“We got a lot of situations done today,” said head coach Jeff Tedford. “We got a lot of the young guys to play. There are a couple of things we need to improve on, obviously; a lot of game situations, clock situations.”
“But, overall, it was good.”
Camp technically ends on Saturday (followed by Fan Appreciation Day), but Monday marks the end of preseason practices. The players move back into their permanent residencies today, have a light practice on Tuesday, have Wednesday off, and then begin classes on Thursday.
Thursday will also mark the start of the team installing the game plan for Cal's September 4 opener versus UC Davis.
But Monday also was the last opportunity that players had to make their mark on the depth chart.
Tedford said that certain players who were already guaranteed a starting position – such as senior quarterback Kevin Riley – sat out the practice. The only exception for this was junior running back Shane Vereen, who had missed much of the fall camp with a hamstring injury. Tedford described Vereen's workout as “fine” but a “little rusty.”
“[Vereen] should have punched one in at the goal line that he got tackled on,” said Tedford. “I'd like to see him get his pads down there, and get the ball in the end zone. But practice did good for him today, I think.”
Tedford again addressed the playing time of the wide receivers, stating that freshman Keenan Allen, junior Coleman Edmond, and freshman Kaelin Clay would all definitely be part of the rotation, while freshman Tevin Carter would “possibly” be in it, as well. Tedford reiterated that Allen is going to be a starter for the season opener.
As for the rest of the two-deep, Tedford said that he, along with the rest of the coaches, would evaluate the film from Monday's practice before releasing the depth chart. Tedford set the date of the release of the official two-deep will be Thursday, and the coach would make no other claims or commitments until watching film.
One position that is still to be determined is at cornerback.
For Monday's live-game situations practice, senior Darian Hagan and sophomore Marc Anthony were the starters on defense, but the play of freshman Steve Williams and senior Bryant Nnabuife would determine the depth chart. Tedford praised Anthony, who arguably had the best camp of anybody on the roster.
“Marc Anthony has had one of the more solid camps of anybody,” said Tedford. “He's made a ton of plays. He did a great job of tackling in the open field and playing pass defense.”
On the injury front, senior nose tackle Derrick Hill is fully recovered from his battle with gout and has been getting back up to speed at practice. Hill remarked that he had to give up bacon from his diet, which he jokingly said was a very tough food to give up. The return of Hill, along with the development of sophomores Kendrick Payne and Aaron Tipoti, provide the Bears with great depth at nose tackle.
The Bears will go through a short, 45-minute walk through on Tuesday to review Monday's practice.
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