This week the Pac-12 held its annual media day in Los Angeles. Each program was represented by the head coach and a player from the offense and defense. The California Golden Bears sent Jeff Tedford, wide receiver Keenan Allen, and defensive back Josh Hill.
Here is the video of their interview:
1) Back in the old digs With the final touches on a long restoration project being completed, the Bears get to move back to Memorial Stadium after spending last season at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Coach Tedford is excited about that and he should be. The updated facility along with the traditional on-campus setting will be a helpful selling point for potential recruits. While Tedford praised the effort of AT&T Park for doing a “great job” of hosting the team, he admits there is anticipation for returning to the old stadium.
2) The Golden Standard If anyone was looking for Tedford to break out of the norm and offer up some controversial statements, they would be greatly disappointed. As is the common practice for media day, Tedford used the opening statement to relay his satisfaction with spring football practice and the overall progress of the program.
3) What about the D? Tedford fielded a question about the wide-open high-octane offenses in the Pac-12 and turned it into a chance to promote the often undervalued defense played in the conference. If there is any program that can claim a commitment to the defensive side of the ball it is Cal. For the past two seasons the best total defense in the Pac-12 went to the Bears. Credit can be given to Clancy Pendergast who was the coordinator for both. Hill gave Pendergasts credit as well.
4) What is the goal for the season? The Bears expect to be in the Pac-12 Championship game. Tedford’s comments,
“The main goal is to reach our potential and win a conference championship and play at a national level. We have been bowl eligible nine out of ten years, the bar is high, the expectations, obviously the fans have high expectations so does the team. The internal expectation is vital and I know that’s where our team wants to be.”
If Cal is to play November 30, then everything will have to go right. Tedford knows fans do not possess patience as a virtue but seems to at least embrace the pressure imposed. If there is a strong contingent of Cal fans that have championship or bust in their heart of hearts I will consider myself surprised.
It has been a long time since Cal has played in the Rose Bowl. A questioner reminded Tedford that the U.S. flag had 48 stars on it the last time the Bears played for the roses. Outside of Berkeley there aren’t many prognosticators that would put the Bears above Oregon, Stanford, or Washington in the north division. If things don’t change soon for Tedford, he’ll be on the outside looking in, and the flag will have more than 50 stars by the time the Bears return to Pasadena.