Fall camp ended today, so here are some questions that we hope were answered for the 3 weeks.
Piotr T Le: To be detailed: can we get efficient production on rushing plays and can we get 20+ yard plays through the air. With Castles/Remigio on the inside, both with a full offseason of conditioning should contribute down the middle of the field but will they provide the much needed big plays. Despite the depreciating value of the running game (see The Athletic article by Ted Nguyen) we still need a running game that will provide conversions on #-and-short play. Patrick Laird lead Cal in receptions and replacing his pass game production from the backfield will be a hard task.
Grrande: there are obviously more than a few big questions going into fall camp. I’d say my main ones are:
- Who will move toward the top of the wide receiver depth chart? Obviously there’s the starting group, but also the backups that get decent playing time. The ones that I’m guessing will be near the top are Nikko Remigio, Trevon Clark, Jordan Duncan, and Jeremiah Hawkins. The question marks are Monroe Young, Kekoa Crawford, Evan King, Ben Skinner, Ricky Walker, and potentially Makai Polk (who was an early entry and is a good tall, end zone target, even though he’s skinny) if they decide to burn his redshirt.
- Obviously, who is going to be the starting quarterback. Spencer Brasch is one hell of an athlete, so I’m interested to see what he might look like if they decide to play him in garbage time (given the new redshirt rules) – or if somehow he surprises everybody and wins out the starting role. Hell, it happened with Goff.
- The running back depth, behind Chris Brown, and/or how they do RB by committee. The JC transfers, Alex Netherda, and potentially DeCarlos Brooks if they decide to burn his redshirt.
- LB and DL depth charts.
- Which true freshmen might play in four or fewer games, and not burn their redshirt, and who might just break into the depth chart to the point they will play five or more games their first year. It’s hard to gauge throughout fall camp, but we might get a better view of it at least.
christopher_h: I think the single biggest question on offense has to be: can Cal establish a downfield passing attack? Cal had a lot of cleverly designed run plays last year that went absolutely nowhere, because opposing defense did not respect Cal’s passing game. It’s hard to run the ball against a Cover 0. Teams are daring Cal to throw the ball, and until that happens, Cal’s offense will be stuck in neutral.
Nik Jam: How good is our receiving corps going to be? A solid set of WRs and TEs could be enough to save this offense in one season.
Nick Kranz: It’s all about the skill position battles, right? The defense is more or less set, the offensive line is relatively veteran and the contributors are well known. But there are gigantic question marks at every single offensive skill position, with multiple options and battles to divvy up playing time. How are reps going to be split between the returning WRs (Remigio, Hawkins, Duncan) and the new guys (Clark, Crawford, Polk). Is it going to be Dancy or Brown at running back? Which back plays better as a receiver? And who wins the QB battle?
Wilcox of course played it close to the vest, but you could tell in his media day Q&A that there is a ton of uncertainty at those positions. I don’t think that fall camp is going to definitively answer anything - after all, Ross Bowers was the starting QB exiting fall camp last year - but it will be a start.
Rob Hwang: I’m pretty sure everyone picked all the questions I wanted to know. WRs, ILBs, DL, QBs. Those were the 4 biggest groups with question marks headed into Spring Ball and Fall Camp. We’ll see how they shake out over the next week of closed practices and on Gameday when we should get our first look at the depth chart.
What are some of your questions about the Cal Football 2019 season? Let us know in the comments below!