Well folks, we are in Cal football season mode, not like some of you are not in pre basketball mode, but the football season is upon us. I received the tickets a couple of weeks ago and was surprised to find them in a spiral bound book. The book contains sheets of tickets and parking passes, a few ads and a message from the AD. They did such a nice job I am going to hate to take it apart.
My first comment of the season concerns quarterback Kevin Riley. Although here are eight defensive players returning and a healthy, Jahvid Best is slated to carry the load; the QB will make this a special season assuming he plays to his potential. The biggest criticism I ever had of Tedford was his handling of the QBs last season. I think he did a terrible job, and in some ways, his actions retarded Riley's growth. I will acknowledge that Coach is much closer to the situation, but it certainly appeared to me that Riley's confidence was shattered with the uncertainty of his role and the rotation pattern he shared with Longshore. Regardless, the unseen benefit is that Riley might have "grown up" in the process, which is one of the reasons I am considering him my pre-season comeback player of the year. The offensive line is improved and the receivers should be formable. Riley's responsibility will be to manage the game, move the chains and not turn the ball over; he does not need to win games with is arm, but he is wholly capable of doing so as game conditions dictate. The Bears will go as far as Riley, not Best, takes them.
The associated factor in my thoughts concern the new offensive coordinator, which I think will take some load off Tedford and in the process mentor Riley. I will discuss the new OC/QB coach later.