Golden Nuggets: It's Been a Long 12 Weeks for Tedford

BREAKING NEWS: Jeremiah Masoli has been suspended for the 2010 season.  [Correction:] He has the option to redshirt in 2011. LaMichael James and Rob Beard are suspended for the opening game, ensuring they will only win by 20 against New Mexico.

After the loss to Utah in the Poinsettia Bowl, Tedford has been itching to get his team back on the field.

"I've been in a really bad mood for a long time," he said this week. "You're always irritable after a loss, but then you have the next week to do something about it. You're forced to move on. It really leaves a bad taste in your mouth when you lose a bowl game, and I'm sure it does for the whole team.

"We need to improve. We want to make sure we stay positive, but if we want to compete, we have to make sure we're getting better."

Tedford and his reshaped coaching staff will tackle several pressing issues between now and April 24. That doesn't include replacing dynamic tailback Jahvid Best, who chose to enter the NFL draft after his junior season. Shane Vereen sparkled after Best went down with a season-ending concussion Nov. 7, making tailback one of the few set-in-stone positions.

Still, the Bears have plenty on their plate. They must integrate a new defensive coordinator (Clancy Pendergast), find answers in the secondary, upgrade their special teams, locate help for Marvin Jones at wide receiver and dramatically improve their pass protection.

And, oh yes, they also could use better play at quarterback.

As usual, the quarterback situation counts as the most compelling story line of spring. Senior-to-be Kevin Riley enters practice as the starter, but Tedford made it clear - as he did last year - that it's open competition to determine who starts the opener.

Beau Sweeney and Brock Mansion hadn't earned Tedford's trust at this time in 2009, but the coach now seems more open to the "open competition" concept.

"Kevin has been our starter - you hope everyone improves with experience, and it's no different with him," Tedford said. "He'll start (spring practice) as the starter, but Beau and Brock are right there on his heels. ... We're not going to come out of spring with anything guaranteed."

After the jump Best/Alualu/Syd talk about Pro Day and the Combine, Ted Miller interviews Kevin Riley, JO reports from the first day of practice, Cal's big win over Oregon gave the starters time to rest, ESPN lists Cal as a tourney team most susceptible to a "giant killer," and more.

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