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Cal Football Practice Notebook: 1 of 3

The first of 3 open practices.

NCAA Football: UCLA at California Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

With new Head Coach Justin Wilcox, Cal will only have 3 of their practices open to the media and public. Here is the first of 3 practice notebooks!

  • The coaching staff is teaching every position from the ground up. Footwork, eyes, arm placement, tracking, to driving of feet on tackles, the team has fully gone back to the basics.
  • The coaches are also really hands on. They make adjustments after every snap and rotation of a drill. Teaching and making sure the players know every little movement and step to improve.
  • One little quirk was instead of penny’s or just uppers, QBs/Def/Off all wore full sets of different colors. QBs all wore Gold, Defense all wore Blue, Offense all wore White.
  • Matt Anderson continued his consistent kicking, knocking down all 3 of his field goal attempts that started at around 13 yards out to ending at around 40.
  • Watching Coach Alexander work with the DBs is a real treat, hes very hand-on and works right with the players and not far off from the players.
  • There was a good few segments of 11s, and with the amount of substitutions and changes, there really is no set 1s/2s/3s.
  • Vic Enwere got the first play of 11s and got a solid 8 yard run.
  • Quentin Tartabull had a great PBU. Read the play perfectly.
  • TEs in the offense are really fun to watch, whether its blocking or pass catching, it adds another dimension to the offense that keeps the defense honest.
  • Some 1-on-1 work as well.
  • Ross Bowers had some solid throw on the move.
  • Vic Viramontes looked good using his feet and throwing into space.
  • Max Gilliam’s footwork and accuracy has definitely improved and thats visible in the throws and reads in this new offense.
  • The defense as a unit is really impressive, the scheme fits our personnel, every player makes the reads together and creates alot of havoc and making sure they swarm to the ball and help out the initial tackler.
  • The DBs have improved significantly, Coach Alexander allows them to make plays on the ball but also makes sure that they arent too aggressive and gets the receiver on the ground if they make a catch.
  • Camryn Bynum with a PBU, Dezhon Grace with a PBU, Derron Brown with a PBU, Elijah Hicks with an INT. The DBs are playing with a new found enthusiasm to the position.
  • Some of the WRs played outstanding during 11s as well. Jordan Duncan almost pulled down an OBJ-esqe catch, except the ball was just slightly overthrown.
  • Logan Gamble with a ridiculous grab over Traveon Beck, basically Randy Moss-ing him in the corner of the endzone. In Beck’s defense, he played great defense but was just out-matched.
  • Jordan Veasy also had an amazing step to the inside beating Malik Psalms with a great move and catch for the TD.
  • Alex Funches is all over the place for the defense, in the best way possible. He’s in the backfield from the line, he gets at the runner from the OLB position. Its really impressive how much tenacity on defense he plays with. By my count he ended with 2-3 havoc plays and a forced fumble.
  • All the QBs have made some significant strides, but none have separated themselves from the pack. Its going to be a long battle folks.
  • Chase Forrest had some great plays. One was an amazing throw to a gap down teh right sidelines. Threw from the left has to the right numbers and about 30 yards downfield. He also flashed some wheels to take off on a broken play and gets a huge gain.
  • Bowers also showed off his wheels and got down field on some broken plays.
  • Vic Viramontes showed off his improved accuracy, rolling out to his right and threading a pass into the space between the Linebackers and Safeties.

Down below are the press conferences with HC Justin Wilcox, DL Tony Mekari and OL Addison Ooms.

That’s it for this notebook. Stay tuend for our other notebooks after the open practices next month.