Pass rush. Do we have anyone? Russell Ude is currently listed as a defensive tackle, DeVante Wilson isn't on the depth chart yet, meaning we're probably mostly relying on the same guys that provided one of the worst sack percentages in the FBS last year. Noah Westerfield and Jonathan Johnson will have to take significant leaps for us to feel comfortable on taking an offense off the field on 3rd down.
Kicker. Don't want to alarm you, but I am really worried about the kicking situation right now. The kicks I saw in the spring were alarmingly scattershot. We could be a "touchdown or else" team this year if things don't improve.
.@CALCoachDykes admits uncertainty about FG kicking could prompt Bears to keep offense on field more on 4th down inside opponents' 30.
1) WR touches: Kidding! But this is such an awesome problem to have - how is Goff going to distribute the passes in order to keep people happy?
2) Pass rush: Agree 100% with Avi. On paper, even if we had everyone possible in the rotation, this unit looked like a negative. Missing Wilson, even though we get Kragen back, means that this unit is at best is a huge question mark. I really believe the D-line getting pressure without Kaufman having to resort to massive blitzes is the key to making our defense respectable, and thus the key to us having a successful season.
3) Offensive growth: This might be a weird one to have int he 'worry' category, but hear me out. Defenses in the Pac-12 now have 2 years on tape with Dykes and Franklin running the Bear Raid. Sonny showed great creativity adding in wrinkles last year - the most obvious one being the (BLOG-GUARDED!) use of Rubenzer as a mobile QB. Do Dykes and Franklin have more tricks up their sleeve to tilt the odds further in our offense's favor? If not the offense could plateau, putting more pressure on the defense.
1) Our defense, or lack thereof: It's been a while since we've had a formidable defense that could stop both the run and pass. I'm optimistic that our guys are going to get better with more experience. But, is that added experience going to get us over the hump? the name of the college football game is having talent. I don't believe we've recruited enough significant talent to mount a decent defense. Given how teams are going to pass-heavy offenses now, I agree with Avinash and boomtho - we need a real pass rush. Here's to hoping Dykes and Kaufman are onto something with our defense....
2) Dykes: I never believed in Tedford (even back in the good ole days, which proved true with his subsequent sharp decline). Dykes has instilled even less confidence with me, so far at least. Let's forget the fact that he's not a guy our fans can rally around. His playcalling - Bear Raid and all - can be suspect at times. He's got some David Shaw (yea, I said it) and Harbaugh in him - sometimes, you just scratch your head at some of his calls and wonder if he's cut out for the big time or not. I need to see significant improvement from our head boss with his in-game decisions.
Leland Wong: My biggest concern is our stunning lack of defensive backs. Needless to say, if you've watched the Dykes era of Cal football, you know that our secondary has been lacking, giving up big pass plays and missing tackles. Not only is this a glaring weakness that's in dire need of fixing, but things just got a little bleaker with the news that our putative starting safeties--a veteran leader in Stefan McClure and a ballhawk in Griffin Piatt whose wild success was my bold prediction for 2015--are questionable for our season opener. Will anyone step up during that short fall camp or are we going to keep wincing every time the opposing quarterback drops back to pass?
Beyond that, I'll be keeping a nervous eye on our quarterback. Wat? Am I really that crazy or that dumb to be nervous about quarterback when we've got a potential kind-of Heisman candidate? Well, I am that dumb, but that's not the issue here. With Luke Rubenzer allegedly moving full-time to defense this year, we've got a lot of question marks behind Goff. There's certainly a lot of potential there--with Ross Bowers and Chase Forrest in particular--but it's a little disconcerting that our depth pretty much consists of redshirt and true freshmen with no game experience.