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Cal Football: Defense The Strength Of The New Bears?

Nam Le of Bear Insider and California Golden Blogs (blueandgold15) sat down for a multi-part interview on Cal football regarding the Bears. Could defense be what Sonny Dykes relies on his first season?

Ezra Shaw

How do you see Cal's transition from a 3-4 back to a 4-3 working out?

As it stands right now, it looks like it's going to be a good one. With the switch, Andy Buh has cleared the logjam of linebackers a bit, and helped create depth at a position where there wasn't any. Last season, Cal's defensive line got dangerously thin, but that should no longer be an issue this season - reinforcements are on the way, in the form of three JUCO transfers, as well as Brennan Scarlett and Chris McCain, who are converting from linebacker. Moving to the 4-3 also allows the team to take better advantage of some of current talent, like redshirt sophomore Todd Barr. The move's already paying dividends as of spring ball - the Bears have gotten decent pressure on the quarterback, and stuffed the run with a vengeance.

Would you say you're more confident in the offense or the defense to be the standout unit next year?

Defense - mostly due to the fact that the offense will be in its infancy, trying to juggle all of the new members up front, a new running back, a new quarterback, and a Keenan Allen sized void. On the other side of the ball, though, many impact players will be back, having gained valuable experience as a result of all the injuries last year. It is a unit that figures to get even better, too - nearly all of them are underclassmen, hailing from the highly ranked 2010 and 2011 recruiting classes.