For the first time since Jeff Tedford became Cal’s head coach, the Bears took the field for a practice Thursday without Bob Gregory running the defense.
New defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast and new special teams/tight ends coach Jeff Genyk were on the field doing their thing as spring practice got underway at a chilly Memorial Stadium. The Bears practiced for 2 1/2 hours, with some new faces getting significant reps, especially on defense.
Even though it was the first practice of the spring, the Bears got some 11-on-11 sessions in. There was a lot of mixing and matching going on so it was hard to get an accurate gauge for a spring depth chart, but here are some general observations:
- The Bears are pretty thin at receiver until the newcomers arrive in the fall. Marvin Jones and Alex Lagemann appeared to take most of the first team reps with Jeremy Ross and Michael Calvin being next in line.
- Last year’s left guard Matt Summers-Gavin got some reps at left tackle, along with guard. Donovan Edwards took the first reps at left tackle.
- Michael Costanzo appeared to take the first reps at the defensive end spot opposite Cameron Jordan. Ernest Owusu and Trevor Guyton also got reps at end.
- The first team inside linebackers were Mike Mohamed and D.J. Holt. Keith Browner was at weakside outside linebacker and Chris Little was on the other side.
- Sean Cattouse and Chris Conte started the spring as the safeties with Bryant Nnabufie and Josh Hill at cornerback.
- Cornerback Darian Hagan sat out practice after suffering a sprained ankle yesterday. Coach Jeff Tedford doesn’t expect Hagan to be out very long
- The quarterback depth started as last season ended — Kevin Riley, Beau Sweeney and Brock Mansion. But Sweeney and Mansion got plenty of reps with combinations of first teamers and others.
- The comparisons of Trajuan Briggs to Marshawn Lynch may be a bit premature. Briggs does have some similarities but he’s nowhere as big as Lynch. That being said, Briggs said he’s already had one person think he was Lynch on campus.
- Former NFL quarterback Akili Smith, who Jeff Tedford coached at Oregon as offensive coordinator, has joined Cal’s staff as a graduate assistant.
Cal will next practice on Saturday.