Bear Insider Video: 3-19 Practice Report

Bear Insider Video: 3-19 Practice Report

The Bears entered their second week of spring practice on Monday as the returning Pac 10 champions continued to sharpen their skills and test the mettle of their Class of 2006 redshirt frosh.

One of the most pressing needs this camp is solidifying the top 8 rotation, especially important with starting linemen Mike Gibson and Norris Malele out recuperating from surgeries.

In today's drills, the Bears started Chet Teofilo (LT), Brian De la Puente (LG), Alex Mack (C), Kevin Bemoll (RG) and Mike Tepper (RT). Amongst the standouts in one on ones were Bemoll and walkon frosh Mark Boskovich.

One of the more amusing moments in practice featured Cal all-time tackles record-holder David Ortega egging on Offensive Coordinator Jim Michalczik from the stands to pick up the pace running downfield with his linemen for a new drill period. The former Washington State lineman responded to Ortega's, "Come on, OC! Pick it up!" with a big smile and an impressive 20 yard burst of speed.

Linebacker Zack Follett went all out on 11 on 11 drills, flying all over the field. While hitting is allowed, tackles for the most part still are not. No doubt Follett and his defensive mates are ready to step it up.

Fellow linebacker Eddie Young continued to shine in practice with a qb wrapup on Riley for a would-be sack. Young burst around the right end to make the stop. Young also briefly scuffled with new tight end Skylar Curran after a play but it was quickly broken up. Young brings aggressiveness to the field similar to fan favorite Follett and always has his motor running.

DB's Charles Amadi and Thomas DeCoud got most of the 1st teams snaps at corner, with Brandon Jones and Darian Hagan stepping in as well. All four corners looked solid in coverage.

The reps at quarterback were primarily shared and divided between Nate Longshore, Kyle Reed and Kevin Riley, with Bryan Van Meter getting a few snaps as well.

Riley showed good zip on his passes, but had a couple overthrows on outs and narrow-misses on passes downfield to Daniel Lofton, Lavelle Hawkins and Sam DeSa. He also had a couple nice plays, hitting wr Cameron Toler for a 22 yard gain as well as a nice turn upfield on a keeper.

"I may have been a little bit off today," said Riley. "The coaches have been telling me to put some air under the ball on my throws and I've been working on that." Reed had a beautiful pass down the right sideline to Sean Young, drawing comparisons to Aaron Rodgers amongst observers with his touch on the pass. He also hit Robert Jordan with a 20 yard out under tight coverage and Cameron Morrah up the middle with a well-timed pass 25 yards downfield in traffic.

It was just a one-day sample, but Reed was clearly the top qb performer today in what was probably his most impressive practice in his two year Bear career. The battle to challenge returning starter Longshore continues to play out interestingly through camp.

Van Meter had a nice play, rolling right under pressure and hitting tight end Cameron Morrah with a swing pass that Morrah turned up field for a 20 yard gain.

. James Montgomery showed good burst up the middle, breaking several tackles while picking up an 18 yard gain. Safety Robert Peele got a little aggressive at the end of the run, grabbing Montgomery's jersey and throwing him down.

Commenting on Montgomery's running style and added weight and strength during the offseason, Cal Head Coach Jeff Tedford noted Montgomery's physical style of running.

Justin Forsett had the run of the day, weaving his way through the defense, taking it all the way to the endzone for a 70 yard td.

LaReylle Cunningham had the catch of the day, with a one-hand snag down the right sideline on a deep pass in drills.

On the defensive line, redshirt frosh Derrick Hill and Mike Costanzo showed good push in one on one drills. Matt Malele also looked fully healthy and rushed well. Rulon Davis put his long arms to good use, knocking down two balls with authority.

Bernard Hicks also stood out on defense with several big hits and good coverage downfield.

Daniel Lofton, Lavelle Hawkins, Forsett and Brian Schutte handled kick return duties on the day. All four showed good burst on their returns.

Besides linemen Mike Gibson and Norris Malele, safety Brandon Hampton and tailback Tracy Slocum sat out, wearing red jerseys. In addition, quarterback Nate Longshore participated in early drills but sat out the majority of practice, avoiding any contact drills.

"Nate tweaked his back a little lifting weights so we just held him out and let the young guys take the reps with the ones (first team)," said Tedford. "They hadn't had a chance to take any reps with the ones yet so that was good."

Overall, Tedford was pleased with his team's performance today and throughout camp.

"There's a lot of good things going on," said Tedford. "I'm impressed with the young quarterbacks and how they're picking things up.

"On defense, Derrick Hill and some of the young corners –I'm impressed with what they're doing. They're doing a very good job. They're very talented and very athletic. Each day's a new learning experience for them but we're very pleased with their athleticism and the way they're working.

"We've got better depth at corner than we've had in a while.

"I think we're getting a lot out of camp," concluded Tedford.

To watch video of drills during practice Click here


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