Sunday, November 19, 2006

IT'S TEDFORD'S FAULT

That's what I've been reading on message boards. Young Blues blaming this loss on Tedford. Saying that he's "peaked" at the Holiday Bowl; that he'll never get Cal to the Rose Bowl.

Just so you know, that's not just a wrong opinion. That's insanity, and you need to pull your collective head out of your ass.

Cal's playcalling was just fine Saturday night. Our execution wasn't. Tedford's alleged sins:

We should have gone deep more often. SC had a safety deep on every snap - their defense was designed to take away the deep pass. Longshore's punt/interception showed what Cal could expect if they forced the ball into the deep zone. Fans who wanted Cal to go deep either a) weren't watching the defensive backfield or b) just don't understand football.

We were too conservative on 2nd and 1 in the 3rd quarter. No, we just didn't block anyone. In fact, JT's run game was very smart - he challenged undersized Brian Cushing to make plays, and Marshawn had his best success outside the tackles. As for our supposed "conservative" philosophy, Nate threw six consecutive passes on the previous possession.

JT should take a lesson from Pete Carroll's aggressive approach. First of all, it's Lane Kiffin calling plays, and he called a nice game. Second, if we had even tried to cover Steve Smith on 4th and 2, no one would be lauding Carroll's aggressiveness. The Trojans made a play, we didn't - there's no magic here.

I'll address the "peaking" issue later. Just wanted to vent my spleen at a bunch of Cal fans who don't know their football, or their history.

10 Comments:

At 5:10 PM, Blogger T. said...

People are idiots. I hope they get off the Cal bandwagon if they think that Tedford peaked.

 
At 6:52 PM, Blogger Pete Morris said...

I half agree, TH. The Bears played one heck of a game, and came up just two plays short. Just two plays. Nothing shameful about that, and in no way evidence that Tedford can't win the "big one". They'll be back in the thick of things next year, and his time (our time!) will come.

But I also believe that SC came up with the two winning plays, not Cal, because it is the team coached by the guy not afraid to win. If ever there's a time to try to get Jackson the ball downfield, its on third-and-one at your 29. I know I wasn't the only one begging for the Bears to go to just such a play at that time. And to have SC do exactly the same thing a couple of series later? Very, very painful.

I love Tedford, and I hope he stays for many more years to come. But as his teams get more talented, as the expectations ratchet up, I think he needs to adjust how he coaches. Playmakers can only make plays if you give them the chance.

I remain optimistic, though. While the Dunbar experiment hasn't worked out as brilliantly as we all had hoped, it demonstrates that Tedford is not a stubborn man. He's willing to evolve as a coach, and that's exactly what he now needs to do.

 
At 7:01 PM, Blogger Pete Morris said...

Just a quick follow up. The Bears inability to run the ball this year as consistently as they did during the previous few years--including those failed short-yardage conversions the last two weeks--has been one of the biggest disappointments. Lynch has busted enough big runs to keep his numbers up, but Forsett has struggled, with the lone exception of the Oregon game. Why? Is it the loss of Marvin Phillip? Of Chris Manderino? Is it a function of Dunbar's offense?

For me, that's the key question heading into next year. If Forsett and Co. can return to the form Igber, Echemandu, Arrington, and Forsett 2005, then Cal's offense just might be tops in the nation next year. If not, we might be lucky just to make it to the Holiday Bowl yet again.

 
At 7:32 PM, Blogger Tightwad said...

Pete, as usual you're right. The run game has been a disappointment, but it's not a failure of scheme but personnel. Our line just hasn't performed all that well. It's not Storer - I think he's been about as good as Manderino in the run game. It's the line, and specifically our guard play (though neither tackle is half the run blocker that O'Callaghan was). We miss Merz.

 
At 7:34 PM, Blogger T. said...

I think it's the lack of fullback sets out of our offense. I don't think Tedford/Dunbar are beyond criticism, but I think there's a large execution side of the equation that needs to be thought about.

That, and USC has a pretty good football team.

Anyways, to think 5 years ago you'd be disappointed with a 9-3 team?

 
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