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August 6, 2013
Cal Football Fall Camp: Day 2 notebook
Zach Kline had himself a day.
A day after ceding a majority of the reps to Jared Goff in the first practice of Fall Camp, Kline got his turn in the rotation Tuesday evening in Berkeley and he was lights out, hitting receivers at every down and distance.
And to top it all off, he hit his first trash-can-in-the-corner-of-the-end-zone.
"We'd like to make a decision as quickly as possible, hopefully someone separates themself and makes it easy... but we've gotta give them all a shot," head coach Sonny Dykes said following practice.
Goff struggled all day, missing short and long, including one he heaved out of the back of the end zone -- the first time we've seen that from the former Marin Catholic 4-star since he arrived in Berkeley in the Spring. He really struggled to find a rhythm.
Hinder, meanwhile, was again about as consistent on Day 2 as he was on Day 1 -- including his best throw of either camp (Fall or Spring): a 45-yard bomb to Kenny Lawler in 11-on-11s that Kenny caught over his shoulder at the goal line, perfectly in stride.
"I'm trying to figure it out myself," redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Jordan Rigsbee said of who might end up being the starting QB. "Because there are three different quarterbacks and they all have different styles that will affect the offensive line. Hinder is my roommate in the dorms, I've been trying to talk to him about it."
"Honestly if there was one that was much better than the others they would've decided by now. It's better to have three good quarterbacks than not to have any. The competition is good for the team."
Quick injury report:
Nick Forbes (back) was held out of practice on Tuesday, but is expected back on Wednesday in a limited capacity.
Freddie Tagaloa was back from an ear infection that kept him helmet-less in practice No. 1, but turned his ankle during an 11-on-11 series toward the end of practice No. 2. Dykes said he didn't think "that was any big deal."
Austin Clark again worked out in the MMA/giant tire/sledgehammer pit on Tuesday. According to Dykes, he's dealing with a knee.
Brennan Scarlett was again in a red no-contact jersey and according to Dykes he'll be held out "for a while."
Kline didn't take a single sack on Tuesday after racking up a four-spot on Monday.
That was in part due to an offensive effort with a lot more tempo, which not only gave the defense fits, but also helped the offensive line settle in after a shaky Day 1.
"We want to get the tempo to the fastest we can get to," Rigsbee said. "Yesterday we were a little slow. Part of that is getting the ball out, and that's the wide receivers and the quarterback getting on the same page. A lot of guys have never started before on the O-line. We did some things during the summer on our own and that helped. The fast tempo actually helps a lot because there are more plays -- more plays mean we get to gel more. Instead of walking to the line and getting off 15 plays, we're getting 30-33."
The Kyle Boehm to wide receiver experiment has had mixed results two days in. Boehm has probably had more drops on catchable balls than anyone on the team.
BUT (!!) the Kyle Boehm to wildcat quarterback experiment? Now that is producing some tangible results. The 6'3", 215-pounder ran several packages today, almost all of which produced big chunks of yardage, most notably a designed quarterback run from the 5-yard line in 11-on-11s that resulted in an untouched score.
Some important BONE news to report: Khalfani Muhammad and Darren Ervin both got some time in the diamond formation at the BONEs -- the first time we've seen a non-Lucas Gingold type line up there.
Maurice Harris looks to be picking up where he left off in Spring...
Linebacker-turned-defensive back Jason Gibson played free safety with the 2s on Tuesday and looks more and more comfortable with every snap he takes.
"Jason Gibson did some things at safety," Dykes said. "He had a couple of really nice breaks on the ball."
Gibson, who made the switch at the beginning of the summer said the transition has been a smooth one.
"It's going pretty well," Gibson told GoldenBearReport following Tuesday's practice. "It's not much different really -- I've always had solid cover skills and I can blitz. It's pretty much just getting comfortable with my feet and my hips."
He looked it at least once on Tuesday, almost coming down with an interception on a Hinder throw at the doorstep of the end zone.
Dan Camporeale led the clapping-chanting-stretching start-of-practice drills on Day 1, and Bryce Treggs took the honors on Day 2.
The first drills following a scripted 11-on-11 series were of the special teams variety on Day 2. And after doing some punt work yesterday, today was all about kick returns.
Kameron Jackson got first crack at an offense-only return, followed by Muhammad and Treggs.
And Dykes clearly wasn't kidding about everyone contributing on special teams: Richard Rodgers, Khairi Fortt, Kenny Lawler, Lucas Gingold, Drake Whitehurst, Joel Willis, Jacob Wark, Camporeale, Lucas King, Nathan Broussard, Daniel Lasco, Boehm, and Jackson Bouza all practiced on the return unit.
Chris Harper, Treggs, and Trevor Davis are very, very good at football. All had noteworthy days (and catches) on Tuesday.
"I feel like the quarterbacks are slowly progressing," Harper said. "They're making more reads, hitting the deep balls."
Harper said he'd like to get it figured out soon so he can develop timing with whoever his quarterback ends up being, but knows the decision is out of his control.
"It's not in my hands, it's up to the offensive coordinator," Harper said. "The QBs are all really good, but it takes time, first they have to get it down to two and then one. It'll probably take a couple days, weeks."
There's a reason Maximo Espitia is currently slotted as the starter at H. Don't sleep on this kid, he's been automatic through two practices. Auto. Matic:
Stefan McClure now holds the title of "best DB Chris Harper has gone against in a while" according to... Chris Harper. Others that have impressed though? Adrian Lee ("he's solid"), Cameron Walker ("he's impressed me, he's slowly progressing"), and Trey Cheek ("he looked solid in summer").
Cool new drill wrinkle in the Fall: during 11-on-ghosts, the quarterback under center is handing off the ball to the running back, but the other two QBs are standing right behind him and make two different throws to two different receivers -- generally to the alternate options had the quarterback chosen pass vs. run. Pretty cool.
Chris McCain beasted. Again. Especially in one-on-ones. He also had the only sack in any 11-on-11 series, thanks in part to Harrison Wilfley who flushed Hinder out of the pocket and into McCain. Wilfley is definitely having a standout camp two days in.
Rigsbee helped solve the pads vs. no pads advantage debate following practice, saying yes, it is more difficult without pads because you have nothing to grab onto while bullrushing, buuuuuuuut...
"It forces you to have better technique. You've got to have a better punch. It is tough -- one-on-ones are not always great for an offensive lineman, but in the end it helps you."
Marcus Manley, who's looking more and more like a contributor every day, had a big-time win on Tuesday.
The JuCo transfer went one-on-one against redshirt junior offensive lineman Donovan Frazer with a 10-pushup bet on the line, courtesy of the coaches. Lose and your entire line group had to do the ups.
The motivation worked for the 280-pounder, who blew past Frazer with ease and straight to the dummy quarterback bag.
Running backs coach Pierre Ingram hasn't lost a step. A bad snap went over the head of the quarterback and straight to the former Middle Tennessee State wide receiver, and Ingram immediately bolted for the edge. Like so (note the stiff-arm on Fortt)...
Best Kline throw of the day? Harper, over the shoulder from 25 yards out, with Adrian Lee dragging behind him with a handful of jersey.
And finally, heading into the final special teams period of the evening, assistant head coach Rob Likens and defensive coordinator Andy Buh attempted a chest bump. It was not super successful.
For complete Cal coverage, more videos, rosters, and practice schedules, check out our Fall Camp Central.