Cal Football: Justin Wilcox Reiterates No Excuses for Offensive Performance
The Cal coach doesn't anticipate bringing in any new voices before the season ends.
Quick summary of Justin Wilcox’s bye week press conference.
On the status of quarterback Jack Plummer: We’re told it’s not a long-term issue. We expect him to practice and start against Colorado.
On linebacker Femi Oladejo moving to the outside: Not injury reasons. Long-term, we feel he’s best suited there. We knew even early as a year ago, that could be a good landing spot on Femi, just based on his physical development. He’s got all the tools to be a very good edge player. For his future and the team, it’s the best thing.
On who replaces Oladejo on the inside opposite Jackson Sirmon: Last week Mo [Iosefa] got the majority of the reps, he’s got a lot of physical tools. Mo Iosefa still needs to improve. That position we need to continue to get more production out of, run or pass. We’re still looking for the best combination of guys. If we have to add more competition, we will.
On making changes on the offensive staff, bringing outside help: There’s lots of experience on the offensive staff. Different systems and players and schematics that we’re constantly trying to do what’s best for our teams and players. If there’s something we could do that was a quick fix, obviously we would do that.
We need to work with our players. Coaches and players share the responsibility to perform better. There’s no excuse. Absolutely there are tweaks.
We’re not bringing in new people right now. That’s not what’s best for the program.
On making a move with Plummer earlier: No. We did not. He came out. He was dinged up. We pulled him out because he was hobbling a bit.
On players and coaches reacting to the Wazzu loss: This is a results-oriented deal we’re in. We have to produce. Coaches. I do. Offense. Defense. Special Teams. That’s just the way it is. When we don’t perform to our capability, there’s going to be truth being told, and it doesn’t always feel good.
It’s not, “Hey, it’s okay moving onto the next one.” It’s not okay. We can’t accept that. No one should. We talked about that in the meeting. We’ve got to learn and grow from it. Everybody has a responsibility to be better and be a part of the solution.
On Cal not losing any fumbles yet: To protect that ball well, and to turn the ball over, and the turnover margin in our favor, we’ve got to keep it going, but we’ve got to do something with it.
On Cal reducing fumbles over time: It’s habits on how you protect the ball. It’s great decision-making with the football. I don’t want to jinx us either. Our guys have done a good job protecting it.
We don’t want to go out on the field with the intention of not turning it over. We need to go out there on the field and score touchdowns.
On future offensive line changes: That’s up for debate. We’re trying to find the best combination of guys to identify the guys that are supposed to block and use the proper technique to block them.
Obviously this past week wasn’t near good enough in any regard. I believe those guys can play much better. Right now we’re looking at everything, whether it’s positions, techniques, schemes. We’ll have a plan forward moving forward to give these guys the best opportunity to go out and play well.
On Spencer Lovell’s return for Colorado: It’s a possibility. Doubtful at this point
On Colorado’s coaching change: We need to be concerned with ourselves. Colorado has some good players. Their coaches have been around. We need to go and be ready to play our best football.
We know there’s been a change. We’ll use what they’ve put on tape. Of course they could have wrinkles. We should have wrinkles as well.
Part of college football in this era is that there are changes from time to time. Could that lead to schematic differences in what they’re doing? Possibly. They’re not going to tell us. We’ll find out when we start playing the game.
I like everything about Wilcox except for the annual win totals.
Not needing 8-10 per year, but 6+ consistently would make him the perfect Cal fit.
In the meantime, I’ll just continue to carry around this piece of cake.
My favorite Cal coach is RB coach AT. He has been a RB coach forever and his group has always been very good at Cal. He obviously knows our offense well and what has worked and what hasn't. He likely has an educated opinion on every offensive player on the team and what are their strengths and weaknesses.
I think Wilcox should consider meeting with AT, or better yet with him and Musgrave and discuss what needs to be changed. If that works out well I think Wilcox should continue to have conversations with him, again with Musgrave. An easy way to get more ideas percolating or to view what has been done from a different viewpoint. And it avoids bringing in someone from the outside who doesn't know Cal's offense and what has or has not worked.