Football: Goff’s shoulder is healthy, but Bears will be cautious with QB during spring workouts

Note: Because I was busy on the Mike Montgomery story, staff writer Darren Sabedra pinch-hit as Sonny Dykes and Jared Goff answered questions on a media teleconference in advance of Monday’s start to spring practice.


The shoulder injury Cal quarterback Jared Goff suffered against Stanford last season has healed, but coach Sonny Dykes plans to take a cautious approach when the team opens spring practice Monday.

“We’ve got to be careful not to put too much on him and blow his arm out early,” Dykes said Sunday. “We’re going to bring him along slowly, probably split reps early and see how he handles it, see how he feels, give him the occasional day off.

“It’s going to be important that we manage him the right way.”

Goff, who threw for a Cal season record 3,508 yards last season, underwent surgery Nov. 27 to repair the shoulder that was separated on a hit by Stanford’s Shayne Skov.

The quarterback said Sunday that he has been throwing 100 percent for at least a month and that the shoulder feels great.

“I went through a throwing program as soon as I felt good enough to throw, which started a few months ago,” Goff said.

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Football: Spring practice begins Monday with the first of six workouts open to the public

Cal football practices still will be open to the public this spring, just not all of them.

The Bears begin spring workouts Monday with the first of six practices scheduled to be open to fans.

Unlike last season, when every practice was open, second-year coach Sonny Dykes has decided to give spectators access to just a portion of the spring workout schedule after the Bears struggled to a 1-11 record last fall.

Monday’s first workout runs from 3:30 to 6 p.m. The Bears’ spring practice schedule ends on Saturday, April 26 with the spring game, open to the public and televised by the Pac-12 Networks, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The scrimmage is being dubbed the Cal Spring Football Experience and will include the opportunity for fans to interact with players and coaches during on-field football action. There also will be complimentary schedule posters, coffee and donuts, face painting, balloon artists and a photo station.

Other open practices will be Saturday, April 5 (11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.), Wednesday, April 9 (3:30 to 6 p.m.), Saturday, April 12 (10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) and Friday, April 18 (3:30 to 6 p.m.).

The Bears open the 2014 regular season at Northwestern on Aug. 31. Cal’s home opener is Sept. 6 against Sacramento State.


Football: Cal releases post-spring depth chart

Cal earlier this week released its post-spring practice depth chart, notable primarily for the battle that looms at quarterback when fall practice begins Aug. 5. No real news here, but worth revisiting.

New coach Sonny Dykes’ first spring workouts ended with three players still in the mix for the No. 1 quarterback spot — redshirt freshman Zach Kline, freshman Jared Goff and junior Austin Hinder.

Two other areas with questions entering the spring — the offensive line and cornerback– gained some clarity.

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Football: Marshawn Lynch’s cameo TD run highlights Bears’ modified spring game

Ex-Cal running back great Marshawn Lynch injected a surprise lift for the approximately 5,000 fans who checked out the Bears’ spring game on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.

Lynch, now with the Seattle Seahawks, scored a 22-yard “touchdown” before the current Bears got down to showing what they’ve worked on the past four weeks.

Click here for Carl Steward’s report.


Football: Bears ready for modified spring game

Following Friday’s final spring practice, coach Sonny Dykes said the Bears will play strictly offense vs. defense in Saturday’s 4 p.m. spring game at Memorial Stadium.

Because of a series of injuries — few of them serious — the Bears don’t have enough players available to split into two full squads for the spring game.

So the offense will square off against the defense, with the defense scoring points for stops, forcing turnovers, etc.

The event, which will be shown live on the Pac-12 Networks, precedes Cal’s NCAA tournament basketball game against Syracuse at HP Pavilion. Tipoff for the basketball game is expected at about 6:40 p.m. on TBS.

Despite the schedule conflict for many fans, Dykes is pleased for coach Mike Montgomery’s squad.

“I’m happy that they’re playing,” he said. “I’m looking forward to going home and watching them get to the Sweet 16.”

Dykes said he plans to share the quarterback reps among the three leading candidates for the starting job — Zach Kline, Jared Goff and Austin Hinder.

As to when he and his staff might settle on a No. 1, Dykes said, “We want it to happen as quickly as possible, but we’re not going to force it.”

Admission to the spring game is free.


Football: Pac-12 Networks to air Cal spring game

Every Pac-12 spring football game will be aired by the Pac-12 Networks, beginning with Cal’s game on Saturday at 4 p.m.

New coach Sonny Dykes’ first spring game at Memorial Stadium is open to fans and admission is free.

On the Pac-12 Networks, play-by-play voice Rich Cellini has the call with analyst Glenn Parker in the booth and Mike Yam reporting from the sidelines.

Here is the Networks’ promo piece on Cal: http://video.pac-12.com/get-closer-cal

Pac-12 Networks channel information in the greater Bay Area:

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Football: Wednesday spring practice recap

Highlights from Sonny Dykes’ post-practice interview on Wednesday:

— Dykes said he’s been pleased with the defense this spring, despite injury issues and the fact that they’ve used a fairly vanilla approach, with little blitzing.

“I think we have a chance to have a good football team. Our defense is really going to determine how good our year is. That’s the way it always is,” he said. “If you want to win a championship, you;re going to win it by being a good defense.

“Offense is nice when you score points, but if you want to be a championship program, you’re going to have to play good defense.”

— After what he called a “sluggish” practice on Monday, Dykes said the Bears were sharper. “I thought we were really good today,” he said. “I thought our tempo was good, I thought our focus was good.”

— Redshirt freshman defensive back Damariay Drew is out with what Dykes described as a stress fracture in his upper leg. “Nothing serious,” he said. “Sounds much worse than it is. It’s not a bad injury.” Dykes said Drew will be shelved for about a month.

— The coaching staff still is working out details for Saturday’s spring game. There will be a game (it’s being broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks), but Dykes said he anticipates using some kind of a modified scoring system due to injuries limiting the depth of his squad. “We’ve got basically two healthy running backs. We’re one-deep in the secondary,” he said. “We’re trying to keep our players healthy. We don’t want to have any serious things happen to us on Saturday.”

— At this point, Dykes anticipates dividing quarterback reps equally on Saturday.

— Players who could return from spring injuries to play Saturday include LB David Wilkerson and RB Darren Ervin.

— An update on OT Bill Tyndall, who was scheduled to have surgery Wednesday to repair a broken ankle: “Bill’s probably going to be four months minimum … five months before contact. I think he’ll be back by the time we go to camp in August.”

— Walk-on quarterback Brendan Keeney has left the team.

— Dykes said he plans to take his family to HP Pavilion on Thursday night for Cal’s NCAA tournament game against UNLV. “We were at the first UNLV game. Hopefully, we’ll get a better last 5 or 6 seconds than we did last time,” he said, alluding to Cal’s last-second 76-75 loss.



Football: Dykes sees Zach Kline ‘make a move’ in three-way battle for starting QB job

Nothing is settled, but for perhaps the first time on Monday coach Sonny Dykes suggested a leader in the quarterback battle.

“Looks a little bit like Zach Kline is starting to get a little bit more settled in,” Dykes said of the redshirt freshman from San Ramon Valley High. “I’ve seen him kind of make a move here over the last two practices.”

Kline, freshman Jared Goff and junior Austin Hinder have battled throughout the spring and shared reps. Cal has two more practices — Wednesday and Friday — before closing down for the off-season with its spring game Saturday at Memorial Stadium, beginning at 4 p.m.

Asked if he has any clarity on the quarterback picture, Dykes initially said, “I’m liking what I’m seeing from all of them.”

Then he singled out Kline.

“His reads are happening a little faster, seems like he’s a little more accurate on his mid-range throws than he was,” Dykes said. “I saw some of that in the scrimmage Saturday and it carried over to practice today.

“I think he’s improved and getting better and better. It’s good to see that.”

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Football: OT Bill Tyndall to have surgery

Cal senior Bill Tyndall, penciled in as the starting right offensive tackle, will undergo surgery Wednesday after breaking his left ankle Saturday during a scrimmage.

Tyndall will be out about four months, coach Sonny Dykes said.

Dykes said the Bears likely will used as many as four different players at the position through Saturday, when workouts end with the spring game. “We’re going to experiment a little bit and move some guys around and see how they respond this week,” Dykes said.

The Bears’ 12th of 15 spring workouts wasn’t their best, Dykes.

“I thought we were sluggish,” he said. “Didn’t have the same bounce we’ve been having. Look like they were a little worn out. We’re a little bit beat up.”

Nineteen players sat out practice Monday due to health issues.

“The good thing was we were able to come out and have a functional practice and get better and look good in some ways.”