When I was 10, I got to go camping for my birthday. It rained, and my friend lost my new frisbee in the woods immediately after I opened it - not exactly the ideal party.
The ideal party, it seems to me, would be what I witnessed at memorial today. *Little Timmy (*Timmy is not his real name. Probably not.), son of the Cal coach *Big Timmy (Big Timmy is his real name. He’s new.) brought a group of friends to the Stadium where they received authentic Justin Forsett "Rolling on 20s" posters (does anyone have a jpeg of this poster? Everyone deserves to see this marketing miracle). They gave a loud Go Bears which brought a smiling Tedford over for high fives. Finally, as practice ended, croud noise was piped onto the field. Ragnarok and I couldn’t figure out what was going on until we saw a stream of little kids sprint out of north tunnel, getting high fives from the players forming a gauntlet as the went. Pretty damn cool, and no one lost his frisbee.
Practice was shorter today, probably due to the spring game Saturday. It starts at noon (free burritos at 11!) and is the only practice this spring open to the public. Best is still wearing the red jersey, but you owe it to yourself to come out and watch Bryan Anger punt. He hit a low flying plane today. As a bonus, the entire bay area golden blogs staff (Yellowfever, we know you’ll be with us in spirit) will be on hand covering the action. Just look for a tall, handsome gentleman conversing with a vagrant wearing a Marshawn jersey and you’ll have found myself and TwistNHook.
In the meantime, here’s what happened at today’s practice:
- The first highlight of the afternoon was Riley to Morrah down the seam. Ragnarok immediately remarked "he hit him right in stride." That’s the Riley we salivate over, but like Wednesday, the quarterbacks were average to below average.
- Brock struggled again, but he hit Calvin in the endzone on a nice skinny post. When Brock is sure of where he’s going with the ball, as he was on this play, he throws with a lot more authority and accuracy.
- The receivers struggled, particularly Ian Albrecht, a freshman walk-on who is getting a lot of burn with the first and second teams, and Nyan Boateng. Boateng dropped a lot of balls and was clearly discouraged towards the end of practice. He was dragging his feet and hanging back during the cool down stretches and huddles. Hopefully it was just an off day and not a sign of something larger. Ross, on the other hand, caught pretty much everything thrown to him.
- Cameron Jordan and the entire d-line had another nice practice. They consistently applied pressure during 11 on 11s and frequently beat offensive linemen during 1 on 1s. On the other side, watching Mack handle nearly all comers with impeccable technique was fun to watch. He makes it look easy.
- Follett was back on the field wearing a yellow jersey (limited contact). There’s not much to tell about his performance, other than it was nice to see him back out there.
- Slocum had two nice plays in row during live action, an off tackle run to the near side and a screen to the same. On the screen, he showed nice patience following his blocks.
- While Brock had a tough time throwing, he had a nice escape from a big pass rush and showed good speed running for more than 10 yards down the sideline.
- Charles Johnson (RS Sophomore OLB) kept strong containment on the weakside of a zone read. Devin Bishop followed this with a nifty (yeah, I used the word nifty) head fake on his outside pass rush, beating the left tackle back inside.
- The highlight of the afternoon came from our special teams. Bryan Anger took a snap at the back of the endzone and watched his punt touch down at the far 38 yard line. By my math, that’s 72 yards in the air, or only 51 yards from scrimage (the ball was snapped at the 9) in the air. Boateng, Ross, Best, Vereen, and Syd took turns fielding the punts.
See you at the spring game at noon! Go Bears!