Cal Football 2021 Fall Camp Notebook: #2
What it do baby!
It’s Saturday. AQI in the area isn’t too great due to the fires. So keeping my words short and getting right to the point.
Light practice again with just shells and helmets.
Practice was centered around habits, tendencies, and reactions.
Lots of times in position groups learning about what to do with certain reads and how to react to situations on offense and defense dependent on the call.
The physicality and finishing of plays were evident even without full contact. Players were going at full speed, yet helping each other up with any incidental contact so that they could get setup for the next rep.
Chase Garbers, Kai Millner and Zach Johnson got the majority of the reps at QB around the projected starters and rotation players.
Chase looked more comfortable than yesterday. Passes were more accurate, the reads were faster and he made decisions with authority whether that be from the pocket or deciding to scramble when allowed.
Chase had the first TD of camp with a 52 yard TD pass to Kekoa Crawford. Crawford was 30 yards downfield and wide open. Chase hit him in stride for the scoring play.
Kai is still getting used to the speed of collegiate athletes and working on his timing. He does seem to have a good understanding of the playbook and where he should be pushing to place the ball. He also did take some unnecessary risks that he still completed due to his ridiculous arm strength and talent. He has the most zip out of the QBs and had a great play squeezing the ball to the sidelines to find TE Keleki Latu for a huge gain.
Zach is probably the QB that you can place right between Chase and Kai. He has an understanding of the playbook and what to do, more than Kai in many instances. His experience is low that he still is a bit slow on the reads from the pocket and when to scramble. He stayed in the pocket in one snap too long leading to a QB hurry from Patu, and also committed the first INT of camp on a corner route with a little too much air and slightly underthrown.
Raymond Woodie III got the jump on the underthrown ball and made a solid catch to secure the turnover.
The young DBs don’t feel like young DBs to me. With Hicks and Woodie manning the backend and both OLBs being vets, the outside guys, outside of Drayden and Chiggy, are acclimating nicely into the 2-deep for the open spots. It’s not just youth though. There are guys that have been in the program for a few years now, but just haven’t been able to see the field with the vicegrip Bynum and the Takers had on the starting spots.
Once again Orin Patu flashed in back-to-back practices and is securing his spot as the 3rd/4th OLB and key rotation player at OLB, which is arguably the deepest position on the roster in terms of talent.
The question on the OL is at center after the loss of Michael Saffell. Brian Driscoll and Matt Cindric have been taking some reps at the spot. You can see what that transition has been like in their presser’s below.
I also asked Cindric about the OL showing up in crop tops to the locker room on the first day. Fun one to end it on.
Relatively short notebook again as the team starts its ramp up over the next week or so into scrimmages and then starting their game week scheduling for the season opener against Nevada on September 4th.