Coach Tedford says that Ryan has been effective as both a run and pass blocker. And though he can handle either the tackle or guard slot, he is needed at guard now while both tackles are experienced veterans. "When he can go through a complete off-season in the weight room, he will be a dominating player," says Tedford. Ryan is now 340 pounds, and runs a 40 in 5.21 seconds.
Asked to critique his own play, Ryan quietly regretted a play when he stepped back onto Aaron Rodgers foot and caused the loss of a yard and a down. "I've just got to remember to set a wide stance before the play starts," he said.
And re the play of the offensive line as a unit? "We just really have to focus on finishing, on putting that final effort into a block that that can break a running back loose. We discussed that at our team meeting on Friday - about getting more excitement into our play. We know we're playing well at times - we just have to focus on playing well the whole game."
Ryan is a solid student; his decision to attend Cal rested in important part on academics. "Where else could I get a better education?" he asks.
Josh Beckham was less verbose - but just as determined to improve. "We really don't like losing, and we don't like our 1 and 3 record. But we also know that if we could go back and change just 8 or 10 plays, we'd be 3 and 1 now. Looking forward, we know we can do better."
How do you feel about playing at an opponent's stadium? "I love it. When we run on the field, see all the sights, and get booed, it really pumps me up."
Garrett Cross reminisced a bit about the path that led him to Berkeley. He and Aaron Rodgers had played for opposing high schools in the Chico area, then joined forces at Butte JC though Garrett was one year senior to Aaron. "Aaron loves to give me a bad time about the time his high school team beat mine by something like 44-3."
Garrett and Aaron made their recruiting trip together. "I love the weather here in Berkeley, cool breezes, nice days. Up in Butte we had lots of days over 100 degrees. It's kind of funny, people around here think 95 degrees is hot!"
"Summer camp this year was a huge learning experience for me. I just turned 20, added 20 pounds, and was really impressed with how well organized the whole thing has been.
"Aaron is such a humble guy, a quiet leader. When he has a great game, all he wants to say is that 'We played well as a team.'"
"I really have to work on my blocking technique," says Garrett. "Like coach says, only quarterbacks have to learn more about the offense than tight ends, because we're involved in blocking, pass-catching, and other things like picking up hot blitzes. That dropped pass was a total fluke - I never do that. I was just stunned after that play."
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