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Cal Football Spring Practice: Bear Raid Still Stumbling

Nam Le of Bear Insider and California Golden Blogs (blueandgold15) sat down for a multi-part interview on Cal football regarding the Bears. Today we discuss how the Bear Raid is progressing.

Sonny Dykes at spring practice
Sonny Dykes at spring practice
Cal Bears Online

How far along is the Bear Raid offense in its installation?

Offensive coordinator Tony Franklin likes to say that his offense can be installed in three days - but that's not exactly true. New looks and formations were popping up all the way through the second week of practice, although Franklin likely meant that all the core concepts would be in, and not the playbook itself. To answer your question though, I would say not completely - Cal was missing a bunch of starters this spring, had to split reps between three quarterbacks, and often didn't have the depth to practice at full tempo. All of this made it hard for Franklin and Dykes to really play the way they hoped. For those who caught a glimpse of the Bear Raid and came away unimpressed, expect the version on August 31st to look different and more deadly.

Who is the player that's most likely to enjoy a breakout season in the new system?

I'm going to cheat and give two answers.

The player most fans are looking forward to seeing in the Bear Raid is running back Brendan Bigelow, who will be taking the majority of the carries come fall. In a system like Franklin's, which aims to utilize players in space and to create mismatches at high tempo, Bigelow appears to be a perfect fit - and anyone who saw last year's Ohio State game can tell you, the Fresno Flash has mismatch written all over him.

Besides Bigelow, wide receiver Bryce Treggs also seems primed for a big year. The Bears have put new emphasis on attacking downfield, which is right in Treggs' wheelhouse. But that's not all - the Bear Raid runs a healthy amount of slants, drags and screens, all of which work well with the sophomore's natural shiftiness. An offseason of work saw Treggs add 10 pounds to his frame, which should also help him be more durable this season.