John Breech of CBS Sports and Ryan Gorcey of Bear Territory were at Bay Area Media Day today, and Jeff Tedford was unusually talkative again. It's starting to freak me out how talkative he's been this year.
The biggest announcement came regarding Cal wide receiver Keenan Allen, who might very well be playing both ways this year. Tedford was open to the idea, although he made it clear it was just an idea. Frankly, Allen can play either wide receiver or defensive back at a high level. He could be really useful as an additional defensive back in nickel/dime packages. But I would be surprised if Allen plays any more than a handful of snaps at the position. It could very well depend on the opponent and whether Allen's all-around athleticism is needed. Robert Woods vs. Keenan Allen does have a bit of a ring to it.
After the jump, more news, including how many plays Tedford will call this year. And something about white helmets. I can't imagine you being interested in that.
- Tedford will call 75%-80% of the plays this year.
- Conjecture: Every fourth/fifth play will be taken out of a hat designed by the fans. I'm looking forward to the Flaming Dragon Fist formation and the triple backward pass.
Defensive backs that could see early playing time at Cal: Avery Walls, Stefan McClure, Kameron Jackson, Joel Willis, Alex Logan, really, everyone might see a turn at defensive back this season. Looking forward to seeing Brock Mansion back at cornerback and trucking a Presbyterian wideout.
- Conjecture: We're really concerned about pass defenses in the Pac-10 if all of these defensive backs (plus Allen) are in the mix. It makes sense, because our pass defense was shredded against USC and the Furd, and both Matt Barkley and Andrew Luck are back.
- Walls isn't the only freshman defender that could see early playing time. Tedford also mentioned Todd Barr, and Brennan Scarlett as candidates for early PT.
- Conjecture: Our defensive recruiting class was really, really good. It also reinforces how crucial it is for the defense to be cycling in new players, similar to the way Lupoi runs the defensive line. To go two-deep at every position on defense is a luxury that only USC and most recently Oregon have been able to afford. I'm not sure if there's a spot for Barr in the two deep right now with the defensive line so deep, but Gibson and Scarlett could try and penetrate their way into the linebacking corps (where depth is uneven).
Spencer Ladner continues to get hurt, and it continues to suck that he gets hurt. He'll be back past the midway point of training camp at the earliest.
- Conjecture: I guess Norse Gods do have a streak of mortality to them.
Vei Moala is ready to play physically, but needs to trim down a bit and catch up mentally.
- Conjecture: Vei Moala is not ready to play outside of garbage time. Lupoi loved his three nose tackle rotation last season, I can see him going back to it this season. Expect Aaron Tipoti to start.
- C.J. Anderson finished catching up his schoolwork and will be on the field at the start of camp Saturday.
- Conjecture: Unless Anderson is a gamebreaker, I suspect he'll need time to acclimate himself. This could very well be J.J. Arrington 2.0 down to the letter--he might not find his groove until midway through the season and assert himself then.
Isi Sofele and walk-on Mike Manuel were the favorites coming out of spring camp to start at running back.
- Conjecture: Not a good sign for Debo if he's getting beat out by a walk-on.
Tedford wants to play the Pac-12 title site at a neutral site, like San Diego.
- Conjecture: Tedford must enjoy playing in half-empty stadiums.
- Mitchell Schwartz says guard Geoffrey Gibson has trimmed down 25 pounds from 340 to 315.
- Conjecture: Watch out Justin Cheadle, the big man from Bishop Gorman is coming for your job.
- We're probably wearing white helmets once this year.
- Conjecture: Commence freakout of alumni.