Cal coach Jeff Tedford visited the New England Patriots camp for a week this summer and came away with some useful information.
“One of the main reasons was to look at their tight end package,” Tedford said during the Pac-12 Conference’s media day in Los Angeles on Tuesday. “That’s critical for us.”
Tedford believes he has a potential NFL tight end in Richard Rodgers, but he also needs to find a way to take some of the defensive pressure off wide receiver Keenan Allen, who figures to get increased defensive attention now that wide receiver Marvin Jones is gone.
Allen had offseason ankle surgery and said he needs some conditioning.
“I’m going to be 100 percent by camp,” Allen said. “Now I still get a little fatigued.”
Galas surgery: Tedford said starting Cal guard Dominic Galas was scheduled to have surgery Tuesday to repair a pectoral muscle that tore away from his shoulder. The preliminary prognosis is that Galas will be out three months, although more will be known after the surgeons look at the damage.
The Skov report: Stanford coach David Shaw said linebacker Shayne Skov, who tore his ACL in the third game last season, has been cleared to do nearly all the offseason conditioning work.
“He’s not ready to play in a game,” Shaw said. “[But] come that game against Duke, he has to be ready to give us 100 percent and I believe he will be.”
Duke is Stanford’s second opponent. Shaw suspended Skov for the opener because he was arrested for DUI.
Don’t press your Luck: Brett Nottingham and Josh Nunes are competing to be the successor to Andrew Luck at quarterback for Stanford, but Shaw told them their job will be to get the team into the right plays and complete passes when the opportunity arises, not to try to duplicate the play of their predecessor.
“There should be no effort to be Andrew Luck, because they can’t. It’s not possible,” Shaw said.
USC picked to top conference: The theme of Pac-12 media days: celebrating the new kids on the block.
That includes Southern Cal, which is eligible to not only win the Pac-12 championship for the first time but advance to a BCS bowl game as the league’s representative.
“The preseason rankings have nothing to do with how well we will play this year,” USC coach Lane Kiffin said. “I do think it’s exciting for our fans.”
The Trojans were picked to win the conference championship game by league media, ahead of Oregon, by a margin of 102-21. It’s the 31st time USC was picked to win its conference. USC was tabbed the favorite in the South with 117 votes; Utah and UCLA were distant runners up.
Oregon, the league’s three-time defending champion, received 117 votes to Stanford’s five in the North Division projections. Washington and Cal ranked third and fourth, respectively.