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Cal Spring Practice Update: Secondary Issues

While I checked my playcard...Ed Dickson just scored again...
While I checked my playcard...Ed Dickson just scored again...

1) Josh Hill was singled out by Clancy as the defense's "best player."

Deep Thoughts: Hill really came on last year. He's always been a smart player, but he really showed an improved ability to close and finish tackles. Considering that the middle of the Cal defense will be very, very young, it's good to have at least one old veteran who knows where everyone is supposed to be. The one question mark with Hill is whether he has the range to play centerfield. Clancy likes to use a lot of Cover One with one safety up in run support and one back patrolling the deep middle. It's unknown whether Hill's smarts and instincts will let him cover enough ground to be effective. If so, that could really change the nature of the defense. Pendergast would have the luxury of letting his younger safeties set up closer to the line of scrimmage and play "fast" with fewer responsibilities if Hill can anchor the back end.

2) Alex Logan has picked up the defense and is running with the ones as the other safety.

Deep Thoughts: Alex Logan isn't a name that was mentioned a lot, so it's great to see this young player step up and get noticed. It's never a bad thing to have more quality depth in the secondary. Pendergast likes to mix and match formations to get his best players on the field. He's used a "big nickel" package in the past by subbing in an extra safety instead of an extra corner to counter spread formations. Provided that our safeties can match up well enough in coverage, it allows us to match a multiple wide-out set while still providing a hedge towards run support.

3) Avery Sebastian is pushing Logan hard in a competition that could last through fall camp. Tedford has mentioned that Sebastian is a "one speed" type of player.

Deep Thoughts:

Glass half-full says "one speed" equals opposing D-Coordinators dialing up Play-Action. All. Day. Long. Glass half-full says one speed means a guy who just doesn't know how to take any downs off. With Mr. Sebastian being the unspoken leader of the #CalGang, I'm betting on the over. Coach Pendergast likes putting his best 11 guys on the field. It'll really be interesting to see if this means more of a 4-3 look, or subbing in safeties for LBs as a speed over power look. Ideally, there are schemes in place which let the young players play instinctive and fast.


Sadly enough, there's not much in the way of news regarding spring practice. Let's just assume that there are too many reasons to pump that sweet California sunshine.

Go Bears!