March 4, 2013
|Spring Football Coverage|
Spring Football Central
Interviews: Dykes | Drew and Sebastian | Lawler
BERKELEY - While much of the talk about the Cal football team this offseason has revolved around the Golden Bears' revamped offense, much of the team's ultimate success in 2013 will likely to be tied to a defensive unit that brings back some of its top players from a year ago including the veteran trio of senior defensive lineman Deandre Coleman, junior linebacker Nick Forbes and junior defensive back Kameron Jackson.
Coleman is the team's leading returning tackler among defensive linemen after making 48 stops a year ago, while also contributing a team-high-tying 8.5 sacks (-32 yards), 3.0 sacks (-20 yards), one pass breakup, two quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery.
Forbes' 85 tackles in 2012 in his first season of significant action was second on the team only to senior defensive back Josh Hill. Forbes also contributed 4.5 tackles for loss (-20 yards), 1.5 sacks (11 yards), one interception that he returned for 26 yards, three pass breakups, three quarterback hurries, a team-high three fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and one blocked kick.
Jackson got his feet wet as a part-time starter in 2012 and co-led the team with three interceptions all in Cal's victory over Pac-12 South Division champion UCLA. Jackson will be heavily relied upon to take over on a full-time basis at one of the starting cornerback spots left vacant by 2012 starters Marc Anthony and Steve Williams.
Although all three put up solid numbers last season, they more importantly realize the importance of their roles as emerging leaders in 2013.
"It's really unique to go through the transition of being one of the little scrubs running around and trying to make a name for yourself to coming out there and being one of the players that the younger guys are looking at," Forbes said. "I'm trying to take it with an open mind and stay humble. I was talking to [former Cal linebacker] D.J. Holt the other day and he was giving me a few pointers on how to carry yourself."
"I feel like I need to step up and do everything right on the field and off the field so they can follow," Coleman offered.
"I'm stepping up and stepping out, letting my voice be heard," Jackson added. First-year defensive coordinator Andy Buh is pleased with the trio and the entire defense.
"The older leaders are vocalizing enthusiasm for what we're doing and it really helps the coaches out," Buh said. "There hasn't been a hesitation by any of those guys or really any guy on the team. It's a seamless transition right now."
The transition will continue when the Bears next practice at Memorial Stadium on Wednesday, March 6 (4 - 6:30 p.m. PT). All practices are open to the public and admission is free. Fans should enter the stadium through Gate 1 on the north end, where they will be directed onto the concourse level and into available seating in the lower area of sections EE, F, FF and G. Fans are not allowed onto the field. Cal's spring practices will conclude with the 2013 Cal Football Spring Game to be televised live by the Pac-12 Networks on Saturday, March 23 (4 p.m. PT).
In addition to attending practices, fans can visit the 2013 Spring Football Central Spring Football Central page on CalBears.com throughout spring ball for a complete practice schedule, fan information and a wide array of additional content including blog entries, videos, features and much more.
For 2013 ticket information, visit CalBears.com or call (800) GO-BEARS.
*Former Cal players Brian Schwenke and Ron Rivera (now head coach of the Carolina Panthers) were among those in attendance at Monday's practice ... running back Jonah Hodges contributed a couple of notable long runs during the team's 11-on-11 work, while fellow backfield mate Darren Ervin scored a pair of rushing touchdowns during those sessions ... defensive lineman Antione Davis had a memorable interception after batting down a pass attempt ... head coach Sonny Dykes praised the work by the offense in the pre-team drills during his post-practice media availability session, calling them "some of the best they'd had ... I thought our quarterbacks threw the ball well. I thought the guys caught the ball. They were more precise than what they've been doing. It seemed like they're starting to pick things up."
2013 CAL FOOTBALL REMAINING SPRING PRACTICE SCHEDULE
DAY, DATE (TIME, TV)
Wednesday, March 6 (4 - 6:30 p.m.)
Friday, March 8 (6:30 - 9 p.m.)
Saturday, March 9 (1 - 3:30 p.m.)
Monday, March 11 (4 - 6:30 p.m.)
Wednesday, March 13 (6 - 8:30 p.m.)
Friday, March 15 (6:30 - 9 p.m.)
Saturday, March 16 (11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.)
Monday, March 18 (4 - 6:30 p.m.)
Wednesday, March 20 (4 - 6:30 p.m.)
Friday, March 22 (6:30 - 9 p.m.)
Saturday, March 23 (4 - 6:30 p.m., Spring Game, Pac-12 Networks)
All practices scheduled to be open to the public at Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, Calif.; All times Pacific; Schedule subject to change
Memorial Stadium Location - Memorial Stadium is located on Piedmont Avenue in Berkeley between Bancroft Way and Hearst Avenue. It is adjacent to the Simpson Center for Student-Athlete High Performance at 2227 Piedmont Avenue. Parking in the vicinity of Memorial Stadium is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please be sure to read all signs at each parking location for further important information. There are also public transportation options. See below for some suggestions.
MLK Student Union Garage - Located on the north side of Bancroft Way between Telegraph Avenue and Dana Street.
Public Transportation - Public transportation is highly recommended when visiting Berkeley. There are multiple public transportation options that lead to Memorial Stadium. BART has a station in downtown Berkeley about a half-mile west of the venue. Visit bart.gov, actransit.org or 511.org for more information.
Recreational Sports Facility Garage - Located on the north side of Bancroft Way between Dana Street and Ellsworth Street.
Street Parking - Paid and limited street parking may be available on streets near Memorial Stadium, with most options just south and east along Stadium Rimway, Piedmont Avenue, Prospect Street, Channing Way or Warring Street.
Underhill Garage - Located on the corner of Channing Way and College Avenue.
Witter Lot - Located near the corner of Centennial Drive and Stadium Rimway.
More Information - For more information on directions and parking options, visit berkeley.edu/map. A parking specific map can be located online at http://pt.berkeley.edu/sites/pt.berkeley.edu/files/content/NewPadMap2011.pdf.