Beau Baldwin may drive with a rearview mirror, but he sure doesn’t coach with one.
At practice on Tuesday – Eastern Washington’s first since a 24-20 loss at Washington State three days earlier – the Eagles head coach stressed that “this week is all about us.”
That’s true even during a bye week, and even after the Eagles were a Hail Mary reception away from an upset win in Pullman.
“As I explained to the guys, let’s say (the Hail Mary) gets caught,” Baldwin said. “Does that make the other 180-some plays any different? That’s what we need to work on, because those are still the same plays on film, regardless of what the newspaper says the next day.”
Baldwin said that this week’s three practices will stress “a lot of little things” before any preparation begins for the Big Sky Conference opener at Weber State on Sept. 22.
“Sometimes you can get caught two weeks scheming for a team, rather than spending time on the fundamentals and what you do,” Baldwin said.
Still, it was tempting to look ahead, especially with the new video scoreboard taking shape. Posts are now in place for the scoreboard, which will make its debut in the home opener Sept. 29 against Montana.
Tuesday’s practice also saw the unveiling of new, matte-black helmets, worn by all the offensive players.
“It can’t be a total surprise,” Baldwin said. “Obviously, we have to break them in, and then again in the game when we’re going to wear them.”
The Eagles came out of the WSU game in reasonably good physical shape, although defensive end Paul Ena suffered a carpal bone dislocation in his right wrist. “We’re going to find out later, in terms of surgery or no surgery,” Baldwin said. Ena had already suffered a fracture in his right elbow, during fall camp. Wide receiver Greg Herd will need “more testing” for a concussion suffered at Washington State, the result of a helmet-to-helmet hit by WSU safety Deone Bucannon, who was handed a half-game suspension by the Pac-12 Conference on Tuesday for the Cougars’ next game at UNLV. … Running back Demitrius Bronson was running on the sideline at practice, but is still considered day-to-day with a lingering hamstring injury. Players of the week against WSU were right tackle Will Post on offense, defensive end Jerry Ceja on defense, and Nicholas Edwards on special teams. … The Eagles will hold full practice again today and Thursday.