Football: Monday links and more

The NFL draft is only three days away, meaning everyone loosely associated with the NFL must release their latest mock draft. Here are a couple:

  • This latest one from NFL.com has Jahvid Best and Tyson Alualu separated by just five picks in the second round.
  • This six-round mock draft includes Mike Tepper.
  • I won’t publish the link because it’s an Insider story, but ESPN.com’s Todd McShay has Tyson Alualu going No. 31 to Indianapolis in his latest mock draft.

Also, here is a sampling of what was said following Saturday’s controlled scrimmage:



General impressions of the scrimmage

“I thought there were some good things. We still had too many turnovers, fumbled snaps. But I thought we moved the ball and some guys made some plays. It was very physical – some good hitting.”


On the play of the backup running backs

“I thought they took a step forward today but there is still a lot or room for improvement with them — hitting holes, getting the pads down. Dasarte is a big back. He should be able to pound things in there. I thought he ran a little high today. That was a great learning experience for him.”

“Isi has been playing with a hip pointer. Hip pointers are very, very painful. It was nice to see him step out a little bit today and make a couple runs. We just wanted to get those young backs some work today.”


On the offensive line

“There are a lot of combinations that are being thrown together. There are a lot of guys playing different positions. For the most part, I think they’ve really come a long way throughout the spring. Charles Siddoway, he’s really made a lot of improvement over the spring. I think he’ll be a contributor for us next year. Cheadle has come a long way. Donovan Edwards has played pretty much every position there is on the the line so far. He takes a ton of reps. He’s all over the place.”


On whether Edwards will continue to get reps at center in the fall

“It gives us flexibility there where (Dominic) Galas can maybe play guard. There have been so many combinations up front. We’re trying to get them all some experience up there. You can really see them getting better every day. This past week, I think the offense played pretty well, moved the ball very well.”


On offensive lineman Sam DeMartinis

“Sam is another one who has made a really good contribution through the spring. He’s going to be in the rotation as well. It’s nice to see some of those young guys stepping when they get the opportunity to play. Because of it, they’re getting better each day.”


On the quarterbacks

“Beau (Sweeney) has had a good week of practice. Last Saturday, I didn’t think any of our quarterbacks played very well. It had a lot to do with all the things going on around them. I thought they had a very solid week. Today, they did a fairly good job. I’m not going to jump up and down about it.”


On the fullback situation

“Will Kapp would be the starter if we had to play today. That wouldn’t be set in stone, by any means. They’ll rotate.”


On the new defensive schemes

“It’s been really good. We’re still in the installation phase, so they’re still learning. That’s what spring is all about. The players are excited about the aggressiveness of the defense and the movement of the defense. Now it’s just a matter of making sure we’re sound with what we’re doing all the time.”






On his comfort level this spring

“I knew a lot about the defense last year, but I’m just a lot more comfortable with it now. I can go up to the line and see where pressure is coming and change the line call. It’s not a guessing game. When you’re back there and you’re guessing, you’re just not as comfortable. I can read things quicker, can get the ball out quicker.


On the improvement of the offensive line

“Since our last scrimmage, that’s when we’ve really started picking it up better. Before that, our offense was getting our ass kicked. We couldn’t do anything. The O-line picked it up big time. We’re picking up the blitzes. We can execute plays better and the offense is getting more comfortable, which builds more confidence and makes you play better.”


On lower expectations for this team externally

“I don’t think it changes anything. This is the hardest and most physical spring we’ve had. We’re getting better but we have to continue, like always. People don’t think we can play. All we can do is work to show people.”


On the quarterback competition

“It always makes you work harder. This is my last year and I want it to be the best year of my life. I’m going to work my hardest to have that happen. It makes you play better. It shows how you play under pressure.”


On helping the younger quarterbacks

“If I see that they mess up or something like that, I’ll go tell them. I’ll try to give them hints. The goal of this team is to win games and make everybody better. When I help them, it makes them better, so it makes the competition better and makes me a better player. If he messes up, I’m not going to shy back and say, ‘keep on messing up.’ He’s getting better. He’s a good player. If he messed up on something, I bet he’d come up to me and say something to me as well. It’s a team thing. I’ve seen a lot of looks. I just tell him what I saw.”





On the competition for the No. 2 running back spot

“There is a lot of competition. Each one of us has different styles. It’s hard to tell who’s going to be next. Right now, it’s equal. It feels pretty equal right now.”


On whether he can be a conventional tailback

“I think I can. I’ve worked on my physical strength and I’m learning the offense more so I’m more comfortable being in there. “


On being the kick returner

“They told me I would be back there. I have to keep working hard. They’re not just going to hand it to me. I have to earn that spot. I love it. I love every opportunity I get to touch the ball.





On the competition for backup running back

“Everyone has different talents. One of the main thing that Coach stresses is consistency. At the end of the day, whoever is making plays and being consistent is the one who is going to get the spot.”


On being the second-most experienced running back now

“I’m usually the one that knows my stuff, shouting out answers. Now it just comes down to actually doing it on the field.”


On his chances to be the No. 2 running back

“Hopefully, Coach G understands that I know my stuff as far as protections. It just comes down to the coaches. They’re the ones who decide whose spot it is. Hopefully, they have the trust in me that I can help the team perform.”





On Clancy Pendergast’s new aggressive schemes

“I’m loving the chance to finally get off the ball. That goes for everybody up front, finally getting a chance to penetrate. Last year, they pretty much had us striking, playing our gaps more than penetrating. This year, on a more consistent basis, we can get off the ball.”


On where he stands on the depth chart

“I just put my attention on going as hard as I can every day. No matter if I start or not, everybody is going to be producing. I’ll get my chance. Even if they start D-Hill, I’ll get my chance after him.”





On playing better than the previous Saturday

“I think I just need to continue to improve. It’s been a good spring overall, but we don’t want to be great in the spring. We want to be good now and great in fall camp. My biggest thing is just trying to make all the plays. I felt like I left a couple out there today.”


On whether he believes there is a quarterback competition

“We split reps so I wouldn’t have any reason not to think that. But Kevin has experience. The thing I try to do is watch Kevin and learn from him. This is his fifth year playing the position here. That’s a pretty long time. I just try to watch him and take in some of his wisdom.”

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.