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Shawn X.T.’s Take on the Current State of Cal Football: Defense

Mychal Kendricks tackling Derrick Coleman of UCLA

The overall defense of of 2010 wasn’t too bad. We were really good at home but couldn’t hold ground during away games. Our defense was phenomenal against the Oregon offense even though we didn’t win that game. We had many leaders on the field like Cam Jordan, Mike Mohamed,  and Chris Conte but not enough in the locker room. With the loss of our seniors on defense, we may see a drop in production early in the season, but luckily we aren’t playing too many tough teams early on (i.e. the Presbyterian Blue Hoses). However, I think we will see a lot of athleticism from our newer players like Viliam “Tiny” Moala, Gabe King, Chris McCain, Cecil Whiteside, and David Wilkerson (who played last year). Also, expect an All-Pac 12 season from Mychal Kendricks (ILB). I would also say, keep an eye on Steve Williams, who will start as CB across from Marc Anthony, and also Trevor Guyton at DT.
Defensive Line: 
Even with the departure of Derrick Hill and Cameron Jordan, don’t expect a drop-off in this area. At nose tackle we have tremendous depth with Aaron Tipoti, Kendrick Payne, and the incoming freshman Viliam Moala. The defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi is one of the best coaches in the nation and keeps this group focused and pumped up every single practice and game. Our defensive tackles, also have tremendous depth here, Trevor Guyton, Ernest Owusu, Deandre “Biggie” Coleman, and Gabe King. These guys are big and disciplined, which is very important in Pendergast’s defense where our DTs must do an incredible job in finding the QB and also keeping contain.
We lost one of our best linebacker, Mike Mohamed, this season to the NFL. However, filling in for Mohamed will be Mychal Kendricks (See Picture Above), who played Outside Linebacker (mostly on the weakside) last season. There should be no problem with Kendricks and DJ Holt in the middle next season, as they are veterans and both can put up big numbers. DJ Holt had a team season record of 16 tackles against Nevada last season, though he seemed to be the only person who could tackle that game. Currently, Kendricks is on the list for many noteworthy awards this upcoming season (Rotary Lombardi Award, Bednarik Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Lott IMPACT Trophy and the College Football Performance Awards Linebacker Trophy).
At Outside Linebacker, we have a lot of new talent coming in. Currently Ryan Davis and Dan Camporeale are the starters after Spring Practice. However, I expect that to change going into our first game. There is a lot of athleticism in Cecil Whiteside and David Wilkerson. I expect these two to take over the starting spots by the middle of the season, and also keep an key on Chris McCain and incoming freshmen Brennan Scarlett to get in the mix (even though he is slated as a DE on
Darian Hagan left Cal for the NFL, who recently signed with the Houston Texans, but we have returning starter Marc Anthony. I think Steve Williams will have no problem filling in for Hagan next season because he has great footwork and an amazing vertical. Lets hope they won’t get lit up against big time QBs like Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley, and Nick Foles. Behind Steve Williams and Marc Anthony, will be Josh Hill and a lot of new guys. There will most likely a mixture of cornerbacks and safeties used as a nickelback with Pendergast’s style of defense. I expect Josh Hill or Michael Coley to be that dependable nickelback next season. Also, keep an eye on Adrian Lee to become a reliable backup at CB.

All-Pac 10 Strong Safety Chris Conte has left for the NFL, and Free Safety Sean Cattouse will be back for his senior year. DJ Campbell is currently slated to take over for Chris Conte, but don’t expect the same production. There will be competition from Josh Hill, Michael Coley, and true freshman Avery Walls for the strong safety position. Expect big plays from Sean Cattouse next season, as long as he stays healthy.

Some 2010 Season Defensive Stats:
Total Defense: #18 in the Nation, #1 in Pac-10
Scoring Defense: #40 in the Nation, #3 in Pac-10
Sacks: 34 total, #13 in the Nation, #1 in Pac-10
Interceptions:  9 total, #89 in the Nation, tied #7 in Pac-10
Passing Defense: 56.08% Opp Completion, #21 in the Nation, #1 in Pac-10
Rushing Defense: 132.08 Opp Rushing Yds/game, #35 in the Nation, #4 in Pac-10
Redzone Defense: 76% Opp RZ Pct (Includes FG), #26 in the Nation, #3 in Pac-10
Opp PPG: 22.6 pts


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Shawn X.T’s Take on Cal Football!

My Mission Statement for this blog is to post topics about Cal football that is interesting and fun. I plan on posting links to other news sources about Cal football around noon every weekday (so check back every time you have a lunch break!).

So let me introduce myself. I am Shawn X.T, a former student and a huge fan of Cal Golden Bears Football. I used to live in LA, home of the hated Trojans, where I used to be a fan of USC (I know, very shameful of me). As a former student, I worked as a student manager alongside a great group of people. Ever since, I have always been receiving “inside” information about what is going on with our great Cal Football Team.

Me (Far Right) and Marco (Center Right) as Student Managers for Cal

There are a lot of websites that talk about Cal Football so here are some of my favorite links that you should check out!

Yahoo! Sports
(I don’t recommend getting a Rival’s account. I think it’s a waste of money, unless you are super hardcore about Cal Football)
ESPN Pac-12 blog w/ Ted Miller
(Great place for new around the Pac-12)
Bear Talk
(Jonathon Okanes actually does get the inside info on both Cal Football and Basketball)
Golden Bear Blogs
(Best Cal Sports news blog in my opinion. Check out my friend verytech and his blogs)
(Great place to look for future Cal bears)