Clancy Pendergast spoke publicly Thursday for the first time since replacing Bob Gregory as Cal's defensive coordinator last week and intimated that he's not married to the idea of keeping the 3-4 as the Bears' base scheme.
Pendergast said he would wait to evaluate Cal's personnel and wanted to make sure his defense was versatile enough to feature multiple formations.
"Based on the guys that we have out here and the numbers of athletes that potentially could line up at the linebacker position, (the 3-4) is obviously something that might fit the guys that we have," Pendergast said. "But to be honest with you, going through film and then having a picture of what is going to transpire in spring ball will give us a lot better feel for what we're really going to sink our teeth into. I want to identify the guys that can make plays for us and where we think we can benefit them from a matchup standpoint. I don't think we want to be pigeonholed into one thing or another. We want to utilize our skill set."
Cal switched from the 4-3 to the 3-4 before the 2008 season to maximize a talented corps of linebackers. The program has been committed to the 3-4 ever since and has tailored its recruiting to fit that scheme. The Bears' 2010 recruiting class includes the No. 2 linebacker haul in the country, according to rivals.com.
"My background as a coordinator in the NFL for six years has been geared toward a 3-4 alignment if you look at the past and how we've utilized the players that we've had," said Pendergast, who was a defensive coordinator with the Arizona Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs. "The 3-4 allows you to have more athletes on the field. It allows your defense to create different looks. We're going to look at our guys and see how they fit and we're going to be multiple in what we do."