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Baldwin Likes Bears Effort in Tuesday's Practice

September 3, 2019
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The Bears went through a lengthy practice on Tuesday, and the effort was better than that of a week ago, according to offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin, who liked what he saw on the floor of Memorial Stadium.

“The key will be sustaining it during the week, though,” he said “I’ve seen bad Tuesdays that won ball games (last week for example) and I’ve seen great Tuesdays that don’t. So I don’t get too high or too low. But I was very happy with how we started today.”

He is preparing his offense to face Washington, traditionally one of the better defenses in the country. The Huskies lost quite a few top-line players from 2018, but Baldwin says they are simply reloading.

“They’ll be good again,” he said. “They have talent that comes in and replaces talent that left. It’ll be a challenge, no question. There are some guys who do some special things. Number 95 (Levi Owunzurike) stands out to me. He does a lot of great things. I know it’s a relatively new group, but they play their tails off.”

He went to praise “5 (Myles Bryant), 3 (Elijah Molden) and 27 (Keith Taylor). “I’m a numbers guy,” he said. “That’s how I look at it. We played against 27 in the past, he’s long and rangy so we’re going to have our hands full.”

He was asked about the three offensive turnovers in the season-opening win against UC Davis, and if they were offset by the 471 total net yards. “I am not even worried about the yardage,” he said. “Total yards sometimes is irrelevant. The stat you brought up (turnovers) that’s what wins and loses you ball games. In a lot of situations, you won’t come out with a win if you lose the turnover battle. 

“But we did a study, and turnovers and chunk plays are the biggest difference, and that’s where we offset it with our eight chunk plays as opposed to their two or three chunk plays.”

Baldwin said he was happy that quarterback Chase Garbers was able to overcome some early mistakes (interception, missed receivers) and rally the offense. “I think they asked me that last week, ‘How important is a fast start?” You always want it, but it’s not like if you don’t have a fast start the world is going to end. You’ve gotta keep grinding, and find ways to make adjustments and that’s what he was able to do.

“He was able to see some things they were doing that were different from what we saw on film. We were able to get rolling and scoring four of five drives in the second and third quarters. He just stayed calm through it all. He’ll be the first to tell you though, in terms of his grades and the standard he played at, he’s going to take it to a whole other standard. He’s not where we believe it should be or will be.”

The tight ends did not show up much on the stat sheet, Jake Tonges and Gavin Reinwald had one catch apiece, and McCallan Castles dropped a throw from Garbers. Still, Baldwin felt as a position the group acquitted itself fairly well. 

“They did a good job and they’re young,” Baldwin said. “Those guys haven’t played a lot of ball. A couple of them it is their first action. Calley (Castles) played a little last year it was a spot here or there. So it was the first extensive action any of them had. Even if you go back to Gavin’s freshman year, he was used as more of a receiver. Now he’s playing true tight end. That group’s a good group they are working their tails off, and they are going to continue to ascend as the season goes.

“I think that is the type of group you are going to see as much group as any other position, because of their youth and their want-to.”

The Bears don’t discuss injuries unless they are season-ending, but in running down the wide receivers Baldwin said, “You’ve got Monroe (Young) possibly coming back from injury…” The redshirt freshman was listed among the players who dressed for the Davis game, but apparently he is ailing.

 
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