Monday Practice Report

The temperature hit 106 degrees on the field, but the Baylor Bears football team plugged on completing their third practice so far under the Art Briles era. Come inside to read more about who looked good, how the true freshman are competing, and the play of the day.

The temperature hit 106 degrees on the field, but the Baylor Bears football team plugged on completing their third practice so far under the Art Briles era. Baylor fans know all too well the issue with dehydration as it affected the Baylor Bears' team in 2006 in their season opener against TCU. Times are different now with hydration a key element in the practices, players are instructed to drink plenty of water, whether they want it or not.

While it is a often used phrase that "defense wins championships", one cannot help but be somewhat focused on the athletes being put on display on Baylor's practice field, especially at the quarterback position which we focused on today. With 4 quarterbacks vying for playing time and to win the starting job, the Baylor coaching staff has a good problem. All four quarterbacks have shown the ability to compete and make plays, and each one brings a different element to the field. Today, transfer quarterback Kirby Freeman looked solid and took plenty of reps. He has shown good arm strength and surprisingly good mobility out of the pocket. He is the most veteran player at the position so perhaps he brings a leadership quality to the team as well.

True freshman Robert Griffin is about as exciting as it can get from that position. He can make plays happen, and whether he tucks the ball and runs or lets the ball fly, the big play capability is always there. Because he came in the Spring, Griffin is having no problem picking up the plays. He obviously runs very well, he makes good decisions, and has a good grasp of the all important internal timer to get the pass off. Griffin plays with reckless abandon at times, and although there is no hitting the quarterback, he seems to be making people miss.

Blake Szymanski, last year's starter, allows for the depth chart to be as solid as it has been at Baylor for quite some time. Not saying that Szymanski does not have the ability to start, but that if he is indeed a backup quarterback, he has the ability to win football games because of his experience. Szymanski looked good on Monday, and appears to be comfortable in the new offense. While he does not possess the athletic ability of Robert Griffin, Szymanksi moves very well outside of the pocket. He made several good throws on the run.

Jeremy Sanders, JUCO transfer, is the other player working at the quarterback position. Expectations are definitely met when watching this guy sling the ball around. With ehat looks like a lazy elbow on his delivery, Sanders still gets the ball where it needs to be. While he appears a bit rusty at times, we will chalk that up to learning a new offense right now. He moves very well, and is bigger than Griffin. He has the ability to get to the corner when he tucks the ball, and he has good cutting ability.

The true freshen that looked good today are cornerback Mike Williams and wide receiver Kendall Wright. Williams showed good athletic ability and good footwork covering first team wide receivers. While he needs to add weight to his frame, his speed is something that will catch your eye when watching him. Aditionally, wide receiver Kendall Wright was able to get behind the defense a couple of times for some big plays. wright is a plyer that will do well in space, and we have yet to see how he will do in full pads on the collegiate level.

The play of the day happened when a screen pass to the right was in progress. Offensive lineman Jason Smith was runing into the flat, and linebacker Antonio Jones lit him up, knocking him to the turn, to the cheers from the defensive sideline. Smith quickly got up, but the defense did not stop talking until the end of practice.

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