So, in about an hour, I’ll be calling in to VolNation’s internet radio show, where I’ll be previewing our Bears for them. Check it out if you can, and if you miss it, the show will remain archived on the site as a podcast.
Also, I got a chance to watch a bit of Friday’s practice, which was very cool. For those interested, I should let you know that they have security patrolling inside the stadium, and they’re watching Tightwad Hill as well, where if you’re watching, you’ll be asked to leave. Myself, I got to see the last hour and a half or so. Most of the time was spent in 11-on-11 drills, in full pads no less, although they did break down into positional drills for a while.
- I’ve heard that, early on, the defense is usually ahead of the offense, and while the offense was out of sync occasionally, I thought they generally were pretty effective against the defense. Is this because our offense is returning a lot of veteran playmakers, and so is a lot more advanced than they normally are, or because the defense has yet to adequately replace all that it lost to the NFL? I couldn’t say.
- Longshore generally looked sharp and in command, although there were definitely errant passes in there, and I don’t think I saw a single deep ball completed in bounds. Some of that was good defense, but some of it was not.
- The backup quarterback competition hardly looks settled. From my amateur perspective, Kevin Riley looked slightly ahead of Kyle Reed, but neither of them looked like they would challenge Longshore for a starting spot. Cal fans need to hope Longshore doesn’t get injured, and Tedford would be wise to run whoever wins the QB competition out during the second half of blowouts; we need to develop depth.
- DeSean Jackson looked spectacular, as usual. If Longshore can get a deep pass to him, no one out there is going to catch him. He was less successful in trying to reverse his field on a shorter pass, however.
- We’ve seen what Forsett can do before, but as of now, I am in no way concerned about him being our starting tailback.
- Tedford absolutely has to find a way to get Jahvid Best on the field. This guy is special; I think he is faster than DJax. Now, we’ve all heard reports about this guy, but I tend not to really buy into those things — I want to see the guy out on the field. Now that I have, I’m totally a fan. I remember the first time that I saw Marshawn make a big run, and thinking, this guy’s in the NFL after his junior year, no question. Best isn’t the same type of back, but he’s got the same type of top flight physical talent.
- Brandon Hampton looked at least capable at the other corner spot opposite Syd’Quan Thompson. He slides over from safety with a ton of experience, and I think it will serve him well. Still, cornerback’s a tough, lonely job, and I won’t be completely sold on him until I see him do it in a game.
- During kickoff practice, not a single kickoff reached the end zone, and with the defense being 5 yards further back, there could be some big returns this year. Again, it’s early, but I think the new kickoff rules could have a bigger effect than we imagine, and no one will know which teams will benefit until the beginning of the season.
Now, I wasn’t taking copious notes, and I did miss a good bit of practice, so these are just my impressions of what I did see. Still, it was a lot of fun, and I am totally fired up about football season being only 3 weeks away. Go Bears!!