Cal Football Fall Camp: Notebook 5
Football is coming.
Only 2 more of these. We see the final turn coming up to the start of Cal Football. We move.
This one is going to be pretty even between the offense and the defense.
Coach Wilcox always talks about earned plays or missed opportunities. This practice was definitely more about the earned plays than about the missed opportunities or broken plays.
Chase Garbers was stellar barring one badly underthrown ball to Monroe Young in the deep corner of the endzone, which Chigozie Anusiem picked off with ease.
Garbers only missed 2 passes during the 7-on-7 periods, one was the INT by Chiggy and the other was a pass breakup by Chiggy on an out route to Collin Moore. The rest of his passes were perfect and tossed to a variety of routes and depths as well. His timing was good and also his placement was in a good place with the right reads.
Sidenote: I love talking to Hunter. Just look at that thumbnail. Dude genuinely is happy and excited to playing football and at Cal. That’s real joy.
Kai Millner had another decent day. Showing growth in his command of the offense, but his placement on timed routes and some of the slants is still off. He’s been stellar at deep balls or passes to the outside but over the middle or quick slants has been tricky for the young signal-caller.
CATCH OF THE DAY - Jermaine Terry, take a bow lad. Running toward the sideline, the ball was thrown to his outside shoulder. He turns inside, plants, full extension to his left and brings the ball in. QB was newcomer Blake DeBisschop. Incredible athleticism was on display to reel it in.
Eye Emoji. Monroe Young is cementing himself into the 2-deep of WRs, but the surprise of the day was Mavin Anderson getting run with the 1s and 2s of offensive skill players. He definitely has some speed that the team has desperately needed to be able to test any defense deep.
Inside linebacker is one of the key battles to watch. Evan Tattersall, Blake Antzoulatos, Trey Paster and Mo Iosefa (when he returns from his small knock) are battling for the two spots in the starting lineup. They’re rotating guys and trying a bunch of pairings to see what works and giving them as many reps with different partners as possible.
Antzoulatos probably had the best day, and flashed the most out of the ILB group. Blew up multiple plays including making the perfect read on a run play and stopping it a good 5 yards behind the snap.
DEFENSIVE PLAY OF THE DAY - I have never seen a Defensive End catch an interception in space. That happened today. Derek Wilkins snatched an interception out of the air while running left. The ball was coming behind his head and he threw up his left hand and caught it clean with no bobble. It was very impressive. Coach Sirmon said after the play he saw Coach Browning as a blur and said he had never seen him run that fast. Browning was the first person to be celebrating when that play was made.
The day ended with some competition in a one-on-one rep between DB Kaleb Higgins and WR Chris Rogers, whoever lost the competition had their entire side of the ball run an extra spring. Higgins deemed the winner with some draped coverage and no real window to throw. Robby Rowell was at QB and overthrew Rogers on a comeback route. The offense ran an extra spring with all of the coaches in good camaraderie. Really a nice moment to see. With some good laughs by the players throughout the entire scenario.
My biggest question going into Saturday and next Saturday is where the edge between the two sides of the ball is. Personally, if they get into any scrimmage situations you want to see no broken plays all earned and a tight stalemate between the offense and defense in terms of execution. It’s only a week into camp and we’ve seen the back and forth between the two, now comes the tightening of the mechanics and read of the play.
2 more to go. Until tomorrow.