Welcome to the mid-way point, gentlemen and ladies. One practice on Saturday, one practice next Friday, and the Spring Experience on the 26th is all that's left, before we are thrust into the cold abyss of no football once again.
With Jared Goff barely playing and more than a handful of players made unavailable, not too much happened at this padded -- but not live -- practice. Expect this to be one of my shorter reports.
Standard do not read too much into this alert.
A little bit of a different first string defensive unit that ran today: Brennan Scarlett, Harrison Wilfley, Marcus Manley, Puka Lopa, Maximo Espitia, Michael Barton, Jalen Jefferson, Vachel Samuels, Griffin Piatt, Caleb Coleman, and Michael Lowe.
Today's second team defensive unit, as I'm sure you are curious to find out: Cedric Dozier, David Garner, Damariay Drew, Trey Cheek, Ray Davison, Edward Tandy, walk-on LB Drew Bryant, Kyle Kragen, Jonathan Johnson, Trevor Kelly, Tony Mekari.
The good news is that Jared Goff looked dramatically sharper than he did in the last open practice, but he was made relatively scarce today, on what must have been one of his designated days off. Kyle Boehm -- now back at quarterback -- ended up taking more than a handful of snaps, particularly in the day's final 11-on-11 period.
Neither Boehm nor Austin Hinder exactly set the world on fire, though. Hinder ended up throwing several interceptions on underthrown passes (Caleb Coleman and Cameron Walker were the lucky recipients) but was otherwise fairly undistinctive in his work under center. Same for Boehm, really -- his best play was a scramble toward the end zone that was stopped short by the combination of Michael Barton and Vachel Samuels at the end of practice. He looked like he threw the ball a little better than Hinder, however.
Jalen Jefferson managed to come up with a forced fumble that he turned into a touchdown somehow. Not the best day for the offense, which had a handful of errors -- some unforced.
Trevor Davis and Kenny Lawler did Trevor Davis and Kenny Lawler things, taking in a majority of the passes. Davis did turn one inside screen into a long 25 yard gain, which was good to see, considering the team's struggles after the catch last year.
Several periods of one on one offensive/defensive line work today, including a rip drill. Again, based solely on the victories being won by the offensive line, it would suggest improvement on their part -- such wins were harder to find during last year's practices. Read into it as you will. It's always tough to get too much form team versus team exercises, in my opinion.
Defensive line coach Fred Tate spent a good portion of practice working on hand technique over on the far end of the field, getting his unit used to active hand play -- using their own, and swatting those of opposing linemen. The actual execution of this made the team look like they were practicing the famed "wax on, wax off" technique.
J.D. Hinnant continues to struggle with snapping, and on this day, Jordan Rigsbee joined him in those struggles. One particular snap from Rigsbee toward the end of practice just flat out flew over the head of Kyle Boehm. Coach Dykes suspected that some of this was due to tiredness on Rigsbee's part.
With Daniel Lasco and Khalfani Muhammad both continuing to be scarce, Jeffrey Coprich has made the most of the extensive playing time available to him, breaking off another pair of decent sized runs again. However, with the recently breaking news that John Porchivina -- Grant Marek told me he was here for practice -- will play running back at Cal, I would suspect that the staff is still not yet happy with the depth available at this group. Considering that it's mostly Coprich and Austin Harper taking reps these days, it's hard to blame them.
Also worth noting that though I originally believed one of Porchivina/Downs would end up playing offense, and one would end up playing defense, that I got them actually mixed up.
Jacobi Hunter has missed several practices with a reported personal issue, and Bryce Treggs once again did not take reps, as he deals with a day-to-ay hamstring strain. He is anticipated to be available next week. Darius Allensworth also did not play, presumably recovering from a reported shoulder injury from earlier in the week.