April 18, 2008
Eastern Washington University's football team concludes its second full week of spring football practices with a scrimmage Saturday (April 19) at about 10:45 a.m. at the EWU Sports and Recreation Center practice fields.
Eastern was hoping to utilize Woodward Field, but first-year head coach Beau Baldwin decided to wait a week to allow the soggy field at Woodward to dry more.
Plus, with more rain and snow showers in the forecast for the next few days, Baldwin has come to expect the worst when it comes to the weather. On three separate occasions already this spring he has had to postpone practices, and even this week he had to delay practice by a day because of a campus bomb threat.
Last week, the Eagles had a 45-play scrimmage that was highlighted by 250 yards of offense from Baldwin's highly-touted offensive squad. This week, he expects to run more plays as the offensive and defensive playbooks expand from the first week.
Spring practice culminates with the annual Red-White Game at 2 p.m. on April 26 at Woodward Field. However, because of earlier postponements, Eastern will practice three more days the following week to take advantage of the full allotment of 15 practices that must be completed in a 29-day span.
After last week's scrimmage, Baldwin said his team was going to spend extra practice and scrimmage time focusing on communications during the heat of battle.
"We have to get better at creating game-like situations in practice," he said. "We're always going to work on fundamentals, but we need the 11 players on offense and defense doing a better job of communicating with each other without being coached on the field."
All in all, Baldwin was pleased with what he saw in his first EWU scrimmage as head coach. But he knows there is a lot of work to be done between now and the team's opener at Texas Tech on Aug. 30. In particular, he knows that process will take time along the offensive line where four starters were lost to graduation.
Wanting to learn is the key, Baldwin said last week.
"They are a group hungry to learn because they know there are a lot of open positions. They are not set in stone so they're all fighting for them. I like the way they are coming along, but it's going to take time. Whenever you have young players at a position, it takes time even if there is talent. They are progressing well, but they have to keep getting better."
"At this point you never seem satisfied," Baldwin added with a smile. "We always feel like we have a lot of work to do, and we do. It's hard to say whether we're on track, but I do feel good about the character of this group. When we keep working and teaching, they are going to keep responding. They want to learn and they want to be great."
Remaining 2008 Spring Practice Schedule:
(begin at 3:20 p.m.; Media Interviews at 3 p.m.)
Tuesday, April 22
Thursday, April 24
Tuesday, April 29
Wednesday, April 30
Thursday, May 1
2008 Spring Scrimmages:
(times/location tentative and subject to change)
Saturday, April 19 - 10:45 a.m. (EWU Sports & Recreation Center Practice Fields)
Saturday, April 26 - Red-White Game - 2 p.m. (Woodward Field)