A day of full pads and some contact. Good day at Memorial Stadium. In awe of the return of football noises with people in attendance.
*turn the page to start reading.
First day of camp with full pads and some genuine contact. Wasn’t a full live tackling session, which should be coming soon. Maybe on Saturday?
Big day from the offense today, particularly in the passing game, whether that be 1-on-1s, 7-on-7s, and team periods.
TE Coach Geep Chryst mentioned that the older vets are cherry-picking their plays to work on while giving all the younger guys as many of the other reps as possible inbetween. Definitely see that across the offense with depth behind the starters being so youthful.
A very interesting move was using the fastball period to bring the younger inexperienced guys up to speed with just a rapid succession of plays. I think long-term that’ll help for the guys to be able to interpret the play call much more unconsciously and focus on the execution.
Chase Garbers was superb in the 1-on-1 period of practice. He threw 4 TDs and no interceptions during his 1-on-1 red-zone passing.
Zach Johnson also had a solid outing with 1 TD and no interceptions. He had some solid placement of the ball to his receivers.
Kai Millner once again surprised with his arm talent with two TDs and completions with a variety of throw types. He did have some issues with placement and timing on his throws. He misjudged some routes and also the timing of the release by some targets.
Monroe Young was absolutely stellar and has forced himself into the conversation of a solid rotation player and maybe even pushing guys to be a starter. His footwork is impeccable and route running had the DB on him constantly shifting their weight and unable to keep up. OC Bill Musgrave calls him one of their “bruiser types.” He’s willing to go in for blocks and chip at linebackers and the defensive line.
Lu-Magia Hearns once again was the young DB that flashed during the full team periods. His athleticism is still unreal and he is not afraid of getting into connect and even on the outside during a run play.
The OL is coming together nicely and there’s some solid depth being built as they move guys around to give them as many snaps at multiple positions as possible. The final 2-deep of the OL will be interesting come the week of the Nevada game.
The offense is looking very diverse compared to last season. Play types, personnel, and design. Not only has the playbook been opened up but even the different types of players available at positions like WR and TE have allowed for more creativity and forcing mismatches onto the defense.
Keleki Latu and Jermaine Terry, once again were on full display as their pass-catching ability and size are second to none. It is terrifying to see them lined up all across the field and drawing attention all over the field. Their size also helps the QBs throw to a wide radius regardless of the route they run. Terry had the catch of the day on a corner route during the 1-on-1s. He had already beaten his man and turned around catching the pass at full extension from his 6-foot-4 frame. I don’t see chase being able to overthrow him even if he wanted to.
Aiden Lee also is a BIG BODY at wide receiver. He’s been a matchup issue against every single one of our DBs. The one player that stopped him during team period today? Lu-Magia Hearns.
I don’t know what they fed the RBs during the season, but all of them have gotten faster and added another gear to their top-end speed. Ashton Stredick is the one that is the most eye-opening in terms of top-end speed.
Been talking about the offense all day so let’s touch on the defense.
Orin Patu is filling in well as part of the second unit. He’s been stellar and I’m willing to say he’s finally put it all together this fall.
Cam Goode and Kuony Deng off the edge are absolutely devastating. There was one team rep where they BOTH got to the QB within about 1 second of each other. When in our base defense, I’m unsure how opposing OLs are going to slide the protection when those two guys are in sync.
Only 3 more open practices. Come out on Saturday and hang out with me in the stands! Let’s talk some Cal Football. Until tomorrow.