Baylor Set For Spring Game

The Bears conclude Spring practices with the annual Spring game. With a new coaching staff, a new offense, a new defense, and new players; there are many remaining unanswered questions. Come see our take on the Spring game as well as questions heading out of Spring ball only inside BearsIllustrated.com.

The Bears conclude Spring practices with the annual Spring game. With a new coaching staff, a new offense, a new defense, and new players; there are many remaining unanswered questions. Perhaps the biggest question is which quarterback on the Baylor roster will step up and take control of the offense.

Transfer Kirby Freeman, who recently played at the University of Miami, is a safe bet on getting the starting position. He was a high school standout in the state of Texas and took his talents to the Miami Hurricanes. Freeman, who has one year of eligibility remaining, finds himself as the most experienced quarterback on the Baylor roster.

Returning starter Blake Szymanski set school records last season in several categories. Although his struggles have been well-documented, Szymanski has not had the luxury of stabilit in his offensive coordinators. The redshirt junior has had 3 offensive coordinators in his tenure at Baylor. He has the skills to be able to run this offense efficiently.

Robert Griffin, a highly touted high school recruit out of Copperas Cove, Texas, possesses a strong arm, an intelligent football mind, and the ability to run with the football. Griffin, who enrolled early in order to learn the system at Baylor, is certainly right in the mix of the quarterback battle.

Tyler Beatty saw limited action last season, but challeneged for the starting job most Spring and Fall last year. Beatty has utilized his Spring workouts effectively, adding weight and strength to his frame. Although he is not the odds on favorite to win the starting job for the season opener, the importance of backup quarterbacks is important. Ask any Baylor football fan.

On the defensive side, the Baylor Bears have switched to a 4-3 defense from a 4-2-5 defense. New defensive coordinator BRian Norwood has taken his coaching phislophies to Baylor from Penn State where he coached under legendary Coach Joe Paterno.

The defense has already seen changes in personnel. Cornerback Krys Buerck has switched over after playing wide receiver last season. Sam Sledge, an offensive lineman last year, is now going to see plenty of action at defensive tackle. Safety Elliot Coffey has been moved to linebacker, and Antonio Johnson, who lined up several times at defensive end last season, is now at linebacker.

While all eyes will see how the new players at new positions perform, many eyes will also be on the anchor of the Baylor Bears defense; the linebackers. Starting middle linebacker Joe Pawelek returns for his senior season. While Antonio Jones nurses an injured leg, sophomore linebackers Chris Francis and Earl Patin will likely see plenty of action. Both showed great promise working on both special teams and in limited time on the field last year at linebacker. The 4-3 allows each linebacker to move more freely and to utilize their individual talents more often.

While the Bears will officially conclude spring practice, the Bears' staff will have plenty of questions that must be answered. Baylor head football coach Art Briles and staff will have plenty of time to answer these questions before drills start up again in August.

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