“All the situations in a game, in which you have to get guys on the field,” head coach Jeff Tedford described Sunday’s practice.
“Just every situation you can think of to try and make sure that they understand that they have to be heads up and aware at all times, because the game could change at any time, and you may have to get called on.”
Certain examples Tedford gave include going from offense to defense and vice versa (after a turnover, for instance), and making sure the punt teams are ready.
Receivers Coming On
Looking back through the first two weeks of camp, Tedford reiterated that the wide receivers are the most improved unit because they were an unknown coming in.
“Those guys have really progressed quite a ways just in understanding the offense,” said Tedford, referring to the incoming wide receivers.
Another freshman who has earned the praises of Tedford is tight end Jacob Wark.
“[Wark] came in physically prepared. He has the physical tools to play that position – he's big and strong,” said Tedford. “Wark has done a nice job, and his ball skills are very impressive as well. He can do it all.”
Tedford has stated that Wark will be one of the freshmen who will not redshirt in 2010, and will be part of a regular rotation at tight end with junior Anthony Miller, sophomore Spencer Ladner, and sophomore Jarret Sparks. Tedford stated that two-tight end sets will be used, which means that Wark has a chance to get ample playing time.
A rather underrated storyline in fall camp has been the safety position, particularly with junior Sean Cattouse missing about a week due to a hamstring injury. Cattouse recently returned to practice, and he is slowly getting back up to speed on the defensive side of the ball.
“I'm back out there, full go,” said Cattouse. “I'm doing well, actually a lot better than I expected. I've missed some of camp, but I'm slowly working my way back in there.”
Cattouse is part of a unit that struggled statistically in 2009, ranking 111th in the nation in pass defense. Cattouse, more than anybody, wants to turn that around.
“We just have to take a lot more pride and be a better cohesive unit,” said Cattouse. “From communication to just taking a lot more pride in our craft. As defensive backs, we feel like we are the most talented athletes on the field. We just have to take more pride, take a more professional approach, and we have put in a lot of effort to make this right.”
“I just want to be the best leader I can be,” said Cattouse, regarding his goal for 2010. “I just want to be on the field with my guys, and just lead. Everybody wants to be successful. I feel that that comes with the work that I have put in.”
Cattouse is the best center fielder the Bears have on their roster, as he has notched four interceptions and eight pass breakups through the first two years of his career. For Cattouse, the switch to defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast's 3-4 scheme means “a lot of the same” in terms of him being the free safety, but “with a few more wrinkles.” Cattouse has earned 2010 preseason All-Pac-10 accolades, and he surely hopes that it will translate to better play on the field and more wins in 2010.
The Bears will use Monday's practice as simulation of a live game and for further evaluation of the roles of various players. The installation of the game plan for UC Davis begins Wednesday, while school begins on Thursday.
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