Cal Football Fall Practice #12: Scrimmage Preview

It's scrimmage time! Lots of good stuff happens at a scrimmage, like the part where none of us see it and can draw absolutely no conclusions from what happened other than from what we hear in the press conference afterward. But I'm cool with that! It used to be no press conference and essentially just a few lines of text.

Previous fall practice stories: Kodiak's camp preview | #10 & #11 | #7 & #8 | #6 | #5 | #4 | #3 | #2 | #1


For example, this is the report from an intrepid Cal beat reporter in 2006.
Some people did good jobs and they might play but there are these other people who did better jobs and they might play too. Also quarterback.
Therefore, I'm going to construct a layman guide for previewing a fall scrimmage based on what I personally believe in my head. For the sake of this exercise, I'm going to be 50 years old, hold one too many business degrees and a strong belief that I understand how to manage people, and a firm belief that Colin Cowherd has new and unique ideas.

QB is most important. If you don't have a quarterback you just can't win. First of all your quarterback must complete every single throw, and if he doesn't you need to throw the whole playbook out and start over. He can never be redeemed nor improved. He must be discarded like chicken bones, then relearn how to discover the "it" that makes a QB so great.

4th down is the most crucial down. You've got to throw out your entire playbook and take chances. Lots of chances. Also a funky formation will work. Use the ones where you eventually get called for too many men in the backfield. They're really ballsy and prove that you have confidence in your team.

QBs can only be the worst or the best. If you have a guy that you can't mock your rival friends with, you're hitching your wagons to a Pete Campbell-figure who you must actively mock in person at the stadium like he's on your TV. But if you can, then you're tripping on LSD with Roger Sterling and everything's just fine and groovy.

"Having what it takes" means everything. Execution is only good for your team when they're not doing it, because at that point you can just guillotine them all and you have handled some of the execution. But heart, you have to have heart. If you don't have heart you don't have nothing inside of you and you're going to get devoured by carpenter ants.

QB is the most important of importants. If you can go younger to replace the loser you have as a starter, you go as far as you can. Start with the youngest guy because if he plays well he can play forever, or at least until he starts sucking, but by then you should have someone younger. There are always those gutsy walk-ons who can really show the starters that their months and years of preparation what love is all about.

Overreact to everything. Freshman catches 50 yard streak on backup corner. He must be the number one receiver or the coach just doesn't feel the reals. Defensive end blows past third-string offensive tackle and registers two sacks. Why isn't he starting? Does the coach just want to make this guy feel bad? That dude has clearly got that "have what it takes" factor we talked about earlier, you're just pistol-whipping your head like this? Shouldn't we be turning the depth chart upside down and put all the starters on the bench until they learn what it means to be a team?

How much does said QB remind you of Tim Tebow. Will the QB go whereever he's needed? If the center can't get him the football, will he go and hike the ball to himself? If he's riding pine as a youngster will he make the sacrifice and turn himself into a fullback despite having no blocking or pass-protecting experience? If he throws an interception will he force the fumble to get it back and run it in for a touchdown? Can he dropkick a 70 yard punt on a moment's notice? Will he make you want to abandon your spouse to run away with him and help cure botulism (regardless of your gender)?

If he can do all these things without getting body-casted, he's well on his way to making you proud of how good Tim Tebow is, and why you can never be like him, says your crazy tiger mom.

This is all you need to know about fall scrimmage. If we don't end up changing everything, then everything has failed and we should start reading up on our field hockey synopses.

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