- The defense had some pretty nice highlights on Friday (and so did the offense)
Several members of DeRuyter’s defense made big plays but none were bigger than Camryn Bynum’s interception of a Ross Bowers pass in the end zone off a Derron Brown deflection to thwart the offense on the final drive of the day during a 2-minute drill
The team’s other interceptions were recorded by Chigozie Anusiem against Brandon McIlwain and Quentin Tartabull after Malik Psalms deflected a Chase Garbers’ pass
Rusty Becker also had a huge play when he stripped McIlwain of the ball five yards behind the line of scrimmage and ran for another 15 yards to earn a sack, forced fumble and fumble recovery with return yards all on the same snap
Jordan Kunaszyk and Malik Psalms recorded sacks during 11-on-11 work while Evan Weaver had one tackle for loss, and Alex Funches and Lone Toailoa picked up 0.5 TFL each.
- Last Wednesday the team was visited by former Bear Jeremy Newberry, and other updates.
“He came into the O-line room, gave us a little speech on his insights on the game, ultimately how we can advance as a group,” Mike Saffell said, “that’s the biggest thing the O-line is concerned with, coming along as a group. Obviously with his NFL experience and being around a lot of good offensive lines, he’s got a lot of experience with that. So it was just awesome having him out, obviously a very respected guy around the California Golden Bears.”
According to Saffell, Newberry’s biggest advice was about making sure they finish their blocks.
”I think his main message on the day was just finishing guys, finishing blocks and being violent,” Saffell noted, “obviously that’s the kind of player he was, high effort guy, high intensity, so that was his biggest thing, wearing guys down.”
- Another feature on Alex Netherda (not the one I posted on Thursday), this time from Cal Athletics.
Playing different positions has been an enjoyable learning experience for Netherda who wants to do whatever he can to contribute to help the Golden Bears win as many games as possible no matter what his role may be.
”Making the switch to running back this spring has been really fun,” Netherda said. “Coach Toler is awesome. We have some history from when I first came into the program. Running back has always been a pretty natural position for me, playing it when I was growing up and in high school. I like it a lot.”
His experience at other positions makes a difference in helping fellow running backs like Biaggio Ali Walsh improve their game.
Ali Walsh said having Netherda in the running backs group allows him and the other backs to get some insight into where players at other positions will be on the field for a play.
- Cal’s stock is up on Jon Wilner’s book after the David Grace hire.
- Thanks to Ruey for finding this article, the positive stories about Jaylen Brown keep on coming.
Brown’s diverse portfolio -- public forums at Harvard, challenging a child prodigy to a chess match -- leads to inevitable skepticism that seems to dog well-rounded professional athletes: Does he care enough about the game?
He does. He just can’t afford to care too much.
”I don’t ever want to experience that again,” Brown says. “Looking back, I definitely suffered a [bout of] depression. But people don’t want to hear about that. It freaks them out.
”I wish people were more comfortable talking about it. But they aren’t, so we keep it to ourselves. We’re supposed to be ‘a man,’ we’re supposed to bottle everything up.
”I came out of it realizing, ‘OK, this basketball thing, it meant a little too much.’”
- Jaylen Brown’s success is the top Cal story on Pac-12’s roundup (their version of Golden Nuggets).
- After struggling in conference play (at least compared to their non-conference success), Andrew Vaughn and Jared Horn have made some adjustments that resulted in a big win over Washington on Cal Day that clinched a huge series win.
- Some reading on what made Cal Women’s Gymnastics so good this year, but the article is dated as it was meant to be read before their NCAA Championship “loss” last Friday.
- Similarly, women’s lacrosse already lost to Stanford on Friday, but I’m posting this article anyway because I’m glad they got love from the San Francisco Chronicle. The article is similar to the one by Cal Athletics that I posted on Thursday, about the dedication of the game to the One Love Foundation.
Sweep UW (Baseball) and Utah (Softball)!