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Football: Notes as a new year approaches

Cal defensive tackle Deandre Coleman has accepted an invitation to play in the 89th East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 18 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The game will be telecast on the NFL Network, beginning at 1 p.m. PST.

The East-West Shrine Game, once held annually at Stanford, has spawned 62 Pro Football Hall of Famers and 52 current pros.

Coleman also is scheduled to play in the Jan. 25 Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. The NFL Network will show that game, too, beginning at 1 p.m.

*****

The coaching staffs at Washington and USC are taking shape, and one-time Cal assistant Tosh Lupoi won’t be  a part of either.

Lupoi, being investigated by the NCAA after a Los Angeles Times report alleged he gave money to a Washington recruit to pay for tutoring, has been reassigned within the UW athletic department to an unnamed role.

One-time Cal assistant Justin Wilcox, defensive coordinator at UW, will join Steve Sarkisian in the same role at USC.

Likewise, Marques Tuiasosopo, who served as Washington’s interim head coach for the Fight Hunger Bowl at AT&T Park, was hired by Sarkisian as associate head coach offense.

New UW coach Chris Petersen has completed his staff with eight assistants who worked with him at one time or another at Boise State. Among them: assistant head coach/linebackers coach Bob Gregory, who served as Cal’s defensive coordinator 2002-2009.

*****

Washington junior running back Bishop Sankey, who rushed for a school-record 1,870 yards and scored 20 touchdowns, has declared for the NFL draft. No surprise there.

Jeff Faraudo

  • Mr. B

    I hate stanfurd.
    But their approach is worth learning from…no injuries.

    http://nyti.ms/1eRZSNb

    Happy New Year everyone and Go BEARS!!!

  • Juancho

    Let’s take some liberties and look at what next year’s depth chart may look like at this point.

    DEFENSE

    DLine. Starters here likely to be Moala, Jacobi Hunter, Puka Lopa, and Kyle Kragen. Backups – Todd Barr, Sione Sina, Nathan Broussard, Marcus Manley, Raymond Davison. The wildcard here is, will Moose Jalil ever be healthy. If he is he starts. But we’ve all learned we can’t count on best case scenarios as Cal fans. New recruits will need to contribute here immediately. Especially rush ends.

    LBs. Mike Barton, Jalen Jefferson, Hardy. This is an area of strength or so we thought this past year that is turning into an area of concern. Fortt will declare for the draft. Ragin and Whitener are both transferring. And possibly our best LB Nick Forbes still has a chronic back issue that hasn’t even been able to be diagnosed by the doctors. Meaning I do not count on him coming back next year. Don’t be surprised if the poor kid has to retire. Backups – Jason Gibson, Lucas King, Edward Tandy. Wildcard – Brennan Scarlett. See my comments on Moose Jalil. Same thing. If we can overcome the annual injuries with him – he’s a starter and probably an all conference player.

    Secondary. Cam Walker & Stef McClure at corners. And Avery and probably Damariay Drew at safety. What worries me is two of the guys that are projected as starters have serious injury concerns, in McClure and Avery. Again – if the injury big bites us next year we’re going to be relying heavily on the new recruits. Backups – Darius Allensworth, Trey Cheek, Adrian Lee, Joel Willis, Isaac Lapite, Cedric Dozier. A lot of question marks with the backups. Not a lot of experience there other than Dozier who looked good at times this past year. Definitely has potential.

    OFFENSE

    QB. Goff. We’re good here. With Rubenzer as the backup. Especially if Hinder graduates and transfers.

    WR. Treggs, Harper, Lawler, Powe. We’re set here. With backups being led by a guy I expect big things from in Hawaii transfer Trevor Davis. Maurice Harris, Ray Hudson, Steven Anderson, Jack Austin. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a recruit get in the rotation.

    RB. Khalfanni. Sharing carries with Lasco, and probably one of the new recruits. I’m guessing if Lasco is healthy then Enwere won’t play because they are similar styles. They will probably want to play Tre Watson if he sticks. Bigelow will declare.

    Oline. I can’t even begin to predict this group. But guys in the mix. Both Cochrans. Steven Moore. Chris Adcock. Matt Borrayo I’m sure will start. He looked like the best guy this past year. Maybe Chris Okafor gets in. Jordan Rigsbee probably starts.

    Thinking about next year. Our offense looks like it will have to carry the team. Running Back play will definitely have to improve next year and that burden will fall on Khalfani.

    The defense goes into the year with a lot of unanswered questions and already with injury issues.

    My key takeaway, this recruiting class better have quality over quantity and be built with guys ready to play at a good level now.

    ERIC when are you launching your analysis on the season? Will it be in parts? And will you be fielding questions?

  • Eric

    Tomorrow. Probably one big post. Why I believed the season failed is something you identify as a big open issue for next year, and is something that has been a massive problem over the last three/four years.

    Going to enjoy NYE tonight with the family.

    Wife gave me Memorial Stadium benches (pre-remodel, one blue, one gold, and definitely worn and splintery) as my holiday gift. Those will now be placed on my balcony, overlooking the street, a la Tightwad Hill. Given that she is a Bruin alum, she’s A+.

    Happy New Year’s to all Bear fans worldwide. Life will be beautiful in 2014.

  • Steve W

    My one and only New Year’s prediction is that Chris Petersen won’t be all that at Washington. I couldn’t help but notice his former O coordinator came back with his tail between his legs after being fired in his only season as O coordinator at Florida. History tells us the Boise coaching magic only seems to work on that strange blue carpet in Boise.

  • bigdruid

    At least we don’t have to hear about people pining for Tosh’s return anymore…

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Pac 12 OCs are licking their chops for when they play you losers in 2014.

    You guys are back to the day when opposing teams would rest their key starters when they played you.

  • GoGoBears

    Gee, Moron. We are all still waiting for you to show us a post where you admitted your allegiance to $C before Kiff got fired. You remember — when they sucked and you refused to align yourself with them? You wouldn’t call yourself an $C fan until they won? We’re all waiting for you to prove you aren’t the cowardly fan we know you are, but then we’re also waiting for you to earn that law degree –the one you gave up on after the mental breakdown you had –the one you admitted to when the old Scout moderator punked you? We stopped waiting for you to have a date on nye or any other weekend night — I notice you got up very early this morning to start your hate-cal posts. I guess you were alone on nye and in bed early last nite like every other nye—maybe daddy would spring for an escort if he wants a grand-kid out of you.

    all alone

    Pity the troll folks for THIS is all he has.

  • covinared

    wore my Cal hat and encountered Stanford folks at the parade, market and liquor store. wished them good luck and they shined me on. was going to root for them today. not anymore!

  • Juancho

    They are a bad fan base covina. I always wish them ill.

  • Woj

    You lose Stanford. You failed the Pac12 and got punched in the mouth by a better Michigan St. team. Go Sparty!!! Thank you Mich. St. for making me $50 richer too based on this game. Woo hoo.

    After this wretched horrible winless-fbs Cal season and an awful Raiders season, this Rose Bowl was the only good thing to happen in my football season. Completely enjoyed Stanford getting punched in the mouth and stuffed repeatedly.

    I hope Buh was watching the good defense on both sides. Heaven knows his squad played none of it in 2013.

  • http://ContraCostaTimes EastCoastBear

    Watching pieces oaf the various bowl games it is hard to imagine what Pac-12 teams we might actually beat next years sans Colorado/Utah and those we would only be favored if played at home (not sure who we are playing anyway)

    While most seem to complain about our DC, I find myself more concerned about our offense that was supposed to be the strength of Coach Dykes and his team. I did not check but certainly we must have put up less points than almost any team in the Pac-12.I don’t see any recruits we now have with verbals changing that equation much next year at this point.

    In the meantime our ex Coach has managed to find himself a big time OC job in the NFL.

    It is hard to be optimistic about 2014 unless we see some changes soon.

  • Woj

    @EastCoastBear Says:
    …Watching pieces oaf the various bowl games it is hard to imagine what Pac-12 teams we might actually beat next years sans Colorado/Utah and those we would only be favored if played at home (not sure who we are playing anyway)

    EastCoastbear – your fears are defintely arranted. IMO, Cal based on inept coaching and a dearth of talent will not beat any Pac12 team next year. The team didn’t beat anyone in 2013 and it won’t be favored to do so in 2014 at all. The conference losing streak may hit 20 before they lose by single digits in 2014.

  • Woj

    In addition to the 9 conference losses coming up for 2014 – Cal’s non-conference losses in 2014 = at Northwestern and home against BYU. No chance in either of those games with the 2 star and under recruits coming in, the JuCo transfers and especially the same inept coaches back for another campaign.

    If you want to see a win – get to the Cal vs. Sac. St. game and hope for a couple of Hornet turnovers. That game is a 50/50 deal.

  • Eric

    After the loss to Washington State, I posted that I would be checking out for the rest of the season and would re-surface on January 1. Up until the WSU game I firmly believed Cal would still be able to obtain a 5-7 record – the record I had thought was the reasonably likely outcome when the season started. We had just endured an extraordinarily difficult four game stretch of playing three top 20 teams, two of which were top five teams. We should have beaten Northwestern (at the time, a top 20 team and one, had it beaten Ohio State (which it absolutely should have done) probably would have not suffered the collapse that it did). We actually played relatively well against Ohio State (I know some disagree with it, but the reality is that we had a terrible first quarter; otherwise, the game was respectable and Ohio State kept it starters in virtually the entire game). The Oregon game was a disaster, but at the time we really had no chance to win even under the best of conditions and one could chalk it up to just bad luck – when there are six fumbles in the first quarter and we don’t recover a single one, it is just bad luck. Barnwell at Grantland has great statistical analysis of turnovers in the NFL, and he shows how unusual it is for there to be large disparities in fumble recoveries (whether it is recovering your own or your opponent’s). Portland State was obviously not a great game on the defensive side, but I personally never viewed it as realistic we would lose that game, even as it was far from clear in the fourth quarter. It also proves there basically is no upside playing D-1AA teams; they are perceived as cupcakes, even when they are not, and they always want to prove themselves, so why play them?

    So, heading into WSU, I figured we just ran the gauntlet, we didn’t pull off any upsets but we also hadn’t truly embarrassed ourselves, we were at home, and we were playing a team also looking for a breakthrough but shouldn’t have had the level of talent we had. We beat WSU, and the season becomes very interesting. Even a close loss probably would have given me some reason to think we would be competitive.

    When we lost (badly), I realized there were fundamental flaws that would not be corrected and, as a result, the season was going to be totally lost. At that stage, it didn’t really matter what happened from a won/loss perspective – we were going to lose many more games (though I still thought we would beat Colorado) – but what mattered to me was whether the team would gain or lose as it headed into 2014. I was hoping for the gain, but fearing for the loss.
    So now the season is over, is there a reason to optimistic for the 2014 season and, if the answer is yes, what defines being optimistic? Yes, there is reason to be optimistic. My analysis is rooted in what happened this past season, why it happened, and what it means for 2014 and the coaching staff.

    OFFENSE

    I start with the offense because, more than anything else, the offense’s failures are the reasons we only won the Portland State game. Let me explain.

    Sonny’s offense is a passing first, hurry up, spread that requires timing and smart decision-making. If the timing is off, or if the decision-making is not smart, then the offense will not only fail, but fail quickly. And if fails quickly, it quickly stresses the defense, which is on the field longer than expected and is being asked to make quick stops. As discussed below, our defense was never going to be able to make quick stops, which only compounds the problems caused by the offense’s failures.

    As an aside, while Tedford’s offense was not a passing first, hurry up, spread, it caused the identical problems that Sonny’s did. Too often under Tedford, it went three and out or maybe made a single first down. When that happened, the defense would be on the field longer, would get worn out, and the game would be over.

    Sonny’s offense actually tended to avoid the three and outs – we often would garner 2 or 3 first downs per drive. Look at the statistics – our top four receivers all averaged more than 9 yards per catch. Goff’s yard per pass average was low – 6.61 yards – but that is misleading given how often he passed. That’s in a “dink and dunk” offense that some on here have bemoaned. But when you are hurrying up, if you throw a few incompletions your drive stalls in about the same amount of time as Tedford’s more traditional style of offense. Moreover, the space to throw shortens when you get inside an opponent’s forty yard line (and even worse in the red zone), which means you need to be able to have a better run game (both to grind yards and to set up play action). We seemed, however, to tend to throw in these situations, and it seemed this is when the pressure would get to Goff and he would be sacked or would have to throw the ball away.

    Our run game was not great, even though Khalfani had a decent per yard average and, when you had up our top four RBs rushing yards and factor in swing passes to them, we had over 1,500 yards generated by the RBs. The running game was not great because, in the spread, it created no interior push. Too often our guys would be caught behind the line or were able to gain a yard or two fighting through tackles.

    Which brings me to the single most significant reason for the season’s failure – the offensive line play. The o-line simply did not do its job. It rarely opened holes for the RBs. It was not very good at protecting Goff, even though the offense is designed to get rid of the ball quickly. And this offense, like any of the spread-option/hurry-up offenses, requires stellar line play to be good. Even mediocre line play is a recipe for disaster. Oregon has been able to become a perennial power, even as its RBs have changed virtually every season and has had gone from Dixon to Masoli to Thomas to Mariota, because its o-line has been tremendously effective. Baylor’s offense functions well because its o-line does its job. I just watched the Fiesta Bowl, and Central Florida’s line was great. Ohio State’s o-line is solid. It goes on and on.

    Unfortunately, the problems on the o-line are not new. The last three or four years of the Tedford era were marked by poor o-line play, primarily with respect to protecting the QB (more sacks last year than this year, and nearly as many in 2011, with far fewer passes) and have huge problems with false starts and holding. The penalties were certainly cut down this season, but it doesn’t change the fact that the o-line still needs vast improvement if the team is going to improve.

    Some of this is on Tedford and what he did to our program in the last few years, but Sonny’s schemes often did not help. Hurry up is fine, but that doesn’t mean we always have to run a shotgun spread with a single RB. Hurry up can be used with any formation. Why not use two RBs? Why not keep Rodgers in a more traditional TE position to give some protection? If the bone formation came in, it almost always mean run, so why not use play action? Why weren’t there more designed roll-outs? The Bear Raid has got to be more creative if it is going to effective, and Sonny should have realized that, after the first few games, Pac-12 D-coordinators had caught on, which meant he had to adjust. Maybe it requires a more mobile QB, but the Philadelphia Eagles won the division with Nick Freakin Foles, and both Denver and New England current hurry up offenses with molasses legged QBs. Sonny bears substantial responsibility.

    There were, of course, other problems. More typical of Cal’s traditional bad luck, I lost count of how many times WRs dropped wide open three down passes for first down. Our WRs were, for the most part, very good this season, but it seemed when we needed them to make the easy catch to sustain drives, they dropped it. I think about the NW game, and the TAINT that was caused by the WR letting the ball hit his hands and pop straight up. Or in the Colorado game Harper dropping a very wide open third down pass on our first drive.

    That being said, I fully expect this group to be substantially better in 2014. Talent, experience, and another year in the system should produce better results. FWIW, having seen them up close when I was at the Colorado game, I think Lawler is the stud of the group – he is significantly taller and bigger than Treggs or Harper, and runs his routes hard. He also has no problems fighting for a first down.

    Our RBs certainly could have done more. Bigelow was a disappointment, and I think he will have a hard time making it in the NFL; while I would prefer he stay to get his degree, I’ll never begrudge a guy to try to make a buck for himself and his family, and I am also not upset that his departure brings more clarity to the RB position in 2014. The starters should be Khalfani and Lasco. Both are good. Khalfani could be special next year but he does need either better o-line play or schemes to better take advantage of his speed. Lasco needs to understand he isn’t the breakaway guy, but the grinding guy. I’d like to see them both on the field at the same time, and basically split duties. If the recruits stick with Cal and come in, I’d redshirt them – let them learn for a year.

    On Rodgers and the TE position, personally, I think his move to WR is what made him draftable. In the NFL, he easily could switch back to TE and play in the mold of a Jimmy Graham or Antonio Gates – fast, strong, and virtually unguardable. Had he stayed as a TE in the Tedford-style offense, I think he would have been the forgotten man and would have had to try to get drafted like Morrah (who is now out, right?) Going forward, we should always be on the look out for recruits like Rodgers. Remember that in Oregon’s offense, they have had a string of very good TEs. Central Florida had a great TE. That’s our model.

    And leads me to the QB situation. While he has flaws, Goff exceeded my expectations this year, and we should be encouraged for 2014. I know virtually everyone was surprised Goff beat out Kline, and during the season some criticized Sonny for not starting Kline. Based just on performance, I don’t understand the criticism. Kline’s stats were quite poor when he played. When I saw him in person at Colorado, I was surprised at how he seemed lost. Yes, he didn’t get first team reps, but the back-up is not entitled to first team reps unless something is wrong with the starting QB or the starting QB is a senior, the season is over, and you are planning for the next year. None of that was true of Goff.

    In 2013, Goff completed 60.3% of his passes. Given the number of times he threw (531) and often in catch up mode where he was under significant pressure and the defenses were expecting him to pass, that percentage is remarkable. He had 18 TDs versus 10 INTs – he certainly should have had more TDs, but I was a bit surprised he only had 10 INTs. He was sacked 32 times (pretty low given the circumstances) and hit dozens more times (a quick middle finger to Skov). He only averaged 6.61 yards per completed pass, though I view that as a function of the offense (the dink and dunk). Compare Goff to the prior five years – five years where the teams fell below expectations.

    2012 – 60.8%, 7.48 yards per pass, 12 TDs/10 INTS, 39 sacks
    2011 – 57.0%, 7.38 yards per pass, 17 TDs/12 INTS, 29 sacks
    2010 – 60.0%, 7.62 yards per pass, 13 TDs/6 INTS, 13 sacks
    2009 – 54.7%, 7.46 yards per pass, 18 TDs/8 INTS, 30 sacks
    2008 – 53.2%, 24 TDs/10 INTS, 24 sacks (combined Riley/Longshore)

    I would put to the blog that Goff did pretty well, before one factors in the fact that he is a true freshman, and before one factors in the running backs from 2008-2011. DeSean was there in 2008. Marvin Jones? Jeremy Ross? Keenan Allen?

    My biggest criticism of Goff is he was terrible throwing the deep passes. He repeatedly missed deep post-ins and go routes, mostly by overthrowing. He would make those throws even when under heavy pressure and making no effort to look off the safeties or checking down. Each is a very difficult throw to make, and I am sure experience will help him, but I blame the coaching staff for even calling those plays. I know in the NW and Ohio State games, after turnovers, Sonny immediately called for post-ins, and they were unbelievably stupid plays to call. Sonny also tends to call that play around the opponents’ 45 yard line, after making a few first downs, thinking he can go for the home run. Stupid, stupid, stupid, leading to what pointed out above – the offense stalling and killing the defense. That’s the time to better use the RBs. It is analogous to the idiotic tendency of Tedford to have Longshore throw deep outs (leading to TAINTS – touchdowns after INTs). If Goff learns to better manage these throws, he can become an outstanding QB.

    DEFENSE

    This has been repeatedly hashed on this blog, and has resulted in the Big Question – fire Buh or not fire Buh? Juancho brilliantly developed the Buh as a measurement for the defense.

    It is hard to defend Buh. He was Tedford-esque in his inability to adjust. And his willingness to leave CBs on single coverage, playing 10-15 yards off the line of scrimmage and not reacting to obvious slants and curls, was pathetic. The tackling by the defense was putrid, and I blame the staff for not teaching proper tackling technique. Instead of going for the highlight chest high big hit, freakin go for the waist or the legs and bring the guy down. The complete lack of D-line pressure on QBs only added to the problems. We weren’t terrible getting to running backs behind the line (45th on the country, averaging over 6 per game) but we rarely got sacks or any meaningful pressure on the QB.

    But I will defend the players. One thing I saw from watching the games, including in person at Colorado, is that they never gave up. They may have played themselves out of position, or executed poorly, but I didn’t get the sense they were laying down. Given how young the defense was, I am hoping that fire, coupled with very meaningful experience, translates into a significantly better defense in 2014. This isn’t pollyannish.

    And I will say this. Anyone who doesn’t think the injuries on the defense had a significant impact or is simply an excuse is either football ignorant or is so willing to criticize Sonny and Buh no matter what that they put blinders on. Yes, every team has injuries and needs to account for them. But there is a qualitative difference between a couple of injuries spread over an entire season and injuries either to (a) a critically important player or (b) virtually the entire starting defense and many back-ups. For point (a), look at Green Bay this year, or Oregon with Mariota’s knee or Dennis Dixon back 2007, or, for those of you who remember, what happened to Cal when Dave Barr went down in 1993.

    For (b), I think about my eight year old son’s flag football team this year. I was the head coach. The kids ranged from ages 5 to 8. There were no QB runs, no blocking, and weird rushing rules. All of the teams were designed to be equal, so execution and play-calling made a huge difference. We were the youngest team, but had one extra six year old (I had nine players; the other teams had eight). We won five games, tied two, and lost one (I missed the game we lost, and the team we lost to was the second place team). We were the only team to run a shot-gun, and I had the kids run a wishbone variant, fly sweeps, counters, and speed rushes. Passing, we had post-ins (which I only threw on third and short or on two-point conversions), short outs, and curls. Every one of my nine kids ran the ball, played QB, and had passes thrown to them. Six of the nine scored TDs, including the one five-year on a totally awesome 30-yard run from our wishbone formation where the defense had no idea he had the ball until he scored. From the defensive perspective, it looked complicated, but the plays were actually easy to run (unlike the opposing teams, who idiotically ran reverses and half-back passes – imagine a six year being asked to throw a ball 10 yards with three bigger kids running straight at him after taking a hand-off from a QB). On defense, I ran a scheme that, by the end of the season, every other team tried to adopt.

    I don’t write this to toot my own horn. All of this was for naught if my three best players did not show up. Indeed, if two of the three did not show, we almost assuredly would lose. Doesn’t matter how hard my other kids played, or whether I had them in the right position on defense or called the perfect play on offense – they simply were not there athletically. The point – coaching can make the difference if the teams are fairly even or if the less talent team gets a bunch of lucky breaks, but if one team simply does not have the talent on the field across the board, absent a miracle or very bad coaching by the better talented team (like, the worst day of Lane Kiffin’s life), the less talented team will lose. In Cal’s case, on the defense it was akin to me missing all three of my best players every game this season.

    But take heart. As bad as the defense performed, and as stupid as Buh was, the experience that our guys got will be beneficial. It will not be as bad next year.

    To get to the punch line, the notion that Sonny should be fired after this season is silly and short-sided. That would be a great way to completely gut our program. Why would any good coach want to come here? Why would any recruit? But that doesn’t mean he gets a free pass in 2014 and he doesn’t get to claim credit for four or five wins. He needs to demonstrate progress over what should have been the result in 2013, i.e., five wins. In other words, if Cal doesn’t go at least 6-6 next season, I think he is fairly on the hot seat. The schedule next year is substantially easier next season – at Northwestern (which will not be as good, and I am going to go to the game), home against Sac State and BYU, and home games against Colorado, Stanford, UCLA, and Washington (and Oregon, though not a real home game). There are at least four wins in this group. Of the away games, we have to beat Arizona and WSU to get to 6-6, and that isn’t easy, but that’s the cost to Sonny – he has got to find a way to win these games.

    Is 6-6 possible? Before the various defections, I would have thought yes notwithstanding the historically bad season. I am sure Woj and his Greek chorus will laugh, but so be it. We were hit with a perfect storm of a very difficult schedule, a rash of injuries at the bad spots, the usual Cal bad luck, and, not to be minimized at all, very poor coaching decisions on both sides of the ball.

    Now, I’m not sure, because I don’t know what to make of the defections to other schools (the guys leaving early for the NFL don’t worry me – in some cases, I get it, in others I think the kids are being misled, but that’s the business). Are the guys leaving because of discord within the team and they want to get away from a sinking ship, or is it a belief that they can start somewhere else but they know they can’t win a spot here? There isn’t enough information to know but if there is real discord, that’s a fundamental problem. If it is just guys pissed off they didn’t get what they wanted, good on both sides to see separation. Because I am eternally optimistic, I say yes.

    Recruiting is not going to be good this year – please don’t think it will be. It is hard to see Mixon go elsewhere, but RB is a position I am not terribly worried about. I’d much rather get three solid OL guys versus the five-star guy because that is what is the real need.

    Happy New Year Bear fans!

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Daddy heard a rumor that UC East Bay will be joining a new conference comprised of DeVry U, IT Tech, U of Phoenix, WyoTech, California Culinary Academy,Presbyterian U and Jehovah Witness Academy.

    Sportswriter still predicted that you would finish third as Sonny still must build his own team with his own players.

  • Steve W

    Eric,

    Thanks for the review. I agree with you on the poor performance of the offensive line, but didn’t Sonny boy bring in a fairly highly rated group of O lineman last year? In my view, the most important coach on staff right now is the strength and condtioning coach and what he does with the linemen on both sides of the ball during the off-season.

    I hope he has a clipboard with the squat and bench press stats on every team in the Pac 12. His guys need to match or exceed those stats before the spring and summer workouts are over. If they come in bigger, stronger and better conditioned, then Cal will be better next year. I have long suspected that Cal’s off-season training regimen is now what it should be. That needs to change.

  • Eric

    Steve W,

    Yeah. I haven’t focused on why the o-line performed so poorly, but I suspect it, in part, goes to the point you raised – I do think our conditioning was bad.

    The preseason two-deep had Tagaloa, Rigsbee, Adcock, Cochran, and Moore. That’s two sophomores, a junior, and two freshman. So I think that is a bit of a carry-over from Tedford.

  • http://ContraCostaTimes EastCoastBear

    Just reading that Arizona landed a 5 star DB away from Alabama. Keep waiting for one of the top recruits to pull out a Cal hat and put us in the top 3 promised by Coach Dykes

    Although there maybe some good news to report as headlines say the Texas is interested in hiring Mora — who can blame them he been everything you want from a new coach.

    Like the approach Texas is taking too — formed an official committee to review candidates. Who was on our search committee last year?