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Eastern offense adjusting on the fly

EWU receiver Ashton Clark runs a route at scrimmage. (Dan Pelle)
EWU receiver Ashton Clark runs a route at scrimmage. (Dan Pelle)

The film confirmed what everybody saw at Saturday’s Eastern Washington football scrimmage: The offense struggled at times.

Why it struggled was the pertinent question before Tuesday’s practice, and of course the answer wasn’t simple:

• Quarterback Vernon Adams saw a new group of receivers who were “faster” than what he’s accustomed to.

• Receiver Ashton Clark saw teammates who were “surprised” by a few balls.

• And head coach Beau Baldwin saw all that and more, including a need “to make strides as a playcaller” as the passing game incorporates a new group of receivers.

Not that the numbers were awful at the scrimmage; Adams completed 14 of 24 passes, and only one of his three interceptions was the result of a poor throw.

“I think he’s doing a very good job, if you evaluate each play instead of looking at three interceptions, and it wasn’t an easy day (with the wind),” Baldwin said.

But getting the ball to the receivers isn’t enough, acknowledged Adams, who last year would sit down with receivers Brandon Kaufman, Nick Edwards and Greg Herd, listening while “they would tell me where they wanted the ball – high or low – if it’s a certain coverage.

“Now I have to do it with these receivers, because they’re so much faster.”

Faster, really? Not exactly, said Baldwin, explaining that the new group of wideouts “definitely has a quickness (especially on shorter routes) that’s different.”

There’s only one answer, and that goes for backup quarterbacks Anthony Vitto and Jordan West as well.

“I think we all just have to keep working together,” Baldwin said. “QBs and receivers have to just keep taking reps together, keep getting used to it, and as a playcaller I have to get used to it.

“The way I look at it, if certain plays didn’t go right, what could I have done better,” Baldwin said. “How could I have put a better job?”


Baldwin laid down some general guidelines for Saturday’s Red-White Spring Football Game, which will be heavy on situational plays while also giving the offense a chance to drive the ball the length of the field. That could be 20 yards or 97 yards, depending on where the ball is spotted, Baldwin said. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. The game is free to the public. … Tickets are still available for the 32nd Annual Killin Dinner, Dance and Auction, which follows the game. On-line ordering of tickets and more information is available at for Killin, which takes place at the EWU Sports and Recreation Center. Other events will be announced in coming weeks.