Athlon Sports got the opinions of all the Pac-12 coaches anonymously on everyone else’s teams. Let’s take a look at what teams said about the California Golden Bears.
Cal should be better defensively.
“I’m interested to see if they can make some strides on defense. It’s kind of a 180 to go from a head coach who didn’t care about defense at all to a staff with some guys who have a long track record being good defensive coaches".
Obviously with Justin Wilcox, Cal is expected to take steps on the defensive side of the football. But considering where that defense was last year, they probably need to be better defensively.
Cal will be adaptable with Wilcox at defense, with not a lot of talent.
"I think Tim (DeRuyter) is probably back in his comfort zone being a coordinator, and obviously (Justin) Wilcox has done a great job at a number of places. Wilcox is really a 3-4 guy, but if you look at some of the stops he’s made he’s been flexible adjusting to the pieces they have so it’ll be interesting to see how they make that transition with a group that has really struggled to stop people."
Wilcox has one preferred scheme, but it’s debatable whether the personnel to run it effectively (with not a ton of linebacker depth).
"It would be hard for me to identify any standouts defensively. I remember they were not very big up front and their linebackers struggled to play in space."
The biggest issue for Cal is their defensive talent. They don’t have a ton of recruiting hits from the Sonny Dykes era.
Cal needs a quarterback.
"On offense, they’ll have to find a quarterback. I don’t have a clue what they’re going to look like. Obviously their coordinator (Beau Baldwin) is a good football coach who’s going to bring a system he’s developed and won a bunch of games with in FCS."
There is no resolution to the quarterback battle at Cal, which gives you the feeling no one in the conference is quite ready to quake at the boots at either Chase Forrest or Ross Bowers.
Demetris Robertson is feared by everyone.
"Demetris Robertson could have gone anywhere in the country and looked like he belonged from Day 1.”
If Cal makes any sort of leap, you’d have to guess Robertson would be heavily involved.