Keenan Allen Presents Keenan Allen: The Keenan Allen Story! The Cal Wide Receivers In 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Keenan Allen #21 of the California Golden Bears is tackled by Damante Horton #6 of the Washington State Cougars at AT&T Park on November 5, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

TwistNHook: Oddly, the focus on wide receivers (and tight ends) has changed over the season. Earlier in the season, it seemed like they were bailing Zach Maynard out. They seemed like the focus of our offense. Then, as Maynard's struggles intensified in the middle of the season, the coaching staff cut his role back. All of a sudden, everybody was in love with Isi Sofele, C.J. Anderson, and the running game. The WRs seemed like a second thought as Cal steam rolled over teams like Washington State and Oregon State.


What are your guys' thoughts on the wide receivers and tight ends in 2011? What do you hope to see in the bowl game??

LeonPowe: It was odd in the beginning because it lookedlike we might have the best receiving pair in the league (I'd argue now that we're second behind USC) - especially as KA21 was leading the nation in yards/game (or was it receptions?) over the first 3-4 games. Odd because we were not very happy with the passing part of the passing and catching portion of our offense.

I think a couple of things started to happen though (UCLA aside) - as we got deeper into the season the o-line started coming back to approach classic Tedford strength, and with that we were able to go back to the Tedford run-first philsophy.
Our wideouts have done yeoman's work this year - especially KA21 - but Jones and Calvin have also been pretty clutch for us. Am hoping that the depth fills out a little bit more going forward, losing Marv will not be good, but Bouza showed he could be a Laggeman type possession (read slow;good hands) receiver and hopefully we'll get some of the academic or injury prone guys up to speed. Also, Bryce Treggs!
As for the tight ends - boy have they come on to start dominating over the last three games. Cleaning up blocks. Catching things (especially hagen) and goading Burfect into personal fouls (ok that was mainly Miller). from the beginning of the season when people were saying "Well, Alamar was a crappy special teams coach, but we had great TEs at least" to - well I haven't seen that sentiment lately. The TEs have fought off lots and lots of injuries to become a huge part of our passing and more importantly running attack.

Kodiak: With KA and Jones being so dynamic, I could see where it would make sense to get them the ball as much as possible. However, during the early/mid portion of the year, Maynard just wasn't ready to do this on a consistent basis, particularly when the better defenses in the conference schemed to take them away.


Even during the past few games, having two guys capable of hauling in highlight reel catches really made the QB look better than he might have actually been.

It's a shame that Calvin had to go out with an injury because he finally emerged as a steady 3rd option and an outstanding blocker on the perimeter. In some ways, the offense really started clicking when we discovered that we could spread out defenses with 3WRs to get guys out of the box, yet still be a threat to run or pass.

We'll miss Jones moving forward, but there should be plenty of options in the wings with some capable walk-ons (Bostock, Bouza, McGovern), and talented youngsters. (Harris, Treggs) If Clay is able to get his academics in order to provide a speedy deep threat, that's gravy.

Tight end play was a bit uneven early, but steadily improved throughout the year. It was nice to see Miller turn himself into a fierce blocker besides being a big target on shorter routes. After a case of the early drops, Hagan became productive subbing for Calvin. We also saw Ladner return from injury, and cameos from Wark and Rodgers. If these guys can keep developing, this position looks solid.

OhioBear: The WRs were a strength of the offense. If Zach Maynard had played the whole season like he did in the last two games of the year, our WRs would have some pretty gaudy numbers, or at least would have had even more opportunities to show how dynamic they are.


Even with Maynard's inconsistency through the first eight games of the season, our WRs still had their share of dazzling moments. Mostly those moments came courtesy of Keenan Allen, who made first team All Pac-12 with one of the great receiving seasons in Cal football history. Getting over 1,000 yards this season, with the erratic QB play we had over the first 2/3rds of the season, is a pretty nice accomplishment. It's almost absurd that a guy with Marvin Jones's talent would be second fiddle, but KA21 is that good. KA21 and Jones were definitely the best starting combo we have had since Desean Jackson and Lavelle Hawkins -- both of whom now play in the NFL.

As a third WR, I thought Mike Calvin was serviceable and showed some reliability. The tight ends, as receiving threats, puzzled me a little bit. For a large part of the season, except for maybe the Colorado game when Anthony Miller was a factor in the passing game, the tight end seemed like an afterthought in the offense. It was a far cry from the days of Garrett Cross, when he was a dangerous target for Aaron Rodgers. But toward the end of the season, it seemed like we saw a little more of not only Miller, but also Spencer Hagan. I am very intrigued by Hagan, as he is just a sophomore.

ManBearCal: Kodiak just touched on this, but I think Maynard is the main reason our WRs trailed off a bit later in the season. Accuracy isn't Maynard's strength, and it takes an accurate QB to successfully sling the ball all over the field. It became apparent by the middle of the season that we weren't gonna win many games if Zach was throwing the ball more than 30 times a game. That led to turnovers...which led to losses and pissed off fans. As the offensive line progressed, the coaching staff adjusted our offensive game plan to focus more on the running game. This took pressure off of Zach and allowed him to play more consistently...albeit at the expense of KA and Marvin's stats.

i think that KA and Marvin's early season success really opened up the running game and the short passing game since teams had no choice but to respect their abilities. Isi and CJ were primary beneficiaries, but i think the TEs were as well. how many of those underneath and short routes would have been open if not for KA or Marvin taking their guys deep and demanding extra attention?

personally, i don't feel real optimistic about someone being able to step right in for Marvin in 2012. He's a tough guy to lose. A serious dearth of experience outside of KA will be tough. We have talented youngsters, but i don't know what they'll bring to the table this coming season. wait and see i guess. Don't know if we'll ever see Clay at Cal again, even though he's working on it. Treggs will be great, and harris should be solid. reason for optimism certainly, but I'll miss Marv.

feeling better about TE after seeing the way Hagen really blossomed late in the season. He'll be a solid pass-catching TE, but he still needs to bulk up and work on his run blocking. he's far from a finished product...whcih is what actually encourages me seeing as he still made a nice impact. Disappointed with what we got from Miller this year. I'm pretty "meh" about Ladner. He's big and strong and fucking fragile. Wark looks the part as does Rodgers. Will be curious to see how the depth chart shakes out next year. There's talent there, just needs to be utilized.

Berkelium97: At the start of the season our receiving game consisted of a boatload of Keenan, a heavy dose of Marvin, and a sprinkling of Calvin/Miller. Things did not change much by the end of the season and this will produce some concerns heading into next season. With the departures of Marv, Calvin, and Miller, we will be needing to replace a large amount of talent. While I don't doubt that we have talented players waiting in the wings, I saw very little this season to give me complete comfort heading into next season.


Keenan Allen is a world-class athlete, but we're going to need to find someone to start opposite him as well as a third (and occasional fourth) option. Bouza had a couple of nice receptions during the Big Game, but that was the only time most of us heard his name this season. I don't remember seeing Harris at all. One of these guys will have to step up. Treggs could do good things next season, but he'll only be a freshman. It would be nice for Clay to return, but the odds of that seem low at this moment.

I am more optimistic about the TE situation, however. We had a great luxury in that we actually had a healthy stable of tight ends this season. We finally were able to use some two- and three-tight end sets, a staple of the old Tedford playbook. Although Miller will graduate, Hagan was solid as a pass-catching tight end in the final few games. Hopefully he can take on a Cam Morrah-esque role next season. Ladner is a big 'un and has potential for solid blocking, as do Rodgers and Wark.

Finally, it's worth noting that the biggest question surrounding the tight ends going into next season is whether Genyk will still be their coach...

TwistNHook: Spencer Hagan really came on at the tail end of the year, making many key catches. He seems really skinny to my untrained eye, however.

HydroTech: Hagan is an interesting guy. He is like a quasi wide receiver slash tight end. Sometimes he lines up on the line of scrimmage in a three point stance like a tight end. Other times he's split out wide and running routes down the field like a wide receiver. I guess you could say that he is a "tweener".

OhioBear: Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Hagan played WR in high school.

Kodiak: Hagan did play WR in HS. He switched to tight end after last season, and put on an extra 20 lbs or so of muscle. Still a bit light to consistently set the edge against DEs, but he got better during the year and pretty well blocking on the perimeter.

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