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Cal Football Spring Ball 2018: Practice Notebook #3

Getting ready for full pads

Oregon State v California Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Golden Bears were back on the field at Memorial stadium in just their shells. The coaches continued to run drills to hone in on position-specific skills, but most of the practice time is used for more game-like scenarios.

  • Quarterbacks and Running Backs worked on their repertoire for both the pass and run game.
  • Defensive Ends worked on reactionary tracking. They started in a low squat, walking forward, until they had to immediately sprint in the direction the coach pointed towards.
  • Inside Linebackers focused on endurance. They started from a low stance and took turns pushing a blocking sled out and up. After a couple reps with the pads, they practiced on each other.
  • Coach Toler emphasized, to the running backs, to stay low and engage their core. Each player held a ball, zig-zagged through cones while squatting, and finished off with explosion past a gate. Meanwhile, the coaches pushed and jabbed at the players to give them a physical challenge. The speed of the drill progressed, allowing the players to stay on track with their technique. His practice drills are really helping the Running Backs work on shedding tackles and finding ways to act on first instinct when there is an available gap. He is building a relationship with the players, and makes an effort to stay active during drills, giving them feedback and praise when needed.
  • Fullbacks and Tight Ends worked with medicine balls in a full squat. A huge theme throughout today’s drills was strength and endurance, if you haven’t noticed already.
  • The fight for the starting quarterback role continued. Chase Forrest had some good throws today, but ability to read and react still hinders him. He is less accurate on the deep passes compared to his short passes. He definitely seems more comfortable with set plays instead of read and react.
  • Brandon Mcllwain threw a beautiful deep 40 yard throw to Ricky Walker III. This was the throw of the day, ball was placed right over the outstretched arm of Cam Bynum and Walker was able to haul it in.
  • Camryn Bynum had a great tackle on Taariq Johnson
  • Alex Netherda has been showing off some of his wiggle between the tackles and gain yards.
  • Trey Turner III was on the field today and looked comfortable on the field. He has been easing his way back in, recovering from his injury that kept him out of most of last season.
  • Josh Drayden showed off a couple spin moves, during a Blitz Pick Up drill, getting past Hudson two times in a row to tag the QB.
  • During the Redzone drill, Derrick Clark beat Camryn Bynum into the endzone on a stretch run. There was a short entanglement, but Clark pulled away and flexed in celebration of the touchdown.
  • We got to see Brandon Mcllwain run today. The coaches are calling more read-options with him allowing him to use his legs as a weapon as well.

Saturday, we get some scrimmage!