Another closed practice, so again not a ton of news about the California Golden Bears for you today. Cal will have its fourth open practice today (Rob will be there to cover), so you’ll have more extensive Twitter coverage and notes tonight and tomorrow.
The most info you’ll get will have to be gleaned from this minute of video Cal Athletics released today. Here’s the week 1 highlights from open scrimmage.
Cal offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin spoke with the media today and was the lone representative out there. Baldwin is a bit more talkative, so he had some nice quotes for the media about the quarterback competition and how certain players are performing.
The most important thing to consider? It’s not just Chase Forrest and Ross Bowers getting significant snaps. Although they’re probably still the leaders in the clubhouse to win the starting job, Forrest and Bowers are getting some run from the young guns.
Transfer Brandon McIlwain isn’t eligible until next season, but he’s getting a ton of run at this point. Based on the scrimmages, it’s not much with the first team, but he’s practicing quite a bit.
Even more curious: Cal freshman Chase Garbers has come into camp strong and isn’t just conceding the redshirt kinks. Garbers probably isn’t winning this job, but if he keeps impressing the coaches you have to think he is a strong candidate to win the job in future seasons.
Below are some of the quotes.
On the quarterback competition: “I’ve been in the three range before, but maybe not quite four... I mean it’s a good situation to have in a lot of ways. Sometimes I think the negative can be if you have one and you have three that you’re unsure of...we have four guys that are competing, four guys that I believe strongly can win football games.”
McIlwain’s ability to make plays on Saturday: “He brings a little of that, that’s kinda how he plays and finds a way to make a play. And he’s still obviously new into this offense, still just getting past the thinking stages. I like the work ethic of this group.”
On quarterbacks pushing each other: ”You have guys pushing guys and it’s definitely not because someone’s just not doing well, it’s a lot of times because someone’s stepping up, and there has been, it’s gone back and forth, and I love great competition like that.”
On Garbers stepping up early: “He’s probably exceeding some other freshmen I’ve been around in the past...I can compare it to other situations where I’ve had true freshmen whereas he compared to other situations, and I would say he is ahead of the curve compared to where I was with others. That’s a compliment to him, his work ethic because a lot of that is mental. We knew what he could do physically, but the reason he’s able to operate, the reason he’s able to perform is because he’s able to take words in and paint a picture.”
Trace has a transcript for you behind the Cal Rivals paywall, if you’re at work and can’t check out the video.