffort who does a nice job to pull in catch
- Incomplete intended for Jarrett Sparks with Jesse Brooks covering
- Incomplete intended for Garry Graffort
- Verran Tucker with a beautiful catch down the middle of the field
Allan Bridgford under center
- Dasarte Yarnway runs around left tackle for 15 yards and runs over Vachel Samuels in the process
- Chris Moncrease comes up to lay a textbook tackle on Yarnway for a short gain
- Bridgford hits Kevin Lewis short
11-ON-11 (FULL TEAM, red zone)
Throughout the year, Tedford and his staff will put the team through various "situational" drills that focus on various times of an actual game. Sunday, the final 11-on-11 session was red zone based and focused on the offense's ability to make sharp plays in an attempt to get into the end zone.
This session was unquestionably highlighted by the tight ends, who scored three of the five touchdowns (Skylar Curran, Garry Graffort, Anthony Miller) in the period.
In fact, all three rotation quarterbacks put their offense in the end zone. Kevin Riley and Beau Sweeney led their units to two touchdowns each.
Suffice to say, the defense didn't exactly end on a happy note. Many players were heard yelling, "C'mon! C'mon!" in frustration after the third and fourth touchdowns were scored.
Kevin Riley under center
- (from the 25) Riley looks for Tad Smith but pass is knocked away by Sean Cattouse at the 5-yard line
- (from the 20) Jahvid Best rushes up the middle for 6 yards
- (from the 20) Riley fires a perfect pass to Anthony Miller for a TOUCHDOWN
- (from the 15) Riley lofts a touch pass to Jeremy Ross for a TOUCHDOWN
- (from the 10) Jeremy Ross drops Riley pass at 2-yard line
Brock Mansion under center
- (from the 25) Mansion wastes no time, hitting Skylar Curran who makes a stellar catch in traffic for a TOUCHDOWN
- (from the 20) Mansion hits Covaughn DeBoskie for 6 yards
- (from the 20) Mansion finds Marvin Jones for short 5-yard gain
- (from the 15) Mansion fires ball into hands of Jeremy Ross for 5 yards
- (from the 10) Pass is too high for Spencer Ladner
Beau Sweeney under center
- (from the 25) Sweeney hits Jarrett Sparks for 15-yard gain
- (from the 20) Sweeney looks for Garry Graffort who tips ball in air and corrals as he falls for a TOUCHDOWN
- (from the 15) Sweeney goes short for Ross Bostock
- (from the 10) Sweeney finds a streaking Charles Satchell for a TOUCHDOWN
Allan Bridgford under center
- Fumbled snap
- Bridgford pass to Spencer Ladner incomplete
Ryan Wertenberger under center
- Pass to Jarrett Sparks at goal-line knocked away by Chris Moncrease
- Wertenberger hits Savai'i Eselu for short gain
After practice, Tedford chewed out his team about an undisclosed "team thing" according to the head coach. Let's just say he was not happy.
Moments after, Marcus Ezeff, who was chosen before practice by his teammates to led the chants for the day, chewed out his teammates for the undisclosed indiscretion.
The team will be in shells again for the Monday practice before putting on full pads on Tuesday.
Chris Nguon is the lead football writer for BearTerritory. He's well known for his recruiting and game coverage in the star-studded Oakland Athletic League, plus his numerous contributions with The Daily Californian, UC Berkeley's only independent, student-run newspaper. Nguon is also a correspondent with the Oakland Tribune, and will cover Cal football and men's and women's basketball in 2009.