The Eastern Washington spring football game is history, but the players aren’t exactly marking time in the final three practices.
Instead, head coach Beau Baldwin wants it to feel like overtime – a chance for some of the younger players to make an impression on the coaches that will last through the summer.
The final week, which ends Thursday, will be devoted to some teachable moments from the Red-White Spring Game, plus an emphasis on special teams and “a lot of live looks on Thursday,” Baldwin said Tuesday.
“The worst thing you want to see is an injury to a starter in practice 13 or 14 of spring,” Baldwin said. “That doesn’t mean we’re taking it off, but I want to see some of those reps go to some of younger guys I’m not as sure about.”
After watching film of the spring game, Baldwin said he was pleased with the offense’s ability to stay crisp late in the day – in contrast to the week before. Baldwin cited yards per play, completion percentage – “all that good stuff” – before pointing out how much the offense had struggled the week before.
Part of that struggle was due to the sheer number of new offensive sets – zone reads, pistol formation, and other looks. “And slowly but surely, we’re getting our timing down,” quarterback Vernon Adams said.
“I don’t know how much of that we’re going to do with that (in the fall), but we’re learning a lot of offensive plays,” Adams said, adding that he’s already studying how National Football League quarterbacks work out of the pistol – just in case.
Regardless of the offense, Adams said the biggest lesson – a neverending one – is having the receivers and the quarterbacks get our timing down, getting them the ball in the right spot “so they can make a move and go to the house.”
Defensively, there wasn’t a lot of improvement from the previous scrimmage, Baldwin said, adding that the defense, too, has had to deal with new looks. And in the case of transfer safety Tevin McDonald, new terminology.
“Football is football, the same things, just different terminology,” McDonald said. “From day one (the coaches) switched up the schemes, 4-3 and 3-4 and the we picked it up great.
“Overall, I’m really impressed.”
Fall camp will begin the first week of August, although a date hasn’t been announced. Eastern opens the season Aug. 31 at Oregon State; the home opener is the following Saturday against Western Oregon.