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Practice Report Day 5: Bears Concentrate on Red Zone Situations

March 4, 2019

The Bears were back on the field for the fifth spring practice on Monday, in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts.

Other than the periods devoted to teaching individual groups, the emphasis was on red zone offense and defense.

The top three quarterback candidates, Chase Garbers, Devon Modster and Jack Newman took the bulk of the reps. Each seemed to have their moments, high and low. On his initial sequence Modster threw his first pass to the sidelines over everybody’s head. On the next play he drilled a 10-yard strike to redshirt freshman Ben Skinner between two defenders on the goal line.

Newman’s first pass was intercepted in the end zone by sophomore corner Branden Smith. A couple of snaps later Newman found Monroe Young in the back of the end zone.

Garbers, who had a decent day throwing the ball, completely bamboozled the defense, faking a handoff to a back (sorry, didn’t catch the number) going right. While the defense followed him, Garbers, who had kept the ball, sauntered virtually alone around the left side and into the end zone.

Head coach Justin Wilcox was asked about the wide receiver group, which, especially with Jordan Duncan temporarily sidelined, is short on experience and numbers.

“All those guys with where we are at that position have an opportunity because of our numbers,” Wilcox said. “they’re taking advantage of it through five practices. I think Monroe (Young) has really shown up. He’s a strong guy and did some good things last year in camp, then he was dinged up for awhile. Then we go him back on scout team and things like that. He’s done some good things. I thought the perimeter blocking showed up.

“Nikko (Remigio) had a couple of good plays. You kind of go through the list of each of those guys and the things they’re doing well. But we’ve got a lot of work to do. As long as they continue to bring it in the meetings room and on the field they’ll continue to give themselves a chance.”

On the play Wilcox was probably referring to, Young threw a nice block for Remigio on a screen pass that went the distance.

Wilcox that overall he is pleased with the early start to spring practice combined the season extended by the bowl game.

“It’s noticeable because we had 14 or 15 practices (prior to the bowl game), the equivalent of another spring ball,” he said. “And then we came out and were working out (in the weight room) in mid-December and basically  all of January. And there was really only a couple of opposed to having most of December gone and half of January…. It was noticeable when they came back in January and started working in the weight room and it’s noticeable in spring football in terms of how quick you get back to it in terms of calls and communication. We’re still not there, by any means but I think the head start we had in spring football is noticeable.”

Drill highlights:

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