Cruising a Keystone Scrimmage

Editor's Note: Long time CyberBear participant Gary Moore, aka GldnBear71, stuck his hand up when we asked for guest writers who might be interested in writing about an aspect of Cal Athletics. Gary chose to write about the Cal football scrimmage that took place last Saturday, April 7th, and told us that his goal was to provide a detailed look at a practice scrimmage.

First, A Retrospective

I have watched a lot of Cal football practices over the years. My favorite spring event has always been the last scrimmage prior to the spring practice-ending scrimmage. I think of it and describe it as the "Keystone Scrimmage". This one differs from the earlier spring practices because when it is played the players have already assimilated much of the playbook material the coaches are teaching them during spring. They not only know what they are doing, it is also (hopefully) becoming second nature.

This particular event each spring may be each player's best opportunity to show the coaches what they can do in simulated game conditions in a practice closely scrutinized by the coaches - one that is focused entirely on competition, not putting on a show for fans.

It is therefore an excellent chance for coaches to gain insight into player athletic ability and how much they have learned, and the players seem to know that. Player performance in this scrimmage is always intense, enough so as to leave a lasting impression on everyone involved.

There is no madding crowd. "Ain't got no distractions, can't hear no buzzers and bells" - just the usual whistles from the referees and the blasts of the timing horn.

Local football parents attend along with players' friends and family, as do - when a practice is open - a handful of diehard fans that is appreciative, intensely loyal, and thoroughly knowledgeable.The intensity, lack of fanfare and distractions make the Keystone Scrimmage noticeably different from the spring-ending scrimmage that the wider public will attend.

All spring scrimmages, including the last one, can best be described as choreographed. The teams line up against each other in mock-game conditions, with referees. The ball is placed at a prescribed location, for example at the 25-yard line, or at the 5-yard line, and going either way. Each offensive team unit keeps the ball until a touchdown is scored or the drive has stalled.

In the spring-ending scrimmage the teams usually run a lot of bread & butter plays against standard defenses. Since it is the last practice/scrimmage of the season, limits designed to minimize player injuries are imposed. The finale events thus inevitably become part football and part public relations.

So in contrast to the spring finale, the Keystone Scrimmage features an open playbook and the players are fired up.

Cruising the Keystone Scrimmage

Many fans have by now read about or seen Jeff Tedford's practices.To summarize, players gather in groups, often by position or in groups of competing positions. In one area the linemen might work on technique and timing with the blocking dummies, while in another the quarterbacks throw to receivers guarded only by defensive backs.

After the period horn blows the defensive and offensive linemen might gather together in simulated blocking exercises such as hand-to-hand drills, while in another area the linebackers might practice rushing the quarterback while linemen and running backs try to block them. Across the field the receivers and defensive backs might run routes against defenses called by a coach.

And so it goes - different practice exercises and different groups of players work at different skills until the horn blows again - typically after just five minutes - then players all move to the next station and the next set of drills. Coaches are positioned at each station, watching and teaching. The level of organization is remarkable with so many activities going on simultaneously, and the sessions are long enough to serve the purpose of instruction but short enough to keep players from getting bored with repetition.

On a day when a scrimmage is scheduled, formal instruction is scaled back.When it is time for the scrimmage, the participating teams move onto to the field, the ball is placed, and the plays begin. In terms of format the Keystone Scrimmage is not noticeably different from the spring-ender, but the level of focus and intensity can be felt in the air.

The question has been asked - "Why do you jock-sniffers go to watch a practice? It's a PRACTICE, man, it's just PRACTICE!"

We all have our reasons. For starters, it's still 4 months until the season begins, an unbearably long way away, and this is Cal football.

For the true Cal fan, it's a joy to even go to Berkeley to visit the Stadium. It's a way to assess who might be playing and contributing when the real season rolls around. It's a time when fans can learn players' uniform numbers, particularly the new ones. And for those of us who might have played the game - it's also a good way to reminisce.

For the parents and friends - it's a way to see their guy in action. And for the Malele clan on this day, it was a way to see both their guys in action.

When my day started Saturday, I threw on some Cal gear as if it were truly a fall game, ate a biscuit, and jumped in the truck. I parked southwest of campus and walked up Telly to the stadium, stopping at Top Dog for my traditional infusion of bratwurst and arrived a few minutes before the practice began.

I had never closely watched pre-practice warm-up exercises before,and I found it interesting that they stretch every leg muscle in every possible direction. There are big steps, steps to the side, steps to the back, high kicks, running in place, running to the side, running backwards, and even these sprinkled with an array of scattered stretching motions. These are certainly designed to limber up the legs. If anyone had a bruise or tight spot from the practice before, you can bet the soreness was gone by the time the contact began.

I counted 12 practice sessions prior to any scrimmaging, including one (the 7th) that lasted 10 minutes while all the others were 5 minutes long.They were generally the kinds of practice sessions described above with players moving to a series of stations for drills and instruction.

Here are a few of the highlights:

During session #3, there were a few controlled scrimmage plays. The ball was placed and the offense tried to work it down the field. Jesse Brooks made a very nice pass deflection on one play.

In session #6 the receivers worked specifically on over-the-shoulder catches, with the ball being thrown high and overhead so the receiver had to run under the ball and catch it with head back and arms extended.

Session #7 was fascinating. Long white towels were rolled up, banded, and placed on the field to create three narrow lanes. Each lane was used by a group of players to run the same drill as in the other two. Each drill started when an offensive lineman hiked the ball to a QB. Facing the hiker was a defensive lineman.The QB would hand the ball to a running back and step out of the way so the running back could try to use the offensive lineman's block to get past the defensive lineman.

10 yards down the field - in the same lane - was another blocker, typically a running back or tight end who was matched up against a defensive back. If the ball carrier made it past the first defender, his challenge would be to use the downfield blocker to get past the next defender while staying in the lane.

Three of these drills were going on at the same time, in three parallel lanes.This created a drill that involved a lot of simultaneously competing players - a number that was impossible to track or tally. Still, the coaches will have a field day running replays of this exercise to watch - and instruct - every player that participated,

Session #9 included an interesting drill where receivers worked one-on-one against a DB and either ran deep patterns or broke the patterns off short. Clearly this drill will gauge the ability of DBs to play cornerback where speed and quick responses are essential.

The coaches frequently dragged a long yellow canvas strap on and off the field for some of the practice sessions. Alternating yellow and black patches on the strap indicate the spacing of the offensive linemen to help them always practice at the ideal distance from one other.

In session #10 there was a simulated hike to a QB who would then try to pass to a running back or a receiver while they worked against linebackers and defensive backs.This drill was run without the offensive and defensive linemen, so here the canvas strap was used to mark the positions they would have been at - so the other players could line up properly outside that area.

In the 12th and final practice session, the offenses ran plays unopposed by defenders. The focus here was on play calling and for each player to remember his correct role. The exercise provided a natural transition into the following scrimmage.

Impressions of the Scrimmage

The first part of the scrimmage was a full contact kickoff drill, and if this session was any indication, moving the ball back to the 30 for kickoffs (the new rule) is going to make a big difference. There were several big runbacks, including an opening runback for a touchdown by Lavelle Hawkins. Either we will have a very good kickoff return team or we need serious work on our kickoff coverage!

After the kickoff drill the regular scrimmages began. I watched the first 6 plays trying to record the details of every play.

I don't know which I missed more at the scrimmage yesterday, my Dictaphone, or my wife. Without my Dictaphone, I had to stop watching after each play and write things down. But then as I was writing, the next play took place. Without my wife sitting next to me to do the spotting and look up player numbers, I missed even more action while trying to catch up on whom I was watching.

It's a rough life, but someone has to live it.

After those first 6 plays, with my Dictaphone on the fritz and my wife at a family gathering, I gave up trying to report each play in detail and decided to focus on overall impressions instead.

Veterans should perform well, and they did.

Nate Longshore looked comfortable and poised. Lavelle Hawkins made several nice catches and had that run back for a touchdown during kickoff drills. Syd'Quan Thompson looked good on defense, had a nice runback during special teams drills, and made a nice pick during the scrimmage.

Craig Stevens is a textbook blocker, fast and devastating. Justin Moye and Anthony Felder each made shoestring tackles to stop what would otherwise have been big running plays. Tom Schneider was the clear winner of the day's field goal competition.

There must have been 2 or 3 Mike Teppers on the field. Every time I looked up there he was, pushing someone off the ball, landing on someone after a block, or making pass protection look easy. Had it been a game, Mike would have gotten the game ball.

I talked to Mike after the scrimmage. He commented that the offensive line run blocking is ahead of their pass blocking at this point. That's probably normal.

Mike confirmed that he is all the way back from his injury. "Nothing but the normal bumps and bruises of playing football," he replied with a weary smile as he unwrapped the tape from his wrists.

I asked Mike about Rulon Davis. He said that both Rulon and Tad Smith are showing good quickness coming off the corner this spring. I had not noticed Tad so this was good news. On the other hand, I specifically noticed Rulon's speed. The man is flat-out fast!

In addition to Davis, I noticed several other players who might figure to see action this season.

Will Ta'ufo'ou may well be the solution to the short yardage problems we experienced on several occasions last season. The guy is a frigging nightmare to tackle - imagine trying to tackle a 250-pound bowling ball coming at you with a full head of steam.

Were I Jeff Tedford, I would be racking my brain trying to figure out ways to get LaReylle Cunningham on the field. LaReylle looks bigger than last season and could be a weapon as a 6-2 200 lb possession receiver; he sells fakes well and runs crisp patterns in a manner almost reminiscent of Bobby Shaw. And he catches everything thrown his way.

Watching Nyan Boateng play almost makes me wish the 2008 season was here already. Boateng is bigger than he looked in the recruiting video clips. He runs low to the ground, but when he stands up on the sidelines and jumps - he becomes a lot taller than his listed 6-2, and contrary to reports he is not skinny. He catches and runs effortlessly, and his smooth, gliding gait belies his speed.He will step into a starting role when he is eligible in 2008, and you can take that to the bank.

Cameron Toler also had a good day. We are set at wide receiver now and for the foreseeable future.

Kyle Reed is a work in progress. He looks more comfortable than last season but still has moments of hesitancy under pressure. His passes are usually nice (good form and velocity), but he still throws the occasional wounded duck.With Kevin Riley held out of the scrimmage, Kyle got a lot of work.He is clearly ahead of Bryan Van Meter in the contest for the #2 quarterback slot, and from reports I have seen he may have a leg (arm?) up on Kevin Riley as well. I would like to see Kyle get game experience this season as soon as possible, perhaps in games where Cal gets a big lead.

The situation at corner is still somewhat unsettled. I believe several players will be given a shot, and that several players will continue to compete through fall camp. I tend to agree with those who have suggested that Thomas DeCoud might be moved to CB as a way to "get the best players on the field," (Tedford's mantra).

Justin Forsett had a couple of nice runs. He catches the ball well out of the backfield. James Montgomery had a couple of nice inside runs and a nice one to the outside.

Make no mistake about it, though; we are going to miss Marshawn Lynch!

Extra Points

From the players' perspective it was a great day for football. It was cool and drizzly at the start of practice and remained cool and overcast throughout all but the last 15 minutes. The sun finally broke through as the practice ended.

There were about 50 people in the stands when I arrived, and the crowd grew to about 200 as the day wore on. Despite the wet field I spotted only one fumble all day. There may have been a few others, but Tedford's vigorous campaign against fumbles - ball security he calls it - is evident.

In the play when Syd'Quan Thompson made his interception and runback, a tremendous block was thrown by a player whose identity I was unable to determine. The noise of pads colliding was so loud I'll bet the neighbors on Panoramic Hill are circulating a noise-abatement petition - and are considering an additional lawsuit.

On one play Sam DeSa had a nice reception and run after his catch - through several blockers - to finally touch down for a touchdown. There was an appreciative crowd reaction. It was nice to see DeSa enjoy a moment of success.

The offensive line as a unit already looks good. Many of their drills are designed to get moving and working as a single unit, and they are getting to that point quickly this year. There were a few of the usual miscues, but I believe offensive line will be one of Cal's strengths.

I have heard at previous events that the refs are actual referees, some from the Pac-10. Depending on availability others may be from college or high school leagues in the area. There was occasional banter between the players and the referees, something one would never see at a game.

The funniest thing all day happened after a bad punt snap hit the ground and rolled. As it bobbled along, instead of falling on it (or trying to pick it up) the punter, Jordan Kay, was savvy enough to simply boot it down field like a soccer ball. It traveled about 25 yards, bouncing along like a squib kick, before the receiving team fell on it. Everyone in the stands laughed - and applauded the punter's quick thinking.

I've heard it said before that if you go to a Cal game, you will probably see something you've never seen before - and may never see again. I didn't know until yesterday that that same comment also applies to Cal practices.


©Copyright 2007, BearInsider.com and Scout.com. All rights reserved.

If you haven't done so already, subscribe to The Bear Insider so you can participate in this active online Cal community and get access to the members-only content from the nation-wide Scout.com network.

Bear Insider staff writers visit the Insider discussion board regularly, and are available to discuss questions you may have about this article and Cal Athletics.


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","mobileBody":"

First, A Retrospective

I have watched a lot of Cal football practices over the years. My favorite spring event has always been the last scrimmage prior to the spring practice-ending scrimmage. I think of it and describe it as the \"Keystone Scrimmage\". This one differs from the earlier spring practices because when it is played the players have already assimilated much of the playbook material the coaches are teaching them during spring. They not only know what they are doing, it is also (hopefully) becoming second nature.

This particular event each spring may be each player's best opportunity to show the coaches what they can do in simulated game conditions in a practice closely scrutinized by the coaches - one that is focused entirely on competition, not putting on a show for fans.

It is therefore an excellent chance for coaches to gain insight into player athletic ability and how much they have learned, and the players seem to know that. Player performance in this scrimmage is always intense, enough so as to leave a lasting impression on everyone involved.

There is no madding crowd. \"Ain't got no distractions, can't hear no buzzers and bells\" - just the usual whistles from the referees and the blasts of the timing horn.

Local football parents attend along with players' friends and family, as do - when a practice is open - a handful of diehard fans that is appreciative, intensely loyal, and thoroughly knowledgeable.The intensity, lack of fanfare and distractions make the Keystone Scrimmage noticeably different from the spring-ending scrimmage that the wider public will attend.

All spring scrimmages, including the last one, can best be described as choreographed. The teams line up against each other in mock-game conditions, with referees. The ball is placed at a prescribed location, for example at the 25-yard line, or at the 5-yard line, and going either way. Each offensive team unit keeps the ball until a touchdown is scored or the drive has stalled.

In the spring-ending scrimmage the teams usually run a lot of bread & butter plays against standard defenses. Since it is the last practice/scrimmage of the season, limits designed to minimize player injuries are imposed. The finale events thus inevitably become part football and part public relations.

So in contrast to the spring finale, the Keystone Scrimmage features an open playbook and the players are fired up.

Cruising the Keystone Scrimmage

Many fans have by now read about or seen Jeff Tedford's practices.To summarize, players gather in groups, often by position or in groups of competing positions. In one area the linemen might work on technique and timing with the blocking dummies, while in another the quarterbacks throw to receivers guarded only by defensive backs.

After the period horn blows the defensive and offensive linemen might gather together in simulated blocking exercises such as hand-to-hand drills, while in another area the linebackers might practice rushing the quarterback while linemen and running backs try to block them. Across the field the receivers and defensive backs might run routes against defenses called by a coach.

And so it goes - different practice exercises and different groups of players work at different skills until the horn blows again - typically after just five minutes - then players all move to the next station and the next set of drills. Coaches are positioned at each station, watching and teaching. The level of organization is remarkable with so many activities going on simultaneously, and the sessions are long enough to serve the purpose of instruction but short enough to keep players from getting bored with repetition.

On a day when a scrimmage is scheduled, formal instruction is scaled back.When it is time for the scrimmage, the participating teams move onto to the field, the ball is placed, and the plays begin. In terms of format the Keystone Scrimmage is not noticeably different from the spring-ender, but the level of focus and intensity can be felt in the air.

The question has been asked - \"Why do you jock-sniffers go to watch a practice? It's a PRACTICE, man, it's just PRACTICE!\"

We all have our reasons. For starters, it's still 4 months until the season begins, an unbearably long way away, and this is Cal football.

For the true Cal fan, it's a joy to even go to Berkeley to visit the Stadium. It's a way to assess who might be playing and contributing when the real season rolls around. It's a time when fans can learn players' uniform numbers, particularly the new ones. And for those of us who might have played the game - it's also a good way to reminisce.

For the parents and friends - it's a way to see their guy in action. And for the Malele clan on this day, it was a way to see both their guys in action.

When my day started Saturday, I threw on some Cal gear as if it were truly a fall game, ate a biscuit, and jumped in the truck. I parked southwest of campus and walked up Telly to the stadium, stopping at Top Dog for my traditional infusion of bratwurst and arrived a few minutes before the practice began.

I had never closely watched pre-practice warm-up exercises before,and I found it interesting that they stretch every leg muscle in every possible direction. There are big steps, steps to the side, steps to the back, high kicks, running in place, running to the side, running backwards, and even these sprinkled with an array of scattered stretching motions. These are certainly designed to limber up the legs. If anyone had a bruise or tight spot from the practice before, you can bet the soreness was gone by the time the contact began.

I counted 12 practice sessions prior to any scrimmaging, including one (the 7th) that lasted 10 minutes while all the others were 5 minutes long.They were generally the kinds of practice sessions described above with players moving to a series of stations for drills and instruction.

Here are a few of the highlights:

During session #3, there were a few controlled scrimmage plays. The ball was placed and the offense tried to work it down the field. Jesse Brooks made a very nice pass deflection on one play.

In session #6 the receivers worked specifically on over-the-shoulder catches, with the ball being thrown high and overhead so the receiver had to run under the ball and catch it with head back and arms extended.

Session #7 was fascinating. Long white towels were rolled up, banded, and placed on the field to create three narrow lanes. Each lane was used by a group of players to run the same drill as in the other two. Each drill started when an offensive lineman hiked the ball to a QB. Facing the hiker was a defensive lineman.The QB would hand the ball to a running back and step out of the way so the running back could try to use the offensive lineman's block to get past the defensive lineman.

10 yards down the field - in the same lane - was another blocker, typically a running back or tight end who was matched up against a defensive back. If the ball carrier made it past the first defender, his challenge would be to use the downfield blocker to get past the next defender while staying in the lane.

Three of these drills were going on at the same time, in three parallel lanes.This created a drill that involved a lot of simultaneously competing players - a number that was impossible to track or tally. Still, the coaches will have a field day running replays of this exercise to watch - and instruct - every player that participated,

Session #9 included an interesting drill where receivers worked one-on-one against a DB and either ran deep patterns or broke the patterns off short. Clearly this drill will gauge the ability of DBs to play cornerback where speed and quick responses are essential.

The coaches frequently dragged a long yellow canvas strap on and off the field for some of the practice sessions. Alternating yellow and black patches on the strap indicate the spacing of the offensive linemen to help them always practice at the ideal distance from one other.

In session #10 there was a simulated hike to a QB who would then try to pass to a running back or a receiver while they worked against linebackers and defensive backs.This drill was run without the offensive and defensive linemen, so here the canvas strap was used to mark the positions they would have been at - so the other players could line up properly outside that area.

In the 12th and final practice session, the offenses ran plays unopposed by defenders. The focus here was on play calling and for each player to remember his correct role. The exercise provided a natural transition into the following scrimmage.

Impressions of the Scrimmage

The first part of the scrimmage was a full contact kickoff drill, and if this session was any indication, moving the ball back to the 30 for kickoffs (the new rule) is going to make a big difference. There were several big runbacks, including an opening runback for a touchdown by Lavelle Hawkins. Either we will have a very good kickoff return team or we need serious work on our kickoff coverage!

After the kickoff drill the regular scrimmages began. I watched the first 6 plays trying to record the details of every play.

I don't know which I missed more at the scrimmage yesterday, my Dictaphone, or my wife. Without my Dictaphone, I had to stop watching after each play and write things down. But then as I was writing, the next play took place. Without my wife sitting next to me to do the spotting and look up player numbers, I missed even more action while trying to catch up on whom I was watching.

It's a rough life, but someone has to live it.

After those first 6 plays, with my Dictaphone on the fritz and my wife at a family gathering, I gave up trying to report each play in detail and decided to focus on overall impressions instead.

Veterans should perform well, and they did.

Nate Longshore looked comfortable and poised. Lavelle Hawkins made several nice catches and had that run back for a touchdown during kickoff drills. Syd'Quan Thompson looked good on defense, had a nice runback during special teams drills, and made a nice pick during the scrimmage.

Craig Stevens is a textbook blocker, fast and devastating. Justin Moye and Anthony Felder each made shoestring tackles to stop what would otherwise have been big running plays. Tom Schneider was the clear winner of the day's field goal competition.

There must have been 2 or 3 Mike Teppers on the field. Every time I looked up there he was, pushing someone off the ball, landing on someone after a block, or making pass protection look easy. Had it been a game, Mike would have gotten the game ball.

I talked to Mike after the scrimmage. He commented that the offensive line run blocking is ahead of their pass blocking at this point. That's probably normal.

Mike confirmed that he is all the way back from his injury. \"Nothing but the normal bumps and bruises of playing football,\" he replied with a weary smile as he unwrapped the tape from his wrists.

I asked Mike about Rulon Davis. He said that both Rulon and Tad Smith are showing good quickness coming off the corner this spring. I had not noticed Tad so this was good news. On the other hand, I specifically noticed Rulon's speed. The man is flat-out fast!

In addition to Davis, I noticed several other players who might figure to see action this season.

Will Ta'ufo'ou may well be the solution to the short yardage problems we experienced on several occasions last season. The guy is a frigging nightmare to tackle - imagine trying to tackle a 250-pound bowling ball coming at you with a full head of steam.

Were I Jeff Tedford, I would be racking my brain trying to figure out ways to get LaReylle Cunningham on the field. LaReylle looks bigger than last season and could be a weapon as a 6-2 200 lb possession receiver; he sells fakes well and runs crisp patterns in a manner almost reminiscent of Bobby Shaw. And he catches everything thrown his way.

Watching Nyan Boateng play almost makes me wish the 2008 season was here already. Boateng is bigger than he looked in the recruiting video clips. He runs low to the ground, but when he stands up on the sidelines and jumps - he becomes a lot taller than his listed 6-2, and contrary to reports he is not skinny. He catches and runs effortlessly, and his smooth, gliding gait belies his speed.He will step into a starting role when he is eligible in 2008, and you can take that to the bank.

Cameron Toler also had a good day. We are set at wide receiver now and for the foreseeable future.

Kyle Reed is a work in progress. He looks more comfortable than last season but still has moments of hesitancy under pressure. His passes are usually nice (good form and velocity), but he still throws the occasional wounded duck.With Kevin Riley held out of the scrimmage, Kyle got a lot of work.He is clearly ahead of Bryan Van Meter in the contest for the #2 quarterback slot, and from reports I have seen he may have a leg (arm?) up on Kevin Riley as well. I would like to see Kyle get game experience this season as soon as possible, perhaps in games where Cal gets a big lead.

The situation at corner is still somewhat unsettled. I believe several players will be given a shot, and that several players will continue to compete through fall camp. I tend to agree with those who have suggested that Thomas DeCoud might be moved to CB as a way to \"get the best players on the field,\" (Tedford's mantra).

Justin Forsett had a couple of nice runs. He catches the ball well out of the backfield. James Montgomery had a couple of nice inside runs and a nice one to the outside.

Make no mistake about it, though; we are going to miss Marshawn Lynch!

Extra Points

From the players' perspective it was a great day for football. It was cool and drizzly at the start of practice and remained cool and overcast throughout all but the last 15 minutes. The sun finally broke through as the practice ended.

There were about 50 people in the stands when I arrived, and the crowd grew to about 200 as the day wore on. Despite the wet field I spotted only one fumble all day. There may have been a few others, but Tedford's vigorous campaign against fumbles - ball security he calls it - is evident.

In the play when Syd'Quan Thompson made his interception and runback, a tremendous block was thrown by a player whose identity I was unable to determine. The noise of pads colliding was so loud I'll bet the neighbors on Panoramic Hill are circulating a noise-abatement petition - and are considering an additional lawsuit.

On one play Sam DeSa had a nice reception and run after his catch - through several blockers - to finally touch down for a touchdown. There was an appreciative crowd reaction. It was nice to see DeSa enjoy a moment of success.

The offensive line as a unit already looks good. Many of their drills are designed to get moving and working as a single unit, and they are getting to that point quickly this year. There were a few of the usual miscues, but I believe offensive line will be one of Cal's strengths.

I have heard at previous events that the refs are actual referees, some from the Pac-10. Depending on availability others may be from college or high school leagues in the area. There was occasional banter between the players and the referees, something one would never see at a game.

The funniest thing all day happened after a bad punt snap hit the ground and rolled. As it bobbled along, instead of falling on it (or trying to pick it up) the punter, Jordan Kay, was savvy enough to simply boot it down field like a soccer ball. It traveled about 25 yards, bouncing along like a squib kick, before the receiving team fell on it. Everyone in the stands laughed - and applauded the punter's quick thinking.

I've heard it said before that if you go to a Cal game, you will probably see something you've never seen before - and may never see again. I didn't know until yesterday that that same comment also applies to Cal practices.


©Copyright 2007, BearInsider.com and Scout.com. All rights reserved.

If you haven't done so already, subscribe to The Bear Insider so you can participate in this active online Cal community and get access to the members-only content from the nation-wide Scout.com network.

Bear Insider staff writers visit the Insider discussion board regularly, and are available to discuss questions you may have about this article and Cal Athletics.

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