Cal Football 2021 Fall Camp Notebook: #1 practice begins
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.
THE HYPE HAS RETURNED.
GETTING TAN OUT UNDER THE SUN AT MEMORIAL STADIUM HAS RETURNED.
FOOTBALL AND FALL CAMP AT MEMORIAL STADIUM HAS RETURNED.
It’s been 2 years since I have been sitting in the chairbacks of EE at Memorial watching practice and getting way too hyped over the smallest plays, but boy. It feels great. We’ve come a long way as a community and fan base and as we return to some sense of normalcy, I’m excited to be your eyes and ears out at practice. So enough of me being sappy, you’re here to read about what I saw and not about me being sentimental!
Let us begin!
Notebook 1 Notes:
Very light practice only shells and helmets.
Mostly teaching periods and getting everyone back into the flow of practices and ramping up their body for football conditions.
Coach Wilcox did mention they had over 120 players on the field together. The first time since Spring 2020 prior to the pandemic.
Jermaine Terry looks like the offseason was perfect for him after coming in during the spring. He’s looked toned down, more agile, and athletic without losing much of his power.
Ethan Saunders and Ieremia Ieremia are the two surprise players that look like they can contribute now from a physicality standpoint. Saunders especially because it will drastically help the DL depth, which already looks totally different from last year.
Two QBs stood out in the limited 7-on-7 reps and full team reps. That would be QB1 Chase Garbers and freshman QB Kai Millner.
Garbers had some miscues on the timing and placement with the ball, particularly with the new receivers. That should be alleviated as they get more playing time together and practice time.
Millner was the surprise of practice with his composure in the pocket, lots of speed on his passes into tight windows. He also struggled with some timing on some routes but it seemed he was getting a better feel for the playbook and reps as the practice went on.
Orin Patu (One of my selections to finally breakout), flashed a bunch in coverage and rushing the passer. He looked comfortable on the edge in one-on-one situations with his changed physique. Making the right read and exploding to the QB. This could be the camp that he puts everything together.
The defense focused on its nickel package in this practice. Lots of teaching particularly because the 2-Deep for the MLB and DB’s is so young but very talented.
Catch of the Day: Kai Millner threw a laser of a pass to Justin Baker, albeit a little high which was the only window to throw to him, but Baker jumped and pulled the catch with no bobble or any room. Ball stuck straight into his gloves. It was impressive seeing him get up that high off of a crossing route. When he landed he planted his foot and just exploded upfield.
The offensive line performed very well in run plays against this relative-youth-leaning defensive line group. Marcel Dancy, Christopher Brooks, Damien Moore, DeCarlos Brooks all got opportunities to complete long runs through some solid running lanes. The RBs were also more decisive in their selection of the running lane and when to cut back or bounce it back outside.
Some news though from Coach Wilcox, that I tweeted out earlier. You can see that below.
That’s it for today’s notebook. Relatively light and quick practice. We’ll see more and have more to discuss as we move forward into the thick of the practice schedule. We move.