And now, a training session for aspiring amateur detectives, brought to you by Cal football.
The Bears wrapped up spring practice Saturday with a controlled scrimmage at Contra Costa College, and coach Jeff Tedford said afterward that an announcement regarding the quarterback competition is coming soon.
In the scrimmage, junior Zach Maynard took every first-team rep. Tedford also spent the spring praising Maynard's performance and potential.
Not exactly a tough case to crack.
It remains to be seen if Tedford will go as far as definitively naming Maynard his starting quarterback, but it seems pretty clear that at the very least Maynard will enter fall camp with the No. 1 job.
Maynard had his best performance yet among Cal's five controlled scrimmages, polishing off a spring in which he had to digest Cal's offense on the fly while not letting that paralyze his extensive athletic ability.
"I feel good about it," said Maynard, a transfer from Buffalo. "I'm still on a learning curve trying to pick up this offense. It's coming a lot faster for me. From day one, it was rough. Now, everything is coming slowly but surely."
Tedford said he could "possibly" name a starting quarterback before fall camp begins but added, "Nothing is ever completely firm. You have to continue to compete, and you have to continue to produce. However that works out, it's still about competition through fall camp."
Not since 2007, when Nate
Tedford might name Maynard the starter but with the caveat that he still has to compete to keep that role during fall camp.
"You have to have that mindset," said Maynard, who was Buffalo's starting quarterback in 2009 before transferring to Cal and sitting out last season. "You want to be the guy and think you can be that guy. You have to show some leadership in the weight room, breaking down film, all that stuff."
Senior Brock Mansion and sophomore Allan Bridgford alternated taking the second-team reps Saturday, and the race for the backup job could be more competitive than the starting job in the fall.
Mansion started the final four games of last season after a season-ending injury to Riley but was generally ineffective.
"Those games last year helped a bunch with slowing the game down and being able to direct the offense in the right way," Mansion said. "I feel pretty good, all things considered. There's a bunch of question marks still going into fall camp. You just have to come out and work hard in the summer and set yourself up for a good fall camp, and then we'll see where everything falls."
The spring marked the first time Bridgford has taken any reps at Cal. He injured his shoulder after arriving in Berkeley in 2009 and wasn't healthy until after last season started. With Riley, Mansion and Beau Sweeney ahead of him on the depth chart last year, reps were few and far between.
"It's been awesome getting a ton of reps," Bridgford said. "This is more reps than I've ever gotten at Cal. I think I've really grown. I always knew it on the board, but on the field is a whole different thing.
"I think there will be competition all the way up to the season. I'm just going to do my best every day, and I'll be placed where I should be."