BERKELEY -- Daniel Lasco came back perhaps too soon, head coach Sonny Dykes said, and is dealing with a confidence issue. Cal will get him more reps and live action to let him get tackled, so he can feel what it’s like to get back in the fold. Dykes was impressed with how hard Lasco worked to come back to help the team, but he may have come back too fast for his own good. He hasn’t been himself and hasn’t been full speed.
“I’m surprised he came back as quickly as he came back off the injury," Dykes elaborated. "I thought it may be another week or two. I think in some ways, it probably hurt his confidence coming back before he was completely healthy. He’s the ultimate team player. He wanted to get back and help our football team as quickly as he could. This is a good week to get him back in a flow.”
As for defensive tackle Mustafa Jalil, who's seen limited action the past three weeks?
“He’s just got to keep coming on and getting healthy," Dykes said. "He had a little run there where he didn’t feel good, couldn’t move around the way we need him to move around to be as effective as he can be. We’ll have a chance to get him more reps this week and more practice, and get him playing at a high level. I think that’s the biggest thing. When those guys aren’t 100 percent, it’s hard, just because we’ve had good enough players when other guys are, they’re not as effective when they’re not 100 percent. The good thing is, we’ve got competition. In the past, if somebody was 80 percent, they could play and be effective, whereas, now, we need these guys to be at 100 percent to play at the level that we need them to play at.”
Dykes on Jared Goff's mindset: “His state of mind’s fine. He’s exactly like our football team. He’s disappointed, he realizes that, as a program, we missed an opportunity, but again, he’s excited and ready to get back out there, and his performance wasn’t indicative of the kind of player that he is. I think our performance offensively wasn’t indicative of the kind of offense that we are, so I think everybody’s anxious to get back out.”
“Kenny Lawler feels the same way. I met with Kenny, and Kenny didn’t play well. Kenny’s dropped a couple of balls the past couple weeks. He’s ready to get back out there and practice and make sure it doesn’t happen. I think Jared feels the same way.”
How often do players come through and talk with the coaches when they have the day off, as Cal did on Sunday and Monday?
“Sometimes they roll through. I asked Kenny to come by and talk, and Jared, I think, came by and talked to Tony [Franklin], spent some time with him. They usually roll through here," Dykes said. “That’s what you want. You want guys to feel comfortable coming by and seeing you, because that’s the kind of relationship you want to have with your players, where they realize that you care about them, you want to see them do well, whether that’s in the classroom or on the football field on Saturdays. They care a lot about this team. The guys are really invested, and it was the perfect balance between hurting, but at the same time, excited to get back out and compete and improve.”