BERKELEY -- The defense had another solid day on the practice field, as the California football team finished its fourth day of fall camp and the offense continued to improve, bit by bit.
"It's, again, we're still in the install phase, so as we start building on that, it's just a matter of getting comfortable with everything," said head coach Jeff Tedford.
The Bears skipper praised true freshman Avery Walls in particular for his tenacious play thus far in camp, building on a very solid spring after arriving in Berkeley as an early-enrollee.
"I think Avery Walls stood out today as a guy who's an exceptional player," Tedford said. "I think he'll be one of our best special teams players for sure."
Fellow safety Sean Cattouse was back, practicing in full on Tuesday, after sitting out the majority of Monday's practice due to a tight hamstring.
Offensive lineman Mitchell Schwartz was still on light duty to rest his balky hamstring, but is making progress. Tedford said his big left tackle is "recovering."
Schwartz's backup at left tackle -- junior Tyler Rigsbee -- has been laid up for two days now thanks to a nasty lower-leg contusion. Bill Tyndall has been working with the first unit in his stead.
"Tyler Rigsbee has a contusion on the shin. Tyler, it's minor for sure," Tedford said. "We just have to make sure he doesn't have any clotting or anything like that, because it's a pretty significant contusion. Probably not a helmet. He probably got kicked or something."
"He got a little sprained ankle," Tedford said. "We've got to see what's up with that."
Defensive tackle Aaron Tipoti was held out of the end of practice after suffering a hit to the head.
"I think Tipoti's got a little ding in his head. He's a little groggy, a little groggy," Tedford said. "I don't know [if it's a concussion], but I would guess by watching him walk right there, I would guess that's probably the case. I would anticipate he won't practice tomorrow."
Wednesday will be Cal's first day in full pads after two days in shells, which will give true freshman defensive tackle ?Viliami Moala a shot to play against the top units, especially with Tipoti on the shelf. Tedford said on Monday that Moala stays "on point" as well as anyone he's seen, but the true test will come when he has offensive linemen going for his legs.
"We want to make sure we're being efficient in what we're doing, and we'll do some things where we're actually playing real football, getting on the ground," Tedford said. "The big emphasis is to stay off the ground right now, and tomorrow, they'll be emphasis on cutting or blocking low and those type of things, taking guys to the ground, tackling people. Now is when we really start to focus in on our tackling drills, and so on and so forth. There's been evaluation going on the whole time, especially with shells. In helmets, you can't, it's hard to evaluate anything, except maybe speed and some athleticism."
-- The wide receivers in particular looked strong in the drills open to the media, taking to coach Eric Kiesau's coaching like ducks to water.
"You've got a coach like that, with a lot of energy, you definitely want to go out and make a big play for him just to get him excited," said senior Coleman Edmond.
Kiesau even went out of his way to help demonstrate a technique to his charges by going out and running a route himself, making a spiffy one-handed grab that drew some crowing from the wide outs.
"He played quarterback, so we didn't know where that came from," laughed Edmond. "He's a baller."
Kiesau spoke for a while with injured Kaelin Clay after practice, and the freshman receiver seemed to be in good spirits after meniscus surgery on Monday.
-- Linebacker Nick Forbes finally got rid of the red no-contact jersey and practiced in full on Tuesday.
-- Tedford clarified a bit as to why redshirt freshman running back Trajuan Briggs was not in camp, saying that he will be on the team once the season starts.
"We have seven tailbacks in camp, and he wasn't, we need to evaluate the young guys," Tedford said. "In order to do that, we had to draw the line somewhere, and wasn't in that group."
Among the more than 10 or so other players left off the camp roster is walk-on quarterback Ryan Wertenberger.
"There's just guys that we can't have," Tedford said. "We [can only] have 105 [in camp] and we have 118 guys on the team."