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Monday Practice Report: Bears Back to Work After Bye Week

October 14, 2019

After a bye weekend, the Bears were back at their regular practice schedule Monday preparing for Saturday’s 11:30 a.m. game against Oregon State. They were busy last week, if not in the usual in-season fashion.

“I thought the guys did a really nice job mentally staying plugged in,” head coach Justin Wilcox said after the session. “We had quite a few guys practicing (last week) working on skill development, (who) maybe haven’t taken as many reps, or any reps. They got a lot of work in. Then the guys who were on the high-rep count did a really nice job with our conditioning staff or in the film room, taking care of their bodies. So it was productive in a lot of ways.”

Wilcox said the effects of taking a rest from intense practicing were visible. “I think it was noticeable today,” he said. “There was a little bounce. You try to take advantage of those byes when you get ‘em. They (the Pac-12) set the schedule so we use ‘em the best we can when we get ‘em. We try and make it a productive week and I thought the guys did a good job of that.”

Monday’s injury list had six players categoriized as “week-to-week”: Tight ends Gavin Reinwald and Nick Alfin, wide receiver Kekoa Crawford, running back Marcel Dancy and offensive linemen Valentino Daltso and Michael Saffell.

“We’re looking forward to getting them all back,” Wilcox said, without giving a specific return time. “They were all out here in some capacity. We will see where they’re at on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.”

Justin Wilcox:

He said he felt Oregon State (2-4, 1-2 Pac-12) was “Much improved from a year ago.”  He called last weekend’s 52-7 loss to Utah “an anomaly.”

“They are scoring a lot of points,” he said. “They’ve got a really efficient quarterback, Jake Luton. He is a veteran guy, Two good backs, really good receivers. The O-line is physical, They are extremely well-coached, They’re a game-plan oriented team. They’ll pick things that are key issues and work that.

Trey Turner:

“Defensively you see from last year until now the level of execution, guys understanding and playing well and hard. They’re going to come down here hungry and they are going to fight.”

Defensive backfield coach Gerald Alexander’s wife is due to deliver the couple’s fourth child, “any day now.” according to Wilcox. “It’s cell-phone in the pocket time.”

He said the staff had a “well-thought-out” game plan when Alexander is away. He is not sure the defensive backs will like it. “Poor DBs,” Wilcox said. “Coach GA will be with his family which is what he needs to do. But when the time comes you know who goes in the DB room.”

Who indeed. It obviously will be the other former defensive back on the coaching staff, Wilcox himself. “The DBs are probably hoping she has it (the baby) overnight so coach GA can come back.”

According to safety Trey Turner, the DBs aren’t all that scared to have their head coach in such close proximity.

“It’s not our first rodeo with coach WIlcox,” Turner said. “It’s always fun when they try to switch it up every now and then. He’s a great coach, too, knows the scheme as well as anybody. It will be a fun meeting tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it, actually.”

Wilcox also made good use of the bye week. “I watched a lot of football, maybe not the way you watch it,” he said. “Just a lot of work in here. We (the coaching staff) did self-scout, we did some prep work on Oregon State. Obviously the practices we had last week. Then we were out on the road Thursday, Friday. We did that. Then we gave the guys the weekend off which was good for them. We were traveling and recruiting

Devon Modster will be making his second career start at quarterback, and tight end Jake Tonges said he can see the improvement in the junior transfer, who replaced the injured Chase Garbers against Arizona State.

“Especially at quarterback, the more reps you take the more comfortable you get,” Tonges saidl “Devon has a great arm. He can put the ball right where you want it, anywhere on the field. The more reps he gets the better off he’ll be. I think he can do it, and I expect a lot out of him this week against Oregon State.”

Jake Tonges

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Monday Practice Report: Bears Back to Work After Bye Week

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