Ted Miller has an interview up with Cal's new offensive coordinator, Frank Cignetti. It's the first real interview I've read of Cignetti other than the few quotes sprinkled here and there in Spring Ball coverage. You can read the full article here.
Two things are becoming increasingly evident as time goes on with Cignetti at the offensive helm.
(Michael Zagaris/Getty Images)
1) Don't expect anything new in terms of offensive strategy with Cignetti. It's been stressed repeatedly how similarly minded Cignetti is with Coach Tedford, as they seem to emphasize the same offensive philosophies.
Cignetti: "What Jeff was looking for was a guy who could work with him. As we talked, we felt our offensive philosophies were very similar. What I mean by that is our approach to the game in terms of running the ball, protecting the quarterback, throwing the ball and training the quarterback. I think there was a comfort level that our backgrounds and beliefs were going to be compatible. I also think Jeff was looking for a guy who'd be able to come in who'd had success calling plays in the past, who could let him concentrate on other things."
I suppose this means we won't be seeing anything radically different in terms of playcalling this year. It won't be anything near the nuances we saw introduced when Dunbar came from Northwestern. Expect Cal to pound the ball, get their receivers in space, and maybe get cute every once in a while.
2) Expect Nate Longshore to take the first team snaps this fall.
"At the end of spring, did you have one ahead of the other?
Cignetti: Absolutely not. Nate had such a good first week of practice that there was no doubt in my mind that, after we were told he'd miss the rest of spring, that he'd at least be part of a competition, if not the starter."I know, I know. You can't read too much into this interview, and who knows even how much say Cignetti will ultimately have in the quarterback competition between Longshore and Riley. I know it's still wide open, as a lot, and I mean A LOT can happen once camp starts next month. But at this point, based on what I've seen and read of what the coaches have thought of the two qbs thus far, I'd be very surprised to not see Longshore take the first set of first team snaps in camp, as well as on opening game. I'm not saying it's not very close, because I think it is, but if Longshore and Riley are both performing equally in practice next month, I expect them to fall back on the veteran.
[On a side note, any self respecting Pac-10 college football fan should be loving Ted Miller's new Pac-10 Blog over at ESPN. He updates pretty regularly throughout the day, and pretty much everything is a good read. Definitely worth checking out.]