Michael Duca on Cal football

by Michael Duca

BERKELEY–What was it that there are only 14 players on the Cal Bears squad from the last two years recruiting classes. You can not say that this is a Mother Hubbard situational where the cupboard was left totally bare but it wasn’t left Golden Bear that’s for sure.

The Bears are a work in process and I’m not sure it’s a work in progress but the Bears hope it is the spread offense the Bears knew from that Holiday Bowl a number of years ago that Cal couldn’t defend against and apparently based on going against the spread offense in practice every week their defense is pretty depressed about that whole concept.

The Bears have not been aggressive and their going to have to be on the defensive side of the ball, the offensive line is young and needs to develop and Jared Goff is their number one quarterback for the next number of years and he’s very well suited to the system, very well suited to the school, he had a full year of credits under his belt before he played his first game.

The Bears don’t have any issues on that side Brandon Bigelow has to develop a little bit more as a running back and that comes from the line developing ability to run block and in particular to pass protect it seems to me like I’ve seen Goff make a number of freshman like decisions out there on the field and it’s often because three or four non distinctly non freshman like human beings are trying to pulverize him.

One thing that people really don’t understand about the transition this why I kept focusing on the offensive line when I was talking is that former Bears head coach Jeff Tedford played pretty much a standard pro sets scheme and in that scheme your line blocks straight ahead or zone blocks within arms reach of you. When your playing the spread it’s not about zone blocking and it’s not about blocking straight ahead it’s about gap control.

It’s a whole different way of thinking about the offensive line responsibility it’s a whole different way of thinking of neutralizing defense in particular when you consider how inexperienced Cal’s own defense is it’s hard to imagine and being a very good scout team to train that offense in running the spread.

The last word on Cal is they have no place to go but up.

Michael Duca covers Cal football for Sportstalk Radio