Football: Allen to play receiver

Just had a phone conversation with Bob Gregory, who told me that Keenan Allen is being brought in to play wide receiver.

Gregory, understandably, is very excited about the class. He said all five linebackers should compete for immediate playing time, and singled out safety Michael Coley as someone he is also very excited about.

Gregory said one of the main focuses of this class was to find guys who can get better pressure on the quarterback. He said with guys like Chris Martin and Cecil Whiteside playing outside linebacker and Gabe King at defensive end, the Bears should be in better position to do just that.

Jonathan Okanes

Jonathan Okanes is in his fourth year covering Cal's football team. Previously, he covered Cal's men's basketball team for four years. He can also be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/OkanesonCal.

  • Clunky

    Someone should tell Gregory that he’s never going to get pressure on the QB by rushing 3, no matter what recruits he signs. Rushing 4 guys is NOT a blitz.

  • milo

    Clunky…Gregory knows already. The 3-4 only works if you have an LB that can rush off the edge. Last season that was Follett and that set up the whole defense.

    This season there wasn’t a rushing LB…but it looks like Cal has addressed that big time. All those LB are huge and fast. I think they average 6’3″ and 230-240…as freaking freshman.

    So Allen is going to play WR. Wow, so Cal really did well then. Filled a bunch of needs.

  • Dan


    Amen. When you only rush an OLB/4 guys on every third play, and only blitz on every 15th or 20th play, you’re never going to be very good at putting pressure on the QB-period.

    Studs are coming in, turn them lose, start blitzing-do it a lot, do it unpredictably from all over the field. The players will love it, they will play at ahigher level, and your whole team will be more confident.

    The difference will be noticeable.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Hate to burst your bubble clunky, but rushing 4 can be a blitz if done properly. With the right horses, some zone-blitz schemes can prove very effective even when only sending 3. The key in my mind is to almost always be sending one player from an inconsistent position. Don’t let the opposing OL have their pick-ups before the snap. Then you have one guy with a possible suprise advantage while the consistent rushers may be able to get to the QB anyways.

    I am most excited about what McCain can bring to the table (though I am pretty excited about the whole class, in truth). His length may be a great counter to many of the TEs in spread offenses.

  • Dan

    The coaches know best, or at least you would expect they would/should.

    With that said, I would sure like to see Allen at Safety. We have not had a stud safety, and it seems like he would/could be just that. Having a fast, physical strong safety would be huge for the Bears.

    I like the idea of some out of the box thinking- play him both ways – starting safety with 20 plays or so a game on offesne. Not sure if that is feasible playing safety given the mental and physical requirements of that position (as opposed to corner).

    Just a thought. If he’s that great of a safety and that great an athlete, maybe he is one of those rare, special players that could do this and help the Bears elevate their play on both sides of the ball.

  • Bearlurker

    Yeah, I’d like to see a corner or safety blitz occasionally.

  • Dan

    “Having a fast, physical strong safety would be huge for the Bears.”

    I meant strong/free safety. Not sure where he projects to- I just know Scout.com has him as the #1 safety in the nation.

  • mike w

    seems fairly obvious that Allen had 2 demands: 1) sign my brother; 2) let me play WR. I agree with Dan – he’s a NFL prospect at safety but more of a projection at receiver. Still, no reason to rain on today’s parade…impressive haul by JT and his staff.

  • milo

    Cal Fans, look up Michael Coley…Gregory is excited because the kid is 6-2/205 and runs a 4.4 at safety. Big, fast and add a few pounds and you have your big safety.

    On that note, with this class, Cal seems to have made the jump in size while maintaining speed. The LBs are uniformly big dudes, 6-3 to 6-5 and carrying weight.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Several of the scouting reports I read on Allen went into his abilities at WR, at least one saying he could be a standout there. I wrote it off when I read it because of his safety ranking, but who knows . . .

    If he ends up being a starting WR, odds are he is pretty good there. If the competition beats him out, he would probably consider a switch back to defense. Players, even top recruits, often switch sides of the ball after their first year.

  • Jan K Oski

    Allen might be taking on punt returns, too. I doubt he’d play WR, punt returner and safety. Who is going to whine if he is making huge plays at those 2 positions? Plus, Cal has a lot of youth at safety. Cattouse showed promise over the past 2 years. Then, there’s grey shirt York and blue-shirt Logan. Let’s not forget about Conte who appears to have the skills for a safety, not CB. Add Coley to the mix, and Cal will be fine.

    Check out KNBR for Tedford’s interview at 12:30…

    Go BEARS!

  • Juancho

    JO, I’ve been wanting to ask you this for a while. And while I was on calbears.com looking at the photo slideshow of today, I saw a framed picture of the EA Sports college football game that has DeSean Jackson on the cover – in one of the football team’s offices.

    What is the relationship like with former players and the team? I.e., I never seem to see any former players on the sidelines, or hear of them helping at a practice or two. Do they?

    What about Namdi, I mean he’s right here in the bay.

  • uh oh.

    Mike W:
    I am glad the dude stood up for the position he wanted to play. If he likes receiver, play receiver. You only live once!

  • rollonubears

    Jauncho, Adam Duritz isn’t enough? Hahaha. I wonder if they’d come out of the woodwork more if we played a few more high-profile games. Going 5-0 before our date with U$C sure wouldn’t hurt.

  • Juancho

    Don’t get me wrong, I love that Mr. Jones song just as much as anybody. Which reminds me I’ve been meaning to buy a greatest hits album of the counting crows.

    But sometimes I wonder why our sports programs, and really I mean basketball and football – don’t seem to have a lot of ties with players when they leave. It took forever for Jason Kidd to stop by, and I never read about any former football players showing up to lend support to Tedford with a recruit – you know like Manning does with Tennessee.

    Can you imagine how awesome it would be if you are a cornerback recruit and Asomugha is there to talk to you when you visit, or if the school can say Asomugha comes in to work with the secondary guys for a couple days each year. Or Tony Gonzalez, or Rodgers, or DeSean, or Lynch, or Mack, or Forsett, Mebane, Banta-Cain, Fujita, etc. It’s probably a real small detail, but as an alumni it would make me feel even better about our program if we had that type of participation of former players.

    I even remember when Rodgers was still in school, and he wore a Chico State t shirt to the Cal / Chico State basketball game.

  • David

    Michael Coley is the 70th Safety in the class, Scout.com citing ‘needs better instincts.’ That’s hard to teach, I’d MUCH rather Allen play Safety, he IS #1.

  • I know it doesn’t happen as often as some would like, but it DOES happen. Forsett was at last year’s UDub game, rodgers has made one or two, and nnamdi was at tenn 07. Last year a number of former cal nfl players including Gonzales came out for a spring practice.

    Usually nfl schedule conflicts make regular appearances difficult.

  • Jan K Oski

    David, It was well-chronicilized, when Coley commited that he was under the radar. MoragaBear/Jim Gill says that he is a great catch, and I believe him over the Cal hater/Udub grad at Scout.com who always drop a Cal commit after they commit. Oh yeah, stop ripping on our commits, Amy!

    Go BEARS!

  • Juancho

    Thanks for the heads up Bearswithfangs. I was unaware of that. I’m glad it does happen. Although, I don’t remember ever seeing Rodgers, or hearing of him being at a game.

  • nickle

    To add onto what Bearswithfangs said, Forsett always follows Cal (check his twitter, he’s excited for today’s signing day) and is very proud to be a Golden Bear, and Rodgers mentions Cal in his interviews many many times and how he always tries to catch our games as much as he can.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    A bunch of defensive players to execute Bend don’t Break. Sounds like quick transfers. Who would want to play touch football.

  • BlueNGold

    There’s that rodent scratching around in the attic again.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    With all of your talk about WRs the white elephant in the room is – Who you got for QB?

  • Bears

    MNC’s rattled by Cal again.
    Always rattled by Cal!
    I love it!!!

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Why would I be rattled by a team we have beaten 7 out of 8 times?

  • Larry

    You tell us.

  • Larry

    When I looked at his film, I was wondering why they were not looking at him at WR. He reminds me of D Jax when he catches the ball. He has that same pause-sidestep-& Go move DJax has.

  • covinared

    I will be at the Galen Center tonight. While there I will talk to my source about the upcoming sanctions and share what I find out tomorrow.