Football season is officially here with the kick off event for the PAC-12. The PAC-12 held a media conference at Hollywood & Highland in Los Angeles. The Bears were represented by HC Justin Wilcox, RB/Best-Hands-In-The-Country Tre Watson, and DL/Can-play-every-position-if-need-be James Looney. Coach Wilcox gave some opening remarks before the media was allowed to talk to all of them separately. During lunch, the media had a chance to get some more 1-on-1 time with Coach Wilcox. Here are some of his best quotes.
Head Coach Justin Wilcox:
- There is a lot of energy in our building right now. Players, coaches, everybody coming back to work. I think everybody's just eager. They know we've got a lot of work to do. They know we made a lot of strides in the off-season, spring ball, summer workouts. But we got to continue that through fall camp.
- We also feel really good about guys who are going to step up and take on some bigger roles. We feel like the transition throughout spring was really good—they picked up the system very fast. It's a smart bunch of guys and they're eager to get back on the field and continue to learn.
- I want them to be known as a smart team, a resilient and tough team, and a team that plays together. It's our job to put the systems in place—which we will do—offensively, defensively, special teams, strength and conditioning. But before that, we need to be smart, resilient and do plays together, and that will give us our best chance.
- We're going to recruit very hard. We're going to recruit in Northern California and move out from there. We're a primarily West Coast–recruiting team. For example, one of our most talented and invested players—Demetris Robertson—is from Georgia. He came to Cal because of the opportunity academically and what it could afford him for his future on and off the field. We'll still go national because Cal does have a national brand. We don't want to miss out on those opportunities, but we would start right in the Bay Area.
- Everybody has tough parts about their jobs. I don't feel any different. I now have a different role, and I take those responsibilities seriously. But we were able to hire a great group of assistant coaches and support staff. We've got a great administration that supported us and got them in there. And the players on our team, their attitude and the type of people they are, I really couldn't ask for more.
- So Chase, Ross Bowers came out of spring ahead of the pack. Chase Garbers is on campus now as a freshman. All three of those guys will have a chance to earn the job. It's very competitive right now. We haven't named a starter. I don't know when that time will be. It will present itself when it does. We're excited. They've had really good off-seasons and they're all a little bit different. All those guys will have the opportunity to earn the right to play.
- I think the more carryover you see from week to week, the more familiar you're going to be with those formations and plays and that type of thing. Part of what drew me to Beau Baldwin is our offense will be that way. There will be multiple, there will multiple in their groupings, will be multiple in their formations, and that benefits us as a team because now your team is practicing against it. So I think the more you do that, it's a complementary program. Your offense complements your defense, not only on the field during games but in practice.
- And defensively we'll be multiple as well. We'll have 3-4 spacing, we'll have four-down spacing, we'll have post coverage, split-safety coverage. So when the offense goes against that and the quarterbacks see that, that prepares them for what they're going to see during the season.
- As you set expectations and hold them to it. How do you get that done? You wish it were in one meeting. There is not some magic dust that you sprinkle over them and all of a sudden they get everything you said. I think it's just over time that you're consistently pushing the same message in how we're going to operate. It takes more than one meeting. It takes more than a week or a month. It takes some time.
- Yeah, so I am not an active social media member, but we have people that mind that constantly, and we're very interested in what guys are saying. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of great things about it in promoting their team and how much -- it's just part of their world, which is great. But we want to make sure that we know what we're getting, so that's another avenue for us to do some research on these guys.
I’ll have more for you from Media Days over the next coming days, but in the meantime, did any quotes stand out for you from Coach WIlcox? Are you satisfied with the way he is trying to change the culture around the program? What are you long-term aspirations for Coach Wilcox. Let us know in the comments below!