John Hefti - USA Today Sports
"The biggest room is the room for improvement."
That was the line from Luc Bequette as he spoke during his media availability today. That encompassed the theme that Justin Wilcox has set, that everything is on the table as the Bears get back into the competitive mindset that propelled them to an early 3-0 start.
"Really, everything’s on the table," Wilcox said earlier, "We obviously got a chance to watch the tape and what the issues were, you kinda have an idea during the game, and the tape always paints the clearest picture. We’ve just got to be better in every phase of the game, and individually, there’s a lot of times where it’s 10 out of 11, 10 guys executing, one guy not quite, and that’s not gonna get it done."
"It’s like coach Wilcox is telling us, in football, 10 guys isn’t going to get in done, in baseball, 10 guys you can win a championship, so I think it goes down to winning those one on one battles," fullback Malik McMorris said,"You’re not going to win every one on one battle, but trying to be consistent with it and fighting to be consistent is the biggest part. I think it goes back to one on one battles and being able to communicate out there, it’s going back to the fundamentals. Our fundamentals, we know how to do it, so we’ve just got to get back to it."
The speculation covers the quarterback position, and Wilcox put a damper on some of the immediate QB talk, noting that Ross Bowers would be the starter, but there'd be evaluation at every position.
"Everybody’s getting evaluated, we watched the tape with the players," Wilcox said, "Speaking of the tape, Ross did some good things and he had quite a few things that he needs to be better on. We expect Ross to be the starter, but everything is being evaluated, and it will continue. It would be that way no matter what, won the game, lost the game, it’d be the same each week."
Derron Brown noted that there'd be more players only meetings during the week, and those haven't entirely happened yet, but there's been a lot of communication between players in the locker room and before meetings.
"In the locker room," Bequette noted. "we’re always talking, we’ve really got to pick it up and obviously losing steam really hurts, but there’s a lot of resiliency in guys on the team."
"Personnel groupwise, yes (we met up, players only)," McMorris added, "before and after those meetings, players only. We all have the same goal in mind, that’s to win every Saturday, this week Friday. We just need to get back to doing us, us in those first three weeks."
With this, Wilcox is trying to spur the competitive juice that flowed throughout camp, ones that improved the defensive play in the early going, but haven't entirely translated to the offensive side of the ball. It's something they'll need to find, along with improvement on the offensive line, before they face 8th ranked Washington State Friday.
Wilcox and Bequette on Evan Weaver
"Evan's gotten better throughout the season," Wilcox said,"He was still moving into inside linebacker during camp. He brings a physical presence in there. He's still learning a lot each game I think. The one thing he does bring, like I said, is being physical and he can tackle. He gets his hands on people, he gets people on the ground, I think everybody assumes that everybody on defense tackles, but some guys do it better than other guys, and Evan has that kind of knack to him, that he's a good tackler."
"He plays hell on wheels all the time," Bequette said,"which we all have to play like collectively as a team."
Bequette on Tevin Paul (Who had 2 TFLs and a sack Saturday)
"You see it, Tevin Paul, he really had a hell of a week this week," Bequette said, "he got a lot of playing in our nickel formation, and he really balled out in that too, so he had a really nice game, and he's gonna get a lot more playing time, which is good. We really need playmakers out there on the field."
- Wilcox noted that Steven Coutts had a solid second half punting for the Bears and that Kanawai Noa was a "we'll see" to play on Saturday (best guess right now is that he plays)
- The botched snap was on Alonso Vera, though Coutts was in as the snapper, with Klumph and Rubenzer out during the second half.
McMorris succinctly put Cal's goal for the final half of the season into focus.
"We want to get back to winning, the winning’s fun."