WACO — The Baylor’s defensive switch and subsequent resurgence was a big story line in 2019 and with a new coaching staff in place they are changing once again in 2020.
The Bears will be playing a third different base defense in the past three years but defensive coordinator Ron Roberts was impressed by how much they were able to learn relatively quickly.
“The foundation was set here,” Roberts said. “They were coached tough. That part of it — the culture — the culture of taking notes in meetings; those type of things are usually we will go into a program you’ve got to change and teach them how to be a college athlete. The beauty of that was walking in they [Baylor] had a firm foundation and it was a lot easier to get guys to learn to the defense, take notes how to study the notes, how do we prepared for those things.”
Junior linebacker Terrel Bernard was front-and center on last year’s defense and he feels like learning multiple defenses under Phil Snow allowed the older guys to pick up this new defense a little quicker.
“I think it definitely helped just scheme-wise,” Bernard said. “Some of the basic things in four-down [defensive lineman] how to maneuver with those. I think being able to recall some of that information and plug it into what you’re doing now makes it makes it a lot easier.”
Bernard said he feels like the Bears are picking up the new defense faster than expected.
“I feel like everybody’s picking it up pretty well right now,” he said. “A lot better than I expected just from, all the zoom meetings and then we just got into OTA’s and stuff right before we started camp, so I think everybody’s a lot farther along than than what we all expected.”
That has Roberts confident he can get a large majority of the offense installed by the time the first conference game rolls around.
“I think we’re gonna get in that 80% range,” he said on how much of the defense he thinks they would have installed. “We have our basic stuff in. maybe we don’t have all the answers that we need for things that I would like to have. But we’re gonna make sure it’s at a level where our kids feel comfortable and get to make some basic checks and get us in to the right situation.”