Nate vs. Riley, Part I
People have heard Coach Tedford speak about many important issues this offseason. Certainly for most Cal fans, the most important aspect of the future is the QB debate.
On the down side the general impression in the room was that he is sticking with Longshore, saying that he was unfairly criticized, and that other than the rollout plays, Longshore could have done everything Riley did in the Air Force game. He felt fans need to stand behind Nate and help build his confidence back up. He did, however, confirm that the QB spot will be open in the Spring.
Not terribly surprised. Longshore is a senior, and I’d assume Nate would get the nod despite Riley’s incredible bowl performance. The same thing occurred with Reggie Robertson in early 2003 when Aaron Rodgers was still struggling to establish himself, although it can be argued Riley is WAY ahead of where Rodgers was at this point in his career. That being said, the contest is open, so we’ll see in the spring if Tedford finds his young gun worthy of assuming the mantle, or perhaps even consider the platoon model.
Personally, I think that if he has the right attitude, Riley will learn to work even harder and develop his game more thoroughly to assume the mantle no later than 2009. There is also the wild card of Brock Mansion, who is waiting in the wings for his turn. No doubt there would be great anxiety in Bear Territory if Nate returned to the huddle in August, but I don’t think Tedford’s leash will be as long as it was this year. (Of course, the contention that college football fans should support their QB at all costs is silly–this isn’t the Olympics).
Of course, there’s always the bright side.
Tedford said that he feels the team chemistry is the best he has ever witnessed, that the young guys really want to step up, that we may see freshmen playing wide receiver this year and that Best’s hip seems to be progressing well. He also said that Schneider probably won’t be granted another year of eligibility, that Boateng will play in the Spring and that he really wants to concentrate more on being a head coach who deals with all the units rather than just the offense.
He also indicated that the Bears might utilize a 3-4 defense, that the delay in the Stadium project is bad and that it is beginning to erode credibility during recruiting. The poster felt that Tedford seems to be excited about the current team and coaching it.
Completely forgot about the stadium project hampering local recruiting. It seems that this might have exerted more influence on the decline in our current class more than any on-the-field performance. Good to hear about Jahvid and Boateng’s progress as well.
The interesting point is the switch to the 3-4, which has been long overdue. If Gregory is returning, that extra linebacker could be used for more effective shadowing or blitzing manuevers, as well as preventing that maddening ten yard, over-the-middle route that opponents of Cal thrived upon. And no one’s going to argue that our D-line is stronger than our linebacking corps.
EDIT: As usual, Hydrotech is far more on top of things than me. Looks like 3-4 won’t become a standard formation and he explains why it isn’t such a bad thing.
Thoughts on Tedford’s talk? Please respond in the comments.
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