This is a big media week for Pac-12 football coaches, and Cal’s Sonny Dykes was in the spotlight on Wednesday morning as half of the league’s coaches participated in a live chat on ESPN.com.
I’ll be in Los Angeles Friday for the annual Pac-12 media day, where Dykes and Cal players Bryce Treggs and Nick Forbes will talk about the upcoming season.
Here’s Dykes’ conversation with fans on ESPN.com:
Ken (CA): What was the best surprise you discovered about the Cal program/the Cal players?
Sonny Dykes: The biggest positive surprise was I think a little bit more of a willingness to buy in faster than I expected. Positive attitude. Good work ethic. The negative would be we don’t have a lot of depth in some key spots. But overall, more talent than I expected.
bob (CA): You going to soundly defeat Ohio State?
Sonny Dykes: We have a couple of tough ones before we play those guys! I know our players are excited about playing a marquee opponent like that, but we’re getting ready for Northwestern in the first game.
Davidson (Bear Territory): When will you like to have a starting QB in place?
Sonny Dykes: Well, certainly we’d like to by practice 10 or 12. Maybe faster than that. As we enter the third week, we need to have a starter in order, if we can.
Tim B. (Los Angeles): Hi Coach. Cal fans were mostly disappointed with Jeff Tedford’s ultra-conservative play calling last season; what can we expect from the “Bear Raid” this year?
Sonny Dykes: I think our philosophy lends itself to being aggressive. We go for it on fourth down probably more than most teams. We’re pretty aggressive on playcalling. The thing that we have to make sure is being able to make first downs. If you play with a fast tempo and you make those first downs, then the defense is at a big disadvantage.
Jordan Brenner (Los Angeles ): Coach Dykes, how long do you think it will take for Cal to be in the mix for a Rose Bowl?
Sonny Dykes: Shoot, I want them to be in the mix from Day 1. I think that I don’t know that this is a complete rebuilding job. That’s not our philosophy. Our philosophy is to win now. I think that we have enough pieces in place. We’re still trying to navigate where people go. There are enough pieces here for us to be successful. Stay healthy, be confident.
Phillip (A stadium near you): Coach Dykes, what was it about this program and university that attracted you to this job?
Sonny Dykes: Just potential. The program has tremendous potential. Great resources. Great place to live. Great recruiting. Strong commitment to being successful. That’s what you can ask for. I felt Cal checked off all of those boxes.