The temperature dropped to the high 40s on Monday evening at Memorial Stadium, but the Bear Raid continued in full flight.
What follows here are some mixed notes from practice, depth chart updates, and assorted observations from Cal’s fourth spring practice, this one conducted in shells and shorts.
Allan Bridgford, Kyle Boehm and Austin Hinder saw most of the work on Monday, with the latter two receiving more of the snaps. Hinder was this evening the most accurate of this trio, but while saying that we must report he did not have an strong evening. In drills where the team practiced throwing streaks, his passes often lacked the zip needed to arrive on time. In a handful of cases the defender was therefore able to recover in time to break up an otherwise on-target pass.
Boehm was also relatively inconsistent. In one three play sequence he first threw into double coverage for an incompletion, then completed a nice ball on a corner route, then sailed that same corner route out of bounds. This sequence was typical of his play for the whole evening.
Quarterback Zach Kline had only limited playing time, and looked not ready to play. At one point, he fumbled without a single defender around him, and at another, he had a pass swatted down and intercepted by an oncoming Antoine Davis. It should be noted that he came into that drive cold, without any preparation to that point all evening.
Jared Goff showed off some surprising mobility, taking off several times for nice gains during his two drives with the full team. By our count, he completed 3 of 7 passes, in addition to those runs.
Matt Cochran was seen practicing with the first team O-line today, replacing Mark Brazinski. Long snaps continue to give Brazinski trouble; he had at least three high or off line today.
These on nominal first team defense: Avery Sebastian, Michael Lowe, Kam Jackson, Stefan McClure, Nick Forbes, Jalen Jefferson, Khairi Fortt, Mustafa Jalil, Deandre Coleman, Kyle Kragen and Todd Barr. Kragen and Barr traded spots several times in practice, getting work at both defensive end positions.
Erstwhile second team defense: Isaac Lapite, Cedric Dozier, Damariay Drew, Jordan Morgan, Michael Barton, David Wilkerson, Hardy Nickerson, Antoine Davis, Dan Camporeale, Gabe King, Keni Kaufusi. Adrian Lee also saw time at corner.
The defense showed its first nickel this year in 7-on-7s, moving Stefan McClure into the slot, and playing Isaac Lapite across from Kam Jackson. The defensive backs were Avery Sebastian and Michael Lowe, with Nick Forbes and Khairi Fortt joining them.
Nathan Broussard saw a few snaps at middle linebacker.
What follows is a rough list of who is taking snaps at wide receiver - and where they normally line up. For the most part players are listed here in the order of how much playing time they have seen so far this spring.
Left outside receiver: Bryce Treggs, Kenny Lawler, Griffin Piatt.
Left inside receiver: Chris Harper, Joel Willis, Stephen Anderson
Right inside receiver: Maximo Espitia, Richard Rodgers, Jackson Bouza, Bryce McGovern, Jake Davis
Right outside wide receiver: Darius Powe, Maurice Harris, Drake Whitehurst, Idarre Coles, Patrick Worstell
As reported earlier, team energy at practice has so far been been high, but things got heated a few times on Monday, for example when Dan Fadelli got into a fight – punches were thrown – with Kenny Lawler. Several other small skirmishes broke out.
Avery Sebastian was the highlight player on defense this evening, consistently and frequently hitting hard. His pass coverage looked to be improving as well.
One surprise performer was the little heralded Lucas Gingold, who ran with nice physicality all evening, lowering his shoulder for extra yards time and time again. He knocked out Jordan Morgan at one point, as well.
Kenny Lawler lacked any highlight plays today, but continues to show great range as a receiver, laying out for anything remotely near him.
On the injury front:
Puka Lopa and Viliami Moala were in limited contact yellow jerseys. Brendan Bigelow was spotted without crutches. Alex Logan was also out for today’s practice, and worked alongside the injured players.
Daniel Lasco participated today in drills and was a larger part of the offense’s walk-throughs than at any of the previous practices. He took no contact, however.
The team spent a significant amount of time practicing out of a trips package, not seen in either of the first two practices this year and really only premiered last Friday. A wide receiver screen is not uncommon out of this set. The Bears also spent time practicing this play, as well.
Cal alum and current Carolina Panther head coach Ron Rivera was spotted at practice.