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Cal Football

Former North Texas OC/OL Coach Bloesch Hits the Ground Running at Cal

January 17, 2023
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In mid-December the Bears added former North Texas offensive line coach Mike Bloesch to take about Cal’s struggling O-line unit after the departure of former OL coach Angus McClure. Bloesch also served as co-OC his first year there in 2020 before taking over as sole OC his last two seasons as well as QB coach in 2022 after spending five seasons coaching at Tulsa from 2015-19. He got his start in coaching at the prep level in Temple and Abilene after playing OL for Houston, earning his degree in Kinesiology-Sports Administration in 2008 followed by a Master's in Education Administration from Lamar in 2013.

Cal’s new OL and run game coach has hit the ground running having known new OC Jake Spavital for the last decade coming from the same coaching tree.

“Jake and I have known each other since 2014,” noted Bloesch. “His brother and I worked together at the University of Houston (where he was a GA in 2013) so that’s when I got to know Jake. But really, even before that when I graduated from the University of Houston in 2008, Jake came in with a lot of guys on the staff the year after I graduated and obviously the ties in the coaching community with the Dana Holgorsen’s and Cliff Kingsbury’s and all those guys who were at Houston -Kevin Sumlin- at that time. And those are all guys we’re both really tied in with. So we’ve been acquaintances for a long time.”

Unlike your typical OL coach who is often focused primarily on his unit, Bloesch brings a unique perspective with regard to the totality of offensive game planning with his wider range of experience, with the OL being the focal point of his attention.

“I was the offensive coordinator and play-caller at North Texas the last three years,” said Bloesch. “I was fortunate enough to be able to take those guys and be a part of going and playing in a conference championship game this year.

“I think any great offense is going to be built from the core out. I think that’s what I appreciate about Jake and what he’s done to get me out here and the relationship we have and how we’re going to build this thing together. Obviously, what we’ve been doing every waking moment, we’ve been recruiting and when we’re not recruiting, we’re just talking ball and verbiage and terminology and calls and formations and all of those things that go into building an offense. 

“He understands the importance of making sure everything’s built around the run game -the protections, the play-action passes- all that’s going to start up front. So we’re building that and I’m very confident with the family tree we come from. We’ve both had a ton of success moving the football. We know how to move the football and we’re going to build an offense that will put guys in position to have success.”

Beyond their established relationship being a draw, Spavital was able to give Bloesch an insider view with regard to coaching at Cal based on his experience as OC for the Bears in 2016.

“He’s been very vocal about how much he loved his time here and how great of a place it was and how people treated him and his family so well and the type of kids he was fortunate enough to coach the year he was here,” noted Bloesch. “And how invested in what they were doing offensively that year and we feel like that’s something we’re going to bring back for sure.”

Since his arrival after North Texas’s narrow bowl loss, Bloesch has hit the ground running in Berkeley, recruiting, watching film, meeting with coaches and more.

“Obviously we’ve been recruiting a ton and have had official visits on campus,” said Bloesch. “I was not able to be around our current players at all because I coached in the bowl game for North Texas on December 17th. We had a team meeting last night and that was the first time our guys were back, so today was the first day that I got to be around our players after our team meeting last night and this morning was our first team run.

“So I’ve been trying to get to know them based on film. I’ve watched every single game that Cal played last season and I’ve watched all the practice tape on guys who didn’t play last year, just going through that evaluation process for our O-linemen.”

From what he’s seen, does Bloesch think he has the ingredients so far before any new additions in the spring to be successful?

“I do,” said Bloesch. “I see a bunch of talented guys. I see some young talent. 

“We’ve got to get better, for sure. We’ve got to get better from a foundational standpoint -technically, fundamentally, mentality- and then we’ve got to create an identity offensively with what we’re going to do and what Coach Spav is going to do. We’re going to work like hell to put these guys in great position to have success.

“I’m from an old school of thought. I don’t want to hear what kids can’t do. Tell me what they can do because as I look at this roster, we’ve got a lot of highly-recruited guys here. Everyone was fired up about these guys 2-3 years ago but now I’m supposed to believe they’re not worth a crap? So my job is to come in here and get these guys to believe and to work at a level that maybe they don’t know they can work at right now. And then build an offense and a run game and an identity up front to put those guys in position to showcase what they do well.”

Having the OC and OL coach on the same page is usually one of the keys to a successful offense - a distinct advantage for Spavital and Bloesch.

“I think 1,000% it does,” noted Bloesch of the importance of the strong alignment between the OC and OL coaches. “There a reason when I went to the University of North Texas and was hired as the offensive coordinator, the first two years and I coordinated and coached the O-line because I knew that if you didn’t get that part right, it didn’t matter what I was going to do with anything else.

“I think that’s what’s been great about being out here with Jake. Me and Jake have been aligned in this deal through the whole process. Hell, I’m living at his house right now waiting for my family to get out here. So all we do when we get home at night is have dinner and sit around and talk ball for about four more hours after we talked ball 12 hours during the day. I’d say there’s definitely going to be alignment. And he understands the importance of building the offense from the core out and he wants to start from a formation run game standpoint that we’re going to build off of. Then we can build the play action pass, drop back pass, protections and all of that stuff off of it.”

Many offensive line coaches look for specific physical, athletic and mental traits from linemen they recruit and Bloesch is no exception, though there’s no hard and fast rules for him.

“From a physical standpoint, I’m going to recruit guys who have the characteristics I can’t coach into a guy,” noted Bloesch. “I’m going recruit guys who are athletic, who are long, but I’m not a huge measurements guy. I care more about movement than measurement. And the last, most important part of that to me is once you find guys like that, then you get to know them, you’ve got to understand what makes them tick. Do they really, truly love football. Football at this level is a full-time job. That’s the standard at this level, at the Power-5 level. You can’t just be a toe-dipper. You’ve got to be all-in on this deal.”

In recent years the Bears have seen several starting offensive tackles struggle to put on good football weight but the veteran OL coach believes with the proper leverage, technique, coaching and strength, a tackle doesn’t need to be at a specific weight level to be successful.

“I do, I think so for sure,” noted Bloesch about if naturally lighter tackles can be successful. “It goes back to what are we going to ask these guys to do? What are we going to ask them to be? What schemes are we going to run? Are we going to be a drop-back pass team or more of a play-action pass team or run the ball a lot? It’s not so much about the length and size and weight of a guy than it is about can you be an effective part of a unit? That’s what I talked to the guys about last night. I don’t really give a damn if you’re 6’5, 6’2, you're a freshman, you’re a walk-on, you’re a transfer. I need five guys who are willing to sacrifice for the team and lets us have huge success. I don’t care so much about the rest of it.”

Many fans long for the day when the Bears boasted aggressive offensive lines in some of their most successful seasons, including the early 90s and mid-2000s. How important does Bloesch feel a mauler mentality is for his O-lines?

“It’s huge but I think that goes back to technique and fundamentals,” said Bloesch. “And the details of creating that identity we talked about. Once you do that, that allows guys to play fast and free and become that aggressive mauler you’re talking about. If a guy’s got a million different calls and a million different things going through his head when the ball is snapped, he’s just trying to figure out who he’s blocking before the ball is snapped. If you can simplify from a fundamental technique standpoint and then simplify from a verbiage standpoint then let guys go play, man that’s when guys make a lot of improvement.

“Everything starts in the weight room at that position. I was in there with them watching them and they’re going to know that’s a point of emphasis with me. We need to get stronger and we’re going to get stronger. We’ve got to be professionals with how we take care of our body -sleep, hydration, diet standpoint and that will all translate to your leverage, which goes back to the technique part of it so the strength part is built off the field and the leverage is built with your technique when you’re on the field.

“I just have gotten to see them work out one day and everybody’s excited the first day so we’ll see how that is but I guarantee you I’ll have guys who are ready to work.”

Bloesch’s offenses have had great success running the ball, putting points on the board and protecting the QB. Each of his last two teams finished in the Top 10 in the nation with fewest sacks allowed -a welcome thought for Cal fans who saw QB Jack Plummer pounded in 2022. in his most successful offensive season in 2020, North Texas ranked 8th in the nation in total offense at 513 yards per game, with a strong run-pass balance at 283 yards per game passing and 230 yards rushing.

"Mike's offensive lines have been among the best in the country," Cal head coach Justin Wilcox said when Bloesch was hired last month. "He is a great teacher and developer of offensive linemen, as well as a tremendous recruiter, and that is exactly what we need. Mike will make our football program better, and we are excited that he is joining our staff."

"I am confident that what I bring to the table will help Cal football," Bloesch said. "There are already some great playmakers on our roster and we're going to do our job on the offensive line to make them even better. I'm also looking forward to recruiting additional talented players to join them."

Other stories:

Bears Add Florida Edge David Reese Through the Portal

Bears Make Key Addition With TCU Portal Transfer QB Sam Jackson

Discussion from...

Former North Texas OC/OL Coach Bloesch Hits the Ground Running at Cal

7,271 Views | 35 Replies | Last: 7 days ago by calumnus
calumnus
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Wow. Great interview, seems like a great hire. I like what he has to say.

Welcome to Berkeley Mike!

Looking forward to hearing from Spavital.
Shocky1
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well done jim, a lotta insightful information
Shocky1
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jim, would luv to see an interview with s&c coach brian johnson with specificity re: the o-line room with respects to winter conditioning
HoodBear
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pumped!
harebear
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This coach seems very very solid. Like the mentality, the grit, the collaboration, the hard work. LFG!
BTown85
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I say great! But also, where are the OL recruits? We've got all the pieces (need more depth), except OLine. Would love to see some portals come in next
It's the future that's always bright at Cal......
MoragaBear
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BTown85 said:

I say great! But also, where are the OL recruits? We've got all the pieces (need more depth), except OLine. Would love to see some portals come in next
Probably 3 OL will be added in the spring between the portal and JC guys they've been looking at.
75bear
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MoragaBear said:

BTown85 said:

I say great! But also, where are the OL recruits? We've got all the pieces (need more depth), except OLine. Would love to see some portals come in next
Probably 3 OL will be added in the spring between the portal and JC guys they've been looking at.
That's great to hear!
UrsineMaximus
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BTown85 said:

I say great! But also, where are the OL recruits? We've got all the pieces (need more depth), except OLine. Would love to see some portals come in next
My thoughts exactly. "Hit the ground running" and yet not one OL recruit / transfer. He's saying all the right things and it is good that he and Spav are working well together but you need the hogs to get the job done. I agree that there is current talent on the roster, hopefully they do indeed get coached up and ready to play. That said, he has a tough job ahead. Hopefully he can recruit some blue chippers in the portal.
GivemTheAxe
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UrsineMaximus said:

BTown85 said:

I say great! But also, where are the OL recruits? We've got all the pieces (need more depth), except OLine. Would love to see some portals come in next
My thoughts exactly. "Hit the ground running" and yet not one OL recruit / transfer. He's saying all the right things and it is good that he and Spav are working well together but you need the hogs to get the job done. I agree that there is current talent on the roster, hopefully they do indeed get coached up and ready to play. That said, he has a tough job ahead. Hopefully he can recruit some blue chippers in the portal.

I am very encouraged by what I am hearing from Mike.B.
He is not just mouthing a lot of platitudes. But he shows that he knows how to get the best of the players he has and what he is looking for in others who are not yet on board.

He is looking to design a system that takes will allow the players to succeed.
He is not just looking for recruits who fit the proverbial "mold". But he is looking to "mold" his players into better players.
I don't think he is looking only for "blue chippers". But he is looking for players he can turn into "blue chippers".

And it also looks like Cal fans will be seeing some creative players and plays.

He has an approach to coaching that is light years ahead of Musgrave's approach. No more "let's run Ott up the middle one more time. After the 16 previous tries, they certainly won't be expecting us to do it a 17th time."
calumnus
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GivemTheAxe said:

UrsineMaximus said:

BTown85 said:

I say great! But also, where are the OL recruits? We've got all the pieces (need more depth), except OLine. Would love to see some portals come in next
My thoughts exactly. "Hit the ground running" and yet not one OL recruit / transfer. He's saying all the right things and it is good that he and Spav are working well together but you need the hogs to get the job done. I agree that there is current talent on the roster, hopefully they do indeed get coached up and ready to play. That said, he has a tough job ahead. Hopefully he can recruit some blue chippers in the portal.

I am very encouraged by what I am hearing from Mike.B.
He is not just mouthing a lot of platitudes. But he shows that he knows how to get the best of the players he has and what he is looking for in others who are not yet on board.

He is looking to design a system that takes will allow the players to succeed.
He is not just looking for recruits who fit the proverbial "mold". But he is looking to "mold" his players into better players.
I don't think he is looking only for "blue chippers". But he is looking for players he can turn into "blue chippers".

And it also looks like Cal fans will be seeing some creative players and plays.

He has an approach to coaching that is light years ahead of Musgrave's approach. No more "let's run Ott up the middle one more time. After the 16 previous tries, they certainly won't be expecting us to do it a 17th time."


And we won't have to hear people say "so what if the OC has called for him to run up the middle a 17th time. A good offensive line opens up holes even when the defense knows it is coming and has 9 guys in the box."

Simplifying. The bread and butter of the OL will be run blocking. The same blocking will then be used for passing off play-action. The OL doesn't need to think too much, they can be aggressive. There will be a lot of misdirection, but it won't be tipped off by the OL.
GivemTheAxe
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calumnus said:

GivemTheAxe said:

UrsineMaximus said:

BTown85 said:

I say great! But also, where are the OL recruits? We've got all the pieces (need more depth), except OLine. Would love to see some portals come in next
My thoughts exactly. "Hit the ground running" and yet not one OL recruit / transfer. He's saying all the right things and it is good that he and Spav are working well together but you need the hogs to get the job done. I agree that there is current talent on the roster, hopefully they do indeed get coached up and ready to play. That said, he has a tough job ahead. Hopefully he can recruit some blue chippers in the portal.

I am very encouraged by what I am hearing from Mike.B.
He is not just mouthing a lot of platitudes. But he shows that he knows how to get the best of the players he has and what he is looking for in others who are not yet on board.

He is looking to design a system that takes will allow the players to succeed.
He is not just looking for recruits who fit the proverbial "mold". But he is looking to "mold" his players into better players.
I don't think he is looking only for "blue chippers". But he is looking for players he can turn into "blue chippers".

And it also looks like Cal fans will be seeing some creative players and plays.

He has an approach to coaching that is light years ahead of Musgrave's approach. No more "let's run Ott up the middle one more time. After the 16 previous tries, they certainly won't be expecting us to do it a 17th time."


And we won't have to hear people say "so what if the OC has called for him to run up the middle a 17th time. A good offensive line opens up holes even when the defense knows it is coming and has 9 guys in the box."

Simplifying. The bread and butter of the OL will be run blocking. The same blocking will then be used for passing off play-action. The OL doesn't need to think too much, they can be aggressive. There will be a lot of misdirection, but it won't be tipped off by the OL.


That should be a fun offense. I liked Spav's offense in his first stint as Cal's OC in 2016. I hope he can replicate the success he has previously. I was so frustrated in 2022 when IMO every team we played appeared to have a more creative OC than Musgrave
calumnus
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GivemTheAxe said:

calumnus said:

GivemTheAxe said:

UrsineMaximus said:

BTown85 said:

I say great! But also, where are the OL recruits? We've got all the pieces (need more depth), except OLine. Would love to see some portals come in next
My thoughts exactly. "Hit the ground running" and yet not one OL recruit / transfer. He's saying all the right things and it is good that he and Spav are working well together but you need the hogs to get the job done. I agree that there is current talent on the roster, hopefully they do indeed get coached up and ready to play. That said, he has a tough job ahead. Hopefully he can recruit some blue chippers in the portal.

I am very encouraged by what I am hearing from Mike.B.
He is not just mouthing a lot of platitudes. But he shows that he knows how to get the best of the players he has and what he is looking for in others who are not yet on board.

He is looking to design a system that takes will allow the players to succeed.
He is not just looking for recruits who fit the proverbial "mold". But he is looking to "mold" his players into better players.
I don't think he is looking only for "blue chippers". But he is looking for players he can turn into "blue chippers".

And it also looks like Cal fans will be seeing some creative players and plays.

He has an approach to coaching that is light years ahead of Musgrave's approach. No more "let's run Ott up the middle one more time. After the 16 previous tries, they certainly won't be expecting us to do it a 17th time."


And we won't have to hear people say "so what if the OC has called for him to run up the middle a 17th time. A good offensive line opens up holes even when the defense knows it is coming and has 9 guys in the box."

Simplifying. The bread and butter of the OL will be run blocking. The same blocking will then be used for passing off play-action. The OL doesn't need to think too much, they can be aggressive. There will be a lot of misdirection, but it won't be tipped off by the OL.


That should be a fun offense. I liked Spav's offense in his first stint as Cal's OC in 2016. I hope he can replicate the success he has previously. I was so frustrated in 2022 when IMO every team we played appeared to have a more creative OC than Musgrave


I was frustrated with Musgrave in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

I liked Tony Franklin better than Spavital 7 years ago, and I am not sure what happened at Texas State, but I like what he is developing now.

Can't wait for the new season which is crack for a Cal fan.
bearsandgiants
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Reading this makes me think sturdivant made the right decision and I don't really care. This sound exciting and our receivers still on staff are very talented and should get plenty of chances to shine with a potent offense and lots more plays. Hell, we could barely get a first down last year. We're in a better position to double our total plays on offense, and having a WR who feels he needs to be THE star wouldn't be a great fit. This is all coming together nicely. Even the oline we have may be able to do the job without a major overhaul. A couple more would. Be nice tho
HearstMining
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Spav is still young and no doubt wants another crack at head coaching. I wonder if a secondary consideration in Bloesch's hire was the fact that he has OC experience so that, if Spav is successful and moves on in a couple of year, Bloesch is there to replace him. I hope that, with both guys being from Texas, Cal doesn't repeat Sonny's mistake of ignoring California high school prospects.
calbear91
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Great interview, thanks. As much as I appreciate what is said, I've learned that talk is easier than action. Angus talked a good game, after all. Jim Mahalaczik (sp?) gets more from less than anyone, and doesn't talk any better than anyone. We will know by game 4 or 5 next year if the line is any better.
MoragaBear
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calbear91 said:

Great interview, thanks. As much as I appreciate what is said, I've learned that talk is easier than action. Angus talked a good game, after all. Jim Mahalaczik (sp?) gets more from less than anyone, and doesn't talk any better than anyone. We will know by game 4 or 5 next year if the line is any better.
Talk is cheap but his lines and his offenses have done the talking, which lends a lot to his credibility, IMO. I don't imagine North Texas is the easiest of places to finish with several top 30 offenses like his have.
KoreAmBear
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Here is an interview with Spav by Jeff Faraudo, first time I have seen Spav interviewed since he got here:

https://www.si.com/college/cal/news/spavital-return-to-cal?fbclid=IwAR365a3MTYlGECv4npzhK1SPxiiFuY707iV-Y5bDa2CUiwEpRfIWKNAPJrs&mibextid=Zxz2cZ

I am impressed by both Bloesch and Spav. They both seem to get and have adapted to the college football world we currently live in.
GivemTheAxe
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calumnus said:

GivemTheAxe said:

calumnus said:

GivemTheAxe said:

UrsineMaximus said:

BTown85 said:

I say great! But also, where are the OL recruits? We've got all the pieces (need more depth), except OLine. Would love to see some portals come in next
My thoughts exactly. "Hit the ground running" and yet not one OL recruit / transfer. He's saying all the right things and it is good that he and Spav are working well together but you need the hogs to get the job done. I agree that there is current talent on the roster, hopefully they do indeed get coached up and ready to play. That said, he has a tough job ahead. Hopefully he can recruit some blue chippers in the portal.

I am very encouraged by what I am hearing from Mike.B.
He is not just mouthing a lot of platitudes. But he shows that he knows how to get the best of the players he has and what he is looking for in others who are not yet on board.

He is looking to design a system that takes will allow the players to succeed.
He is not just looking for recruits who fit the proverbial "mold". But he is looking to "mold" his players into better players.
I don't think he is looking only for "blue chippers". But he is looking for players he can turn into "blue chippers".

And it also looks like Cal fans will be seeing some creative players and plays.

He has an approach to coaching that is light years ahead of Musgrave's approach. No more "let's run Ott up the middle one more time. After the 16 previous tries, they certainly won't be expecting us to do it a 17th time."


And we won't have to hear people say "so what if the OC has called for him to run up the middle a 17th time. A good offensive line opens up holes even when the defense knows it is coming and has 9 guys in the box."

Simplifying. The bread and butter of the OL will be run blocking. The same blocking will then be used for passing off play-action. The OL doesn't need to think too much, they can be aggressive. There will be a lot of misdirection, but it won't be tipped off by the OL.


That should be a fun offense. I liked Spav's offense in his first stint as Cal's OC in 2016. I hope he can replicate the success he has previously. I was so frustrated in 2022 when IMO every team we played appeared to have a more creative OC than Musgrave


I was frustrated with Musgrave in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

I liked Tony Franklin better than Spavital 7 years ago, and I am not sure what happened at Texas State, but I like what he is developing now.

Can't wait for the new season which is crack for a Cal fan.


Franklin was good. But I preferred Spav. It appeared to me Franklins style of play resulted in a lot of 3-and-outs when facing top flight defenses. (Or a lot of quick touchdowns when facing weak defenses).
Either wound up wearing down Cal's defensive players by having them on the field too long over the course of the season.
IMO Spav's style of play allowed the Cal D to be fresh enough to make its famous 7-play goal line stand against Utah at the end of that exciting win in 2016.
91Cal
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KoreAmBear said:

Here is an interview with Spav by Jeff Faraudo, first time I have seen Spav interviewed since he got here:

https://www.si.com/college/cal/news/spavital-return-to-cal?fbclid=IwAR365a3MTYlGECv4npzhK1SPxiiFuY707iV-Y5bDa2CUiwEpRfIWKNAPJrs&mibextid=Zxz2cZ

I am impressed by both Bloesch and Spav. They both seem to get and have adapted to the college football world we currently live in.

Great interview…with how good the offense was in 2015 with that personnel, and with all due respect thereto, it's very intriguing to think of how much better the potential for this fall given the skill positions. Add to that the fact that the OL in 2015 was comparable to the present crop star-wise, save for a couple of true OTs that they expect to land for summer camp, and both Spav and Bloesch have been enthusiastic about the current crop. Im getting more pumped about the fall!
KoreAmBear
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91Cal said:

KoreAmBear said:

Here is an interview with Spav by Jeff Faraudo, first time I have seen Spav interviewed since he got here:

https://www.si.com/college/cal/news/spavital-return-to-cal?fbclid=IwAR365a3MTYlGECv4npzhK1SPxiiFuY707iV-Y5bDa2CUiwEpRfIWKNAPJrs&mibextid=Zxz2cZ

I am impressed by both Bloesch and Spav. They both seem to get and have adapted to the college football world we currently live in.

Great interview…with how good the offense was in 2015 with that personnel, and with all due respect thereto, it's very intriguing to think of how much better the potential for this fall given the skill positions. Add to that the fact that the OL in 2015 was comparable to the present crop star-wise, save for a couple of true OTs that they expect to land for summer camp, and both Spav and Bloesch have been enthusiastic about the current crop. Im getting more pumped about the fall!
Yogi Roth in the Pac-12 Network review of everyone's schedule called us a sleeper. He is always pumped up about us. Now we need to get out of sleeper mode into actual doing mode for once.
UrsineMaximus
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KoreAmBear said:

91Cal said:

KoreAmBear said:

Here is an interview with Spav by Jeff Faraudo, first time I have seen Spav interviewed since he got here:

https://www.si.com/college/cal/news/spavital-return-to-cal?fbclid=IwAR365a3MTYlGECv4npzhK1SPxiiFuY707iV-Y5bDa2CUiwEpRfIWKNAPJrs&mibextid=Zxz2cZ

I am impressed by both Bloesch and Spav. They both seem to get and have adapted to the college football world we currently live in.

Great interview…with how good the offense was in 2015 with that personnel, and with all due respect thereto, it's very intriguing to think of how much better the potential for this fall given the skill positions. Add to that the fact that the OL in 2015 was comparable to the present crop star-wise, save for a couple of true OTs that they expect to land for summer camp, and both Spav and Bloesch have been enthusiastic about the current crop. Im getting more pumped about the fall!
Yogi Roth in the Pac-12 Network review of everyone's schedule called us a sleeper. He is always pumped up about us. Now we need to get out of sleeper mode into actual doing mode for once.
Wake me up after week 3 of the schedule, I'm taking a nap meanwhile.
calumnus
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GivemTheAxe said:

calumnus said:

GivemTheAxe said:

calumnus said:

GivemTheAxe said:

UrsineMaximus said:

BTown85 said:

I say great! But also, where are the OL recruits? We've got all the pieces (need more depth), except OLine. Would love to see some portals come in next
My thoughts exactly. "Hit the ground running" and yet not one OL recruit / transfer. He's saying all the right things and it is good that he and Spav are working well together but you need the hogs to get the job done. I agree that there is current talent on the roster, hopefully they do indeed get coached up and ready to play. That said, he has a tough job ahead. Hopefully he can recruit some blue chippers in the portal.

I am very encouraged by what I am hearing from Mike.B.
He is not just mouthing a lot of platitudes. But he shows that he knows how to get the best of the players he has and what he is looking for in others who are not yet on board.

He is looking to design a system that takes will allow the players to succeed.
He is not just looking for recruits who fit the proverbial "mold". But he is looking to "mold" his players into better players.
I don't think he is looking only for "blue chippers". But he is looking for players he can turn into "blue chippers".

And it also looks like Cal fans will be seeing some creative players and plays.

He has an approach to coaching that is light years ahead of Musgrave's approach. No more "let's run Ott up the middle one more time. After the 16 previous tries, they certainly won't be expecting us to do it a 17th time."


And we won't have to hear people say "so what if the OC has called for him to run up the middle a 17th time. A good offensive line opens up holes even when the defense knows it is coming and has 9 guys in the box."

Simplifying. The bread and butter of the OL will be run blocking. The same blocking will then be used for passing off play-action. The OL doesn't need to think too much, they can be aggressive. There will be a lot of misdirection, but it won't be tipped off by the OL.


That should be a fun offense. I liked Spav's offense in his first stint as Cal's OC in 2016. I hope he can replicate the success he has previously. I was so frustrated in 2022 when IMO every team we played appeared to have a more creative OC than Musgrave


I was frustrated with Musgrave in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

I liked Tony Franklin better than Spavital 7 years ago, and I am not sure what happened at Texas State, but I like what he is developing now.

Can't wait for the new season which is crack for a Cal fan.


Franklin was good. But I preferred Spav. It appeared to me Franklins style of play resulted in a lot of 3-and-outs when facing top flight defenses. (Or a lot of quick touchdowns when facing weak defenses).
Either wound up wearing down Cal's defensive players by having them on the field too long over the course of the season.
IMO Spav's style of play allowed the Cal D to be fresh enough to make its famous 7-play goal line stand against Utah at the end of that exciting win in 2016.



Year Drives TDs FGA TO Punts FDs Plays Points
2014 152 59 17 20 56 318 973 459
2015 151 60 21 23 47 341 989 493
2016 152 53 26 16 57 335 1,036 445

A possession can end in a: TD, a FGA, a TO or a punt (also turnovers on downs or expiration of the clock, which are not included).

Remarkably we had nearly as many possessions every year, with 1 less in 2015 despite playing 1 more game.

Compared to Franklin, Spavital scored fewer TDs per drive and attempted more FGs. Notably, there were fewer turnovers with Spavital. The number of drives that ended in punts was about the same as 2014. He ran far more plays resulting in fewer first downs and fewer points.

The above paints a picture of our 2016 offense under Spav relative to Franklin; more ball control, more plays, fewer yards per play, fewer big plays, more first downs, more total yards, fewer TDs, fewer TOS, more FGAs, fewer points. More long drives that ended in field goal attempts.

However, that was 2016. I think his 2023 offense, featuring Jackson and Ott, both home run hitters, is going to be more dynamic. The key will be our efficiency in the red zone (and improved efficiency on defense).
MrGPAC
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calumnus said:

GivemTheAxe said:

calumnus said:

GivemTheAxe said:

calumnus said:

GivemTheAxe said:

UrsineMaximus said:

BTown85 said:

I say great! But also, where are the OL recruits? We've got all the pieces (need more depth), except OLine. Would love to see some portals come in next
My thoughts exactly. "Hit the ground running" and yet not one OL recruit / transfer. He's saying all the right things and it is good that he and Spav are working well together but you need the hogs to get the job done. I agree that there is current talent on the roster, hopefully they do indeed get coached up and ready to play. That said, he has a tough job ahead. Hopefully he can recruit some blue chippers in the portal.

I am very encouraged by what I am hearing from Mike.B.
He is not just mouthing a lot of platitudes. But he shows that he knows how to get the best of the players he has and what he is looking for in others who are not yet on board.

He is looking to design a system that takes will allow the players to succeed.
He is not just looking for recruits who fit the proverbial "mold". But he is looking to "mold" his players into better players.
I don't think he is looking only for "blue chippers". But he is looking for players he can turn into "blue chippers".

And it also looks like Cal fans will be seeing some creative players and plays.

He has an approach to coaching that is light years ahead of Musgrave's approach. No more "let's run Ott up the middle one more time. After the 16 previous tries, they certainly won't be expecting us to do it a 17th time."


And we won't have to hear people say "so what if the OC has called for him to run up the middle a 17th time. A good offensive line opens up holes even when the defense knows it is coming and has 9 guys in the box."

Simplifying. The bread and butter of the OL will be run blocking. The same blocking will then be used for passing off play-action. The OL doesn't need to think too much, they can be aggressive. There will be a lot of misdirection, but it won't be tipped off by the OL.


That should be a fun offense. I liked Spav's offense in his first stint as Cal's OC in 2016. I hope he can replicate the success he has previously. I was so frustrated in 2022 when IMO every team we played appeared to have a more creative OC than Musgrave


I was frustrated with Musgrave in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

I liked Tony Franklin better than Spavital 7 years ago, and I am not sure what happened at Texas State, but I like what he is developing now.

Can't wait for the new season which is crack for a Cal fan.


Franklin was good. But I preferred Spav. It appeared to me Franklins style of play resulted in a lot of 3-and-outs when facing top flight defenses. (Or a lot of quick touchdowns when facing weak defenses).
Either wound up wearing down Cal's defensive players by having them on the field too long over the course of the season.
IMO Spav's style of play allowed the Cal D to be fresh enough to make its famous 7-play goal line stand against Utah at the end of that exciting win in 2016.



Year Drives TDs FGA TO Punts FDs Plays Points
2014 152 59 17 20 56 318 973 459
2015 151 60 21 23 47 341 989 493
2016 152 53 26 16 57 335 1,036 445

A possession can end in a: TD, a FGA, a TO or a punt (also turnovers on downs or expiration of the clock, which are not included).

Remarkably we had nearly as many possessions every year, with 1 less in 2015 despite playing 1 more game.

Compared to Franklin, Spavital scored fewer TDs per drive and attempted more FGs. Notably, there were fewer turnovers with Spavital. The number of drives that ended in punts was about the same as 2014. He ran far more plays resulting in fewer first downs and fewer points.

The above paints a picture of our 2016 offense under Spav relative to Franklin; more ball control, more plays, fewer yards per play, fewer big plays, more first downs, more total yards, fewer TDs, fewer TOS, more FGAs, fewer points. More long drives that ended in field goal attempts.

However, that was 2016. I think his 2023 offense, featuring Jackson and Ott, both home run hitters, is going to be more dynamic. The key will be our efficiency in the red zone (and improved efficiency on defense).

There were also significant talent differences on offense between 2014/2015 and 2016. Webb isn't bad, but he's not Goff. Goff's stable of receivers was better too, including a guy like Lawler who was great at goal to go receptions for TDs. If Webb had a target like that to throw to we may have converted more of those redzone drives.

In fact, the top 6 most productive receivers on the 2015 team all left, and while there were some promising freshman, none of them panned out long term. Chad Hansen, who was the 7th most productive receiver in 2015, had a breakout year in 2016, but that was about it. Especially if you look at production since that year for the other top guys in Robertson and Stovall, who both left the program and didn't do much where they landed.
GivemTheAxe
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calumnus said:

GivemTheAxe said:

calumnus said:

GivemTheAxe said:

calumnus said:

GivemTheAxe said:

UrsineMaximus said:

BTown85 said:

I say great! But also, where are the OL recruits? We've got all the pieces (need more depth), except OLine. Would love to see some portals come in next
My thoughts exactly. "Hit the ground running" and yet not one OL recruit / transfer. He's saying all the right things and it is good that he and Spav are working well together but you need the hogs to get the job done. I agree that there is current talent on the roster, hopefully they do indeed get coached up and ready to play. That said, he has a tough job ahead. Hopefully he can recruit some blue chippers in the portal.

I am very encouraged by what I am hearing from Mike.B.
He is not just mouthing a lot of platitudes. But he shows that he knows how to get the best of the players he has and what he is looking for in others who are not yet on board.

He is looking to design a system that takes will allow the players to succeed.
He is not just looking for recruits who fit the proverbial "mold". But he is looking to "mold" his players into better players.
I don't think he is looking only for "blue chippers". But he is looking for players he can turn into "blue chippers".

And it also looks like Cal fans will be seeing some creative players and plays.

He has an approach to coaching that is light years ahead of Musgrave's approach. No more "let's run Ott up the middle one more time. After the 16 previous tries, they certainly won't be expecting us to do it a 17th time."


And we won't have to hear people say "so what if the OC has called for him to run up the middle a 17th time. A good offensive line opens up holes even when the defense knows it is coming and has 9 guys in the box."

Simplifying. The bread and butter of the OL will be run blocking. The same blocking will then be used for passing off play-action. The OL doesn't need to think too much, they can be aggressive. There will be a lot of misdirection, but it won't be tipped off by the OL.


That should be a fun offense. I liked Spav's offense in his first stint as Cal's OC in 2016. I hope he can replicate the success he has previously. I was so frustrated in 2022 when IMO every team we played appeared to have a more creative OC than Musgrave


I was frustrated with Musgrave in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

I liked Tony Franklin better than Spavital 7 years ago, and I am not sure what happened at Texas State, but I like what he is developing now.

Can't wait for the new season which is crack for a Cal fan.


Franklin was good. But I preferred Spav. It appeared to me Franklins style of play resulted in a lot of 3-and-outs when facing top flight defenses. (Or a lot of quick touchdowns when facing weak defenses).
Either wound up wearing down Cal's defensive players by having them on the field too long over the course of the season.
IMO Spav's style of play allowed the Cal D to be fresh enough to make its famous 7-play goal line stand against Utah at the end of that exciting win in 2016.



Year Drives TDs FGA TO Punts FDs Plays Points
2014 152 59 17 20 56 318 973 459
2015 151 60 21 23 47 341 989 493
2016 152 53 26 16 57 335 1,036 445

A possession can end in a: TD, a FGA, a TO or a punt (also turnovers on downs or expiration of the clock, which are not included).

Remarkably we had nearly as many possessions every year, with 1 less in 2015 despite playing 1 more game.

Compared to Franklin, Spavital scored fewer TDs per drive and attempted more FGs. Notably, there were fewer turnovers with Spavital. The number of drives that ended in punts was about the same as 2014. He ran far more plays resulting in fewer first downs and fewer points.

The above paints a picture of our 2016 offense under Spav relative to Franklin; more ball control, more plays, fewer yards per play, fewer big plays, more first downs, more total yards, fewer TDs, fewer TOS, more FGAs, fewer points. More long drives that ended in field goal attempts.

However, that was 2016. I think his 2023 offense, featuring Jackson and Ott, both home run hitters, is going to be more dynamic. The key will be our efficiency in the red zone (and improved efficiency on defense).



I won't argue with your stats and maybe I am wrong.
But I remember before Spav Cal had a whole bunch of TDS against weaker teams and a whole bunch of 3-and-outs against the better teams.
The stats show only totals by year.

I remember Utah as a powerhouse in 2016. Yet we scored a lot of points against them and at the end of the game the D was not exhausted and put up a great defense.
That rarely happened under Sonny prior to Spav.

But for now that is all water under the bridge. What matters is how will Cal do this year.
I am pumped and would like to see how that goes.
dimitrig
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We lost our starting QB and best WR to transfer and yet people are optimistic.

Such is life in the era of the portal and NIL.
WalterSobchak
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dimitrig said:


We lost our starting QB and best WR to transfer and yet people are optimistic.

Such is life in the era of the portal and NIL.

We didn't lose Hunter.
Give to Cal Legends! https://calegends.com/donation/ Do it now. Text every Cal fan you know, give them the link, tell them how much you gave, and ask them to text every Cal fan they know and do the same.
calumnus
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GivemTheAxe said:

calumnus said:

GivemTheAxe said:

calumnus said:

GivemTheAxe said:

calumnus said:

GivemTheAxe said:

UrsineMaximus said:

BTown85 said:

I say great! But also, where are the OL recruits? We've got all the pieces (need more depth), except OLine. Would love to see some portals come in next
My thoughts exactly. "Hit the ground running" and yet not one OL recruit / transfer. He's saying all the right things and it is good that he and Spav are working well together but you need the hogs to get the job done. I agree that there is current talent on the roster, hopefully they do indeed get coached up and ready to play. That said, he has a tough job ahead. Hopefully he can recruit some blue chippers in the portal.

I am very encouraged by what I am hearing from Mike.B.
He is not just mouthing a lot of platitudes. But he shows that he knows how to get the best of the players he has and what he is looking for in others who are not yet on board.

He is looking to design a system that takes will allow the players to succeed.
He is not just looking for recruits who fit the proverbial "mold". But he is looking to "mold" his players into better players.
I don't think he is looking only for "blue chippers". But he is looking for players he can turn into "blue chippers".

And it also looks like Cal fans will be seeing some creative players and plays.

He has an approach to coaching that is light years ahead of Musgrave's approach. No more "let's run Ott up the middle one more time. After the 16 previous tries, they certainly won't be expecting us to do it a 17th time."


And we won't have to hear people say "so what if the OC has called for him to run up the middle a 17th time. A good offensive line opens up holes even when the defense knows it is coming and has 9 guys in the box."

Simplifying. The bread and butter of the OL will be run blocking. The same blocking will then be used for passing off play-action. The OL doesn't need to think too much, they can be aggressive. There will be a lot of misdirection, but it won't be tipped off by the OL.


That should be a fun offense. I liked Spav's offense in his first stint as Cal's OC in 2016. I hope he can replicate the success he has previously. I was so frustrated in 2022 when IMO every team we played appeared to have a more creative OC than Musgrave


I was frustrated with Musgrave in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

I liked Tony Franklin better than Spavital 7 years ago, and I am not sure what happened at Texas State, but I like what he is developing now.

Can't wait for the new season which is crack for a Cal fan.


Franklin was good. But I preferred Spav. It appeared to me Franklins style of play resulted in a lot of 3-and-outs when facing top flight defenses. (Or a lot of quick touchdowns when facing weak defenses).
Either wound up wearing down Cal's defensive players by having them on the field too long over the course of the season.
IMO Spav's style of play allowed the Cal D to be fresh enough to make its famous 7-play goal line stand against Utah at the end of that exciting win in 2016.



Year Drives TDs FGA TO Punts FDs Plays Points
2014 152 59 17 20 56 318 973 459
2015 151 60 21 23 47 341 989 493
2016 152 53 26 16 57 335 1,036 445

A possession can end in a: TD, a FGA, a TO or a punt (also turnovers on downs or expiration of the clock, which are not included).

Remarkably we had nearly as many possessions every year, with 1 less in 2015 despite playing 1 more game.

Compared to Franklin, Spavital scored fewer TDs per drive and attempted more FGs. Notably, there were fewer turnovers with Spavital. The number of drives that ended in punts was about the same as 2014. He ran far more plays resulting in fewer first downs and fewer points.

The above paints a picture of our 2016 offense under Spav relative to Franklin; more ball control, more plays, fewer yards per play, fewer big plays, more first downs, more total yards, fewer TDs, fewer TOS, more FGAs, fewer points. More long drives that ended in field goal attempts.

However, that was 2016. I think his 2023 offense, featuring Jackson and Ott, both home run hitters, is going to be more dynamic. The key will be our efficiency in the red zone (and improved efficiency on defense).



I won't argue with your stats and maybe I am wrong.
But I remember before Spav Cal had a whole bunch of TDS against weaker teams and a whole bunch of 3-and-outs against the better teams.
The stats show only totals by year.

I remember Utah as a powerhouse in 2016. Yet we scored a lot of points against them and at the end of the game the D was not exhausted and put up a great defense.
That rarely happened under Sonny prior to Spav.

But for now that is all water under the bridge. What matters is how will Cal do this year.
I am pumped and would like to see how that goes.


I think the stats support your hypothesis that we were more of a big play offense in 2014/15.

If you compare by opponent:

Opponent 2015 2016

SDSU H 35 R 40
Texas R 45 H 50
ASU H 48 R 41
Utah R 24 H 28
OSU H 54 R 44
Oregon R 28 H 52
USC H 21 R 24
UW R 30 H 27
WSU R 34 H 21
Furd R 22 H 31
UCLA R 24 H 36

From the above I'd mostly say we score more at home and the even year schedule benefited Spav's offense, especially against Oregon, Stanford and UCLA.

Final AP 2015
6 Stanford
15 Oregon
22 Utah
25 USC

Final AP 2016
4 UW
9 USC
18 Stanford
19 Utah

Stanford and Oregon were very good in 2015 and we had them on the road. OTOH, USC was better in 2016, we played them on the road and scored more. Probably would be better to put defensive rankings. I don't see a huge difference against Utah.
Big C
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All these numbers and stats and facts just confuse my lil' ol' head! The one thing I remember from Spav's year is that he used a lot of bubble-type screens. Seemed like maybe too many, but he was using them to set up deeper passes, with good success. I liked Tony Franklin (and his "gimmick" offense, lol) and I like Spav. The two best OCs we've had in recent memory.
concernedparent
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MrGPAC said:

calumnus said:

GivemTheAxe said:

calumnus said:

GivemTheAxe said:

calumnus said:

GivemTheAxe said:

UrsineMaximus said:

BTown85 said:

I say great! But also, where are the OL recruits? We've got all the pieces (need more depth), except OLine. Would love to see some portals come in next
My thoughts exactly. "Hit the ground running" and yet not one OL recruit / transfer. He's saying all the right things and it is good that he and Spav are working well together but you need the hogs to get the job done. I agree that there is current talent on the roster, hopefully they do indeed get coached up and ready to play. That said, he has a tough job ahead. Hopefully he can recruit some blue chippers in the portal.

I am very encouraged by what I am hearing from Mike.B.
He is not just mouthing a lot of platitudes. But he shows that he knows how to get the best of the players he has and what he is looking for in others who are not yet on board.

He is looking to design a system that takes will allow the players to succeed.
He is not just looking for recruits who fit the proverbial "mold". But he is looking to "mold" his players into better players.
I don't think he is looking only for "blue chippers". But he is looking for players he can turn into "blue chippers".

And it also looks like Cal fans will be seeing some creative players and plays.

He has an approach to coaching that is light years ahead of Musgrave's approach. No more "let's run Ott up the middle one more time. After the 16 previous tries, they certainly won't be expecting us to do it a 17th time."


And we won't have to hear people say "so what if the OC has called for him to run up the middle a 17th time. A good offensive line opens up holes even when the defense knows it is coming and has 9 guys in the box."

Simplifying. The bread and butter of the OL will be run blocking. The same blocking will then be used for passing off play-action. The OL doesn't need to think too much, they can be aggressive. There will be a lot of misdirection, but it won't be tipped off by the OL.


That should be a fun offense. I liked Spav's offense in his first stint as Cal's OC in 2016. I hope he can replicate the success he has previously. I was so frustrated in 2022 when IMO every team we played appeared to have a more creative OC than Musgrave


I was frustrated with Musgrave in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

I liked Tony Franklin better than Spavital 7 years ago, and I am not sure what happened at Texas State, but I like what he is developing now.

Can't wait for the new season which is crack for a Cal fan.


Franklin was good. But I preferred Spav. It appeared to me Franklins style of play resulted in a lot of 3-and-outs when facing top flight defenses. (Or a lot of quick touchdowns when facing weak defenses).
Either wound up wearing down Cal's defensive players by having them on the field too long over the course of the season.
IMO Spav's style of play allowed the Cal D to be fresh enough to make its famous 7-play goal line stand against Utah at the end of that exciting win in 2016.



Year Drives TDs FGA TO Punts FDs Plays Points
2014 152 59 17 20 56 318 973 459
2015 151 60 21 23 47 341 989 493
2016 152 53 26 16 57 335 1,036 445

A possession can end in a: TD, a FGA, a TO or a punt (also turnovers on downs or expiration of the clock, which are not included).

Remarkably we had nearly as many possessions every year, with 1 less in 2015 despite playing 1 more game.

Compared to Franklin, Spavital scored fewer TDs per drive and attempted more FGs. Notably, there were fewer turnovers with Spavital. The number of drives that ended in punts was about the same as 2014. He ran far more plays resulting in fewer first downs and fewer points.

The above paints a picture of our 2016 offense under Spav relative to Franklin; more ball control, more plays, fewer yards per play, fewer big plays, more first downs, more total yards, fewer TDs, fewer TOS, more FGAs, fewer points. More long drives that ended in field goal attempts.

However, that was 2016. I think his 2023 offense, featuring Jackson and Ott, both home run hitters, is going to be more dynamic. The key will be our efficiency in the red zone (and improved efficiency on defense).

There were also significant talent differences on offense between 2014/2015 and 2016. Webb isn't bad, but he's not Goff. Goff's stable of receivers was better too, including a guy like Lawler who was great at goal to go receptions for TDs. If Webb had a target like that to throw to we may have converted more of those redzone drives.

In fact, the top 6 most productive receivers on the 2015 team all left, and while there were some promising freshman, none of them panned out long term. Chad Hansen, who was the 7th most productive receiver in 2015, had a breakout year in 2016, but that was about it. Especially if you look at production since that year for the other top guys in Robertson and Stovall, who both left the program and didn't do much where they landed.
Using 2015 Hansen to talk about Hansen's 2016 is unfair. So is using Robertson and Stovall's post-Cal career to talk about their 2016 production. Hansen was easily the best out of any Dykes-era receiver. He would've smashed every single season record if he hadn't got hurt in the middle of the season. Robertson was the best deep threat since DeSean. His highlights are just DBs trailing him by 3 yards every pass. The 2015 room was better because it was all the seniors at their peak, but I think the 2016 room was better than 2014.
MrGPAC
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concernedparent said:

MrGPAC said:

calumnus said:

GivemTheAxe said:

calumnus said:

GivemTheAxe said:

calumnus said:

GivemTheAxe said:

UrsineMaximus said:

BTown85 said:

I say great! But also, where are the OL recruits? We've got all the pieces (need more depth), except OLine. Would love to see some portals come in next
My thoughts exactly. "Hit the ground running" and yet not one OL recruit / transfer. He's saying all the right things and it is good that he and Spav are working well together but you need the hogs to get the job done. I agree that there is current talent on the roster, hopefully they do indeed get coached up and ready to play. That said, he has a tough job ahead. Hopefully he can recruit some blue chippers in the portal.

I am very encouraged by what I am hearing from Mike.B.
He is not just mouthing a lot of platitudes. But he shows that he knows how to get the best of the players he has and what he is looking for in others who are not yet on board.

He is looking to design a system that takes will allow the players to succeed.
He is not just looking for recruits who fit the proverbial "mold". But he is looking to "mold" his players into better players.
I don't think he is looking only for "blue chippers". But he is looking for players he can turn into "blue chippers".

And it also looks like Cal fans will be seeing some creative players and plays.

He has an approach to coaching that is light years ahead of Musgrave's approach. No more "let's run Ott up the middle one more time. After the 16 previous tries, they certainly won't be expecting us to do it a 17th time."


And we won't have to hear people say "so what if the OC has called for him to run up the middle a 17th time. A good offensive line opens up holes even when the defense knows it is coming and has 9 guys in the box."

Simplifying. The bread and butter of the OL will be run blocking. The same blocking will then be used for passing off play-action. The OL doesn't need to think too much, they can be aggressive. There will be a lot of misdirection, but it won't be tipped off by the OL.


That should be a fun offense. I liked Spav's offense in his first stint as Cal's OC in 2016. I hope he can replicate the success he has previously. I was so frustrated in 2022 when IMO every team we played appeared to have a more creative OC than Musgrave


I was frustrated with Musgrave in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

I liked Tony Franklin better than Spavital 7 years ago, and I am not sure what happened at Texas State, but I like what he is developing now.

Can't wait for the new season which is crack for a Cal fan.


Franklin was good. But I preferred Spav. It appeared to me Franklins style of play resulted in a lot of 3-and-outs when facing top flight defenses. (Or a lot of quick touchdowns when facing weak defenses).
Either wound up wearing down Cal's defensive players by having them on the field too long over the course of the season.
IMO Spav's style of play allowed the Cal D to be fresh enough to make its famous 7-play goal line stand against Utah at the end of that exciting win in 2016.



Year Drives TDs FGA TO Punts FDs Plays Points
2014 152 59 17 20 56 318 973 459
2015 151 60 21 23 47 341 989 493
2016 152 53 26 16 57 335 1,036 445

A possession can end in a: TD, a FGA, a TO or a punt (also turnovers on downs or expiration of the clock, which are not included).

Remarkably we had nearly as many possessions every year, with 1 less in 2015 despite playing 1 more game.

Compared to Franklin, Spavital scored fewer TDs per drive and attempted more FGs. Notably, there were fewer turnovers with Spavital. The number of drives that ended in punts was about the same as 2014. He ran far more plays resulting in fewer first downs and fewer points.

The above paints a picture of our 2016 offense under Spav relative to Franklin; more ball control, more plays, fewer yards per play, fewer big plays, more first downs, more total yards, fewer TDs, fewer TOS, more FGAs, fewer points. More long drives that ended in field goal attempts.

However, that was 2016. I think his 2023 offense, featuring Jackson and Ott, both home run hitters, is going to be more dynamic. The key will be our efficiency in the red zone (and improved efficiency on defense).

There were also significant talent differences on offense between 2014/2015 and 2016. Webb isn't bad, but he's not Goff. Goff's stable of receivers was better too, including a guy like Lawler who was great at goal to go receptions for TDs. If Webb had a target like that to throw to we may have converted more of those redzone drives.

In fact, the top 6 most productive receivers on the 2015 team all left, and while there were some promising freshman, none of them panned out long term. Chad Hansen, who was the 7th most productive receiver in 2015, had a breakout year in 2016, but that was about it. Especially if you look at production since that year for the other top guys in Robertson and Stovall, who both left the program and didn't do much where they landed.
Using 2015 Hansen to talk about Hansen's 2016 is unfair. So is using Robertson and Stovall's post-Cal career to talk about their 2016 production. Hansen was easily the best out of any Dykes-era receiver. He would've smashed every single season record if he hadn't got hurt in the middle of the season. Robertson was the best deep threat since DeSean. His highlights are just DBs trailing him by 3 yards every pass. The 2015 room was better because it was all the seniors at their peak, but I think the 2016 room was better than 2014.

Agreed on Hansen 2015 vs 2016. Unfortunately we don't have a whole lot of other comparisons for Hansen. He didn't do much before coming to Cal and he has failed to stick anywhere in the NFL.

Unsure I agree about Robertson / Stovall. In Spav's system Robertson was 3 yards past the db on every pass. Outside Spav's system he could barely see the field despite the speed/athleticism. The fact that Stovall was similarly great in Spav's system as a freshman, but regressed under every other system is also telling.

There are a bunch of guys who never had great success at the college level before or after Spavs one year here that looked amazing in Spav's system.
concernedparent
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MrGPAC said:

concernedparent said:

MrGPAC said:

calumnus said:

GivemTheAxe said:

calumnus said:

GivemTheAxe said:

calumnus said:

GivemTheAxe said:

UrsineMaximus said:

BTown85 said:

I say great! But also, where are the OL recruits? We've got all the pieces (need more depth), except OLine. Would love to see some portals come in next
My thoughts exactly. "Hit the ground running" and yet not one OL recruit / transfer. He's saying all the right things and it is good that he and Spav are working well together but you need the hogs to get the job done. I agree that there is current talent on the roster, hopefully they do indeed get coached up and ready to play. That said, he has a tough job ahead. Hopefully he can recruit some blue chippers in the portal.

I am very encouraged by what I am hearing from Mike.B.
He is not just mouthing a lot of platitudes. But he shows that he knows how to get the best of the players he has and what he is looking for in others who are not yet on board.

He is looking to design a system that takes will allow the players to succeed.
He is not just looking for recruits who fit the proverbial "mold". But he is looking to "mold" his players into better players.
I don't think he is looking only for "blue chippers". But he is looking for players he can turn into "blue chippers".

And it also looks like Cal fans will be seeing some creative players and plays.

He has an approach to coaching that is light years ahead of Musgrave's approach. No more "let's run Ott up the middle one more time. After the 16 previous tries, they certainly won't be expecting us to do it a 17th time."


And we won't have to hear people say "so what if the OC has called for him to run up the middle a 17th time. A good offensive line opens up holes even when the defense knows it is coming and has 9 guys in the box."

Simplifying. The bread and butter of the OL will be run blocking. The same blocking will then be used for passing off play-action. The OL doesn't need to think too much, they can be aggressive. There will be a lot of misdirection, but it won't be tipped off by the OL.


That should be a fun offense. I liked Spav's offense in his first stint as Cal's OC in 2016. I hope he can replicate the success he has previously. I was so frustrated in 2022 when IMO every team we played appeared to have a more creative OC than Musgrave


I was frustrated with Musgrave in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

I liked Tony Franklin better than Spavital 7 years ago, and I am not sure what happened at Texas State, but I like what he is developing now.

Can't wait for the new season which is crack for a Cal fan.


Franklin was good. But I preferred Spav. It appeared to me Franklins style of play resulted in a lot of 3-and-outs when facing top flight defenses. (Or a lot of quick touchdowns when facing weak defenses).
Either wound up wearing down Cal's defensive players by having them on the field too long over the course of the season.
IMO Spav's style of play allowed the Cal D to be fresh enough to make its famous 7-play goal line stand against Utah at the end of that exciting win in 2016.



Year Drives TDs FGA TO Punts FDs Plays Points
2014 152 59 17 20 56 318 973 459
2015 151 60 21 23 47 341 989 493
2016 152 53 26 16 57 335 1,036 445

A possession can end in a: TD, a FGA, a TO or a punt (also turnovers on downs or expiration of the clock, which are not included).

Remarkably we had nearly as many possessions every year, with 1 less in 2015 despite playing 1 more game.

Compared to Franklin, Spavital scored fewer TDs per drive and attempted more FGs. Notably, there were fewer turnovers with Spavital. The number of drives that ended in punts was about the same as 2014. He ran far more plays resulting in fewer first downs and fewer points.

The above paints a picture of our 2016 offense under Spav relative to Franklin; more ball control, more plays, fewer yards per play, fewer big plays, more first downs, more total yards, fewer TDs, fewer TOS, more FGAs, fewer points. More long drives that ended in field goal attempts.

However, that was 2016. I think his 2023 offense, featuring Jackson and Ott, both home run hitters, is going to be more dynamic. The key will be our efficiency in the red zone (and improved efficiency on defense).

There were also significant talent differences on offense between 2014/2015 and 2016. Webb isn't bad, but he's not Goff. Goff's stable of receivers was better too, including a guy like Lawler who was great at goal to go receptions for TDs. If Webb had a target like that to throw to we may have converted more of those redzone drives.

In fact, the top 6 most productive receivers on the 2015 team all left, and while there were some promising freshman, none of them panned out long term. Chad Hansen, who was the 7th most productive receiver in 2015, had a breakout year in 2016, but that was about it. Especially if you look at production since that year for the other top guys in Robertson and Stovall, who both left the program and didn't do much where they landed.
Using 2015 Hansen to talk about Hansen's 2016 is unfair. So is using Robertson and Stovall's post-Cal career to talk about their 2016 production. Hansen was easily the best out of any Dykes-era receiver. He would've smashed every single season record if he hadn't got hurt in the middle of the season. Robertson was the best deep threat since DeSean. His highlights are just DBs trailing him by 3 yards every pass. The 2015 room was better because it was all the seniors at their peak, but I think the 2016 room was better than 2014.

Agreed on Hansen 2015 vs 2016. Unfortunately we don't have a whole lot of other comparisons for Hansen. He didn't do much before coming to Cal and he has failed to stick anywhere in the NFL.

Unsure I agree about Robertson / Stovall. In Spav's system Robertson was 3 yards past the db on every pass. Outside Spav's system he could barely see the field despite the speed/athleticism. The fact that Stovall was similarly great in Spav's system as a freshman, but regressed under every other system is also telling.

There are a bunch of guys who never had great success at the college level before or after Spavs one year here that looked amazing in Spav's system.
None of those 2015 WRs stuck in the NFL except for the least ballyhooed of all of them, Stephen Anderson. I don't think Anderson was the best WR in 2015, do you? In any case, Hansen had the best stats, was drafted the highest (with only one season of production), and the eye test doesn't lie when you see his tape. I think it's pretty clear he was a step up above the other WRs.

Players can regress, but that doesn't diminish what they were during the year we're looking at. That Robertson got injured and later passed up by future NFL players on a playoff contending UGA team isn't material to how insanely good he was when he was here. I'll hold the praise for Stovall because he wasn't that good, but he still had a solid college career and was a pretty respectable #3 WR for us.
William Levin
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Hitting the ground running a week before letter of intent day. I hope that he can make it up.
MrGPAC
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concernedparent said:

MrGPAC said:

concernedparent said:

MrGPAC said:

calumnus said:

GivemTheAxe said:

calumnus said:

GivemTheAxe said:

calumnus said:

GivemTheAxe said:

UrsineMaximus said:

BTown85 said:

I say great! But also, where are the OL recruits? We've got all the pieces (need more depth), except OLine. Would love to see some portals come in next
My thoughts exactly. "Hit the ground running" and yet not one OL recruit / transfer. He's saying all the right things and it is good that he and Spav are working well together but you need the hogs to get the job done. I agree that there is current talent on the roster, hopefully they do indeed get coached up and ready to play. That said, he has a tough job ahead. Hopefully he can recruit some blue chippers in the portal.

I am very encouraged by what I am hearing from Mike.B.
He is not just mouthing a lot of platitudes. But he shows that he knows how to get the best of the players he has and what he is looking for in others who are not yet on board.

He is looking to design a system that takes will allow the players to succeed.
He is not just looking for recruits who fit the proverbial "mold". But he is looking to "mold" his players into better players.
I don't think he is looking only for "blue chippers". But he is looking for players he can turn into "blue chippers".

And it also looks like Cal fans will be seeing some creative players and plays.

He has an approach to coaching that is light years ahead of Musgrave's approach. No more "let's run Ott up the middle one more time. After the 16 previous tries, they certainly won't be expecting us to do it a 17th time."


And we won't have to hear people say "so what if the OC has called for him to run up the middle a 17th time. A good offensive line opens up holes even when the defense knows it is coming and has 9 guys in the box."

Simplifying. The bread and butter of the OL will be run blocking. The same blocking will then be used for passing off play-action. The OL doesn't need to think too much, they can be aggressive. There will be a lot of misdirection, but it won't be tipped off by the OL.


That should be a fun offense. I liked Spav's offense in his first stint as Cal's OC in 2016. I hope he can replicate the success he has previously. I was so frustrated in 2022 when IMO every team we played appeared to have a more creative OC than Musgrave


I was frustrated with Musgrave in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

I liked Tony Franklin better than Spavital 7 years ago, and I am not sure what happened at Texas State, but I like what he is developing now.

Can't wait for the new season which is crack for a Cal fan.


Franklin was good. But I preferred Spav. It appeared to me Franklins style of play resulted in a lot of 3-and-outs when facing top flight defenses. (Or a lot of quick touchdowns when facing weak defenses).
Either wound up wearing down Cal's defensive players by having them on the field too long over the course of the season.
IMO Spav's style of play allowed the Cal D to be fresh enough to make its famous 7-play goal line stand against Utah at the end of that exciting win in 2016.



Year Drives TDs FGA TO Punts FDs Plays Points
2014 152 59 17 20 56 318 973 459
2015 151 60 21 23 47 341 989 493
2016 152 53 26 16 57 335 1,036 445

A possession can end in a: TD, a FGA, a TO or a punt (also turnovers on downs or expiration of the clock, which are not included).

Remarkably we had nearly as many possessions every year, with 1 less in 2015 despite playing 1 more game.

Compared to Franklin, Spavital scored fewer TDs per drive and attempted more FGs. Notably, there were fewer turnovers with Spavital. The number of drives that ended in punts was about the same as 2014. He ran far more plays resulting in fewer first downs and fewer points.

The above paints a picture of our 2016 offense under Spav relative to Franklin; more ball control, more plays, fewer yards per play, fewer big plays, more first downs, more total yards, fewer TDs, fewer TOS, more FGAs, fewer points. More long drives that ended in field goal attempts.

However, that was 2016. I think his 2023 offense, featuring Jackson and Ott, both home run hitters, is going to be more dynamic. The key will be our efficiency in the red zone (and improved efficiency on defense).

There were also significant talent differences on offense between 2014/2015 and 2016. Webb isn't bad, but he's not Goff. Goff's stable of receivers was better too, including a guy like Lawler who was great at goal to go receptions for TDs. If Webb had a target like that to throw to we may have converted more of those redzone drives.

In fact, the top 6 most productive receivers on the 2015 team all left, and while there were some promising freshman, none of them panned out long term. Chad Hansen, who was the 7th most productive receiver in 2015, had a breakout year in 2016, but that was about it. Especially if you look at production since that year for the other top guys in Robertson and Stovall, who both left the program and didn't do much where they landed.
Using 2015 Hansen to talk about Hansen's 2016 is unfair. So is using Robertson and Stovall's post-Cal career to talk about their 2016 production. Hansen was easily the best out of any Dykes-era receiver. He would've smashed every single season record if he hadn't got hurt in the middle of the season. Robertson was the best deep threat since DeSean. His highlights are just DBs trailing him by 3 yards every pass. The 2015 room was better because it was all the seniors at their peak, but I think the 2016 room was better than 2014.

Agreed on Hansen 2015 vs 2016. Unfortunately we don't have a whole lot of other comparisons for Hansen. He didn't do much before coming to Cal and he has failed to stick anywhere in the NFL.

Unsure I agree about Robertson / Stovall. In Spav's system Robertson was 3 yards past the db on every pass. Outside Spav's system he could barely see the field despite the speed/athleticism. The fact that Stovall was similarly great in Spav's system as a freshman, but regressed under every other system is also telling.

There are a bunch of guys who never had great success at the college level before or after Spavs one year here that looked amazing in Spav's system.
None of those 2015 WRs stuck in the NFL except for the least ballyhooed of all of them, Stephen Anderson. I don't think Anderson was the best WR in 2015, do you? In any case, Hansen had the best stats, was drafted the highest (with only one season of production), and the eye test doesn't lie when you see his tape. I think it's pretty clear he was a step up above the other WRs.

Players can regress, but that doesn't diminish what they were during the year we're looking at. That Robertson got injured and later passed up by future NFL players on a playoff contending UGA team isn't material to how insanely good he was when he was here. I'll hold the praise for Stovall because he wasn't that good, but he still had a solid college career and was a pretty respectable #3 WR for us.

I think that's fair, and NFL success is definitely different from College success.

I still think that Goff had better red zone targets in 2014/2015 than Webb had in 2016. There was no Lawler sucking in anything thrown near him, and the WR's all had a lot of experience in the system in 2015. 2016 we had great talent and likely the edge on long plays / open field plays...but down in the redzone there were fewer weapons in my opinion.
calumnus
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dimitrig said:


We lost our starting QB and best WR to transfer and yet people are optimistic.

Such is life in the era of the portal and NIL.



Wish JMike stayed, but trading Purdue's QB of the past for TC'U's QB of the future, to be coached by Spavital instead of Musgrave is a huge upgrade. Plus Ott stayed, we got 3 other great RBs, landed a 4 star freshman WR…. I'm as optimistic as I've ever been about the offense under Wilcox.
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