The redshirt senior missed two of the first four sessions at Witter Rugby Field because of academics, so while the Golden Bears shook off the rust, Maynard had a chance to get up to speed.
Considering that he is working with a brand new receiving corps and reconfigured offensive line, it shouldn't be a surprise it took some getting used to.
"It's a little rough, especially starting off, trying to get the timing down," Maynard said.
It shouldn't be an issue going forward, as Maynard downplayed concerns about his eligibility. He admitted frustration from not being with the team, saying, "The guys look for you to be there. It's really hard on them. They really want and need leadership out here.
"It's very difficult, just being a Division-1 athlete in general, especially going to Cal, one of the most prestigious public universities in the world. There's hardly no sleep. If you want it, you got to take it."
That is what Maynard did late last season, posting a 3-1 record in November. His consistent improvement has given the Bears a reliable platform to build from.
It is a far cry from last spring, as Cal head coach Jeff Tedford admitted there were times "you were scratching your head and wondering what was going to happen."
Now that he has an understanding of the offense, Maynard can work on helping everyone develop. That means developing a rapport with the inexperienced receivers working to replace departed seniors Marvin Jones and Michael Calvin, while assisting the front five in pass protection as it work without center Dominic Galas and tries different combinations.
"The confidence comes with the rest of his teammates, to be able to pay a lot of attention to them as well," Tedford said. "This time last year, he was so worried about himself trying to do the right things and say the snap count right, the 25-second clock. Now he is a real field general."
Tedford was mostly pleased with what he saw, not only from Maynard but the rest of the team.
"Obviously we got a long way to go, so I expect we will continue to get better," Tedford said. "As far as conditioning, I think they did a nice job in the week off of staying in shape and working so we didn't have to start from square one again."
DeBoskie-Johnson to Transfer
Running back Covaughn Deboskie-Johnson will transfer, Tedford announced.
The redshirt senior will graduate this spring and be eligible to play this season at another FBS school, where he will seek "an opportunity to play," Tedford said.
DeBoskie Johnson rushed for 321 yards and two touchdowns on 62 career carries with the Bears, but was unlikely to see significant action this season behind starter Isi Sofele, backup C.J. Anderson and a bevy of young players competing this spring for the No. 3 job.
Tedford said he had "some idea" where DeBoskie-Johnson might end up, but did not disclose any potential destinations.
-Tedford said wide receiver Kaelin Clay would not rejoin the team, despite a recent tweet that he was in the process of returning to Cal after leaving last fall.
-Linebacker David Wilkerson has been limited by minor injuries, but is expected to return to practice Thursday, Tedford said.
The redshirt sophomore, who started three games at outside linebacker last season, has been working inside as the Bears look to replace starters Mychal Kendricks and D.J. Holt.
- Tedford praised tight end Richard Rogers, linebacker Jason Gibson and cornerback Avery Sebastian as players who have stood out so far this spring, along with the defensive line.