Baylor wrapped up spring practice on Saturday with a scrimmage in front of 3,500 fans.
Art Briles seemed very pleased, especially because the Bears stayed healthy throughout the spring. Three new assistant coaches joined the staff in the off-season. Former Pitt assistant Phil Bennett is now serving as the defensive coordinator. Former North Texas corners coach Carlton Buckles is coaching the corners, while former Stony Brook defensive coordinator Jim Gush is the new linebackers coach.
Following the scrimmage, Briles said, "(We're) healthy is the main thing. Everybody that's in the huddle will be ready to go against TCU, and that was kind of our plan when we started back in late February. We felt good about the way it progressed. I think we lost a little bit of our energy as the scrimmage went on today, but that's to be expected. It's our eighth workout in the last 10 days. So that's going to add up a little as you go along.
“The crowd was good, the energy was good. It was a great atmosphere for our recruits. We had a lot of great recruits here. And that's always important. But the main thing is we stayed healthy. (We) did pretty good up front, both sides of the ball. Protected the ball on offense and then had some good stops on defense.”
Defensive coordinator Phil Bennett said, "We've got to make (opposing offenses) earn everything they get and make them know you're going to line up right and be physical and that nothing's going to be given to them. During the last seven practices, I've been tickled to death. I really thought we made some good strikes. I told them we can be anything we want. There are no limitations."
That is encouraging to hear since the Bears allowed an average of 47 points in their last four games - Oklahoma State (55), Texas A&M (42), Oklahoma (53), and Illinois (38).
Baylor opens with three consecutive home games against TCU, Stephen F. Austin, and Rice.