TwistNHook: Quarterbacks. And Go!
VincentS: Maynard sounds good. Bridgford sounds good. Kline sounds good. Boehm sounds good. Hinder sounds good.
Avinash: From what I see, Tedford is looking for a multiple-look offense that can line up in different formations and produce similar results from each formation. So you'd see our QB line up under center or shotgun while at the same time the offense also incorporates elements of spread and pro-style. You could have someone who can run a zone-read and an option look, but also stand back and throw from the pocket. That way a defense always has to account for what the QB could do on a play, making it more of an 11-on-11 game than the 10-on-11 game Cal has generally been used to playing.
How do you feel about this shift in offensive philosophy?
Kodiak: Tedford loves the chess match. It's actually rather exciting to think about what he might be able to do this year with the different personnel groupings. We have a number of players who have versatility as both a blocker/runner or a receiver. For instance, we could go with our power 22 look, Rodgers/Hagan with Stevens/Anderson and pre-snap shift them all into a five out, empty look.
LeonPowe: If we can get the Maynard who closed out the year (excepting the bowl game) we'll be in good shape. And reports from practice indicate we're leaning that way - although I've been fooled before. But that Maynard was a guy who could manage the game, run a few read options for devastating effect and be very "multiple" in terms of threats to the defense.
Unclesam22: For reason unknown, even to myself, I'm pretty high on Maynard this year. I felt like he did a good job toward the end of last year and I think that another full offseason and fall practice have served to make him even more comfortable. I recall watching games where his feet never stopped moving in the pocket and his accuracy and decision making suffered for it. So I think that an more mature and experience Maynard will show up this season and really do well. But then of course, a lot depends on the receivers catching the balls that are thrown them.
Avinash: The big issue with Maynard is what will happen to him when the run gets plugged up. USC has stopped our run game in its tracks the past few years and we haven't been able to make them pay in the air. UCLA did the same thing and Maynard had one of the worst statistical games of the year for a BCS quarterback. Having manufactured long drives killed by back-breaking picks have taken a couple of points off the board in each contest.
With three new offensive linemen up front (particularly at LT), you have to be a little worried about how strong Maynard's pass protection will be, and also how much those guys can actually unleash the run to get comfortable. How comfortable do you feel about Maynard's ability to adapt to difficult circumstances?
Atomsareenough: Anyway, that quibble aside, I thought Maynard grew immensely over the course of the year. He had a tough time against Texas in the Holiday Bowl, but I believe that's more a function of the Longhorn D-line living in our backfield and Maynard constantly having to run for his life to get away from them than Maynard making poor reads and bad throws, though there were a few of those mixed in as well. But as far as adapting to difficult circumstances, well, this time around he's seen it before, so hopefully that helps. His more intimate knowledge of the offense will allow the coaching staff some more flexibility to quickly counter what the defense is showing, perhaps.
With another year under his belt, he should continue to improve this season. If practices so far are any indication, he is light years ahead of where he was at this point last year.
VincentS: Go Bears.