Cal Football Post-Spring Practice: Most Worrisome Developments

Cal Bears Online

What would cause you the most consternation as a Cal fan from the spring reports?

Ohio Bear: The offensive line, the offensive line, and the offensive line.

Avinash: Was the offensive line...offensive?

Ohio Bear: The consistently poor shotgun snaps were certainly offensive. Most were high or wide. Last year, we had issues with them being low. I don't know whether high and wide is an improvement or not. All I know is that I hope that improves.

I had mixed feelings watching Jalen Jefferson consistently wreak havoc in the backfield during the spring game, not to mention Dave Wilkerson and Nathan Broussard also making plays by beating the offensive line. I didn't know whether to be ecstatic about the play of the rush 'backers or be worried about the O-line.

Berkelium97: The shotgun snaps were offensive. Klindergoff looked like a goalie out there trying to corral those snaps.

atomsareenough: I'm also worried about the offensive line, but I'm hopeful that they'll start to gel before too long. I think there's enough talent there that we'll be okay, at least by the end of the season. Plus I think this offense could make it easier for the linemen to execute better and develop more quickly into contributors.

The main thing that I'm worried about right now is injuries. The Golden Bears are majorly dinged up right now, and not only is the injury bug widespread, it's hit many of our best players: our best TE/Inside Receiver Richard Rodgers, our best WR from last year Chris Harper, our top two running backs Bigelow and Lasco, as well as an all-around dynamic playmaker/return man in Joel Willis, one of our better DEs in Chris McCain, one of our more experienced linemen in Bill Tyndall, and apparently most of our linebackers were injured too by the end of spring. Plus we're already dangerously thin in the secondary. I know most of these guys are supposed to be back and ready to go by fall, but we had better heal up really well this summer, or else this year could be almost as bad as last year, even with a more dynamic offensive scheme in place. Overall health is going to be something I'll pay close attention to this fall.

HydroTech: I'm not sure that the quality of our offensive line's pass blocking ability will actually matter that much. Dykes' offense, thus far, has shown that it wants the QB to get the ball out fast. It only calls for the Cal QBs to make short quick passes on quick outs, outs, curls, screens and slants. There are very few down-field passing elements to this offense (again, from what I've seen so far). This should help limit the amount of times that the offensive line should have to pass block for more than three seconds. In 2012, Dykes' offense at Louisiana Tech only gave up 10 sacks on the season, good for 8th best in the nation. Dykes is undoubtedly shooting for the same result this year and he will accomplish it if Cal's QBs and WRs can sustain drives on short, quick, high percentage passes.

atomsareenough: That's a comforting thought, Hydro. So, where do your concerns lie, then? Defense?

HydroTech: My biggest concerns are that the playbook is only about 20 plays, and the offense isn't executing the next play fast enough. For all the fuss about how this offense is supposed to snap off play after play really quick, it did not seem quick to me at all. Also, with a playbook of only 20 plays, winning the game puts more emphasis on executing plays properly.

Blueandgold15: The spring game tempo was not the Bear Raid at its fastest. Too many injuries and substitutions to do so.

Vincent S: Cornerback depth. With only two solid CBs (from reports), I shudder to think what will happen if injuries hit, or if the opponent goes into 4-WR or 5-WR sets. One of the freshmen (preferably 2) MUST step up.

Blueandgold15: Has the offensive line already been mentioned?

Just kidding. Beyond the five guys up front, the secondary in general remains an area of worry - neither safety is particularly gifted in pass coverage, and as Vincent said, 4 or 5 wide sets look like they'll be a huge challenge for this team come fall.

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