Football: Overheard

A sampling of what was said after Saturday’s final scrimmage of the spring:


On the quarterback situation:

“Next week, we will probably make an announcement on that. We’ll go back, evaluate this tape, talk to them and then we’ll adjust it at that point.”


On if he will name a starter before fall camp:



On if he names a starter, how firm will it be:

“Nothing is ever completely firm. You have to continue to compete and you have to continue to produce. However that works out, it’s still about competition through fall camp.”


On how much Zach Maynard has improved since the start of spring practice:

“A ton. He’s made a ton of progress. He has a good understanding of what’s going on, he has a good feel, he’s running the huddle well, he’s communicating well, all those type of things. We’ve increased his reps over spring so he could get a feel for that and I think that paid off. He’s done a nice job of talking a leadership role in the huddle, which is part of the quarterback’s job.”


On whether he’s concerned about the two interceptions Maynard threw near the end of the scrimmage:

“I’m thinking more about the other great plays that he made. That’s what sticks out to me. We put a play in in the morning for the red zone. That’s the first time we’ve had a rep at it.”


On whether he expects Maynard’s rate of improvement to increase even more as he further digests the playbook:

“I would anticipate that. The speed of the game he feels pretty good with because he’s been in the arena before. The speed of the game, that’s not a huge adjustment. But it’s just more our terminology, the snap count, all the moving parts that are going on. When he can be real comfortable with that, I think he’s prevent hat his athletic ability and his potential physically — he can throw any ball  on the field, he has an escape dimension. I would assume he’s going to continue to get more comfortable.”


On what Maynard’s running ability does in terms of playcalling:

“Just manufacturing plays when things break down is one thing. But to be able to have design quarterback runs – and he’s smart when he runs. He doesn’t take hits. He gets down. He brings another dimension to the game.”


On what kind of dimension Maynard’s escapability adds to the offense:

“It’s great because the reality is that every play doesn’t happen the way you draw it on the board. To make somebody miss and manufacture a big play because you’re outside the pocket doing something, he brings that capability. We haven’t had that in awhile.”


On if fhe feels comfortable with the quarterbacks:

“There’s no doubt you have to have some quality quarterback depth. As we saw last year, we averaged 37 points a year and when Kevin (Riley) goes down we go to 13. You have to have some quality quarterback depth. That’s what we’re trying to get to.”


On his evaluation of the running backs:

“Isi kind of turned it on down the stretch. Manuel is kind of banged up at the end. Besides that, it’s still a wide open race and we’re still going to depend on some of the young guys coming in to provide a spark there.”


On players that stood out or surprised during the spring:

“There’s quite a few young defensive guys that did a nice job. Chris McCain flashed, David Wilkerson did a nice job. Nick Forbes came on strong down the stretch. Avery Walls played well, just to name a few. Austin Clark at nose played really well. He had an excellent spring. Quite a few guys. Rigsbee at tackle did a nice job. He got more reps than he’s had because he’s been hurt. There are quite a few guys. Tyndall got a lot better. Michael Calvin had a better spring. He stayed healthy and made a lot of big plays. There were quite a few guys who improved.”


On whether the offense will be different if Maynard gets the starting job:

“No. There will be different wrinkles no matter who the guy is. Not at all.”


On not playing several defensive starters:

“That’s where our depth is, on defense. We have a lot of linebackers. Today we had some guys that needed some turns in there that haven’t gotten them, so it was nice to see that. We didn’t need to play those other guys that much. We have a lot more experience on defense than we do on offense.”


On the gratification he gets from watching his former players  get drafted:

“It is for the reason that they entrusted their careers to come to Cal and to see their dreams come true…they all have ambitions to take that next step. Conte, that recruiting battle with UCLA, to see his dream come true, that makes you feel good that he was able to do what he wanted to do.”


On Shane Vereen’s reaction to getting drafted by the Patriots in the second round:

“Shane just sounded so happy. He was on his way to the airport and called and he was ecstatic. How great is that for a kid to call and say thank you for everything you’ve done. That says a lot about Shane.”




On his evaluation of his spring:

“I feel like mentally I made a bunch of strides. I’m comfortable with the offense. I feel like I didn’t throw the ball as efficiently as I could have, but other than that I thought it was a pretty decent spring overall for our offense.”


On how the experience he got last season made this spring different:

“It was different in the fact that it was slower. Most springs you’re still trying to figure things out. Those games last year helped a bunch with slowing the game down and being able to direct the offense in the right way.”


On how he feels he stands in the quarterback competition:

“I feel pretty good all things considered. There’s a bunch of questions marks still going into fall camp. You just have to come out and work hard in the summer and set yourself up for a good fall camp, and then we’ll see where everything falls.”


On whether he thinks the competition will last well into camp:

“Even if it’s decided, I still think that fall camp will be the ultimate exclamation point on the actual decision.”




On how his spring went:

“It’s been awesome getting a ton of reps. This is more reps than I’ve ever gotten at Cal. It’s been a ton of fun. I think I’ve really grown. I always knew it on the board, but on the field is a whole different thing.”


On getting a lot of reps after not doing much the past two years:

“Sometimes when you’re first back in the rhythm of getting reps, live action is so much different than what you practice all offseason. When you’re in there in the heat of the battle, It’s a lot different than when you’re in there doing 7 on 7 or lifting weights in February.”


On where he feels the quarterback competition stands:

“I don’t think anything has been decided. It’s not up to me. I’m just going to do my best every day and I’ll be placed where I should be.”


On whether he thinks the quarterback competition will last deep into training camp:

“I think there will be competition all the way up to the season. I’m just going to do my best to be that guy.”


On what improvements he still wants to make:

“Just be the leader of the offense, the guy who is going to put us in the end zone the most and be the best quarterback on the team.”




On how feels about his performance this spring:

“I think I did pretty (well) today. I’m still on a learning curve trying to pick up this offense. It’s coming a lot faster for me. From day one, it was rough. Now, everything is coming slowly but surely.”


On how things have slowed down since the beginning of spring:

“It’s slowed down a lot from the first two scrimmages to the last two. Our defense runs a lot of blitzes. You have to know how to pick it up, and that’s been the hard part.”


On being judicious when he decides to run with the ball:

“The first thing you think is to run, but sometimes you have to stay in there and let it happen. That’s probably been the hardest part.”


On how he feels about his status in the quarterback competition:

“I feel good about it. I’m still learning. Coach hasn’t decided who he wants to be the guy yet.”


On whether he feels like it’s job to lose:

“You have to have that mindset.  You want to be the guy and you can be that guy. You have to show some leadership in the weight room, breaking down film, all that stuff.”


On having half-brother Keenan Allen help make the transition to Cal:

“We’ve played together all our lives. When something breaks down, I have a feel for where my brother is going to be at all times. Having that instant connection is good for me.”




On how he felt about this spring:

“Second year in the system so the guys have a lot better feel for what we are trying to do. It’s been fun to take some steps in a positive direction and build off where we started last year.”


On sitting many starters in the final scrimmage:

“It’s a chance to get a look at some other guys. I know what those guys can do because they played for us last year.”


On which defensive players stood out this spring:

“(Ttrevor) Guyton and (Ernest) Owusu had a solid spring. (Mychal) Kendricks and D.J. (Holt) played well. Both safeties and Marc Anthony played well.” 




On establishing depth this spring:

“I think depth-wise, we have some good depth in a lot of younger guys stepped up.”


On playing the second year in Clancy Pendergast’s system:

“It’s a whole world easier. I hardly have to open my playbook. I feel like it’s second nature and it’s just clicking for us this year.”


On what the defense needs to improve on:

“We definitely have a lot of work to do. Everything we’ve been working on, we have to remain consistent and continue to get better as a team at the little things.”

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.

  • robert lerma


  • rollonyoubears111

    I hope that if Maynard gets the job, that he doesn’t throw a ton of interceptions. His interception stats at Buffalo, against non div 1 teams, is pretty concerning (in the double digits).

    Anyways, I’m hoping for the best….

  • Hey,I really want to be optomistic. I think, if Maynard is the guy, it gives our offense a chance to be more dangerous and unpredictable. See what guys like Darron Thomas do for Oregon? It’s not like HE was an Elite 11 stud recruit, so why not Maynard?

    JT knows that this year is critical. And with the second year of running this superior defensive scheme, there’s no reason to think there can’t be great improvement, right?

    One thing – I’m sick of trying to explain to people why we scheduled a meaningless game with Presbyterian! I can’t justify it, can someone else? At least we can chalk up a win… oy.

    GO BEARS!!!

  • Big D

    Does anybody know which safety position Canttouse has been moved to? Was it Free-Safety or Rover/Strong-Safety?