Story Poster
Photo by YouTube / Cal Bears
Cal Football

Wednesday Practice Report: Wilcox, Sirmon, Musgrave, Garbers on the Mic

November 17, 2021

On Wednesday of Big Game week head coach Justin Wilcox, offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon and quarterback Chase Garbers all met with media via Zoom. 

Wilcox gave an injury update and how he thinks the Bears have looked after so many had forced idleness. 

He said that Jeremiah Hunter and Collin Gamble are probable for the Big Game. McKade Mettauer, Bastian Swinney, and Femi Oladejo are day-to-day.   

He said he liked what he has seen in practice this week. “Very good, Ton of energy at practice. Having most everybody back, including coaches and grad assistants, it’s been good and spirited.

‘They have got to get their legs back underneath them a little bit. I think early in the week you could see some of that. Get their wind back. There are a number of people who were in isolation for ten days. All those guys tried to do something in their apartments, their houses or wherever they’re living to get some sort of exercise., But you're limited to your personal space and your backyard.”

With so many coaches and staff also sidelined for the Arizona game two weeks ago, Wilcox talked about how he had to scramble to fill game-day assignments. 

“It was unique. Really all hands on deck,” Wilcox said. “Guys that work on our support staff, whether it was recruiting or academic support, they were involved. We had some people that used to work here that came in and helped us out during the game. It was a first for many of us to kind of work through something like that. The teamwork and the effort to help was evident by all the people. It kind of speaks to the people we have around here.”

Sirmon was asked about trying to coach the game at Arizona with many of his staff members missing because of COVID. Some staffers were forced into very important roles that were unfamiliar to them.

“That is stuff you take for granted. For us, our defensive structure is we have seven defensive coaches between the GAs, quality control and the four full-time assistants. On game days, everybody takes a piece of that pie to put the pie together in terms of protections, personnel, substitutions, tracking runs, passing concepts to the field, to the boundary.

“All those are the things that are really administrative. We wound up elevating a few guys and we had some ofd the support staff. We had a quick tutorial. 

“And then some guys significantly helped out with the rotations. The defensive line is like Rubic’s Cube. sometimes. Certain guys go with some groups and there are certain times that we don’t want certain people together..

“Calling the game I felt like I was flying blind. From the sidelines, the perspective I take on game day it’s hard to see all 22. When you don’t have eyes upstairs that are trained to see the game in which we look at it all week. The information that is given back to you is virtually none. That’s the first time as a college coach that I haven’t had any interaction about run spacing, about pass concepts. Even sometimes is the ball is out of my line of view I can’t tell if it’s 3rd and 1, or 3rd and 3.

“I think the guys who supported us on the field were fantastic.

“We expect to have everybody available this weekend.”

 Musgrave also had to deal with several staffers unavailable.

:We adapted really well, great to have some guys step in and not miss a beat,” he said. “ From a coaching perspective we did a very good job of putting a patchwork group together. We are very disappointed in how well we performed that day, both coaching and playing wise so we are really looking forward to getting back on the field and making amends for that.”

Against Arizona Musgrave was missing several offensive linemen and had to call on some true freshmen.

Guys that filled in were freshmen Bastian Swinney at center and Everett Johnson at left guard. Both guys did the best they could on short notice. I thought they really competed hard. 

Musgrave said he noticed improvement in the practices since the Arizona game.

Garbers was one of those who tested positive and missed the Arizona game.

:I had no symptoms,” he said. “Actually it was pretty boring not being able to do anything. It was stressful not being able to be with the team and having to watch them on TV for only the second time in my career at Cal. It was definitely a different experience. I am glad to be back with the team.”

Stanford head coach David Shaw had some high praise for Garbers when asked about the Cal QB this week. 

“He’s an absolute competitor,” Shaw said. “Of  the guys I respect the most in this conference, he’;s in that small group. He puts his heart on the line every single play.”

Garbers response: “Coach Shaw and I have a mutual respect for each other. I got to talk to him a little bit at Pac-12 Media Day this year. He kind of reiterated the same thing back in July. He is a very respected coach, not only in this conference but around the country. He has done a great job at Stanford. It is a big honor for a coach like that to say something toward you.”



Tuesday Report: Wilcox, Drayden and Cindric on the Mic


subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.