Friday Practice Report


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By Jim McGill, Staff Writer
Posted Apr 21, 2017
If by BearInsider Staff or Contributor, this article is Copyright © 2017

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Photo by Al Sermeno Photography
The Bears wrapped up their final weekday practice of the spring session in front of the biggest crowd they've had this spring to-date, as progress continues in rebuilding the program under new head coach Justin Wilcox.
Wilcox addressed the crowd of season ticket holders before practice as the crowd remained to get a look at the latest version of the Golden Bears.

By all accounts, the defense continues to make progress and defensive coordinator seemed satisfied by the progress seen from day one to day 14.

"I like the strides we've made over the course of spring," said DeRuyter. "There's been some ups and downs but the guys were really willing to learn something new and put the time and energy in to do it.

"When you're moving parts, having defensive ends play outside linebacker, sometimes defensive ends playing inside (when outside linebackers rush in 4-3 situations), sometimes the pieces don't fit. But we've got guys busting their tails to make it fit.

"I like the mentality of the defense. We'll continue to work and I think we'll show drastic improvement."

As DeRuyter noted, one of the biggest changes in the defense this spring involved players like junior Cameron Saffle, junior college transfer Alex Funches and sophomore Evan Weaver's transition from defensive end to outside linebacker.

"It's still a work in progress because many of those guys hadn't done it before," said DeRuyter. "But I like the strides.

"If you'd have asked me after the first couple days, I'd be a lot more nervous than I am today.

"It's a process. But we've got a few guys that are more natural at and and others that are kind of working at it."

To view post practice video from defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter and defensive backs coach Gerald Alexander, use the embedded viewers below:


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