Football: Competition for QB begins Monday

New coach Sonny Dykes held an hour-long informal visit with reporters Wednesday to discuss the start of spring football and delivered blockbuster news about the vacant quarterback position:

“I’d love to have a starter after Monday,” he said. “That would be ideal. One of the guys is so good, you go, `Wow.’

“I don’t anticipate that happening … (but) the sooner the better.”

The Bears begin four weeks of spring practice Monday, and among the coaching staff’s laundry list of things to do is finding a quarterback.

There are five scholarship candidates:

— Sophomore Kyle Boehm, yet to take a snap in a college game
— Senior Allan Bridgford, who started three games last season
— Freshman Jared Goff, just arrived from Marin Catholic HS in Kentfield
— Junior Austin Hinder, yet to take a snap in a college game
— Redshirt freshman Zach Kline, who begins his second spring in the program

Dykes said they all begin spring ball with a clean slate.

Sonny Dykes visits with Bay Area reporters.

“We haven’t been able to make any judgments just because it’s a new system,” he said. “It really doesn’t do us a lot of good to go back and look at a lot of stuff.”

There is no set timetable, but Dykes said he hopes to narrow the choices to two or three as quickly as possible because “reps at quarterback are the most valuable commodity there is.”

So, what will Dykes and offensive coordinator Tony Franklin look for in their quarterback?

“Timing, accuracy, leadership, ability to inspire confidence from others,” Dykes said.

Learning the assignment and executing it are two different things.

“They’ll know what to do quickly, because it’s pretty simple,” he said. “The issue will be, can they do it? There’s a lot of skills involved. Kind of getting all the moving pieces together. There is a certain skill level and refinement that it takes to get operating where you want to get operating.

“We’re kind of an execution-based offense, not really a trick offense, not really a scheme offense. When you’re pretty simplistic, you’ve got to really be able to execute at a high level. That’ll be our challenge this spring, not really to learn what to do — I hope we learn what to do very quickly — but to develop the skill level to do it.”

Consistency is the key.

“That’s what makes our offense work,” Dykes said. “The 3-yard completion, if the ball is thrown in the right spot at the right time, it results in a big play. If it’s not thrown in the right spot at the right time — the ball’s thrown late or slightly behind him — then you get a lot of 3-yard completions.”

Shortly after March 23, when the Bears end workouts with a spring game, Dykes realizes he may no longer have five quarterbacks on his roster.

“A lot of that depends on who the starter is,” he said. “Say Jared Goff wins the job, I would expect a lot of guys to leave. I would hope they wouldn’t, but that’s typically the way the quarterback position works.

“A lot of it has to do with how those guys fit and how much they like it. I hope they all stay. I don’t know how realistic that is.”

Jeff Faraudo

  • Gobears49

    Anyone know whether Dykes runs plays designed for the QB to run, or if he can run on a option play? I don’t know much about his offense, other than that he runs some form of the spread.

    From Dykes’ comments, it seems like he won’t be starting, so he can keep his other QB’s around. That won’t work the other way around, but I’m sure Goff doesn’t expect to start.

  • Juancho

    Yeah gb49. They are a believer in designed qb runs. As dykes said in one of his pressers, ideally hed like 10-11 qb runs per game.

    I think you all know that i dont have a favorite in the qb battle. But may the best man win.

  • Crawford

    Welcome to the Zach Kline era folks

  • Gobears49


    Yes, I guess you pray to the Kline god every night.

    10-11 runs by a QB game is a LOT. Probably too easy to get your QB hurt that way.

    Have only seen three of our QB’s run, and Kline only on tape (he was OK after escaping from the pocket0. I think Bridgford is a total pass-only QB, much like Longshore was. I watched a whole high school game that Boehm played in, and they had plays designed for him to run, so he has good experience in doing that. He was pretty good, but not very fast. Throws the ball well, too. I’ve heard Goff is fast, but hew will need to bulk up some in order to survive his first hit (maybe he should check with Kravish on how to do that). I’ve never seen Hinder do anything yet.

  • Juancho

    Kline you are my heart !

  • Jeff Faraudo

    Both Dykes and OC Tony Franklin have said they want a mobile QB, but they will design the specifics of the offense around the skills of the QB. They have had QBs who run more, others less. No one on Cal roster is going to become a “running” quarterback. There will be some opportunity to run, but doubt it will be a lot.

  • Kevin

    Goff is a year away as he needs to bulk up but he will compete with Kline to start ’14 and ’15 seasons. I’ve seen both QB’s play in HS and Goff has run a similar offense to what Dykes is putting together and competes exceptionally well, and he’s very athletic. We’re well stocked at the position with those two guys for the next few years.

  • Juancho

    Jeff. Do you think they will recruit a different type of qb moving forward ? I.e., the manziel, mariota types who CAN run ?

  • Gobears49

    Boehm IS a good to very good runner, not in Kaepernick’s class, but who is. He’s a powerful guy but not a dancer when he runs. Question is whether he throws as well as Kline. Also, when I saw him a few years ago, his escapability in the pocket was only average, but maybe he’s improved. But he is a runner who throws the ball well.

    Obviously, we’d all want someone who is a great passer, has good movement in
    the pocket and can escape sacks, and can also run well. Maybe we have a guy like that, but maybe we don’t. I’ll take a great passer over any other attributes, any day. That attribute, by itself, seems to favor Kline and maybe Bridgford.

  • Eric

    I’m thrilled Sonny D is being so open about this.

  • BlueNGold

    It is refreshing to hear a Cal coach who speaks in specifics and answers questions fairly directly, without all the platitudes and cliches. Go Coach Sonny!!

  • ScottyBear

    Agreed that Sonny is a breath of fresh air. His interviews make perfect sense and his answers are spot on. Tedford was the exact opposite, and his game plan was as listless as his interviews. Just win baby! Go Sonny!

  • Steve W

    Intelligence, ability to see the whole field and make check-downs without tipping off the defenders and quick arm release. The guy who excels best in those categories will start for Sonny. Running ability is secondary. Rodgers was other worldly in his ability to look off defenders. Haven’t really seen it since.

  • wehofx

    Execution over Scheme! Talk about night and day changes. Gotta love Sonny D.

    If I was handicapping the qb race, I’d make Juancho’s inked-up boy the prohibitive favorite.

  • ConcordBear

    Kline and Goff are the most skilled QB’s we have seen on campus since NFL MVP and Super Bowl champ Aaron Rodgers was a Bear.
    These guys have tools.
    Be interesting to see if either of these young guns have the chops to win the job and lead the team.
    We know what Bridgeford has shown, not good enogh, wonder if the new O will allow him to perform better.
    Boehm is a total wild card, very interested to see how he does and if he can find a niche on the team if he’s not the main guy.
    Hinder, also a wildcard. Has he put on any weight?
    Do either of the walk on QB’s have any running ability/speed?
    Need our QB’s to on it. Hope at least two step forward as strong PAC 12 potential.
    Need a big time starter and a capable back up that embraces their role and is always ready to go.
    Can’t wait for Monday!

    Go Bears!!!

  • rotfogel

    I have no idea what the competition might be like, but from the tape I’ve seen, Zack Kline really looks impressive. He can run a bit too. We’ll see but Kline has the looks of an all Pac 12 type of player.

  • daredevilfan

    Just back from the Tat parlor. Idiot wrote “I worship Kevin Kline” by accident. That’s gonna be awkward….

  • Juancho

    Just saw my new tattoo, bastards wrote “Calvin Klein You Are My Heart”.

  • Larry


    3.Boehm (Transfers to D-IAA/D-II school)
    4.Hinder (Legacy; never meant to get on the field)
    5.Goff (Redshirts; non-factor this season)

    *Any other QB on the roster runs scout team or hangs w/kickers)

  • Larry


    1.Kline (So)
    2.Goff (RS/FR)
    3.Hinder (SR)
    4.2014 QB signee RS

  • Kotempman

    How refreshing it is to hear that the best players at their position will be on the field, regardless of their year in school….enough with these 5 star athletes because in Cal’s case they always seem to be me first attitude and not team oriented….still can’t believe that Maynard was our only out at quarterback last year…he so reminded me of…well…Me!!!! I sucked at quarterback in the sixth grade….I would make great plays and then make a mistake…Oh Sonny D!!!!!….take us to the promise land!!!!!!