As the sumatra percolates to afford legal crack, I'd thought I'd remind everyone to keep the faith. The next 2-4 games could be L's in the W/L department and I'd hate to see everyone flip their shit because of it. However, use your problem solving skills to try and come up with a potential remedy since this is, after all, an SBN blog and Blez wouldn't have it any other way. I would like to see Tedford stay at least four years after the completion of the facilities, so that he can recruit at competitively and actually develop his players. I honestly fear, however, that L's in the coming weeks could accelerate the panic button. We know it will already becoming from the Bear Insider peeps, but lets make sure it doesn't happen here. He's a great coach, and I don't think we could find better. He's working in a UC system that's lead by an evil dickhead, the faculty are cramping the athletic department's style, and his assistant coaches aren't paid competitively. You should refi and cut 'em a big check. Onto the News & World Report after The Yump
All links SFGate, SFW, and should open in a new window unless otherwise noted. Cal-related stories are in blockquotes for your rapid viewing pleasure.
Fuck those guys, and the horses they rode in on. American soldiers find half a million pounds of ammonium nitrate, a chemical used in explosives (NYT).
Trash islands in your oceans (NYT). Remember that when you toss your empty Dorrito's bag on the ground.
Prosecutors charged the co-owner of a Hermantown construction company with allegedly assaulting a construction worker with a backhoe. The criminal complaint said a 48-year-old man told investigators he wanted to "nudge" the victim, but didn't want to hurt him. He also said it was a stupid thing to do.
Family of truck driver is pissed at Cal Trans. Who isn't? That's a long line. Quit looking for a handout and mourn your lost family member.
DC sniper executed. Can't believe that was 7 years ago. Wish they fired up Ol' Sparky for this one.
"Threatening executive branch lawyers with personal liability for reaching allegedly incorrect legal conclusions regarding the constitutionality of a president's wartime actions would infringe on the core war-making authority that the Constitution reserves to the political branches," said attorney Manuel Miranda.
The A's don't know who'll be playing 3rd next year. I don't see how this differs from other years.
Everyone misses Best:
"Jahvid is one of those guys who has a little special aura around him," offensive tackle Mike Tepper said. "He's not your T.O. (Terrell Owens). He's very humble, very quiet. When he walks into a room, he doesn't really need to say very much because everybody knows he's there. So you notice his absence."
Cal players have not seen Best since he was carted off the field at Memorial Stadium, strapped to a backboard and wearing an oxygen mask. That naturally was a disconcerting sight, and several players spoke eagerly of wanting to see Best again.
Well, this season, turn on the lights and get out from behind the couch. Opposing teams will not be caught off guard by the Bears, thanks to their four returning senior starters, two of the best shooters in the country and a No. 13 national ranking.
"The rankings are based on a formula," Montgomery said. "If that team lost two or three players, and you didn't, then you're better. ... I like our team, but it certainly isn't as clear-cut as what would appear or what people would like it to be. ... I hope they're right."
Montgomery enjoyed last season immensely, and this one should be just as fun, with more pressure sprinkled on top. He has the conference's only two returning All-Pac-10 players in Randle and shooting guard Patrick Christopher, not to mention small forward Theo Robertson, who shot 49 percent from three-point range last season.
Cal doesn’t have the pass rushers this year
While I wrote last week that the Bears needed to be judicious about when and how to bring pressure, I did so with the understanding that we’d get killed on middle screens if we decided to send the house every play. It didn’t mean I didn’t think we needed to blitz, I just thought we had to be incredibly careful as to how we did so.
Yes, I don’t think Cal pressured Canfield nearly enough on Saturday. There were far too many instances when we were bringing just 3 or 4 pass rushers, which simply isn’t enough for a QB who had been shredding up similar defensive packages all year.
Yet, I distinctly recall Cal having much more success with this last year, despite only brining three to five pass rushers specifically. Last year, opposing offensive lines were being beaten not just by linemen, but our linebackers who excelled at shedding blocks, disguising their blitzes, and jumping the snap quickly to put adequate pressure on the QB.
While the defensive line this year has played up to par as last year, this falls more on the absence of a strong pass rusher at the LB position. I really don’t want to hear too much about our defensive line struggling, because they’ve really been the rock of this defense this year. I think we severely underestimated the losses at LB, and not having the pass rusher in Zach Follett or versatile MLB in Worrell Williams is really rearing its head in games where we aren’t seeing the success we used to when we do decide to send one or two extra linebackers or linemen.
Many had expected Cal’s struggling secondary to have a potentially long day ahead against OSU’s potent passing attack, and well—they did. Sean Canfield was a sharp 29-39 for 342 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT. Saturday marked the seventh time this season that an opposing QB has thrown for more than 200 yards against the Bears (the exceptions being Maryland and Eastern Washington), and the fourth time that a QB has gone more than 300.
While the struggles in Cal’s secondary are head shakingly perplexing, some of it might be a lot easier to digest if you accept that Cal has struggled to field its four most consistent players in the backfield for this season.
While Syd’Quan Thompson has had his momentary lapses and battles with the injury bug, he’s still played like the preseason all-conference player that he is. The issue has been Cal’s inability to find the answer at the other CB spot.
Darian Hagan has become a near afterthought after his solid sophomore season has been followed up with inconsistent play, injury, and a team suspension. The aforementioned items has sent him plummeting down the depth chart behind RS frosh Josh Hill, Chris Conte, and Bryant Nnabuife.
And while all four of these players have gotten nods at the second DB spot this season, none seem to have played with the level of consistency to make opposing QBs hesitate just a little about throwing the ball to their side of the field. In fact, their play has essentially screamed, “Open” at certain moments of the season.
Similarly, while I’m pleased with the decision to place Sean Cattouse at one of the safety positions (I think the kid might be the best natural secondary player we have next to Squid right now), Cal has also struggled in the safety position. The most recent revelation that safety Marcus Ezeff has missed practices over the last few years to finish his degree on time has partially explained why his play has essentially stagnated over the past season, if not slightly regressed. Brent Johnson has showed the ability to lay some devastating hits, but has also found himself out of position on a few key passing plays this year as well.
Bears Burned in the Middle
Cal has struggled all year to defend tight ends or receivers over the middle, and the story wasn’t any different with Joe Halahuni steamrolling the Bears for 6 catches and 128 yards. The Bears haven’t been able to find an answer at a coverage linebacker who can adequately match one-on-one with tight ends, and safeties have struggled to keep the tight ends bottled up once they’ve snuck out 10 yards past the line of scrimmage. It’s quite frustrating to see it happen time and time again, which makes you wonder if it’s a constant issue in execution (which might reflect coaching) or simply a lack of personnel.