Hail Tedford!

Here’s some comments today from Cal coach Jeff Tedford.

California football head coach Jeff Tedford

On Oregon game

“Well, we didn’t play very well and they did. It’s pretty basic, you know. We got outplayed that day and you have to give them a lot of credit. They executed really well on both sides of the ball and we didn’t make plays and you can’t do that against Oregon. They’re too explosive offensively and you know, so that’s really what it comes down to.”

On Jahvid Best’s ability

“Well he’s real versatile. That’s the thing about Jahvid is he can run inside and has great lateral movement to make people miss and then his speed is exceptional when he gets in the open field and catches a football well, pass protects well, so he’s a real versatile back. You can use him in a lot of ways and he’s just real explosive and he can change, he can go the distance. You know, he’s a threat to go the distance in one play anytime so he’s a pretty special guy that way.”

On Kevin Riley’s growth as a quarterback

“He’s really grown up a lot. The maturity and growth and development as him as a person as well has been great. You know, he’s not turning the football over, he’s making good decisions. You know, one of the leaders for the offense. Real pleased with the way he prepares and his focus and his concentration. So he’s really done a nice job of taking care of the middle part of the game and then the physical part of the game he’s really worked hard on being more consistent, more accurate, and so he’s done a nice job that way.”

On status of defense

“Well I had them playing well until last week. You know, got out of position a couple times last week, didn’t tackle as well as we need to, but I think they have the potential to be a very strong defense. We have a veteran secondary and were athletic at linebacker and we’re a veteran group up front as well. So I think we have the potential to be a good defense, it’s just a matter of we didn’t play very well last week.”

On perspective of USC vs. Cal competitiveness

“They have a great team. There’s no question about that. We’ve only won one game against them and so obviously they’ve gotten better of a matchup. But it has been competitive and they’re well thought games, but we have a lot of respect for what they do in all things is what they do. They’re great players, they’re well coached and so it’s a struggle to be successful against them because they are so good on defense, and have so much good play potential on offense. They’re a tough group, no question about it.”

On thoughts of this week’s game

“Well it’s no different. Again, every year, they just reload a defense and they’re excellent front, athletic, fast linebackers speed all over the field, they’re secondary to veteran group. They give up, I think at one point, 7 yards per rush so they’re very difficult to run the ball on. Pete does a great job of putting those guys in positions to be successful and they’re exceptional players and so they execute very well. And then offensively, they have a lot of good play potential. They have a great offensive line, two real good tight ends, explosive receivers, stable running backs, a great full back, and then their quarterbacks. Of course Barkley has the potential to do a lot of great things and so control it, he can move, he can do things they ask him to do. I don’t see really any flaws in them. I think they’re a great football team.”

On comparing Jahvid Best to past running backs

“Well he’s right up there. We’ve had a lot of great ones. I think the difference between Jahvid and the other one like JJ Arrington, Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett. You know those guys had great careers here. I think the difference is the overall speed that Jahvid brings. Jahvid, once he gets in the open field, he’s got an extra gear and those other guys were great players. I think that’s the difference is Jahvid just kind of separates himself when it comes to his speed.”

On status of replacement linebackers

“They’ve done a good job. Devin (Bishop) played well last week. D.J. Holt, Devin, Mychal Kendricks, a lot of those guys played last year. They weren’t starters but they played a lot so they’re not completely new. Maybe more athletic and probably run a little bit better than the guys did last year. They were good players but I think this group probably runs a little bit better overall. Devin played a lot last week and had a good game and he can run and so I don’t think that there’s been a lot of drop off at our linebacking position.”

On the USC-Cal game possibly being an elimination game for the Rose Bowl

“You know I don’t know. I think it’s still early. I don’t know what going on in the conference, I haven’t seen a lot of teams play. Obviously we’ve only played one game and now going up against SC. I think there’s a lot of parity from what I can tell though, looking at scores in the conference. I think there’s a lot of strong teams in the conference. I’ve always said it about the Pac-10, you have to bring you’re a-game each and every week to be successful and I don’t see it any different this year. I think you need to be prepared and be a little bit lucky with the health, making sure you stay healthy. As the season wears on, I think there’s a lot of, depth really becomes an issues. I think that’s one of the reasons why SC, down the stretch, they’re so deep all the time that they are able to kind of sustain through the whole year while maybe the injury bug gets to a couple other teams. I think there’s a lot of parity in the league.”

On what’s occurred in the secondary

“Well (Minnesota wide receiver Eric) Decker is a great, great player. (Oregon tight end Ed) Dickson kind of got loose on some screens and caught us out of position a little bit. It hasn’t been so much man coverage or anything like that, but we’re probably trying to do too much. I think sometimes the veteran guys, they try to do too much and then take their eyes where they’re not supposed to be. That happened a couple times last week. Decker, he makes unbelievable plays. He’s catching things in traffic and going up and he’s a big physical receiver, so you have to give that guy a lot of credit. But Dixon caught a lot of things just in the flat and in front of us and then caught a screen that went the distance, so that wasn’t necessarily on the defensive backs.”

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