With the season-opener against UC Davis now just two days away, Cal's offensive line is finally starting to provide some clarity.
Coach Jeff Tedford said Wednesday that sophomore Brian Schwenke would start at left guard. The position turned competitive early in camp after returning starter Matt Summers-Gavin suffered a knee bruise.
Schwenke beat out sophomore Dominic Galas and senior Richard Fisher for the job. Fisher missed part of camp with a hip injury.
Meanwhile, it appears Summers-Gavin will be available against the Aggies on Saturday. The sophomore has only been back at practice for a few days and has moved to right tackle. He will back up senior Donovan Edwards for the time being.
It's not surprising the Bears found a way to get Schwenke on the field. Offensive line coach Steve Marshall was high on Schwenke last year, and the team decided not to redshirt him. He saw limited time in a reserve role.
Even though Schwenke didn't play much last season, Tedford said the lineman's time working with the offense rather than the scout team is paying dividends now.
"Through camp he was much more comfortable, knowing what he's doing," Tedford said. "Week to week as you game plan different things, if you are relegated to the scout team, you're not used to the different defenses from week to week."
Another example of that came during camp when he started sitting in on defensive meetings. Tedford has always turned over the defense to his coordinator, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a hand in what is happening on that side of the ball.
"There are too many meetings going on for me to be in every one of them, but I want to get to every meeting just to see how things are going, make sure that our new facility here was what we needed it to be and just kind of watch the coaches coach and teach, watch the players respond to it and just get a little feel for what's going on in all the different meetings," Tedford said.
All-Pac-10 linebacker Mike Mohamed said he's noticed Tedford getting more involved in all aspects of the program.
"He's actually sat through a couple of defensive meetings this year, which is something I hadn't seen in my four-plus years here," he said. "He's just trying to be more of a head coach, not just be offensive-minded Jeff Tedford."