Cal Football 2012 Preview: Greatest Strength Roundtable

via calbearsonline.com


When you look up and down this roster and depth chart, what position or group of positions do you feel the most confident about, and why?

Kodiak: D-line. Tipoti backed up by Payne and Moala. Coleman and Jalil, backed up by Scarlett and Barr.

Unleash the hounds.

atomsareenough: For me, it's easily the D-line. So much talent, and they've been a strength for the past few years. I know we've got some good young players in the linebacker corps (e.g. Wilkerson, McCain), but the D-line has got plenty as well (Moala, Jalil), as well as more experienced guys such as Tipoti, Payne, and Coleman. I think Tipoti is going to have a really solid senior season, and we heard rave reviews this spring about Deandre Coleman. I think we're going to have a great D-line this year, and thank goodness, because that will take some of the pressure off the young LBs and DBs we'll be breaking in.

Vincent S: Running Backs. How can I not be? We have two guys that would be starters on most other teams, along with tantalizing talent backing them up. Isi and CJ are solid, reliable options that many teams would kill for. Bigelow offers game-breaking talent should he put it together, and the rest of them, headlined by Lasco, aren't too shabby either.

Berkelium97: I give the edge to the running backs. We are absolutely stacked with talent at RB. CJ and Isi would start on any other Pac-12 team. Even our third string, Brendan Bigelow, is fully capable at the position, as he brings a home-run threat every time he gets his hands on the ball. Another year of strengthening his body and mind should pay off well this fall. At no other position are we this talented and proven three (and even four) spots into the depth chart.

We certainly have the chance to put up dual 1000-yard rushers this season.

atomsareenough: I do think Vincent makes a good point about the running backs; and I agree with Berkelium that based on their productivity last year, CJ and Isi would probably be starting at any other school in the conference... but I'll add an Oregon as an exception, because let's be honest, can you really see either of them starting over Kenjon Barner or DeAnthony Thomas?

I will say though, that while RB is the position I generally worry about the least, year in and year out (thanks Coach Gould!), the overall effectiveness of the position is in some ways dependent on the play of the offensive line. Even a very good tailback will find it difficult to hit holes that never open up in the first place. With all the experience our returning starters have, I think we could wind up with a good O-line this year, but based on how unevenly they've played the past few years, I think the jury's out on how they'll play, so that's why I felt like D-line was our best bet to be a strength.

ragnarok: As long as Ron Gould is employed at Cal, I'm always going to feel extremely confident in our running backs, whoever they are.

Ohio Bear: Running backs. We have a great position coach in Ron Gould and a very solid stable of backs. Isi and C.J. is going to be a good one-two punch this year. And with a year under his belt to learn, I am intrigued by what Bigelow will give us as the third back. And with the running back success we've had over the years under Tedford and Gould, I look forward to seeing what other back might emerge as a hidden talent.

LeonPowe: Greatest Strength: The University and the new Memorial Stadium. Some years we have great linebackers, other years great o-lines, other years - nothing at all. But the University and the new Memorial will be our greatest assets now and forever.

norcalnick: I have a hard time seeing how it's anything other than the defensive line. I think you could make an argument that Cal's defensive line is the deepest unit in the conference, let alone in Berkeley. Yeah yeah, USC probably has a few units more stacked. But at least our linemen would be in the conversation. I mean, the coaching staff could fill out an entire two deep with players all ranked 4 stars or higher. When has that ever happened at Cal in any position group?

And while I have 100% trust that Ron Gould's group will again be awesomely wonderful, other teams have similarly talented backfield stables. So I've got to give it to the defensive line.

unclesam22: Clearly it comes down to the D-line or the Running Backs. I think that I am going to side with the Running Backs, simply because they have a longer track record of success, they haven't lost anyone in the last year, and as it has been pointed out previously, are pretty well 4 deep in essentially a 1 person position.

I hope that the D-line is as good as we all think they will be and I'm excited for our linebackers, but given the talent and coaching in the running back department, I have to go with them.
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