While the Baylor Bears' practice was cut short yesterday because of bad weather, today the Bears got a healthy dose of the hot Texas sun. Temperatures were high, but so were the spirits of the Baylor Bears' football players and coaches. On a day that saw both offensive and defensive plays being made in spurts, the key, preached to the players on Tuesday, was consistency.
"I thought in spurts we were really pretty good on both sides of the ball. What we got to work on is consistency. Nobody is a good enough football team to have a bad play or a bad series. You just can't have it because somewhere along the line you are playing catch up," said Baylor Head Coach Art Briles. "We don‘t want to play catch up, we want to play from ahead."
Briles applauded the players' effort and intensity, and pointed out that his team needs to control the things that they can control. The inconsistent play may have to do with the fact that the players are going through their final exams this week, as well as an usual practice session in inclement weather yesterday. But Briles is making no excuses.
"If you look around, you can find something wrong. What we got to do is look around and find things right. We are always going to look for what's right, and we are not going to make any excuses if things don't go the way we think they should," Briles said.
While the offense got off to a good start in today‘s practice, Briles knows that his team cannot become complacent if it expects to be on the winning end of many ball games.
"I thought it was good, but the thing we have to do is sustain. You can't get ahead 14-0 and then all of a sudden think the game is over. You got to keep grinding, you got to keep playing, you got to keep making plays, and you have to build on what you have done instead of rely on what you have done," Briles explained. "What we did is we kind of thought well maybe all of a sudden we are okay. Well, we are not okay. We are working to get okay."
While the offense started out with a bang, soon the defense answered with two big plays of its own. Linebacker Antonio Johnson intercepted a Kirby Freeman pass and returned it for a touchdown on the heels of the defense stripping the ball from receiver John David Weed and recovering the fumble.
"I like that," says Briles. "That is what you got to have. You have to be a forceful, aggressive defense. You have to take advantage of turnovers which we did. That was good."
While the players were fully padded, plays were often whistled early, and many times coaches instructed players to stay up. The Bears are still working their way to game speed, and they definitely want to stay healthy by the time they get there. Perhaps, one player already playing at game speed is JUCO transfer Jeremy Sanders, an offensive talent who can lineup anywhere on the field.
"If you like big, strong, and fast then he is a pretty good guy to like," says Briles. "We feel very fortunate that he is wearing green and gold. He has come to help this team win"
The Bears will hit the practice fields again on Thursday and Friday before the annual Meet the Bears scrimmage and autograph session on Saturday.
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