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Football: It’s official

Cal has officially announced the hiring of Clancy Pendergast as its new defensive coordinator. Here is the school’s press release.

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.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Welcome aboard, Clancy!

    Now, don’t screw up.

  • CruzinBears

    Wisdom Cow – That seems to encompass the overall approach to all Cal football news haha

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Finally saw some stats on him from the ESPN story. His AZ defense was 5th in the league in turnovers over a 5 year span. I would love to see some gambling aggresive defense.

    I hope people realize that will mean we will give up some big plays on occassion, but I prefer it so much to the slow death of Bend and Break that also gives the opposition a time of possession advantage.

    Can’t wait to see how he does.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Oops, that was 8th in the league, let the 5 year mark loop a five back in the memory flow.

  • Juancho

    Eigth in the league over five years? I’m sorry, but even if he was fifth in league over five years that’s not good enough. That’s C to B- range. Cal is a better program than that now. It frustrates me that we still end up with these less sought coordinators. Is it because Tedford is so highly paid? At some point Tedford needs a big time coordinator to win the Pac 10. Even if it’s a guy who is just here for a year or two and goes on to a head coaching job.

  • milo

    That’s 5th out of 32 teams over 5 years, on a team that has traditionally be crap (before Warner and the more recent years). I’m fine with that. 5th in the NFL is very decent place.

    Looks like an aggressive brand of D. 6 years and 176 take aways.

  • Juancho

    Wooops! My bad, I misread the previous comments. I thought the 8th and 5th comment was in college, not in the NFL.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    No worries Jauncho, it was a bad post on my part.

  • Larry

    Really Juancho? You know they are talking about the NFL and not the Pac-10, right? I’d take 5th or 8th in the NFL, especialy if they were 28th or whatever it was before he took over. Plus, he was the DC for the Cardinals in the superbowl. I find it encouraging that his defenses focus on turnovers and “aggressivness”.

    I think he’ll be a good fit for our Defense. It makes me wonder if the recruits knew he was coming before we did.

  • Larry

    Ok, I was slow to the keyboard. Disregard my comment Juancho.

  • LR

    WTF? Spotty record with the Cardinals and canned in 2009. 30th ranking with the Chiefs (admittedly a dogmeat team, but do they have talent on D???) and fired after only one season. Gets picked up as a secondary coach by the Raiders literally a week ago then bails on that to take the DC position at Cal…Wow, can’t say I’m thrilled about this one.

  • Jan K Oski

    LR, you said you’d do something if Thompson was hired. Would you do the same thing, now? Please, save us all of the knee jerk response. Pendergast hasn’t coached a single game at Cal, yet. Your reaction would indicate that the Chiefs are playing at the same level as Cal. It ain’t so!

    Go BEARS!

  • Jan K Oski

    As a Steelers fan, I was very much impressed by Pendergast’s Arizona defense in the Super Bowl. It took one of the great NFL QBs, Big Ben, to seal the deal for my Steelers. If Pendergast can do the same at Cal with the best LB corps in the country this year, we’ll all be smiling.

    Go BEARS!

  • abe

    Obviously the million dollar question is if a guy is this experienced and had the kind of impact he had at Arizona including a run at the Super Bowl, how come he is not a head coach or at least still a DC? How do you go from being a DC of a Super bowl team to an assistant coach? That to me raises a red flag. Having said that this still sounds an upgrade to what we had. At the very least I expect to have a DC that is not going to be out smarted by Pac10 OCs because he should be familiar with just about everything.

  • milo

    Here’s a comment from Pendergast on his hire and how he wants to do things at Cal, “We want to play smart, tough and aggressive. Those will be the three keys.”

    If he can deliver on these 3, Cal will be okay, probably better, especially given the infusion of defensive talent. I also like the distillation to 3 key points. Easy to remember, very teachable and the concept can become instinct quickly.

    If Cal can get the D on track (to ’04 and ’08 levels) and the offense comes along (yeah we need a QB) Cal will be back in the hunt.

  • LR

    Jan K,

    Basing my reaction on articulable facts rather than wishful thinking. On the negative side of the ledger are all the FACTS I laid out (and perhaps some that aren’t known to me — Card and Chief fans would be in a better position to say, and some have). On the positive side, he does have a long NFL pedigree, which will be a plus for recruiting and suggests at least some acumen with Xs and Os.

    More off putting than what you term “knee-jerk reactions” (hardly that, in this case) is baseless, Pollyanna BS from Cal fans who refuse to face reality…We agree, however, that he hasn’t coached a game and deserves his chance.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    LR and Abe, it comes down to the 3-4 defense, which several head coaches and GMs in the NFL are against. If you do not have a top Nose Tackle, the 3-4 doesn’t work the the NFL. It is that simply. It’s why the Niner’s Franklin is getting the franchise tag.

    LR, your “million dollar question” is one you should have been able to figure out for yourself instead of acting like the FACTS implied Clancy was terrible. I suppose the turnovers (which were huge for the AZ run to the Superbowl) don’t mean anything to you. An D that goes for turnovers will give up big plays too, so stats and ranking get misleading.

    In college, LBs and DEs can make up for a DT that is not dominant (though still very important. of course). The reliance on LBs is the reason we made the switch to the 3-4 in the first place. It is a great D for zone blitzing (which Gregory rarely did for some reason, even against so many freshman QBs).

  • Juancho

    Nice post LR.

    Pendergrast very well may turn out to be a great hire. And hopefully that’s the case so we can go to the Rose Bowl. But unlike the hiring of Genyk the new special teams coach, I am not immediately thrilled. I have a “geez this is the best we could hire” feeling.

  • dan

    Juancho- I tend to agree with your feelings on this. My thought is that if Grgory left a month ago, would Tedford had hired this guy? While we don’t know, nor will we ever know, my gut says no.

    It appears (not is, but appears) that perhaps Tedford was caught off guard and surprised by Gregory leaving. If that is true, that is a problem. If that is true, you get caught in back pedaling, recovery mode that you don’t get to make the ideal decision on a replacement. This may work out fine or great, but the way this happened is not ideal and lends itself to speculation and doubts from the outside.

    My feeling/opinion is that if Tedford and Gregory were tight and friends, and if Gregory had nothing but positivity for Tedford, Tedford would have known about this much sooner and that would have allowed Tedford to at least be in play for guys he wanted rather than guys that were left/available.

    My mind immediately goes to Justin Wilcox. He left BSU and appeared headed to Texas A&M, and then Tennessee jumped in and grabbed after the Kiffin screw job. Now I have no idea if Wilcox would have been interested in Cal, or if he would want to work for Tedford, or if Cal could pay him the kind of money he is getting at Tennessee or was being shown at A&M. But I sure would have like to have tried and found out. Wilcox has Cal and all west coast ties, and is widely hailed as one the best and brightest college D coordinators in college football. He smart, creative and very aggressive- exactly what people here in this site are quoting Tedford as saying and are hailing Pendergast as saying.

    The issue for me is that a great manager would have been all over the Gregory situation and might have been able to have managed this differently. It appears that the situation may have managed Tedford.

    Again, this all speculation, which is 90% of what is written here. And perhaps Pendergast will work out fine or great. Even if he turns out to be terrific, he’ll probably leave and go back to the NFL. That’s were he chose to go years ago and stay there. We can all be optimistic and hope for the best. It is what it is, we have Pendergast. Bottom line for me, is if he either does play way more agggressively than Gregory, or if he can get Tedford to allow him to do so, it should be a big improvement. I would rather lose going for the gusto with no fear and aggressiveness, than play not to lose and get hammered by every good or great team we play. Which now appears to be where we’re at.

    So let’s all pull for Pendergast and the Bears D and hope he does what Milo quoted him as saying- “We want to play smart, tough and aggressive. Those will be the three keys.” While every coach says things like this, let’s hope his definition of those three traits really are just that.

  • Juancho

    Nice post Dan. I can’t wait for the season to start. Especiall if I can count on watching a team where the Defense and Offense play more aggressively.

  • robert

    The Chiefs went after Romeo Crennel(spelling). That’s no knock on Clancy. Romeo has proven to be one of the best defensive minds in the NFL. If you have a chance to get him, you do it!!!

    Clancy was DC for A SUPER BOWL TEAM. You negative guys, do you realize how big of a deal that is? He has multiple years being a DC in a much tougher league. With the competition for jobs in the NFL, you have to be pretty good to be a DC for a long time. You know he has to know how to work hard, prepare, and run a program. His results put him in the top half of the league.

    This is a big, big step up!!!! You can also recruit to having a super bowl DC.

    And if he leaves in a few years, maybe he will have groomed Tosh to take over at that point.

    This is an excellent hire.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    My former USC contact told me he never heard of the guy but wishes him well. He could be a sleeper. The only problem with sleepers is that often times they don’t wake up.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    dan Says:
    February 20th, 2010 at 9:01 am
    My mind immediately goes to Justin Wilcox. He left BSU and appeared headed to Texas A&M, and then Tennessee jumped in and grabbed after the Kiffin screw job.
    _____________________________________________________

    The duplicity on this board just amazes me. “The Kiffin screw job” – HAHAHAHA. So Lane jumps ship after one year of coaching the Vols.

    OTOH, you guys hire a DC who signed a contract with the Faders last week, never showed up for one day of work and then jumped ship! What does that teach the young men about integrity and honor?

  • milo

    Considering Gregory resigned on Weds and Pendergast was hired on Friday, either Tedford got really lucky with the turn around and hire or he had a little heads-up and took care of business. My guess is with the latter. I appreciate the little-drama effect here.

    To Dan and Juancho, dissent is part of honest discourse and conversation…but that’s all you lads seem to do, whine and complain so much it’s a drag or reeks of troll. You guys are the epitome of buzz kill.

    Every message you post is full of negativity. Maybe that’s how you enjoy yourselves (complaining) but I suggest you try the other method of fandom, ENJOYMENT.

    Try it, it’s a much better way to live. I’m not saying ignore the obvious deficiencies, analysis and needs (how can you if you’re paying attention) but man, chill out just a bit, you guys might have more fun.

  • BlueNGold

    I disagree with you, Dan. the fact that Pendergast was hired so quickly tells me that this was in the works awhile before Gregory’s departure was announced. Thus, I think your negative suspicions and worries are entirely misplaced.

  • Juancho

    Thanks for the heads up Milo. Believe me I enjoy everything about my school, so much so that I give money to the school and football program. Blogs are great because people have a place to share their opinions. Maybe my comments have been a bit on the negative side lately, but I’m being honest. And don’t worry about this perceived negativity being pervasive to my lifestyle. But when my feelings about things are great I say that too. Like the hiring of the new special teams coach, I’m thrilled about his resume. The recruiting class that obviously blew me away and I’m super impressed with the recruiters. I also continually have said that Marvin Jones is a star in the making and I love watching him play.

    I’m sorry my posts appear to have perturbed you. But don’t take it personal, I haven’t in the past pointed out any tendencies and my concern relative to them when it comes to your posts. This is a blog where people voice their opinions – and it’s just that man, my opinion. It may be wrong – but it’s my opinion. Like Lil Wayne said, I don’t care if it’s heroine in my cup – it’s my cup.

    Go Bears!

  • milo

    Juancho – not taking it personal or anything beyond a blog. That said, I think every Cal fans knows the the downside of things…it’s just I read Cal stuff to get away from the crappy daily stuff. I do appreciate people’s passion…just hate when people start getting jumpy. All I can say is…Go Bears! (so we agree)