clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cal opens spring football practice at California Memorial Stadium

News and quotes from day one of spring football practice

Wednesday marked the first of 15 spring football practices at California Memorial Stadium, and the first as a head coach for Justin Wilcox. Here are some of his post-practice quotes:

Opening statement:

“It was exciting to get back on the field. It’s been a long time. A lot of anxious players and coaches to get back out here and do what we love to do. They did a great job for a first day. There’s going to be a ton to clean up, and that’s to be expected. The work ethic was really, really good. The energy was good. Their focus was good. We just have a lot of work to do.”

On what he learned about his team:

“Hard-working guys who care. That’s a great start, so we’re excited about that. It’s one practice, so there’s a lot to learn and a lot to practice.”

On what he wants to accomplish this Spring:

“Implement the systems, learn the language, learn the techniques and the fundamentals to play those systems. That’s why today we spent a ton of time separate offense and defense. The teaching part of it is going to be huge. Growing our football intelligence, learning the game within the game. Situational football, back sets, formations, all the things that really matter. And then just building our team culture, becoming this year’s team and finding out what our strengths and weaknesses are, and who the guys are that are going to step up, and that’s the exciting part.”

On the competition to be the number one quarterback:

“We’ve got a long way to go before we even discuss that. Everybody will get an equal number of reps.”

On changing the culture:

“There are a lot of things these guys do that are really good. I think it’s just building our team from the inside out and around our players, and the intangible things that it takes to be successful. That’s the way you operate daily - your actions, your behaviors. How do we work out? How do we go to meetings? How do we go to school? How do we treat people on campus? How do we live? We want to challenge ourselves every day and raise the bar in that regard. But again, there are a lot of great kids on this team and we’re excited to watch those guys grow.”

Senior RB Tre Watson

On how practice is different now versus a year ago:

“Now we focus more on the individual things and getting the little details down and putting them together as a team, where last year we were more focused on running plays, building that team connection. I just feel like we’re focused on the little things right now because it’s new coaches, a new system, new everything, so we’ve got to get the fundamentals down first and then come together.”

On Beau Baldwin coaching the running backs:

“It’s amazing because he calls the plays, so he knows what he wants. He tells us how we should run it. I think it’s going to be a big factor in the way we produce this year. He’s a great coach and we love him.”

On Beau Baldwin’s philosophy:

“The main focus is just playing football and having fun out here. Their main thing is about the culture. We talked about the culture today in the meeting, and just building a good team connection between us all, because if you can trust the other ten guys on the field and you know at the end of the day that they have your back when you step on the field, you can’t beat that. It’s really a culture of having each other’s back, and that heart, just fighting to the end.”

On the culture Justin Wilcox and his coaching staff are trying to build:

“They’re more strict. They don’t let the little things go. We’re trying to win games. That’s their main focus is just buying in and everybody being as one.”

Senior LB Raymond Davison

On having a head coach with a defensive background:

“It’s definitely great. He’s at some of our meetings. He’s there giving his input on little things, like little coaching tips. It’s definitely a good thing.”

On his early impressions of Justin Wilcox and his coaching staff:

“Definitely very passionate. You can just feel the passion. They gave us the definitions of passion and energy. Passion is more of a slow burn. Energy is something that can fade away here and there. I can definitely feel the passion from the defensive side of the ball.”

On what the defense wants to accomplish this Spring:

“Really just changing the paradigm, changing everybody’s mindset on Cal football. We’re here to make sure that we do that. We’re going to be a good defense.”

On new defensive quality control assistant Desmond Bishop:

“He’s a good guy, an NFL veteran, he played, he’s a Cal Bear. It’s really good to have someone who’s fairly young back on staff kind of giving us pointers and tips on things that he did in the NFL and in college.”

Injury Report

Cal announced that the following players will not participate in spring football due to injury (all are expected to be available for the upcoming season):

  • DL Luc Bequette - Lower Body
  • CB Josh Drayden - Upper Body
  • OL Daniel Juarez - Lower Body
  • DL James Looney - Lower Body
  • ILB David Ortega - Upper Body
  • S Evan Rambo - Lower Body
  • WR Brandon Singleton - Lower Body
  • WR Melquise Stovall - Lower Body
  • CB/S Trey Turner - Lower Body
  • S Ricky Walker - Lower Body