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Justin Wilcox: Cal quarterback competition too close to call

Who will win?

Justin Wilcox with Pac-12 Networks
Cal Football

California Golden Bears head coach Justin Wilcox gave his final major teleconference with the media before the long summer break sets in. He talked about spring practice, overall insights, defensive improvements, and of course, the quarterback competition. You can listen to it in its entirety by clicking here for the MP3 file.

Below are some transcript quotes. Again, click to listen to the full six minute audio sample.

On the two QB options going forward, namely Chase Forrest and Ross Bowers:

“I thought the most encouraging thing about both of them the last five practices, both of them made significant strides, and that’s a little bit to be expected in terms of learning a new offense. Neither of them had played a whole lot, and so the amount of reps they got really helped them. Their understanding of what’s going on on offense obviously grew, but it’s really too close to call...Beau and coach Tui have done a great job with those guys...One day, it’s kinda one guy, he might be sharper than the other, then you go back the other way, but I thought in the spring game both of them executed and made some really good decisions, and delivered the ball.”

On defensive improvements

“I think they picked things up fast. We didn’t execute as well as I would have liked (I’m not sure you’re ever executing as well as you’d like). But I thought we saw a lot of guys get in a lot of valuable experience through spring. We didn’t do a ton of live work, I thought it showed up a little bit in the spring game just in terms of finishing...that was partly by design because we wanted to make sure we taught everything in the right sequence...then as we get into fall we’ll create some more live situations so we can work on finishing, but really, they’re very eager and smart guys...”

On college football defenses adapting to no huddle offenses to limit its effectiveness

“If you look at the amount of scoring going on, I guess it depends on what you see as productive or not. They’re very tough to defend, there’s a reason people go fast, there’s a reason people run the run-pass option plays...I think people have seen more and more of it, so obviously there’s things defensively that people like more, and I think they’ve grown in that regard, but I wouldn’t say that they’re slowing down.”

On Cal offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin

“I’ve obviously watched his teams and knew about what he had done at Eastern and also on offense, so I had a ton of respect for him and had a chance to visit with him as the process moved forward. It was a great fit for us.”

On Cal special teams coach Charlie Ragle

“I’ve known him back when he was a high school coach, and he’s just a really good guy, he’s a team guy, and he works extremely hard, he’s got great energy...our players are going to learn a lot from him and really enjoy what he brings to the table.”