On National Signing Day in early February, Cal coach Jeff Tedford said he recruited linebackers with the 3-4 defense in mind. His goal, he said that day, was to create pressure on the quarterback.
Experience with the 3-4, a pressure oriented defense, was the main reason Clancy Pendergast was hired away from the Raiders as defensive coordinator, according to reports.
"Hopefully, I can bring the ability to be a very good teacher of the game, give our players direction and put them in position to use their strengths along with their talent to make plays," Pendergast said according to the other AP. "We want to play smart, tough and aggressive. Those will be the three keys."
Problem is...Pendergast's defenses haven't demonstrated an ability to effectively run the 3-4. After running the 12th ranked defense in his first year in Arizona (2004), he hasn't fielded a defense ranked better than 26th in points.
I understand some of the college game is name recognition (for recruiting purposes) but the Pendergast hire is perplexing.
For him personally, it's a good move, because it was highly unlikely he would get another coordinator's job in the foreseeable future after being "relieved of his duties" at his last two stops.
Pendergast went to the University of Arizona -- a Pac-10 school.
We've been monitoring the reaction to the Pendergast hiring over at SB Nation's Cal blog, California Golden Blogs. Here's what they're saying over there and we will be speaking with them in coming days to give them an idea of what they can expect with Pendergast.