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Morriss seeks QB, RB starters

Aug. 23, 2004

By CATHERINE BROWN, sports editor

The Baylor football team is looking forward to a good season with second-year head Coach Guy Morriss leading the way. With some of the starting positions open for the taking, the first weeks of practice will influence who wins those starting spots.

The starting quarterback position is still up for grabs, and according to Morriss, it is anybody's job.

"We feel like we have four capable quarterbacks, it's just a matter now of who's going to separate from the pack," Morriss said. "I'd like for it to happen here on the field. Have somebody take charge of the huddle and separate from the rest of the group and tell us by his performance that he's going to be the guy."

Also on the offensive side, the running back position vacated by Rasheed Armstrong is yet to be filled.

"I know sometimes it's a little tough to replace a 1,000-yard rusher, but I have all confidence in Anthony Krieg, Jonathan Golden, and Paul Mosley has done very well," assistant head coach of running backs Gerald Carr said. "I'm looking to come out of training camp with maybe two of those guys at the top of their games."

Carr also said the job is not a constant for one person.

"[M]y guys understand that the game itself and that position is a day-by-day, practice-by-practice, play-by-play situation," he said.

Carr said players have progressed in their understanding of the protection schemes better than they did last year.

The offensive line is losing its starting right offensive tackle from last season, Nick Pace. He is still recovering from off-season surgery and will take a redshirt this season.

"Nick was maybe our best lineman last year as a true freshman and with him not being in the lineup that could hurt us a little bit," Morris said.

Morris said they are searching for a right tackle, but the rest of the players were in good condition and had good summers.

In reference to the right tackle position Morriss said, "[S]omebody is just going to have to step up, pick up the slack and win the job."

First-year defensive coordinator Bill Bradley said his position is going well and he gets great support from the rest of the coaches. He also said there are great defensive coaches here.

Bradley said he is "pleasantly pleased" with the players' performances.

"The defense is a core of some real great football players I think," he said. "We've got a long way to go, but we've got a group that's going to give you everything they've got every play. And that's all you can ask. We've just got to put in the right spots and help them out."

The Bears' season opener is Sept. 4 against the University of Alabama-Birmingham in Birmingham. The Bears lost last season's game to UAB 24-19.

"If we win that game, it will be a big step for us," quarterback Shawn Bell said. "We can't look past UAB; we've got to be ready for them."