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Football: Dykes encouraged by O-line progress

Coach Sonny Dykes is beginning to see progress in one area the Bears must show substantial improvement — offensive line.

“They’re obviously a lot better,” Dykes said after Wednesday’s workout. “They know what they’re doing. We’re having some continuity in some spots. There’s a semblance of depth.

“We’re a year stronger in the weight room, a year more physical, a year better shape. There’s a lot of positives.”

Positions are fairly set at several spots, including left tackle, where sophomore Steven Moore has settled in to protect quarterback Jared Goff’s blindside, with sophomore Christian Okafor and junior Brian Farley dueling for the right tackle position.

Dykes said 6-foot-3, 310-pound sophomore Chris Borrayo has been “a stabilizing force” at left guard. Senior Alejandro Crosthwaite is starting at right guard and junior Jordan Rigsbee is the center.

But Cal awaits the return in fall camp of senior Chris Adcock (knee) and sophomore Matt Cochran (shoulder), and they could change the equation. Both will get the chance to compete at center and/or guard.

Redshirt freshman Aaron Cochran, a massive 6-8, 355-pounder, has shown glimpses of his significant potential. “He’s the unknown,” Dykes said.

“It’s got a chance to be a group that’s going to play tough and develop some continuity if we can get some depth issues sorted out,” Dykes said.

*****

Junior Kyle Boehm, moved to wide receiver last fall, is back at quarterback. How much he gets the chance to play next fall is up to him.

Boehm figures to be the No. 3 quarterback, behind Goff and Austin Hinder. He gives the Bears a running threat at the position, but Dykes said he must prove he can do more than that to get time on the field.

“We want him to develop a little bit more as a quarterback, run a little bit of traditional offense for him so when he goes in the game it’s not always going to be a quarterback run,” Dykes said. “We need him to be able to take charge of a huddle, do all the things a quarterback needs to do. Then we can feel comfortable with him.”

Asked if the coaching staff intends to develop a package of plays specific to Boehm’s skillset, Dykes said, “We’ll see. He needs to perform well enough for us to come up with a package.”

*****

Redshirt freshman Caleb Coleman of Berkeley’s St. Mary’s HS has made the switch from wide receiver to cornerback. So far, so good.

“He’s working hard. It’s obviously new to him,” Dykes said. “He’s a really good athlete. He can run, he can change direction, he’s eager. At times it’s a little overwhelming for him just because it’s new.

“It’s a pretty big position switch for him. It’s a work in progress. I think he’s got a lot of upside. How quickly (he’s ready to play), it’s hard to say right now.”

*****

Sophomore DT Jacobi Hunter has missed the past two practices due to personal issues, Dykes said, and is likely to miss another couple.

Jeff Faraudo

  • Larry

    I was at the practice today. Nothing too exciting to share. Lawler looks like the best wr we have at the moment. OL does appear to be bigger and better than last year. Coprich seems improved too. Boehm fumbled 2-3 snaps when he did get in. Mostly Goff & Hinder got reps.

  • Eric

    Larry,
    When I went to the Colorado game last year I remarked that I thought Lawler looked the best. Glad to hear it is continuing.

  • rotfogel

    Cal has 3 NFL WRs on their team: Treggs, Harper and Lawler and all going to play at the next level. If the OLine is indeed better it doesn’t take a genius to see the run game and definitely the passing game shall improve along with it.

  • Wehofx

    I hope y’all are right about lawler because I know treggs and harp can Ball.

    Competition is good.

    Can you imagine what it’s gonna be like on the field and in the film room?

    Who ran the better route? Made the impossible catch? Most importantly who made the better/most blocks for yac’s?

    IMO our receivers – inclu bt and ch – were awful at making and holding blocks. Gotta show big improvement there in order to get to .500.

    From what I’ve read, trev Davis – transfer from Hawaii – is also real deal wr.

  • Eric

    Blast from the past – Alex Mack just signed a huge deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars – the highest of any free agent for this season. Cleveland can match, so it is not clear where he will end up, but no matter what he’ll have a guarantee of three years $26 million. Nice cash for a two-time pro bowler and one of the few bright spots of the Tedford era’s second half.

  • Wehofx

    GB49, from espn PAC 12 blog on Art Kaufman:

    Like his predecessor, Andy Buh, Kaufman employs a 4-3 scheme, but said there will be times they get into some 3-4 and 4-2-5 looks.

  • GoBears49

    Wikipedia on 3 – 4 defense. LIsts pro and college teams that use it, but I don’t know how recent the article is and the updates to it. Still, pretty interesting.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3–4_defense

    Wikipedia on 4 – 3 defense.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4–3_defense

  • GoBears49

    Article doesn’t mention the possibility that freshman Rubenzer cracks the top 3. I wouldn’t play him to save his eligibility unless he arguably is better than Goff.

    As some of you know, I went to a nearby game a few years ago just to watch Boehm. A very good runner, but not sure he is quick enough to run Dykes’ offense effectively and also elude the rush (a very important attribute, as it keeps the play alive — Johnny Manziel and others have proved the importance of that). He does have a very strong arm.

  • rotfogel

    Tedford’s second half also included Mycal Kendricks, Chris Conte, Mitchell Schwartz, Zach Follett, Brandon Mebane…quite a few good NFL players.