BERKELEY -- Day 1 of Cal spring football under coach Sonny Dykes had a different feel and a different pace. And there were fans at Memorial Stadium on Monday afternoon, cheering when Zach Kline or Austin Hinder completed a long pass during scrimmage drills.

"That was fun," said Hinder, a junior from Steamboat Springs, Colo., and one of five scholarship quarterbacks competing for the starting job. "Definitely it was a lot more high-paced. I loved it."

Dykes, whose Louisiana Tech team led the nation in scoring last season, was happy with almost everything he saw, including a crowd of about 150 fans, who braved chilly afternoon temperatures to get a first glimpse of the new era.

Cal's practices under former coach Jeff Tedford generally were closed last season.

"Thought the turnout was good," Dykes said. "I think our players are energized when people come out and watch practice. I hope everybody liked what they saw."

Hinder, redshirt freshman Kline and senior Allan Bridgford shared the snaps during 11-on-11 drills. Dykes said he plans to rotate in others, including highly touted freshman Jared Goff, when the Bears resume workouts Wednesday.

Barely three months after the Bears finished last season with a 3-9 record, Kline said the atmosphere was refreshing.

"It's a different team, that's for sure. These guys are fired up, ready to go," he said. "As you saw, we have no pads on, and guys were hitting the turf.


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"I was really glad to see the enthusiasm and guys coming out and wanting to play football today."

Here are three priorities for Cal during spring workouts:

  • Get up to speed: The Bears are switching to a no-huddle, spread attack on offense and a 4-3 alignment on defense. The coaches say it won't take more than three days to install the offense. Getting the players up to speed, literally, during practice might be a bit more challenging.

    The Bears will move as quickly in workouts as they will during games, with more reps and less verbal interruption by the coaches as they become comfortable.

    "It'll look terrible at first," Dykes predicted. "It's not going to look like poetry in motion. Hopefully by the end of it, you say, 'These guys have a chance to be a pretty good football team.' "

  • Match personnel to positions: Dykes said he's not sure who will play where on the offensive line, and already the coaching staff has moved several outside linebackers to defensive end in the new 4-3, including Brennan Scarlett and Chris McCain. Defensive back Jeffrey Coprich has been shifted to running back, where the Bears will be without injured returnees Brendan Bigelow and Daniel Lasco during spring ball.

  • Find a quarterback: Dykes said no judgments were made in advance, but he'd like to narrow the field quickly during his search to replace senior Zach Maynard. Dykes is looking for timing, accuracy, leadership and the ability to inspire confidence in teammates.

    "The whole key is being consistent," Dykes said. "The 3-yard completion, if the ball is thrown in the right spot at the right time, it results in a big play. If it's not thrown in the right spot at the right time, then you get a lot of 3-yard completions."

    For more on Cal sports, see the Bear Talk blog at ibabuzz.com/beartalk. Follow Jeff Faraudo on Twitter at twitter.com/CalBearsBANG.