A summary of today's scrimmage begins with the observation that there were only a few plays that could be categorized as exciting. However, this is not to suggest the play was poor but rather it was "workmanlike". Even though it is far too early to draw any conclusions regarding how this season will unfold, it is evident this team will be a tough, disciplined group. The toughness was demonstrated on several hard hits by the defense and the discipline was exhibited by an offense that ran 32 plays before they committed a penalty.
Generally, the first question one receives after attending a scrimmage is "who played and how well did they do". To answer the first part of that question, here is a review of the first and second units.
The starting offensive unit consisted of OLers Mark Wilson, Jonathan Geisel, Nolan Bluntzer, David Hays, Chris Murphy and TE Brandon Hall across the front line. Reggie Robertson, Adimchinobe Echemandu and Chris Manderino were in the backfield and Geoff McArthur and Jonathan Makonnen (for one play) were the WR's. On defense, the Bears' starters were DLers Monte Parson, Tom Sverchek, Lorenzo Alexander and Tosh Lupoi. At LB were, Ryan Estes, Brian Tremblay and Wendell Hunter. The DB's were Donnie McCleskey, Ryan Guitterez, Tim Mixon and James Bethea.
The second unit offense consisted of OLers Ryan O'Callaghan, Erik Robertson, Marvin Phillip, Jonathan Murphy, Andrew Cameron and TE Jordan Hunter on the front line and Richard Schwartz, Marcus O'Keith and Byron Storer in the backfield. Vincent Strang and Junior Brignac were at WR. The second unit defense consisted of DLers L.P. Ladouceur, Brandon Povio, Josh Pukini, J.D. Cafaro. At LB were, Joe Maningo, Sid Slater and Jaylon DeBruin. The DB's were Wale Forrester, Harrison Smith, Matt Giordano and Mike McGrath.
(Caveat --- Throughout the scrimmage, there is constant shuffling of personnel. Therefore, it is quite premature to ascribe much significance to who is playing on which unit).
Several players stood out. Among those who should be cited for their performance are CB Tim Mixon , RB Marcus O'Keith, LB Joe Maningo, QB Cary Dove and TE John Rust.
Mixon made several nice plays, including the breakup of a fade pattern in the end zone and a beautiful punt return.
O'Keith is a tough runner who is difficult to bring down. He is a back who can break tackles. On a couple runs, it appeared that he was down and he moved the pile for a couple additional yards.
Maningo is very much a "high motor" player. He blitzed on numerous occasions from his LB position. He is very quick. Also, he succeeds Tom Canada as "the player with the most interesting hair style".
Dove has a great arm. He completed one long pass during drills that was a thing of beauty. He has chosen to wear #7 – before he is through, I believe he may be every bit as good as the last Cal player to wear that number.
Rust – he made a nice grab of a TD pass later in the proceedings.
Lastly, here are a few general impressions…
The punt snapping was terrible. J.P. Ladouceur, Matt Currin and Greg Yamamoto all tried their hand at the task and all did a poor job. Their play can be best summarized by the observation that Tyler Fredrickson can jump. Heck, he was forced to do so in order to corral numerous errant snaps.
Also, Fredrickson drilled a 47 yard FG.
Adimchinobe Echemandu is much heavier this year. He appeared to be just a step slow hitting the hole. However, it is still quite early.
James Bethea spent some time playing free safety (as well corner). If some of the incoming freshmen come along as McCleskey did last year, we may see Bethea at FS in the Fall.
Both David Gray and Jonathan Makonnen were in gold (limited action) jerseys. Their absence may have been, at least partially, responsible for the overall lack of production on offense.
Derek Deutsch has left the team.
Tag McCurdy had a sack
Ryan Estes made a couple of nice plays on punt coverage.
That's it for this edition of "SPRING NOTES". I'll be back next Saturday for another installment.
CyberBear Staff W