Spring Practice Day 4: Bears Put on the Pads

March 11, 2020

Cal’s football team put on full pads for the first time this spring and their fourth of their scheduled 15 practices was lively.

“First day of full pads,” head coach Justin Wilcox said following the two-hour session. “Lot of learning going on, both sides of the ball. New offense going in. and new verbiage there. Think they have done a great job in one week, learning from their repetitions. The more you put in on offense, the more you put in on defense, the variables grow exponentially. Ton of really good learning going on here,”

Overall he gave the practice mixed reviews. “There was some good , some not so good,” he said. “That is generally how it goes this time of year. A lot of good effort. There are a lot of nuances that they are thinking about. The more reps they get, whether it’s individual or team situations, the better and better and more comfortable they’ll get.”

Although he said there were no plans to alter the practice schedule because of the coronavirus, which has virtually shut the campus down, the football team is taking precautionary steps.

“We are following the lead of our campus, really enforcing the hygiene and keeping social distance in mind,” the head coach said. “It’s real. Anything we are getting from the health professionals on our campus we are abiding by. Try and do the best we can.

“Nothing (in the schedule) has changed as of yet. We are going to abide by whatever we are told by health professionals.”

Both tight end Jake Tonges and defensive lineman Zeande Johnson say they are able to keep pace academically despite no face-to-face classes. “We are not going to classes and doing it online,” Tonges said. “I like it, I can stay home. It’s real unfortunate that we have to do it this way.”

The Bears made punter Jamieson Sheahan available to the media for the first time. Sheahan, who is from Australia, played Australian Rules Football and entered the academy Prokick Australia, the same organization that produced Steven Coutts, Cal’s previous punter.

“I was lucky enough to work with them for 12 months, “ Sheahan said. “They had a relationship with Coach (Charlie) Ragle already.. Steven Coutts had come from the same program.”

Although he did not meet Coutts face to face until he came to Berkeley, Sheahan had a long-distance relationship with him.

“We spoke frequently before I got here,” Sheahan said. “He has been a great mentor.”

Although he has yet to play in a game for the first time, Sheahan knows a bit about American football.

“I am actually a big fan of the sport,” he said. “I watched a lot of NCAA college football back home,  I followed the New York Giants before I got here. That is going to have to change now. I love the sport and that’s one of the reasons I wanted to get into it as well.”

Some highlights from Wednesday

On the first play in team drills, linebacker Tevin Paul showed up in the offensive backfield to drop Christopher Brown for a loss.

Freshman quarterback Jaden Casey had his moments. He looked quite agile moving to his left and getting off a nice touch pass  He also threaded the ball downfield to freshman wide receiver Mason Mangum in traffic. On the other hand, he missed a wide-open Evan King and threw an interception almost directly at linebacker Alex Murray.

Linebacker Tommy Vannis had a diving interception.

Once again Chase Garbers had the play of the day when he connected with Jeremiah Hawkins on a 55-yard TD bomb.

The Bears continued to use a fullback with Zach Angelillo getting most of the work. 

“Zach has done a nice job,” Wilcox said. “He’s a real eager guy. He’s physical, he’s looking for contact, which is good at that position. There are some other guys on the roster that we’ll try out at that position. Whether they’re called fullbacks or not we can line them up in that position.”


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Spring Practice Day 4: Bears Put on the Pads

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