Reading Beautween the Lines and QB Situation

CalBear04
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Watching the latest Beau Baldwin interview

I think we've all been uncomfortable with Forrest and Bowers. They are two vets now that haven't shown anything close to Goff or Webb.

My prediction was Bowers because of his ability to run and be creative. Forrest is more a Steady Eddie type.

Having Garbers and especially McIlwain take so many reps shows that he wants more (as will we) once the season starts.

In my limited view of Garbers and McIlwain, both are more accurate and show better anticipation.

That said, Garbers doesn't know the offense cold and has to think a lot. McIlwain isn't eligible so why give him important reps at this point?

Beau stressed that it's a team game and he thinks he can win with any of the 4 of them. I like that because it means that so many plays are just execute this and we move the chains. That's enough for decent offenses. Elite offenses require much more from the QB and we aren't there with those two (IMHO).

Updated prediction: Bowers to start. Garbers Week 6.
wifeisafurd
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That Gargbers and NcIwain are catching-up cuts both ways. Could be their just both very talented, or it could be Forrest and Bowers are not elevating their games enough, or both.
CalBear04
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wifeisafurd;842859572 said:

That Gargbers and NcIwain are catching-up cuts both ways. Could be their just both very talented, or it could be Forrest and Bowers are not elevating their games enough, or both.


I'm in the both camp. Those two have hit a ceiling and Garbers/McIlwain are better.
OdontoBear66
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Not being there to see them practice it is hard to judge, but from what I read is that neither Forrest or Bowers is doing much to stand out from Garbers and McIlwain. Obviously, their experience level with all things Cal is much greater, and that too is scary that neither stands out. So trying to put logic to it, I might be inclined to give Garbers the look with the disclaimer this is based on what I am hearing, not what I am seeing.
TheSouseFamily
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It's an interesting and telling interview for sure and I recommend taking a look if you haven't watched it. I still think McIlwain will be the #1 from the moment he's eligible but I say that without seeing even a nanosecond of practice this camp. I just think he's a multi-dimensional talent the likes of which Cal hasn't seen at least as long as I've been following Cal. There's a reason why he was the MVP of South Carolina's spring game as a true freshman

The starter in game 1 may not even be "the guy" in the long term anyway. It was only a year ago when Heisman front runner Sam Darnold lost out on the starting gig at SC. Lots can change It's obviously a pretty fluid situation now and Baldwin's interview relects that.
CalBearinLA
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Since Camp started, I've been waiting for them to interview Baldwin to get his thoughts about the QB situation. Maybe they're keeping things hush, but it just doesn't sound like we're gonna have that wow factor at QB this year, unless Garbers inhales that playbook or McIlwain magically becomes eligible.

I'd love to hear some of the input from people who have attended practices, since my opinion is just based off of second-hand accounts.
TheSouseFamily
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To add to my previous post, here's some video of McIlwain in the South Carolina spring game. This guy has tools.

CalBear04
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TheSouseFamily;842859599 said:

To add to my previous post, here's some video of McIlwain in the South Carolina spring game. This guy has tools.




I've only seen him in drills but he looks exciting and accurate with good anticipation.
MoragaBear
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Staff
From what I've seen, all four of the QBs take turns looking better than the others.

I suspect we'll see some separation towards the tail end of camp.
kaplanfx
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TheSouseFamily;842859599 said:

To add to my previous post, here's some video of McIlwain in the South Carolina spring game. This guy has tools.




He doesn't set his feet. I'm no scout or anything but that was the only negative I saw. I don't really feel like he was going through his full progressions but that's hard to tell from TV.

-kap
Uthaithani
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CalBear04;842859570 said:

Watching the latest Beau Baldwin interview

I think we've all been uncomfortable with Forrest and Bowers. They are two vets now that haven't shown anything close to Goff or Webb.

My prediction was Bowers because of his ability to run and be creative. Forrest is more a Steady Eddie type.

Having Garbers and especially McIlwain take so many reps shows that he wants more (as will we) once the season starts.

In my limited view of Garbers and McIlwain, both are more accurate and show better anticipation.

That said, Garbers doesn't know the offense cold and has to think a lot. McIlwain isn't eligible so why give him important reps at this point?

Beau stressed that it's a team game and he thinks he can win with any of the 4 of them. I like that because it means that so many plays are just execute this and we move the chains. That's enough for decent offenses. Elite offenses require much more from the QB and we aren't there with those two (IMHO).

Updated prediction: Bowers to start. Garbers Week 6.


I think it's a safe bet neither Bowers nor Forrest will see the field next season, and they'll be 3rd-4th or 4th-3rd string, respectively. This season will be a placeholder season for QB. Maybe McIlwain is getting reps because coach is deciding between starting Garbers this season (making him the favorite to start next season) or redshirt (and he battles McI for the starting job in spring/ fall).
OdontoBear66
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Uthaithani;842859652 said:

I think it's a safe bet neither Bowers nor Forrest will see the field next season, and they'll be 3rd-4th or 4th-3rd string, respectively. This season will be a placeholder season for QB. Maybe McIlwain is getting reps because coach is deciding between starting Garbers this season (making him the favorite to start next season) or redshirt (and he battles McI for the starting job in spring/ fall).


That would be ideal if Garbers is good enough now. Doubtful from some posters. Will McIlwain have 3 years to play when he is eligible? Or two, with the transfer?
ferCALgm2
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Uthaithani;842859652 said:

Maybe McIlwain is getting reps because coach is deciding between starting Garbers this season (making him the favorite to start next season) or redshirt (and he battles McI for the starting job in spring/ fall).


Hadn't thought about it that way. Makes sense!
MoragaBear
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McIlwain will have 3 seasons of eligibility.

Right now, he's 4 to play 3.
dinan3
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MoragaBear;842859644 said:


I suspect we'll see some separation towards the tail end of camp.


A decision on the starting QB for September 2nd should be made before August 19th - give two weeks to practice with starters. Then, see what happens @ NC. Still room for changes, as this is a transition season for a lot of reasons......
MoragaBear
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The end of camp is essentially the next 2 weeks.

I'd be a bit surprised if a starter's not named by Monday the 21st.
MilleniaBear
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Somebody is getting eclipsed that day. Could be a decision made in the dark.
KoreAmBear
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Beau Sweeney?
XXXBEAR
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Fun to speculate about...but the starter needs two weeks at the helm before the season starts. The whole thing is a work in progress, but also a measure of how good our staff is at evaluating and coaching. Once again, I think our offense will be OK no matter who plays QB.

My 2 cents....if Forest and Bowers are close, name one of them the starter and see how he does in the first game. I bet we'll see both of them against Weber State. Because Garbers didn't come in early (like Goff) it's all too much/too fast/too soon for him. It wouldn't hurt him at all to sit this year. Throwing him to the wolves makes no sense. No use speculating about Mcilwain until he gets eligibility but my spies tell me he's very talented and maybe just the type of QB Baldwin has featured in the past (Vernon Adams).
50+BigGames
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Reading between the lines...
In the interviews with both Wilcox and Baldwin we sure don't hear many superlatives in describing the QB battle between Forrest and Bowers. The narrative is mostly about how they are each improving and have good and bad days, and comments like "we can win games with these guys". I'm sure the coaches want to manage expectations, but still I'd be more encouraged if I heard comments like "We are fortunate to have two great quarterbacks competing to be our starter".
6956bear
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50+BigGames;842859697 said:

Reading between the lines...
In the interviews with both Wilcox and Baldwin we sure don't hear many superlatives in describing the QB battle between Forrest and Bowers. The narrative is mostly about how they are each improving and have good and bad days, and comments like "we can win games with these guys". I'm sure the coaches want to manage expectations, but still I'd be more encouraged if I heard comments like "We are fortunate to have two great quarterbacks competing to be our starter".


I do not think Wilcox will really ever speak in superlatives and as the OC Baldwin is unlikely to deviate from that at least not right now. This program fired their coach and is picked by everybody to finish dead ass last. Not nearly the right time to be speaking in superlatives. Baldwin has seen Bowers and Forrest in the Spring. He has an idea about their "talent". He had not seen either Garbers or McIlwain in person. He needs to see what they bring to the table. By the end of this week Baldwin should have a much better grasp of what they really have in Garbers and McIlwain. Since McIlwain is likely to not be eligible it would seem reasonable that his reps will decrease after this week. The remaining 3 (Bowers, Forrest and Garbers are all unknowns) have no game experience and need to be truly evaluated to see what each can offer.

Depending on the day each has had their moments (good and bad). JMO but I believe the one that makes the best decisions wins out for the opener. Then he will need to perform to keep it. The one thing a new staff cannot do is make the wrong choice on the QB. That player needs to EARN the spot. There is a lot to process as a P5 QB. None of these guys has played. McIlwain is the only one that has really played (at South Carolina) but is unlikely to be eligible for 2017. I think they want to give Garbers a real shot at showing if he is ready to compete to play in 2017. I would like somebody to separate and force the staff to name him the starter. The earlier that happens the better for preparing for UNC. But they need to be sure.

I think this works out by the end of next week. But it might not. IMO Garbers is unlikely to be the starter unless he is far and away better than the others. But that is my opinion. Since none have any experience the staff may be willing to roll the dice with Garbers if he is clearly the more talented player. IMO Bowers wins the job to start the season. I just believe he is a little better than Forrest and Garbers will not be quite ready. Next Spring it will be interesting. Garbers will here but McIlwain will be playing baseball.

One thing for sure, none of us know what Baldwin and Wilcox really think and they are not about to tell us. Expect more coachspeak from both. Even if they name a starter they may not tell us. We may not know until that first series vs UNC.
CalBear04
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Let's try a different approach. Someone probably has easy access to a good list of QBs at Cal over the last 20 years ranked by QBR, or completion % or something.
We know that Rodgers and Goff are at the top. Probably Maynard and Ayoob at the bottom. Guys like Longshore in the upper 3rd. Riley in the middle.

Where will our QB this year rank? If Beau Baldwin and Tui are as good as we hope, whoever is chosen will probably perform to the level of a Nate Longshore. He was an above average game manager and could make all the throws. My only beef with him was that he tended to stink at the end of games when they were on the line. Contrast that with Goff who often started slow but got better as the game went on and into crunch time.
6956bear
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CalBear04;842859719 said:

Let's try a different approach. Someone probably has easy access to a good list of QBs at Cal over the last 20 years ranked by QBR, or completion % or something.
We know that Rodgers and Goff are at the top. Probably Maynard and Ayoob at the bottom. Guys like Longshore in the upper 3rd. Riley in the middle.

Where will our QB this year rank? If Beau Baldwin and Tui are as good as we hope, whoever is chosen will probably perform to the level of a Nate Longshore. He was an above average game manager and could make all the throws. My only beef with him was that he tended to stink at the end of games when they were on the line. Contrast that with Goff who often started slow but got better as the game went on and into crunch time.


I hope to hell that whoever wins the job is as good as Longshore. Nate had a better team around him. Riley was prone to big swings in his play (good and bad). The good Riley pretty good and the bad Riley could be bad. I hope that Cal has games this season where there is a crunch time. My sense is Baldwin will find a way to get decent play out of whichever QB he selects. If they can somehow get that to good it could be a really fun season. No experience among the candidates and the OL is a real unknown. IMO the Qb selected will be around the middle based on your criteria. Decision making will be key. Keep turnovers and sacks to a minimum and make the plays that are available. I do not expect "special performance" this season from whoever they pick. If somehow they do I will be absolutely thrilled.
Bear19
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Unfortunately, if we have four QBs, none of whom have separated from the group by now, we essentially have no one capable of playing QB well.

Saying we can win with anyone playing QB is pure coach speak, which should be ignored. It means nothing. Further, it is flat out not true.

Thank-you Dykes, for recruiting Bowers & Forrest, both of whom are not bona fide Pac-12 QBs.
Eastern Oregon Bear
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I don't care what y'all think, I'm not going to buy into the sky is falling theory until after the first game is played. We're not even half way through camp yet.
XXXBEAR
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Bear19;842859751 said:

Unfortunately, if we have four QBs, none of whom have separated from the group by now, we essentially have no one capable of playing QB well.

Saying we can win with anyone playing QB is pure coach speak, which should be ignored. It means nothing. Further, it is flat out not true.

Thank-you Dykes, for recruiting Bowers & Forrest, both of whom are not bona fide Pac-12 QBs.


Lighten up Francis....
FrankBear21
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I believe whoever it is will be better than The Noodle Arm of North Carolina, so I'm happy.
OdontoBear66
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XXXBEAR;842859763 said:

Lighten up Francis....


A bit heavy, but from all I read this is exactly the impression I get.
BearlyClad
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Run the ball. A lot.

Good backs, add the TE spot, OL better at run-blocking anyway, so better chance for success (though mix needed).

Then over the top to D Rob or MS every once in a while with some quick slants and TE plays.
mbBear
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CalBear04;842859629 said:

I've only seen him in drills but he looks exciting and accurate with good anticipation.


I think you are victim of the Cal fan disease known as "the new guy is always better." You are ready to elevate a guy over drill work, but hold the incumbents to a higher standard.
I'm not immune to the disease: I was curious that McIlwain was getting the kind of reps that he is because somehow the staff holds out hope of him being eligible, and therefore, he becomes QB 1 the moment the NCAA gives them the go ahead. I also have had moments of believing "if Garbers is that close to the other two, then let him start, and have a lot of reps come league play."
But, the reality is (and Moraga and other observers are saying as much): trying to read tea leaves now gets you one thing.....tea.
TheSouseFamily
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mbBear;842859855 said:

I think you are victim of the Cal fan disease known as "the new guy is always better." You are ready to elevate a guy over drill work, but hold the incumbents to a higher standard.
I'm not immune to the disease: I was curious that McIlwain was getting the kind of reps that he is because somehow the staff holds out hope of him being eligible, and therefore, he becomes QB 1 the moment the NCAA gives them the go ahead. I also have had moments of believing "if Garbers is that close to the other two, then let him start, and have a lot of reps come league play."
But, the reality is (and Moraga and other observers are saying as much): trying to read tea leaves now gets you one thing.....tea.


Aren't all 4 QBs "the new guy?" I'm not sure I'd call someone a returning "incumbent" because they tossed a couple passes in garbage time.
jdavisbofa
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I have attended three practices so far. My preliminary view regarding the QBs is as follows:

Garbers is the most accurate passer but is inconsistent. McIlwain is very athletic but is the least accurate of the passers. Forrest and Bowers are just about equal with a slight advantage to Bowers. Forrest seems to be ahead for now just because has lead off with the first reps of each practice that I have attended.

On an overall basis I think all of the QBs are good passers but not as good as Goff or Webb.

I will attend more practices and update next week.
Rushinbear
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TheSouseFamily;842859599 said:

To add to my previous post, here's some video of McIlwain in the South Carolina spring game. This guy has tools.




McIlwain has his strengths, as the others have theirs. If he can't find a passing lane, he'll be better off taking off than trying to throw on the run. Can't see enough of his arm on this vid. Then, again, he's a frosh there. Time will tell.
TheSouseFamily
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Agree with you. Time will tell. But actually, McIlwain was a HS senior in the video of the SCAR spring game as an early enrollee.
CalBear04
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mbBear;842859855 said:

I think you are victim of the Cal fan disease known as "the new guy is always better." You are ready to elevate a guy over drill work, but hold the incumbents to a higher standard.
I'm not immune to the disease: I was curious that McIlwain was getting the kind of reps that he is because somehow the staff holds out hope of him being eligible, and therefore, he becomes QB 1 the moment the NCAA gives them the go ahead. I also have had moments of believing "if Garbers is that close to the other two, then let him start, and have a lot of reps come league play."
But, the reality is (and Moraga and other observers are saying as much): trying to read tea leaves now gets you one thing.....tea.


While I may be distracted by the shiny new object, my pick is Garbers, not McIlwain based on what I've seen. Garbers doesn't look ready yet but he does look like the best of the group.

My prediction is Bowers to start, Garbers to finish the season.
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