It was one of many factors, but I don't know that anyone can dispute that poor QB play did not help Jeff Tedford keep his job. His reputation as QB guru has been sullied and we want to know what your thoughts are on the QB play from last season.
LeonPowe: I don't think anyone is under the impression that Maynard was a world beater at QB but I had some hope seeing how he finished the year last year - Texas aside - that he could put together a solid season supported by a running game and a great receiving corps that we could at least get to decent level of play from the QB position.
We knew what we had with Maynard - a tough, inaccurate, but decently athletic guy who seemed to play better when in motion instead of being in the pocket. A guy who didn't have great touch but who had enough of an arm to zip it in there for slants and posts - and yet it never seemed that we played to his strengths and abilities. It never helped that he was running for his life about 80% of the time either.
We didn't get good QB play this year - but I think the blame spreads across the coaching staff, the offensive line, the running game and Zach himself. It was a team effort to look this bad.
Avinash: I do not hate on players. It is the job of the coaches in the position to execute a gameplan that is conducive to their talents.
But clearly Tedford didn't do much here. I had about as little fun or confidence with the Zach Maynard era as you can possibly have.
He had the weakest arm out of any of Tedford's QBs. If that ball wasn't out of his hands in three seconds, the play was either going to end in an incompletion or some sort of natural disaster. We never utilized his running ability enough, or maybe he didn't have enough running ability to keep him out there (he definitely wasn't athletic), so all in all I was terribly disappointed he was the best we could come up with last year.
With Longshore there would be excellent first halves that would put us on top and generally keep us there. With Riley there was the hope that he could put together some big drives and help us win a game. With Maynard....nothing. He had two good games, and pretty much did nothing out there the rest of the way. Tedford married himself to Maynard this year, and that's pretty much why he's gone now.
Zach Maynard All Plays @ Cal vs Southern Utah (Sep 8, 2012) (via Oski Bear)
Kodiak: At the end of last year, the offensive coaches cobbled together an offense that played to Maynard's strengths; lots of running with rollout passes to the left. It was almost comical that it's all we did. But it worked.
For some reason, the coaches seemed to think that an off-season would magically transform Maynard into a QB who really could make all the throws and look beyond his first read. Not so much.
The lack of offensive identity was just as crippling as the inconsistent QB play. I know the Oline play was suspect, but trying to have a limited QB run a hybrid pro/spread/running offense really didn't help.
I don't want to pile one here. I'll just say that we needed better play out of this position and I put it on the coaches for either picking the wrong horse, or failing to develop what talent we had.
To bend over backwards being fair, I still don't know what we have in Bridgford. He reportedly shows better accuracy and zip in practice. In the games, it looks like he's aiming and thinking too much instead of just letting it rip. 'Can't say that I'm overly optimistic, but next spring should be an interesting time.
Vincent S.: I actually didn't really understand Zach Maynard. I've seen people say he has no arm strength. I've also seen people say that he had a great arm.
What I do know is that he threw some bullets in the UCLA game this year, so I believe the strength was there. I also know that his deep ball accuracy often left much to be desired - many were only completed due to some major route running adjustments by Keenan Allen, Chris Harper, or Richard Rodgers. Whether Maynard was injured, didn't trust his own strength, or any other of a host of reasons, the results were what they were.
NorcalNick: Rarely has the performance of a unit one year had as little bearing on what will happen next year. 80% of the season saw a senior quarterback run an offense that will likely not be seen on the field again next year. The other 20% came behind a quarterback who many fans wouldn't pick as the likely favorite to start next year. Much of their time was spent throwing to a receiver heading for the NFL, behind an offensive line that will likely be overhauled in terms of personnel, if not scheme.
I don't know what in the heck to expect from Cal's quarterback next year, but I do know that it will look a hell of a lot different from 2012. And that is almost assuredly a good thing.
Allan Bridgford All Passes @ Cal vs Nevada (Sep 1, 2012) (via Oski Bear)
Avinash: It's just sad to see Tedford so hamstrung to one idea and never letting go of the reins when it was CLEAR that something had to change. The Bears were not a good offense this year.
He was stubborn with Longshore, but at least Nate had some decent moments game-to-game and kept us in it each and every game. Being stubborn with Maynard made no sense. It was like doubling down on a pair of twos.
Unclesam22: I agree with what everyone above has said. Maynard was (is) a great athlete that never seemed to be comfortable in the quarterback role. I'm not sure why that was but it was patently obvious to everyone that watched him play the position that he just wasn't suited for it. That's not to say that he didn't have some nice games and that he didn't work hard, as he did both. But I never felt like he was going to do anything beyond "not lose" games, not go out and win a game.
As far as Tedford's stubbornness in sticking with him, anyone's guess is as good as mine. In one respect I admire the man's loyalty, but on the other hand there is no way that trying another hand at the position could have made the season any worse. So who knows what happened.
I think that NorcalNick totally nailed it in saying that we have no idea what to expect besides different. Obviously whomever comes in to coach the team will make their own adjustments and will bring their own system and/or assistants so it should be interesting at least to watch the Spring and Fall camps to see what happens.