Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Depth Chart

It looks like the lineup for Cal is set.

Offense
WR - Robert Jordan
LT - Mike Gibson
LG - Brian De La Puente
C - Alex Mack
RG - Noris Malele
RT - Mike Tepper
TE - Craig Stevens
WR - DeSean Jackson
QB - Nate Longshore
FB - Brian Holley or Zach Smith
RB - Justin Forsett

The offense looks great. Lavelle Hawkins is 1A behind Jordan and will get plenty of touches when Cal goes 3 wide. The offensive line should be solid. Though we are replacing 3 starters from last year, all the guys have experience. No real surprises here.

Defense:
DE - Rulon Davis
DT - Matt Malele
DT - Mika Kane
DE - Tyson Alualu
SLB - Zack Follett
MLB - Worrell Williams
WLB - Anthony Felder
CD - Syd Thompson
FS - Thomas DeCoud
ROV - Bernard Hicks
CB - Brandon Hampton

Davis and Alualu at the end will suprise people this year. And the line will stay fresh with little drop off with Cody Jones, Tad Smith and Cameron Jordan providing depth.
As mentioned before, the linebackers are the strength of the defense.
One surprise is that Chris Conte is listed as the backup for Brandon Hampton. While the true freshman has been getting a ton of praise from coaches, it is surprising that he was able to beat out Darian Hagan or Charles Amadi for the spot.

Special Teams:
P - Andrew Larson
PK - Tom Schneider
PR - DeSean Jackson
KOR - Justin Forsett, Lavelle Hawkins, Jahvid "The Beast" Best

Best special teams unit in the nation, top to bottom. Larson, Schneider and Jackson are at or near the top of their respective positions in the conference if not the nations.
Personally, I don't like to see starters returning kickoffs. (Anyone remember the Jason Sehorn incident with the NY Giants. Sehorn was coming of a Pro Bowl season and begged the coaches to let him return kicks. What happens? Broken leg on his first kick off return.)
Tedford is still considering Jackson for kickoffs. Personally, I think his size is better suited for punt returns. Also, with Best, Hawkins, Vareen and other talents players available for kick off duty, why risk it?

3 comments:

DC Bear Fan said...

I don't think Hagan is out of the mix entirely. He's listed as the #2 CB behind Syd'Quan. It wouldn't surprise me to see him overtake Hampton and start opposite SQT by the time Pac-10 play starts. Hampton has game experience and is a solid tackler, which will be key against UT, where stopping the running game will be critical (and where the opposing receivers lack experience). But, as the season goes on, and as more of a premium gets placed on cover skills, I think we may see more of Hagan.

Pete Morris said...

I agree. Jackson has no business returning kick-offs, especially with guys like Best and Vereen looking for ways to contribute. It's just not worth the risk. And I, for one, hope the Bears find themselves returning a lot more punts than kick-offs this year. In fact, I'd be extremely pleased to see the Bears limited to just one kick-off return per game. :-)

Trumanhugh said...

I've been thinking the same thing about Jackson not returning KOs, Pete. The risk of injury is too great and we need him elsewhere. It's not that I don't think he could do a good job, I just fear that his smaller stature out there alone with all the other side charging at him...then again, he DOES have a way of winding his way out of a quagmire and into the endzone.

Besides the obvious (Forsett, Hawkins), there appear to be a few other more-than-able contenders. Of these, Best seems the prime candidate. Probably Vereen, too, though I haven't heard as much about him. (I don't know why this is. I know he's been getting press, hasn't he?)

I'm just SO ready for Saturday to get here. After 20 years, we've been screwed out of our usual parking situation, and it's caused a little reworking of the game plan. But just the fact that I'm referring to my overall timeframe and drive from Sacramento to Berkeley and the finding of a shuttle, etc., as a "game plan" tells me that I am through with all the preseason hype and ready for some Golden Bears football!!