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Golden Nuggets: Q+A With Defensive Line Coach Todd Howard

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Upon his arrival at Cal, Todd Howard inherited one of the most talented position groups on the team. Here he talks about his new team and how he plans to continue the proud tradition of stout Cal d-lines.

On Why He Decided To Come to Cal

"My very first college football game was against Cal. I was a freshman at Texas A&M and we played Cal in College Station. We lost that game. So far in my collegiate career, as a coach and a player, I've faced Cal seven times and only won once. I guess it's what they call, `if you can't beat `em, join `em."

On His Initial Thoughts on the Football Program at Cal
"I'm happy to be here. I've been impressed with Cal's reputation as an academic institution. It's known worldwide and considered to be one of the best public schools in the country. Any time you can associate yourself with greatness, it's humbling and satisfying."

On His Initial Thoughts on the Defensive Line When He Arrived
"Talent wise, they've always had some good d-lines here. We've got some great young prospects coming back this season. I expect Deandre Coleman to have a breakout year. Kendrick Payne was very solid as a backup last year, and I expect him to have a great senior season, same thing Aaron Tipoti, who is a returning starter. He missed most of the spring, but he's back now at full speed. Todd Barr, Mustafa Jalil, Viliami Moala, Puka Lopa, we have some great young talent. We have the chance to be solid on the line for years to come."

On How He Intends to Help the Defensive Line Improve
"I have over 20 years of experience with coaching at the collegiate and professional levels. I was an NFL football player, so a lot of the things they're trying to earn, I've already achieved. I can help them with techniques and polishing their games so they can eventually play on Sundays."

On If It's a Struggle to Work With Players He Did Not Recruit

"I'm a good communicator. In my first year at UCLA in 2006, I went in right away and had two first-team All-Americans. There were already there when I arrived, but I was able to help their game to that point. They're still playing today in the NFL."

I'm really looking forward to what Howard can do with this fantastic set of players at defensive line. More links after the jump.