Football: Training camp preview — quarterback

This is the first of daily position-by-position training camp previews leading up to the first day of practice on Aug. 6. We begin with the quarterbacks.

WHAT WE KNOW: That junior Zach Maynard will be the starting quarterback. Coach Jeff Tedford named Maynard the No. 1 signal-caller shortly after the completion of spring practice. While he still has a long way to go and is still largely an unknown at this point, Maynard at the very least demonstrated a brand of quick feet and athleticism that hasn’t been seen behind center at Cal in quite some time. Maynard seemed to get more comfortable and confident as spring practice progressed, and working out all summer with his receivers — especially his brother, Keenan Allen — should only help his development. Maynard appears to have a decent enough arm to make all the throws necessary playing in a BCS conference.

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW: How Maynard will handle playing against top defenses. During his one season as the starter at Buffalo in 2009, Maynard didn’t see the types of defenses he will week in and week out navigating Cal’s schedule. That being said, Maynard had a terrific game against Big East opponent Pittsburgh, completing 24-for-35 passes for 400 yards and four touchdowns. But Maynard still threw 15 interceptions that season with 18 touchdowns. Maynard will have to be on the fast track during all of camp digesting everything Tedford and the offensive staff installs. He needs to be comfortable enough with his own offense so he can successfully deal with what the scout team will show him from opposing offenses once the Bears start preparing for their opponents, beginning with Fresno State.

We also don’t know who Maynard’s backup will be. Tedford expects a close battle between senior Brock Mansion and sophomore Allan Bridgford.

IN SUMMATION: There obviously won’t be much suspense to this position battle, except for the backup role. But it still obviously should be a closely-watched position as a new quarterback attempts to get comfortable with the offense and on the same page with his receivers, not to mention developing his role as a leader.

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.

  • GOGO Bears

    It’s Zach’s birthday today!

    I know he’ll be tempted to go out celebrating with all his friends tonite — isn’t it great to have friends? — but hopefully he’ll have a quiet night and keep training for the beatdown he’s gonna give to the Pac12

  • rollonubears

    Hopefully he won’t throw any pint glasses at any bartenders.

  • Boaltblue

    I have learned that attitude in life is 90% of the game. Attitude is what allows Boise State to take 2 and 3 star player to winning seasons. What we need is a “Fear No One, Beat Everyone” attitude and our talented Bears will do just fine this season and show all of the Pac-12 sports writers how wrong they were in selecting Cal at 5th place in the northern division of the conference.

    Let’s return to the days when we owned Oregon, Stanford, Washington, et al.

  • Bears

    I like fearing no one. But you also have to execute want it more than the guys across from you.
    Lots of talent out there and it’s a fine line between winning and losing.
    Hope this team wants it, fears no one and goes out there and wins.

  • Juancho

    Good comments, i hope the play calling is also more fearless.

  • Jan K Oski

    Play calling needs to be at the level of the players. The O-lines’ porous nature last year limited play calling. If the O-line does improve, then play calling should and will be fearless. I do believe in Coach Blasquez’s ways, and I think all of these factors will improve as a result.

    Go BEARS!

  • robert lerma

    I’ve said it before, I will say it again: BEAT Fresno State with EXTREME PREJUDICE! Let’s get off on the right foot with a blowout win here, then a team reassessment against what is essentially a Division II? patsy the following week and we are on our way to a respectable season. This team has the tools on both sides of the ball. The comments above are correct; we need a lively game plan, execution and the mindset that we can do this. See all of you at Candlestick!

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    With that set of QBs on your roster, you better hope it is a long summer camp. I can see now why Teddy scheduled the Blue Hose.

  • GOGO Bears

    Such wise words from a poster who gave such great predictions last year. For example: For the Game vs. Arizona State, our buddy made this prediction: The Arizona State Offensive Coordinator must be licking his chops for today’s game. He has the Pac 10’s second leading QB (behind Matt Barkley!) and he is playing against a team with no pass rush and no DBs. This one could be another rout if ASU gets up early. Look for Cal state to mail it in.No QB U in a battle with ASU to see which team finishes 8th.

    Cal won 50 to 17.

    Then for the Game vs UCLA, of SC fan made this prediction by the “expert”:No QB U Gets Pistol Whipped By Rickey
    pucla shoots up “No QB U”. I wish I could be there just to hear the Cal state fans groan the first time Captain Riley sails one. Look for Rahim Moore to give that freshman WR a “welcome” to the Pac 10 message. Just when Cal state looks to be coming back Riley will throw an interception and Ayers will go sack happy.

    Cal won 35 to 7

    Then there was the bold announcement that Cheatin Pete would never leave, and that Mays was innocent and would play in SC’s last bowl game. How did those predicitons turn out?

    Consider the source when listening to posters…consider the source.

  • jpf

    Or just block it out entirely:

  • BlueNGold

    The coach does not pick the non conference opponents, nor does he schedule the games. Only someone who knows very little about college football would think (and write) otherwise.

  • Cut it down to about 20 pass plays.The play book is a joke.No system should take more than a year to learn.We cannot get QB s ready in 3 unless your K.A. s brother.

  • Golden Bear

    I love seeing ‘troll post blocked.’ Amy, you’re a smelly turd that has no friends.