Cal Football Spring Practice: Pre-Spring Press Conference

Cal Bears Online

Sonny Dykes talked to the media with Cal football spring practice around the corner. Here are his first comments on the Bears prior to the advent of spring practice.

Breaking news: Cal is undefeated in the Sonny Dykes era! Start building the monuments now.

Dykes isn't wasting any time staying active and in front of the media. We have ourselves a pre-spring practice press conference, which I believe is akin to holding Christmas Eve before Labor Day.

Let's start where we always start: Quarterbacks. Has Sonny looked into his crystal ball and seen the future?

Yes he has. He knows he'll be starting a quarterback at quarterback.

It does make sense not to name a starter by the end of spring for the logic outlined below.

Basically, you want to keep as many quarterbacks as possible until you've seen the full roster operate the system. Right now the Bears will be missing many of their offensive weapons in spring camp, so it'll be impossible to figure out how effective each quarterback is running the system.

Cal should have all five of their scholarship quarterbacks healthy for the spring, but will have so many other issues everywhere else that it'll be impossible to accurately assess how well they fit the system.

And there are a lot of players out. Here are the list of names.

Another area of concern is the offensive line, where no one has any idea of who is starting where this upcoming season.

The offensive line will be a big concern because we could have as many as four new starters. Cal is losing three offensive linemen, has another one injured and pretty much has only Jordan Rigsbee back there from the starting five. Not that they were mashers by any means, but a lot of thought will have to go into who takes over at each position.

So how will all these moving parts and missing starters affect the running of the system? Pretty significantly.

With a lot of players learning a new system, acclimation will take time and might take a lot longer than the spring practice time allotted. So expect a lot of stopping and starting and mashing before things get settled. Most of the important reps will be taking place during the long break between the end of spring practice and the start of fall practice, when the players get together for conditioning and execute the fundamentals of the system on their own time.

One new thing to watch out for is how the center ends up snapping the football, and how running backs that aren't as good at pass protection will be utilized.

Let's take a look at the defense.

Before last season, Cal possessed a pretty solid run defense every year. But decimating front seven injuries pretty much sidelined everyone and the Bears saw that facet of defense crater during the final stretch of 2012. Cal did have pretty solid run defenses with the 4-3 in the early parts of Tedford's time at Cal (although the pass defense would struggle a bit more if there wasn't enough rush generated up front).

What is probably most intriguing to fans is how Dykes is trying to get Cal football players to embrace as much of the Berkeley experience as they can. The first real example came last Thursday when the football team showed up at Cal's rout of UCLA.

This model is probably best seen down at the Farm, where you'll see the student-athletes do their best to support one another at every event they can possibly attend. It's nice to see the athlete Bears trying to be a bit more communal with each other and show active support.

Speaking of which, Dykes does seem to think the Bears need to strive to beat Stanfurd first and foremost.

What are your thoughts on Sonny's press conference?

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