Thursday, November 13, 2008

Boateng the Quote Machine, plus Slocum Video

In a level of candor Cal fans are not used to under the tight-lipped, coachspeak Tedford regime, Nyan Boateng gives some interesting insights into his thinking on the QB situation and the USC game. Wonder if any of the other players share his thoughts.

On the called back TD:

"It was a tight end on the ball and I was trying to get Ross to step off the ball a little bit but he couldn't really hear me because it was loud," Boateng said. "I felt like (Riley) could've waited just a second to get everybody lined up before we snapped the ball but it was too late so it's something we have to deal with."

On Riley's INT on the tipped would-be TD pass to Boateng:

"That's the same play that I scored on against Colorado State and Arizona State," Boateng said. "That play we can close our eyes and make it. It just wasn't there for some reason."
"The ball was under-thrown," Boateng added. "(Riley) could've put it at the end of the end zone and let me go make a play on it. He kind of misjudged where I was going to be but I was wide open."

"It's a play that we work on everyday," he said. "It's our 'money play' when we are at the goal-line and it should've been a touchdown. I go into every play thinking it's going to work out and I saw the coverage that was there. If there was a cover-2 the ball was going to go to Tucker but I knew I had to beat my man on the post which I did. We had the perfect play called. It was just something we missed on."

On the alternating QB approach Tedford has taken:

"It means a lot (to know who is starting)," Boateng admitted. "At first as a receiving corps we felt like it didn't matter who was (under center) but as you guys can see in a middle of the game when we switch quarterbacks like that the timing gets thrown off."
"We just need one guy and just stick with him."

On talking to some of the USC players after the game:

"After the game I stayed out there and talked to a bunch of guys from SC and they felt like we were the better team that day," Boateng said. "They said some things I can't talk about but they felt like we were better."

"I told that to guys in the locker room and that gave us a lot of confidence," he added. "That game was big for us. Even though we lost it's a positive because it's going to help us down the stretch. Now we now how to handle those tough teams and those type of games."

On this team going into next year (confirming what I have been telling everyone who will listen since last summer):

"I'm so excited about the team that we are going to have next year," Boateng said. "The stuff that we are having problems with now are not going to be an issue next year. We'll be able to dominate everybody."

"Between the older guys that are going to come back like myself and some of the young guys with some experience our team is going to be really good," he concluded. "We are going to have a better team than we have this year. I try not to get into next year because I want us to finish strong and go undefeated these next four games but as a player you always look at the future and what's going to happen."

Slocum Video

Below is a real nice video of 3rd string RB Tracy Slocum below, put together by the Danzig, the dean of Cal video. A few folks have questioned why Slocum doesn't get more carries. We know Gould has always been a guy who rides his starters till they drop, and typically only goes two deep at RB, splitting about 70%-30% between 1 and 2. But this season seems the perfect time for a third guy, especially with Slocum's physical, quick hitting running style.

First off, neither Best nor Vereen are physical runners or tackle breakers. They are pure speed backs who have great cutting ability. Second, Best has clearly lost a step due to the ankle injury. Watch the highlights from Colorado state (on the left side of the screen) and note the burst and cutting ability. That was gone versus SC last weekend.

Finally, Cal needs to be able to pound the ball late in games. Typically, physical runners relish those late game situations and get stronger as the game wears on, wanting to punish tired defenders. But Best and Vereen are speedy guys who rely on fresh legs. So their best attribute is compromised late in the game. That would be a perfect time to bring in a guy like Slocum, as you will see below. Thanks Danzig. My next request: a Verran Tucker highlight video.

A Case For Tracy Slocum from sam walton on Vimeo.


Anonymous said...

I still don't see why a few highlights against Wazzu/UCLA/Colorado show how Slocum provides an added dimension Best/Vereen don't. Best and Vereen are speed backs, and Cal could use someone that runs with some more power in there for some carries. Slocum is the same size as Best/Vereen - he's running aggressively in the video and picking up a couple yards after contact against backups for bad teams, but it isn't like he's Beast Mode out there. Cal needs someone to add a power running game, I just don't see that option on the roster at this point.

SD said...

While I don't disagree that he's not Beast Mode, and he's not beter than Best or Vereen, there's no denying that Best is hobbled and Vereen is not a physical running back, and does not run through tackles. Moreover, Vereen clearly seems to wear down late in games, particularly ASU where he got more carries. So if your #1 is hurting, and your #2 is not getting stronger as the game wears on, why not put #3 in there as a closer, especially if #3 runs more physically and hits the hole harder? Not saying a ton of carries, but why not a couple?

danzig said...

as requested

Anonymous said...

Ok I guess that's an argument I can agree with. Especially with our small RB's, I definitely agree we need 2 of them to carry the load each game in some form. All healthy, Slocum is #3 on the depth chart, but if either Best/Vereen is hurting I would be ok with Slocum getting a few carries a game. I don't think it necessarily has to be to "close out" the game, spelling Vereen a few times throughout the game can help Vereen stay rested for the 4th quarter.

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