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Baldwin will unleash Eagles’ four QBs

Sacks will be part of Red-White Spring Game

Nothing livens up spring football like a live quarterback competition – especially when the quarterbacks are fair game. At last weekend’s scrimmage, Eastern Washington coach Beau Baldwin let his four QBs take their lumps like everyone else – and show what they’re made of. That raised a few eyebrows among the several hundred in attendance last weekend, but Baldwin confirmed Tuesday he’ll do it again at Saturday’s Red-White Spring Game. “I know it’s looked at as risky, and I’m not saying I’d do it every year, but I’ve done it before,” said Baldwin, who went on to explain that he and his staff need to see the quarterbacks in game situations. “That means shedding the black jerseys the Eagle QBs usually wear, but these are unusual circumstances.” Redshirt junior Jordan West is the heir apparent to Vernon Adams Jr. – and he’s done nothing to lose that status – but challengers Conner Richardson, Reilly Hennessey and Gage Gubrud have played well enough to remain in the conversation. According to quarterbacks coach Zak Hill, “This has been an interesting spring. Everyone is getting reps, and the reps are fairly even. This spring we’ve really divvied them up – we want to get a good evaluation on each kid.” Echoed Baldwin, “I thought they took huge strides. They’ve done a lot of good things as a group in camp. It’s competitive, and you saw it on Saturday.” Taking that thought one step further, Baldwin said live situations will allow the quarterbacks to show their mobility and pocket presence, while preventing the defense from having a false sense of security that can result when a mere tap on the shoulder pad is as good as a sack. “They (the QBs) want to be out there and play football with the rest of the guys,” Baldwin said. Said defensive lineman Matthew Sommer, having live quarterbacks “Will make it fun on Saturday.” Meanwhile, Baldwin said the defense’s performance in Saturday’s scrimmage was better than the stats (550 yards given up in 85 plays) showed. “I felt that in some ways, we did better defensively than we did in the first scrimmage (when the offense gained just 123 yards in 40 plays),” said Baldwin, who noted that the first scrimmage included several unforced errors by the offense. Notes The Eagles will practice again today and Thursday in preparation for Saturday’s spring game, which begins at 2 p.m. They will wrap up spring ball with two more practices next week. … Tickets are still on sale for the 34th Annual Killin Dinner, Dance and Auction, which follows the spring game.
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