I got the chance to talk to Chase Garbers, the former Golden Bear. He started the game for the National team and performed well. I talked to him about practice and his experience this week, and how he’s preparing for the draft post game.
Tell me about practice this week, what’s been going well and what hasn’t?
It’s been a lot of fun, obviously we’re a bunch of guys that have never played with each other so the first couple of days of getting used to how guys run and move on the field was interesting. Overall it’s been well, picking up an offense in 3 or 4 days and executing that on the field, it’s been really fun this week.
What’s a good piece of advice you’ve received from the coaches this week?
I mean there’s been a bunch of advice, our Quarterback coach Seneca Wallace has been in the NFL for a while so there’s wisdom he brings. Along with the other coaches on our team and around the building, each and every night you learn something new.
I watched you play against UCLA here at the Rose Bowl, is there anything you wish you could have done better in that game?
As a team we could’ve done a lot better, but UCLA’s had our number for a number of years now, they’re a really good team and ultimately the game didn’t go the way we wanted it to.
I know your brother was on the other sideline during that game, what was that like playing against him?
It was a really cool experience. I wish he was playing as the starter because that would have been even cooler, just seeing him out there fulfilling history and playing college football was awesome as an older brother.
Tell me about the pass catchers this week, is there anyone you’ve loved to throw the ball to?
We’ve all gotten great chemistry with the wideouts here, there’s some guys that shined in practice definitely and you’ll see that happen tomorrow.
Is there anything you’ve been trying to improve on this week?
Yea, there’s been a lot of things I’ve been working on in draft prep and then here just getting used to the speed of the NFL, everyone out here is NFL talent so everyone’s pretty fast, pretty quick, so just speeding up the game and taking that into account each and every practice
What kind of offensives schemes are you comfortable with?
I think as a quarterback you gotta be able to do it all, my last two years at Cal we ran the west coast offense which a lot of NFL teams run, so there’s a mix of quick game, drop back, and heavy play action. You gotta be well versed in all of it to be successful in the NFL.
Is there an NFL player you model your game after?
Not anyone in particular, I like to watch a bunch of guys and pick up things here and there and if I could implement that in my game I defintiely try to, but no one in particular there’s probably 5 or 6 guys that I watch.
If you don’t make it in football what’s your dream job?
If I don’t make it in football, I’ll probably do something in finance like asset management, private equity, something like that.
I was able to catch up with Garbers after the game as well to talk about the offense. Garbers ended the game going 10/13 for 119 yards and touchdown. He also added two rushes for 25 yards on the ground, showing off his mobility and athleticism. He was methodical all game, took what the defense gave him and performed well.
In the game, you had a lot of plays where you moved out of the pocket on your passes, was that part of the gameplan or was that something you improvised?
As a quarterback you don’t want to be moving out of the pocket too much, so that was a lot of improv. That’s just how I’ve played for 4 years at Cal, extending plays, breaking the pocket and hitting guys down field or tucking it in and running.
What were you seeing from the defense today that allowed you to have such success throwing the ball?
They were in some pretty basic coverages, the nice thing about these games is there’s not too much disguising or anything, so what they lined up in is normally what you got. Overall we just had to execute the plays we worked on all week in practice.
The offense was performing well today no matter who the QB was, what position group do you think that speaks to the most?
The offensive line, they had 3 different quarterbacks back there and they were still moving the ball consistently in the run game and protecting us in the pass. We didn’t really have any true sacks so credit goes to them, they did really well today.
What areas are you looking to improve on before the draft?
Overall just general quarterback things, accuracy, speed with your drops, foot quickness, just little things here and there that I’ll go back to Dana Point and work on.
Overall, this was a great performance from Garbers, who shined in the limited action he got. What made it more impressive was the fact that he only had a week to learn the offense and build chemistry with his new teammates, which speaks to his football IQ. Garbers is hoping to land an invitation to the NFL combine and is now onto Cal’s pro day on March 16. If he keeps playing at the level he did here, he’s got a good chance to earn his spot on a team come April.