After Friday's practice, my buddy Beaz suggested that we take advantage of an empty Memorial Stadium and do a little exploring. What better opportunity to survey some of the previously-inaccessible-to-the-likes-of-us areas? Upon our exodus from our seats (still a little too shy, or a little too paranoid from the Trainwreck, to sit in the ESP seats, we stayed in the bench section), we slyly sidestepped the "barrier" to the elevator and, like immature boys do, pressed the button for the highest floor; 8. Beaz, in a non-descript zip-up hoodie, and I, in my trusty Bear Claw sweatshirt, exited to the left to see two Asian girls standing at a fold-out table covered in name tags and yuppy paraphernalia.
"Are you here for the soiree?" one of the 6s suspiciously asked.
Possibilities and unfathomable scenarios danced like Geoff Blums in our heads. For the briefest of moments, we both considered confidently proclaiming, "Why yes we are! [Why else would we be here, right now, under-dressed for this hoity-toity affair...shit, when's the last time I even attended something that could be considered an 'affair?']" So in unison, we both looked to the right to inspect the situation. My eye caught a saucy broad in a black cocktail dress, holding a martini and laughing raucously at something that a man in a suit was saying. Who knows what Beaz saw, but it was likely another saucy broad in a black cocktail dress, holding a martini and laughing raucously at something another man in a suit was saying.
"No, we certainly are not," was the first thing that came out of my mouth.
Aren't I smooth?
So we left. Cool story, huh brah? Not really.
What I really came for was a look at what these practices are all about, which I drunkenly pontificated about here. This post is more an exercise of how I feel about this team, what I expect from it after seeing three practices, and why I'm stoked for the future of Cal football.
Jared Goff is a stud.
We have three QBs who I feel can compete at the Pac-12 level (I hate writing Pac-12.. it still feels unnatural), Having watched Kline through three practices, I personally think that he could've competed with Maynard last year for the starting gig if Tedford would've had the same open competition that Dykes is having. That being said, I'm glad Tedford didn't burn his blueshirt, especially since he had to learn a playbook that he will never ever have to use again.. still, even having had no idea (for a little while) that it was Tedford's last year, I figured Kline was the perfect candidate for a blueshirt and would gain so much more from not being thrown into game situations. Looking back, I couldn't be happier that he didn't get any time last year. Now is his time to shine and he knows that. We all know that.
Kline seemed to be the consensus number one through the first week of practice. As Bobby D would say, however, things have changed. Kline looks like he's forcing throws. I personally think he feels Goff on his heels. Kline is a humble guy, as seen in this interview (where he has a hard-on for Hinder and the other 'studs') and I've been rooting for him since he enrolled last Spring. I think he's a stud, and at first I was hoping he'd win the job, let Goff blueshirt, and open up competition again next Spring, but now I just don't know.
Kline looks a little pressured, Goff looks calm.. a lot calmer than I would expect at 18 and a buck-ninety soaking wet. I think if Jared puts on some weight, with his inherent knowledge of a similar playbook, he could be our starter this Fall. It's even hard to type it and the first two practices I thought to myself, "this kids good but he's just too young and small..right!?" I just don't know if I think that anymore. If Kline wins it out, I'd like to see Goff blueshit and I would be confident with Hinder as a solid backup. He's clearly number three in regards to the other two, but he is the clear number three in regards to all of them. It looks like Bridg is on his way out and Marek seems to be convinced that Boehm will transfer, which wouldn't surprise me. We're pretty fucking deep at QB right now and things are boding well imho for the next several years.
Wide Recievers, Anyone?
Holy shit are there a lot of WRs on that field. I'm really interested to see who become the go-to receivers in this offense. While the Bear Raid will likely rely on a consistent, balanced attack, using the run to set up the pass, it's clear that WRs have the potential to contribute to the offense in a huge way. Of the options to whom Klindergoff will be throwing, there are many, but I'm really excited about a few.
1. Kenny Lawler
Let's get the blueshirt out of the way. This kid is a stud. I'm always wary of HS film because, well, they're playing against guys like me, who got lit the fuck up. I've been really pleased with his routes, the way he goes up and gets it, and for the most part his hands. I can't wait to see him on the field.
2. Maurice Harris
#3 had a day today. He has a lot of intensity and he's trying to win an outside spot.. though I think he'll end up splitting time with Harper. He made two really nice catches today and I couldn't be happier with the young talent. To be honest, I don't remember a lot of him last year, but let's be real, last year's schemes totally underutilized anyone not named Keenan Allen.
3. Bryce Treggs
I love Bryce. Since the first time I saw him play, I've absolutely loved him. The funny thing to me is that Bryce seems like the veteran receiver out there and he's just a sophomore. He seems to command the field, walking it like he knows every inch of that turf and every page of the playbook. He hasn't done a whole lot to elicit applause from the stands, but he's a consistent contributor to the offense and I think the coaches recognize his commitment to the team and appreciate his demeanor on the field.
What position does Lucas play? FB? Yes. WR? Yes. RB!?!? Today he did. As Marek said, "When he runs, he looks like he's about to take a shit." That may be but he's been catching everything thrown to him. He wants to play on Saturdays. It shows. It shows to me more than almost anyone else out there. I'm really rooting for this kid.
I know, right? Bouza is putting it all out there. I'm telling you, the way that Dykes et al have opened up these position competitions, it's really made a few surprising characters stand out. I do understand that they're trying out a lot of different personnel looks and that the depth chart will be sorted out by Monday, but there are a lot of boys out there getting real physical, really flying around. I'm excited in general by the fact that seniors like Bouza are being given the chance to prove themselves and succeed. We've come a long way from the perceived Tedford-nepotism and I think the program is going to benefit from it.
There's a whole lot more to talk about. Notably:
-Steffan Mos or Cole Leninger.. hard to tell since the special teams drills are a who's who of fuck-all, what the shit is going on!?
-DBs, are you guys being told to slow it up a bit so the receivers can run their routes... or are you really getting beat by these slow ass white boys... KAM I'M LOOKING AT YOU
-The O-Line. O Lord the O-Line.
-Missing Bigs during this Spring. Lasco looks head n shoulders above the rest but you gotta be positive about Ervin and Hodges.
Thanks for l
istening reading.. CGB HH Friday?