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Baylor football team opens fall practices

(KWTX)
Published: Aug. 3, 2018 at 5:32 PM CDT
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The quarterback, wide receiver and running back positions are probably the ones Baylor currently trusts the most to receive consistent production.

The tight ends were rarely used in Matt Rhule's first season at Baylor, and will be another question mark going into 2018, but the inconsistent offensive line expects to be much better than they were in the 1-11 showing last season.

"Over the course of a year, those guys have made a commitment to getting big and strong," Rhule said. "They've developed an edge to them in terms of the way they practice, and they're a group that lets us push them."

If senior offensive lineman Blake Blackmar pledged to squat 700 pounds and easily lift 30 reps of a 225-pound bench press, he followed through with it.

"Blackmar is a monster," junior defensive lineman Micheal Johnson said. "Every bit of 700 pounds went down and came right back up."

After sitting out the 2017 season to satisfy the NCAA's transfer rule, former Midway Panther Christian Beard is expected to contribute on the offensive line as well.

"He's an (NFL) combine freak," Rhule said. "He outperforms the NFL average for that position. Those guys have really developed physically, and I really like their attitude."

DEFENSIVE MOTTO

As a defensive unit, the Bears tallied 23 sacks in 12 games in 2017. While it's not the dream number to have, it certainly wasn't the worst in the NCAA -- ranking 74th in the nation regarding sacks.

However, the Bears were dreadful forcing turnovers, taking away the ball just 11 times (eight fumbles, three interceptions) to earn a T-118th rank among 129 college football teams.

"We have to lead the nation in turnovers," Johnson said. "It's a must. To piggyback off that, as a D-line, our goal is 40 sacks. Nothing less than that will be accepted, tolerated, or any of that. We have to have 40 sacks, and we have to lead the nation in turnovers. That's the motto."

The Bears' workouts are not open to the public during training camp. They will host their annual Meet the Bears event on Sat., August 18th.