Recap: Bears Hold 1st Spring Practice

Baylor's spring football season brings added interest this year as the Bears are coming off their most successful Big 12 season. With the new offense under offensive coordinator Lee Hays, you'll want to check in daily with TheeBearsDen to see what happened that day.

Spring Practice #1

Tonight the excitement was high and the energy was apparent as the Baylor football team took the field for the first time this spring. The offense was first to come out in shorts, not full pads and began with warm ups and stretches. The new first year offensive coordinator Lee Hays was one of the first coaches pushing the players to get ready to go to work. The first drill had the quarterbacks taking snaps from the offensive lineman and working on dropping back in the pocket. Shawn Bell and Blake Szymanski both looked sharp in this drill and clean in taking their handoffs from centers Will Blaylock and Ricky Hasoon. The first real action of the night was when the quarterbacks threw deep timing fades into the end zone to the different receivers. In this drill, the crowd was impressed by Szymanski's arm and Bell's timing. Both separated themselves from the pack. On the receivers' side, Zeigler and Shelton were both exellent showing great hands and awareness by keeping their feet down in the end zone on all catches.

After a few pass drills, the first and second group offense lined up in different formations. Hays lived up to speculation by having a spread offense where Bell was terrific in hitting nearly every 10 to 15 yd pass in different plays. Szymanski was able to air out a couple huge fly patterns to Shelton and Mikail Baker but struggled hitting short, quick routes. Another receiver who impressed was Trey Payne, his speed will be hard to keep off the field, if he can continue to run good routes as he did tonight.

Another big story was the switch from quarterback to tight end for Terrance Parks. This was evident all night as he was in every receiving group drill and didn't take any snaps. He was fast for a tight end and showed great speed, but struggled to hold on to some passes thrown into coverage.

On the defensive side of the ball, the secondary had a great practice with a lot of energy in all the players. Coach Mcgriff was real vocal in making sure the corners and safeties did their job in coverage. A fun player to watch is C.J. Wilson, this guy is a great player and also a very vocal leader. Many plays he would outplay a receiver but then encourage to keep up the hard work. Josh Bell had a great night by really standing out in one on one drills against receivers by jamming them up front and getting over the top of the receivers continually.

Another move that occurred tonight was the switch from defensive end to defensive tackle for Lequantum Mcdonald. He possesses quick feet for his size, and it could be used as a great asset on the defensive line.

The big action tonight happened when the team did 7 on 7 against each other. A great battle to watch was Dominque Ziegler against C.J. Wilson. Both were physical and vocal with both getting the best of each other on a few occasions. In 7 on 7, Shawn Bell completed a touchdown pass on a deep post route to Trent Shelton on the first play from scrimmage. At first, Bell was hitting on all cylinders completing his first 5 passes and Szymanski was a little rattled missing his first two throws. However Blake got more comfortable when he completed a long 40 yd pass to Baker for a touchdown, which garnered some applause from fans and teammates. On the defensive side of the ball in 7 on7, James Todd was quick and shifty in the secondary, almost intercepting two different passes. Maurice Linquist was able to grab an interception on a pass from bell that was tipped by Paul Howard. Paul Tolbert also saw some action in the linebacking core and made an impression by grabbing an interception as well.

Tonight was a solid practice under the lights that saw sharp play from savvy veterans and groundbreaking impressions from different newcomers at all positions.

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