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There are a limited number of highly experienced players leading the Cal defense in 2012. They are senior safety Josh Hill and cornerback Marc Anthony, with junior defensive end Deandre Coleman rounding out a hard charging pass rush.
The four key Cal defensive coaches, on the other hand, have over 60 years of coaching experience in the NFL and top college programs. They have recruited and developed some top defensive players now in the NFL.
Defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast had the same important role for the Kansas City Chiefs and led the Arizona Cardinals defense to the 2009 Superbowl. He is a very aggressive minded defensive coordinator.
Defensive backs coach Ashley Ambrose has 13 years of top NFL playing experience and knows how to get his D-Backs to disrupt a quarterback's passing options.
Defensive line coach Todd Howard has 20 years of NFL and top college line coaching experience. He has shown he can develop young players quickly.
Linebacker coach Kenwick Thompson recruited and developed such standout linebackers as Mike Mohamed, now with the Denver Broncos, and Zack Follett, who is in his third year playing linebacker for the Detroit Lions
In summary, the Cal defense created many turnovers in 2011 and snapped up 11 of the 18 fumbles that hit the ground. Their hungry defensive backs, led by Josh Hill coupled with strong D-Line pressure, will again stuff the rush and create many interception opportunities in 2012.
The Golden Bears defensive coaching schemes are very aggressive and will surely disrupt pass routes, making things extremely difficult for Pac-12 quarterbacks.