March 18, 2013
BERKELEY - Cal started the final week of spring ball Monday and junior linebacker Nick Forbes took some time to chat with CalBears.com after the workout. Forbes and the Bears are now just five days away from the 2013 Cal Football Spring Game to be televised live by the Pac-12 Networks at Memorial Stadium this Saturday, March 23 (4 p.m. PT). Gates open one hour prior to kickoff for the free event.
CalBears.com: How much has the defense improved since the start of spring ball?
Nick Forbes: We were looking at film today and we've improved tremendously from last Saturday's scrimmage. It's night and day in the sense that we know why we're starting to get the calls and we're starting to fit and flow to the ball. It's really good the amount of growth that we've had the past couple of weeks.
CB: How much has your game personally improved during spring ball?
NF: Mentally, I've gotten a lot better with picking up the kinds of situations that we're in. The game of football is a very situational, mental chess game. I've been able to become aware of certain situations and anticipate what I should be doing.
CB: What's it been like having your position coach also as the defensive coordinator?
NF: Essentially, he's the man that's making all the decisions. It's really good, as a linebacker, we're in control of the defense. To have the guy who is the ultimate say all, end all, the one who's teaching us all the techniques, it's actually really helpful to understand getting in his mind when he's making calls. It's been really beneficial having him in both roles.
CB: Which of the other linebackers have impressed you during spring ball?
NF: A lot of us have been looking good. Khairi [Fortt] had a really good start to the spring. He showed a lot of athleticism. Jalen Jefferson came back and improved a lot. Nathan Broussard, he moved from the outside to the inside in our new system and he's looking really good, starting to look more comfortable. I remember hearing him say how reading guards was difficult, but now he's a natural at it. Even the young guys like Michael Barton and Hardy Nickerson, they're doing really well as far as making strides from the old techniques to the new techniques. I'm really impressed with the depth we have to work with. I think it's going to carry over and help us a lot down the stretch.
CB: When spring ball ends, what do you do to continue learning and growing even though you aren't practicing as a team anymore?
NF: We do a lot of film work, go over the reps over and over again to learn the split-second decisions faster and get the reaction time down. Also, we go over the drill work to get the muscle memory to get the right coverages and attack angles on the run. It's a lot of mental work and it's somewhat repetitive, but what keeps you going with it is the fact that you know those 10 reps that day will get you shaped a little bit closer to where you want to be in the fall.
CB: What are the fans going to notice about the new defense?
NF: They'll notice the variety with it. The 3-4 is a very aggressive style of defense. It can change a lot, but I really feel a sense of a fundamentally-sound defense that we're bringing. Once we start expanding our packages, it will be multi-faceted and you'll see a difference. That's one of the beauties of it. It will look the same from a broad scope, but if you're actually looking at specific players, you'll see changes in their techniques.
CB: What are the kinds of things you're trying to do to be a leader off the field?
NF: Just leading by example. Telling the guys the right things like make sure you're going to tutoring. Reminding the guys how to act, like being a gentleman outside of the football field. I've been told that it's appreciated, it might not be said out loud, but when guys are out there and you hold a door open, the guys see that and they'll pick it up.
CB: Which of the young guys on the team do you see as being potential leaders of the future?
NF: I would say Zach Kline. Technically he's a younger guy, but he's an old soul. I can definitely see him being a leader. Also, Jeffrey Coprich, he's a hard worker. He will lead by his work ethic and his determination to be successful.
Cal's next spring football workout is scheduled for Wednesday, March 20 at Memorial Stadium from 4 - 6:30 p.m. PT. All practices are open to the public and free of charge. 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.
In addition to attending practices, fans can visit the 2013 Spring Football Central and 2013 Spring Game Central pages 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.
Cal will host seven games at Memorial Stadium in 2013 beginning with a three-game homestand to open the season against non-conference opponents Northwestern (Aug. 31), Portland State (Sept. 7) and Ohio State (Sept. 14). Cal will also host Pac-12 games against Washington State on Homecoming Weekend (Oct. 5), Oregon State (Oct. 19), Arizona (Nov. 2) and USC (Nov. 9). Cal will play on the road at Oregon (Sept. 28), UCLA (Oct. 12), Washington (Oct. 26), Colorado (Nov. 16) and Stanford (Nov. 23). Kickoff times and television selections for all 2013 Cal regular-season games will be announced at later dates.
For 2013 ticket information, visit CalBears.com or call (800) GO-BEARS.
2013 CAL FOOTBALL REMAINING SPRING PRACTICE SCHEDULE
DAY, DATE (TIME, TV)
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.