Head coach Justin Wilcox was pleased with his team’s performance in their live-tackle scrimmage Saturday, their second of the spring.
“It was a very competitive day again. We saw some growth from the first live scrimmage on last Saturday, and we would expect to see even more this week.”
The Bears practiced about 60 plays during the scrimmage.
“It doesn’t mean one person got 60. A given person probably had around 20,” said Wilcox.
Last year, the Bears appeared to struggle finishing their tackles, and Wilcox wasn’t too impressed in that regard.
“[We were] better than we were the first day. Not as good as we hoped to be.”
Wilcox, however, thinks that some of the tackling issues he saw stemmed from offensive talent, not any fault on a defensive player.
“There was some plays out in the open field that our guys on offense showed up and made some people miss. Then, on defense, we had a couple more one-on-one opportunities where we did get guys to the ground with some really good finishes.”
The Bears’ most crucial tacklers on defense are the inside linebackers. Wilcox feels that the ILB room has the size and skill to make consistent tackles.
“Evan Tattersall can run but he’s not a small guy. Mo’s (Muelu Iosefa) not a small guy. Blake’s [Antzoulatos] not small. Trey Paster is not small, and he’s just growing into that position.”
With RBs Damien Moore and Chris Street rushing for touchdowns Saturday while RB Ashton Stredick averaged 5.8 yards on 13 carries, Wilcox was extremely excited about the potential of that group.
“They’ve definitely taken a step forward, and A.T. [Coach Aristotle Thompson] has done a great job with that crew.”
Wilcox doesn’t think that there’s going to be open-season with regards to the kicking job for the Bears this season.
“It’s always gonna be competitive, but I would say right now Dario [Longhetto] would be the placekicker.”
Wilcox also wished former Bears' Camryn Bynum, Zeandae Johnson, and Jake Curhan well at their Pro Day in Memorial Stadium this Thursday.
“I think all of those guys have opportunities [to get signed], and ultimately that’s all you can ask for.”
The Bears plan to ramp up their training regimen and situational work this week as they prepare to finish off spring practice this Saturday at the annual spring game, televised on the PAC-12 Network at 2 p.m.