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Cal Football Fall Camp 2017: Practice Notebook #2

Everything is starting to settle.

NCAA Football: Utah at California John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

The team worked up their intensity a little bit and put on some shoulder pads for this practice—not regular pads though. Coach Wilcox told the media they were “Spider Pads”, just pads that are lighter and smaller; the use looked to be a move in gaining some traction going into live-tackling practice on Saturday. So let’s get to it!

  • Brandon McIlwain got the first reps at QB during the first 11s period. Read into that what you will. Coach Wilcox said they’re just rotating guys and it’s not of importance who got which reps when. Also to note, he is not eligible to play this upcoming season due to NCAA transfer rules.
  • McIlwain was a bundle of potential energy. Every time he got the ball it looked like he was about to do something electric. He had us slightly out of our seats on every snap. In his Fastball drive (a.k.a. up-tempo drill), he capped off the drive with a great throw over the middle to Ray Hudson.
  • Chase Garbers, a.k.a. Shooter McGavin in the locker room, had a great showing as well. Putting the ball into tight windows and mixing up his throws with bullets and touch passes.
  • Still a lot of periods of teaching and individual drills, which is great to see. The coaching staff is emphasizing the basics and fundamentals of every position group.
  • Also seeing different position groups working together is interesting. QBs & WRs. RBs & OLs. OLs & DLs. DBs & WRs.
  • Chase Forrest had another solid day at QB. His first 3 passes in 7-on-7s were all completions and perfect passes to open players. He quickly got through his reads and made the right play.
  • Tre Watson with the quote of the day. After a long run on the first play of 11s, he said, “Was that 20 or 30? Was that 20 or 30? I told y’all!!”
  • During 11s, one important piece to note is that the offense changes who the safety valve is and where he will be on the field. The QBs know who and where their check-down is at all times, so we’ve rarely seen a forced throw or confusion if a play fails to develop.
  • The defense 2-Deep seems set other than the position of DE where Zeandae Johnson was supposed to start.
  • Devante Downs and Tony Mekari were the standouts in yesterday’s practice for the defense. They read plays, got into the backfield, and worked very well in Coach DeRuyter’s scheme.