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Meet the Bears Scrimmage Recap/Thoughts

All things considered, Baylor Football had an incredible day today in Waco, Texas. I was blessed enough to be present, along with my family. It was an experience I won't soon forget.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Check out the official scrimmage notes for stats and quotes from a few players and Art Briles himself.

Before I get to the scrimmage itself, I wanted to include a few personal notes directed at the Baylor Athletics family and staff:

I can't thank you enough for everything you did today for me and my family.  As many here know, I have a completely disabled son who requires 24-hour ventilator support and only moves in a wheelchair.  He has a nurse with him at all times, along with a tremendous amount of accoutrements necessary to his well-being.  Going to the grocery store is a challenge; traveling across the state is much more.  Because of everything you and your staff did today, it was anything but.  You made a special day possible every step of the way.  My son, who at 2 years old has an almost-strange fascination with football, got to meet real-life football players.  He got to have his picture taken with Art Briles, who approached him without tentativeness and as if they had met 100 times before.  He got to see parts of the Simpson Center where real players go, and their images are plastered all over the walls.  I don't think I've ever seen him smile so much in his life.

Every person I dealt with had a smile on their face.  Every fan I saw-- and there were so many-- was having a good time.  It was the first time I've ever gotten to take my son to the school that I love, and though he's not really old enough to understand what a school is or why it's special to me, I think it's special to him now, too.  We've focused since his diagnosis with making every day special for him; today, you helped us do that more than you could ever know.  I am truly grateful.

Now on to the scrimmage!  Here are a few bullet points.

  • The scrimmage kicked off about 5 minutes earlier than I thought, and we were late, missing the first drive completely.  I'm told Lache Seastrunk should have had about a 50-yard TD on that drive.  As it turned out, Rashodrick Linwood finished it with a 10-yard score, continuing what has been an impressive camp for him.
  • To accommodate William, we were placed down just off one endzone.  While it was great for people-watching and when the scrimmage was in our end, it wasn't the best vantage point for the actual play.  That means I'm not the best source for everything that happened.  Several others got better looks, including BearsTruth's Brian Ethridge (writing about the newcomers who impressed) and John Neidel (who posted an awesome gallery of pictures).  Most of my thoughts are going to be about the players themselves rather than the schemes or plays.  It's pretty tough (for me, at least) to see how everything developed looking at it directly from the side.
  • The scrimmage occurred in the usual format: 1O vs. 2D, 1D vs. 2O, 3O vs. 3D, you get the idea.  The first offense had its way with the second defense, and the first defense did the same to the second offense.  One thing to keep in mind is that several members of the defensive line weren't there for varying reasons: Shawn Oakman (hamstring), Javonte Magee (family issue), Suleiman Masumbuko (Polo Manukainui's funeral).  That muddied things a bit on the line.
  • Beau Blackshear dominated the second OL.  You can take that either way (1: Yay, Beau! 2: That might be a problem...).  He went over, around, and through Jason Osei and LaQuan McGowan.  Because I'm an optimist, I prefer to think that he's improved significantly.
  • Shawn Oakman is the most physically imposing individual I've ever seen in my life.  And he wasn't even in pads.  He's just an enormous human that I hope to never fill with malicious intent towards me.
  • From what I was told, the first drive consisted mostly of WR screens.  Some of you might be groaning.  Petty has the arm strength to get the ball out quickly, so it's something I've been wondering if we might see again this year.
  • Speaking of Petty-- he looks ready.  He overthrew a couple of passes, but I didn't see him make an obviously bad decision.  The whole team appeared sluggish-- something Briles mentioned after the scrimmage-- but I blame that on the fact that they were playing on the surface of the Sun.  Petty had the first team moving, made all the throws necessary, and took off when he needed to.  You have to temper things a bit with the red jerseys involved (meaning he can't, and won't, get hit), but he looked good.
  • Robbie Rhodes and Corey Coleman were the stars of the show, in my opinion.  Both look good enough to start.  Rhodes is so fluid, it looks like he's gliding.  Then he's behind you, Ahmad Dixon.  They're not going to redshirt him.  Coleman is just delivering on promise we all knew he had.
  • There was one snap over Petty's head from Stefan Huber, but that's it.  The rest were right in the breadbox.  The offensive line as a whole kept Petty pretty clean, though again, the red jerseys make it a bit harder to see how the plays would actually develop.
  • I think I've underrated Devin Chafin in the past.  Tremendously.  When he broke his touchdown, he did it after breaking one tackle on the edge.  Then he was gone without another touch.  I was impressed.
  • Peni Tagive had a sack!  I actually didn't know it was him until I looked up his number on the sheet.  He was playing with the third team defense, I believe, against Chris Johnson and the third team offense.  He certainly looked the part.
  • Speaking of Johnson; Brian Ethridge told me he thinks Johnson is probably 220 pounds, already.  They have him listed at 185.  I don't know if he's 220, but he's not 185.  His legs are far too big for that.  He doesn't look like a giant, really, when guys like Oakman and McGowan are walking around, but he's big.  He looks bigger than Quan Jones, who is listed at 205.
  • KD Cannon!  I heard the news about five minutes before Briles came out to sign autographs, and he had a devilish grin about him.  I'm not going to say that was definitely why; it's entirely possible he always has that.  I wanted to congratulate him on the good news when he took a picture with us, but I didn't.  I call that a definite lost opportunity.
  • Lache Seastrunk and Ahmad Dixon signed autographs for over 2.5 hours.  The lines were huge for both of them.  The last time I saw players get that much buzz, Lache especially, was when Robert Griffin III trod our fields.

That's all I can remember for now.  If you have specific questions, please feel free to ask.  My wife (the professional photographer) took a number of pictures of the stadium site that I hope to get into a gallery tomorrow.  There's also a picture of my family and Briles floating around.  Rather than post it here, if you want to look me up on facebook, feel free.