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Cal Football: How healthy is the team going to be for 2013?

We continue our off-season of questioning with #5, how healthy is the team going to be as a whole heading into the season?


Leon Powe: I live on the other side of the globe, so I have no idea how things are going health wise on the entire team - since I haven't seen a practice ever, nor have I actually seen a practice report outside of the front page, and all those names run together for me anyways. but an area of concern is running back where Brenden Bigelow missed all of spring practice. With an already inexperienced running back stable, and our probable star player not getting more than a handful of significant reps last season, and missing all of spring - the health of the running backs - Bigelow in particular becomes an area of concern.

TwistNHook: Agreed, LeonPowe. The depth at running back is particularly concerning and fundamentally, if we don't have Bigelow healthy for the entirety of the season, we may be putting some untested people straight into the limelight. Now, I like some of the other players we have at running back, but given the uncertainty that surrounds much of the team as it is, losing Bigs for long stretches of time it may not be the most prudent scenario.

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Scott Chong: As stated already, the obvious injury concerns are that our top two running backs are both working their way back. If Bigs and Lasco are still limited, then we have Ervin(who also has been nicked up), true frosh Khalfani, and a converted DB, Coprich. Worst-case, we might end up relying on an inexperienced QB to put it up 40+ times a game.

Moving beyond tailback, I'm more concerned with the Oline. Bill Tyndall was our steadiest tackle and had locked up a starting spot at RT before going down with injury. If he can't go, his projected backup has never taken a snap of Div-I ball. We're looking at either redshirt frosh Christian Okafor, walk-on soph Brian Farley, juco transfer Matt Williams, or one of the incoming true freshmen. At right guard, Crosthwaite and Gibson are penciled in at the two-deep because last year's starter, Chris Adcock, is still returning from injury. Neither of them have played particularly well in the past.

The other area where we have no depth is in the secondary. If McClure's knee flares up, we're in big trouble. As it is, we'll be relying on true frosh to provide depth at the nickel/dime positions because the backups to McClure/Jackson haven't played particularly well. We also have issues at safety. Sebastian might be solid in one spot, but the Logan/Lowe tandem have had issues at the other. And if we're trotting out Logan as either a starter or backup, you know the cupboard is bare.

Avinash: Here are the players that did not practice much in spring camp other than in non-contact drills.

RB: Brendan Bigelow, Daniel Lasco

WR: Chris Harper

OL: Chris Adcock

TE: Richard Rodgers, Spencer Hagan

DE: Brennan Scarlett, Sione Sina, Chris McCain (also suspended now)

Which of these players are most critical to get healthy for Cal to be a threat this season? How strong will the Bears be if these players are not totally healthy?

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Nam Le: It is absolutely IMPERATIVE that Bigelow and Lasco are fully healthy, but everyone got to that already. One guy who no one has mentioned yet is Scarlett, who has been handed a starting spot at strong side end already - and with McCain gone for however long, he has to remain on the field and step up big for the Cal defense to have success. We know he has the physical tools - long, rangy, athletic as all hell - but there's extra pressure for him to play consistently with the defensive line thinning again.

Vlad Belo: It is hard to say how healthy we will be heading into the season until we see how training camp goes. We certainly hope for the best, but injuries in camp are a fact of football life. That said, running back health is the obvious concern with Bigelow and Lasco having missed the spring.

I'm anxious to see how Chris Harper and Stef McClure bounce back from their injuries. Both are key, but Cal's defense could really use the emergence of McClure in light of losing both starting corners off last year's team. The defense could also use a healthy Brennan Scarlett now that depth in the front 7 has taken a hit with the Chris McCain suspension.

How healthy are we? Time will tell.

Sam Fielder: As I think we all know, injuries are a fickle thing and incredible hard to figure out. Clearly, as others have stated, we'll have a much better idea of what we look like during/after Fall Camp, but I'm going to be optimistic and say that we start the season relatively healthy. McClure, by all accounts, looks and feels good and I think that Lasco and Bigelow will be ready to go.

As far as most important recovery positions, I think the OLine and the Defensive secondary are the two places where we really need to stay healthy. Everything starts up front on the offensive side of the ball and if our OLine can do well, the Bear Raid will march up and down the field. And then the defensive secondary is a little thin to start with, so an injury there would be really bad and leave the Bears wide open to people passing all over us.

So what do you think, how healthy is the team going to be as a whole heading into the season? Which positions/players are most critical to stay healthy this season?