WR-DB Scuffle Overshadows Day Five

Day Five of Cal's fall camp featured the Bears' first full-contact action since their spring game, and it was evident early on, that many had some pent up aggression calling for an outlet...

The borderline-brawl between a group of receivers and defensive backs Tuesday may just have been what everyone needed.

In a one-on-one drill that called for receivers to lay blocks on the DBs, Verran Tucker got the better of Syd'Quan Thompson.

After getting an earful from Tucker, Thompson called for a rematch and subsequently ran Tucker over, leaving the wideout's empty helmet on the stadium's turf. That said, it's no wonder why a frustrated Tucker took hard-hitting JUCO transfer Chris Moncrease to the floor after Moncrease equaled Thompson's feat minutes later.

For the remainder of practice, both squads stayed in each other's faces, leading to some of the camp's most intense, and productive, competition.

In 11-on-11's later on, Brock Mansion delivered to Tucker on a deep drag across the middle of the field, leading the senior pass catcher directly into sophomore D.J. Campbell, but it might as well have been a wall.

Tucker, though, held on to the ball, jumped up immediately and, on the following play, laid a picture-perfect block to spring Isi Sofele free on his WR screen.

Thompson would have the last laugh though, stepping in front of a Mansion throw later for an athletic interception.

The pick was just one of Mansion's multiple mistakes on a tough afternoon that saw him take the first set of first-team reps.

On at least two occasions, Mansion's low release led to batted down passes, including one at the hands of Devin Bishop the play preceding Thompson's pick. Mansion also had a couple of miscommunications with his receivers, resulting in errant balls without intended targets.

Kevin Riley capitalized on Mansion's missteps. Riley didn't wow onlookers, but had his most consistent day of camp.

  • True freshman Isi Sofele continues to impress not only the media in attendance, but apparently the Cal coaches as well. Sofele took MULTIPLE first-team reps in special situations and looks like a lock to be on the field in 2009.

  • Linebacker Mike Mohamed didn't participate in contact drills Tuesday. After missing Monday's practice due to class, Mohamed wasn't eligible for full-pads competition.

  • Tight end Spencer Ladner remained out of practice Tuesday due to a strained hamstring suffered on Sunday.

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