In 2004, the Cal Bears averaged 492 yards of total offense and 36.8 points as they went 10-2. After that season, head coach Jeff Tedford began to delegate calling plays. They have never been as prolific again. This season, Tedford is going to return to his play chart. He said the offensive coaches will make calls as a staff. But he sounds as if he will immerse himself in the chess game for the first time in seven years.
Looking back, Tedford said Thursday in Bristol on the ESPNU College Football Podcast, “I really tried to take a different approach and have a better feel and pulse on the team as a whole. I tried to back out of that a little bit and delegate and let the offensive guys do that. I would call a play here and there.”
“There were a couple of years that I dabbled in, calling some and not calling some. And then I felt like that was unfair for the playcaller who was trying to set something up and I’d jump in at the last second and call something where he probably had something already to go.”
His biggest challenge will be to remain engaged in the game when he isn’t calling plays.
“I don’t want to be one-sided where I’m not providing any motivation or anything for the defense,” said Tedford, who’s beginning his 10th season in Berkeley. “I want to make sure the defense understands I’m with them as well. That’s the part that’s a little bit different, because when you’re in the huddle and you’re calling plays in practice every day, the defense gets the idea that the head coach is an offensive guy. ‘He’s against us.’ That’s not it at all. I love everyone on the team. But I’m really goal-set to be successful on offense because I’m calling the plays. I’m looking forward to it, actually.”