[Please note, this recap is cross-posted at Cal Football Blog - http://calfootballblog.com/2011/08/08/fall-camp-day-3 - HT/props to Hydro & Twist for making it happen]
The 3rd day of fall camp concluded this earlier evening. Before getting to a position-by-position recap, here are some quick overall observations:
- Perhaps this view is through blue-colored glasses, but the offense will move the ball and score points this year. As for today, the defense overall had a better day, but the offense did some good things. The passing game looks more "coordinated" (for lack of a better word) than in the spring. Maynard breaks the huddle fast, and gets the ball out quick when he gets adequate protection. He has nice arm strength, but didn't have as solid a day as the first day of camp - he made several nice throws and completed some long passes, but other times seemed to take off running too soon when his initial read wasn't there. On the other hand, we hopefully won't see as many playclock-running-down timeouts this year - the offense was usually quick to get to the line and snap the ball.
- Coach P isn't shy about sending extra pass rushers, despite today being only the 3rd day. McCain, in particular, is fast coming around the edge, and he's noticeably bigger than in the spring - we may have found our new predator OLB. Rivals Cal writer Ryan Gorcey agrees:
- Special teams will hopefully show improvement from last year. Genyk led 2 different ST sessions later on in practice. This included gunner vs outside cover man & punt-rush/punt-block drills, while Coach G worked with returners on ball security. Allen, Jones, Edmond were the main PRs, while Edmond, Allen, Sofele, Bigelow, Ervin, Manuel, McClure, Jackson, Willis all took turns at KR.
- Some of the new freshmen look really good - Bigelow looked like he's shaken off any "rust" that he might have had on the first day. He was really smooth, and resembles 2008 Jahvid when he runs - he "glides" with almost no wasted steps. Harris has great hands & is built like a young Mike Calvin (has the long hair too). Scarlett is pretty beasty too - he abused the opposing tackle more than once in OL vs DL drills. Moala moves very very well for such a huge guy - more like a 290lber than 350! McClure & Walls will play, according to Coach Tedford:
Now some positional notes:
QBs - Maynard worked with the first team, and had an OK day as noted above. Bridgford seems to be solidly in the #2 spot - he might not have the same escape dimension as ZM, but he scans the field and looks for his 2nd & 3rd read when the 1st isn't open. Mansion and Hinder got most of the remaining reps, while Boehm got a little work too. Hinder has great feet (rolls out and runs very well) and has gained noticeable "good" weight - he still throws a nice ball, but now with more zip.
RBs - Sofele and Deboskie both got most of the work with the 1s. CDJ seems to have gotten his burst back - he hits the hole hard, but also looks stronger than his 2009 self (he was out most of 2010 with a knee injury). Mr. Bigelow, if he continues to show the same flashes as he has so far, will make an impact this year - Best 2.0 anyone? Yarnway, Ervin, Anderson, Manuel, Lasco rotated with the 2nd & 3rd units.
WRs - Jones and Allen were very solid today, though not spectacular. Clay is out for 3 weeks following minor knee surgery to repair his meniscus, so Calvin and Edmond got additional reps in his place. Edmond in particular, looks good - not just running routes/catching passes, but also on kick & punt returns - he has good hands, and physically he resembles a shiftier JRoss. Harris made a few nice catches also, including one where Coach K shouted "great job Maurice!"
TEs - Miller worked with the first team. Ladner was still in street clothes today, so Hagan got alot of reps with the 2s. Rodgers and Wark rounded out the group.
OL - Schwartz was still limited due to a tight hamstring, so Tyndall got alot of reps at LT. MSG worked at the other tackle and Rigsbee got some turns as well. OL overall looks to be a continuing work in progress, but have faith in Coach M!
DL - King was pretty beastly today, he blew up a few plays in the backfield. Also, on OL (pass-block) vs DL (pass-rush) drills, the DL generally seemed to have the upper hand. No doubt, our deep D-line will be a strength this year.
LB - Kendricks & Holt were steady in the middle, but McCain was the eye-opener today. It wouldn't be surprising to see him get lots of PT at OLB, along with fellow freshman Whiteside - even though Wilkerson & Davis were initially penciled in as starters.
DB - Cattouse left the field early with a minor injury (turns out it's just a hamstring tweak), so Moncrease got alot of work in his place. Hill seems to be a near-lock for the nickel-back spot, but McClure saw lots of nickel & #2 reps also. Coley made a nice play in the full team session, and the other 3 freshman DBs (Walls, Jackson, Willis) looked good today too.