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Mid-Week Reminders / New Wallpaper
5:10 P.M. WEDNESDAY, August 12, 2009

Just a reminder Bears fans, single-game football tickets are now on sale online (click here), by phone (254-710-1000) or at the Ferrell Center ticket office.

This Saturday, Aug. 15, is Meet The Bears day at the Higher's Complex, which will include a scrimmage at 1:30 p.m. at the Higher's fields, followed by the meet and greet autograph and picture session at 3:30 p.m. inside the new Allison Indoor Facility.

Lastly, there are new football desktop wallpaper designs available for download on the wallpaper page (see sample below). Click here to download the new design, click here for new design with schedule listed.

Bears Don Pads
6:30 P.M., TUESDAY, AUG. 11, 2009
"A View From the Hill" | Practice Report: Day Five

Baylor went through its first practice in full pads Tuesday afternoon. However, head coach Art Briles down-played the significance of the first day in full pads.

"Well, this is a practice not a scrimmage," Briles said. "What we're trying to do is come out here, get fine-tuned, work to get better and look at personnel, and then we'll turn loose Saturday (first scrimmage). You have to be careful ... people tend to get a little over zealous in some situations. We understand that's the reality of the situation, but we try to be as careful as we can in regard to protecting our football players. Nobody has enough to not have everybody."

Chew on that last sentence for a second.

The Bears went indoors for the final 45 minutes as has become the norm through the first few days of preseason camp. Briles continues to be thankful for the new indoor facility. He did say, though, that he did not go into the facility until the first day the team went in there to practice.

"I never opened my Christmas presents before Santa came," Briles joked. "After Santa showed up, then I felt like it was OK."

Practice concluded with Robert Griffin III and David Gettis connecting on a fly route down the right sideline for a touchdown of about 45 yards.

The Bears are off Wednesday before two practice sessions Thursday (8:30 a.m. CT and 3:30 p.m.).

Sic 'em.

Word(s) Of The Day
3:50 P.M., TUESDAY, AUG. 11, 2009
"A View From the Hill" | Practice Report: Day Five

Junior cornerback Clifton Odom and junior linebacker Earl Patin were asked before Tuesday's practice: "What's the word of the day?" Their answers... Odom: "Fight" / Patin: "Passion"

Baylor Preview On TV Tonight
10:15 A.M., TUESDAY, AUG. 11, 2009


FSN Southwest is scheduled to air its annual team preview for Baylor Football tonight at 10 p.m. CDT, for fans in the FSNSW viewing area. The 2009 Baylor preview is a half-hour special that will include interviews from the Big 12 Media Days last month.

Welcome (Corner) Back
6:30 P.M., MONDAY, AUG. 10, 2009
RELATED CONTENT: "A View From the Hill" | Practice Report: Day Four

Former Baylor cornerback Matt Johnson was in attendance for Monday's practice. Johnson, who lettered during the 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003 seasons, returned to Waco last year with his wife. He is near completion of his first year at Baylor's Truett Seminary.

Amid another 100-plus degree day, Johnson said he didn't remember it being that hot when he was playing; he added that it just feels different standing around watching as opposed to being out on the field. Johnson also pointed out the luxury of having the Allison Indoor Practice Facility, something that was a distant dream during his playing days. (There was a hint of jealousy in his eye about the building. Understandable.)

Speaking of which, the Bears went indoors for the final 45 minutes of practice today. Tuesday, the Bears will don full pads for a 3:30 p.m. CT practice, which is open to the public.

Sic 'Em.

The Art of Diplomacy
5:10 P.M., MONDAY, AUG. 10, 2009
RELATED CONTENT: "A View From the Hill" | Practice Report: Day Four

Preseason camp is a grueling, intense four-week affair. Add the Texas heat, and it is sometimes nearly unbearable. With nine practices in the first 10 days of camp, pace is important.

Monday, head coach Art Briles used a little humor and good spirits to keep the Bears fresh as they started their first practice following their first off-day of camp. Briles noticeably was in a good mood; there was a pep in his step, he laughed with fellow coaches during stretching and position drills, and he even was spotted doing a bit of a dance in the early stages of practice.

Briles' mood was first apparent during his time with the media. As's own Jerry Hill began to ask a question, Briles tipped his shades down his nose, smiled and gave Hill a raised eyebrow; all of this broke Hill's concentration and delayed the question.

Moments later, All-America candidate linebacker Joe Pawelek walked out of the locker room and onto the practice field, passing Briles and the assembled media. Here's how the exchange went down:

Briles:  He's startin' to become a hand.
Hill:  Joe Paw? He's all right? You'd think by his fifth year he'd be OK.
Briles:  Startin' to be.
Hill:  Will he start the opener?
(Pawelek looks back over his shoulder with an interested eye.)
Briles:  Ahhhh... (looking at Pawelek) He better.

Pawelek is getting such a big head these days that equipment manager David Case had to adjust Pawelek's helmet. (joking, of course)

Briles brings that ability to the table - a hard worker with a no-nonsense attitude who still knows the right time and the right way to keep things loose.

From the newstand:  Max Olson had a feature on Robert Griffin III in yesterday's Daily Nebraskan; The Associated Press had a bit about Wake Forest's inexperience in the secondary.

Meanwhile, Pat Misch of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review had a note today about former Baylor All-American Daniel Sepulveda's work ethic in the Steelers' training camp.

Sic 'Em.

Some Sunday Reading...
5:00 P.M., SUNDAY, AUG. 9, 2009

Here's a few articles of interest for Bears fans needing a football fix this afternoon/evening. Two features, one on a Baylor veteran safety, and one on a newcomer running back.

Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram did a piece on Jeremy Williams, and John Werner of the Waco Tribune-Herald wrote an article on Terrance Ganaway, a transfer from Houston.

The Bears kick-off the season in 26 days at Wake Forest. Sic 'em.

2009 Team Picture... Done.
4:15 P.M., SATURDAY, AUG. 8, 2009
RELATED CONTENT: "A View From the Hill" | Photo Gallery | Practice Report: Day Three

2009 team photoAnother rite of summer is in the books for the Baylor football program, as Coach Briles and squad posed for their annual team picture Saturday afternoon at the Highers practice fields. The annual photo requires lots of teamwork, patience and towels to pull off... but the photographers, players and staff did it and the 2009 Bears have been recorded for posterity.

The players' long Saturday will end with meetings, then they can look forward to an off day Sunday. Monday will be another half-day (shoulder pads only), before they don full uniforms for the first time on Tuesday.

Continue to check back to the This is Bear Country blog (and View From the Hill) blog for updates.

For those Bears fans on Twitter, follow the football staff at and the Baylor general sports tweets at Sic 'em.

Bears start early on day three, in front of a crowd
12:25 P.M., SATURDAY, AUG. 8, 2009
RELATED CONTENT: "A View From the Hill"
| Photo Gallery | Practice Report: Day Three

Baylor finished its first day in shoulder pads Saturday morning, and they players are interacting post-practice with members of the Baylor Linebacker Club. The Bears will head to lunch before dressing up this afternoon for their annual team picture - to be taken on the practice fields with the new Allison Facility as a backdrop.

Check back later for photos of Picture Day.

Baylor followers on Facebook, become a fan of Baylor Athletics on Facebook for current video, articles and photos of your favorite BU sports.

Briles Throws Honorary First Pitch at Rangers Game
12:17 P.M., SATURDAY, AUG. 8, 2009

Coach Briles threw out the honorary first pitch at the Texas Rangers' July 28th game against the Detroit Tigers at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Texas won 7-3.

After Coach Briles threw out the first pitch, he posed for a picture with Captain, the Texas Rangers mascot, and former Baylor All-American and Texas Rangers left fielder David Murphy.

Bears start early on day three, in front of a crowd
10:45 A.M., SATURDAY, AUG. 8, 2009
RELATED CONTENT: "A View From the Hill"
| Photo Gallery | Practice Report: Day Three

Coach Briles and the Bears started early Saturday, with breakfast and taping before 8 a.m., and after meetings hit the field around 9:30.

The Bears were welcomed by a crowd of Linebacker Club members, many of whom were out to get their first glimpse of the 2009 Baylor football squad.

A slight breeze and the early start time made for slightly lower temperatures than the Bears worked in on Thursday and Friday.

Two Days Closer To Winston-Salem...
6:30 P.M., FRIDAY, AUG. 7, 2009
RELATED CONTENT: "A View From the Hill" blog
| Practice Report: Day Two

Antareis Bryan

Baylor put in another two-plus hours of preseason work Friday at the Highers Complex in preparation for the 2009 season, and most importantly, the season-opening game at Wake Forest Sept. 5. The Bears and Demon Deacons square off in front of a national TV audience on ABC and ESPN2.

The Bears once again utilized the brand-new Allison Facility for the latter portion of practice to beat the Central Texas heat, after beginning practice on the outdoor fields.

"This time of year you just go. You go, you improve, you watch. You go, you improve, you watch," head coach Art Briles said following practice. "That's kind of where we are."

When asked how practice went, Coach Briles responded: "We're getting into half pads tomorrow for two days, and full pads next Tuesday, and until we really get an opportunity to work a little up front with our guys, which is what we have to be, a dominant football team up front, then it's a little hard to tell."'s Tim Griffin attended yesterday's opening of fall camp and he sensed a new air of confidence surrounding the Bears program, here's a link to his article.

Lake Getting Some Pub
5:30 P.M., FRIDAY, AUG. 7, 2009
RELATED CONTENT: "A View From the Hill" blog
| Practice Report: Day Two

Congrats to hard-hitting safety Jordan Lake, who today was named to the 2009 Jim Thorpe Award preseason watch list.

Pics of Day Two of Fall Camp 2009
4:50 P.M., FRIDAY, AUG. 7, 2009
RELATED CONTENT: "A View From the Hill" blog
| Practice Report: Day Two

Coach Briles watches Friday's practice intently with member of the Bears defense.

Chaplain Wes Yeary and All-America punter candidate Derek Epperson.

Defensive lineman "Cousin" Phil Taylor receives direction from defensive coordinator Brian Norwood.

Day One In The Books
7:30 P.M., THURSDAY, AUG. 6, 2009
RELATED CONTENT: "A View From the Hill" blog
| Practice Report: Day One

Bears inside Allison Indoor FacilityThe Bears finished a two-hours-plus first practice this evening, splitting time on the Highers Complex practice fields and the brand-new Allison Indoor Facility.

Coach Briles liked what he saw but saw room for improvement.

"We're definitely a lot farther ahead than we were a year ago," Briles said. "But we've still got a long way to go."

For most players, staffers and fans Thursday was their first chance to see inside the Allison Facility, which provided a much cooler environment on the blazing triple-digit afternoon. The climate-controlled facility, complete with music on the speakers, will host this fall's annual Meet The Bears fan event Aug. 15.

Briles said he had mixed emotions about practicing indoors.

"The old coach in me says, `Don't! Don't! Don't!'," Briles said. "But the intelligent person inside all of us says, `If you have something that can maybe help you stay fresh and keep everything active, then why not do it.' Because our guys are in shape. Kaz has got them in great shape. And we don't need to go outside and sweat for 2 ½ hours to get everybody in shape. We're in shape."

Start Fast, Start ... HOT!!!
4:55 P.M., THURSDAY, AUG. 6, 2009
RELATED CONTENT: "A View From the Hill" blog
| Practice Report: Day One

It was 102 degrees when the Bears took the practice field for the first session of preseason camp this afternoon with a heat index pushing 110. At that same time, it was 84 degrees with a heat index of 85 in Winston-Salem, N.C. That's a big difference. Just sayin'...

Welcome to the start of Baylor's 2009 season. Although the first game is still a month away, there is something about the first day of preseason camp that just makes it feel like the season is upon us. The Bears started practice at 3:30 p.m. ... outside.

However, head coach Art Briles said he and the Bears would be quick to make use of the brand-spankin' new Allison Indoor Practice Facility adjacent to the outdoor practice fields. Briles said the team would spent at least part of Thursday's practice indoors.

"I'm changing from tough, old-school to a smart old man. My old-school coaching tells me, 'Grind, grind, grind, and fight, fight, fight.' But my new-school mentality with the things we have going on and that we are trying to accomplish, I would say let's be smart instead of tired and worn down."

The new facility is not the only thing different from the beginning of preseason drills a year ago. Baylor has one year of the Briles Era under its belt. Faces are much more familiar, and routines are much more, well, routiine.

"It's a completely different feeling," Briles said. "Now we think we have percentages with estimated outcomes. Those two things tie in together. We feel like we know what we're going to do, when we're going to do it and why we're going to get it that way."

But the biggest difference today as opposed to the start of preseason drills last year is under center. Last year, the Bears began the drills with a three-man battle for the starting quarterback job. That's not the case this year.

"We're not on page one; we're on page 31," Briles said. "We're dealing and should be dealing with experience and predictable outcomes. It's a big comfort."

Baylor hits the practice field again Friday at 3:30 p.m. CT and Saturday at 9:15 a.m. before an off day Sunday. Practices are open to the public.

Sic 'Em.

Baylor's O-Line Shows Off Best Jordan Lake Impression
3:54 P.M., THURSDAY, AUG. 6, 2009

That surprise we mentioned a few hours earlier? Well, here it is: Mohawks. Yup, that's right. Members of Baylor's offensive line displayed their best Jordan Lake impression, unveiling their Mohawks just before the start of Thursday's practice.

Speaking of Jordan Lake...Lake mentioned in an interview with earlier in the day that he doesn't plan on returning to his famous Mohawk look until Baylor makes it to a bowl game.

Football Season Almost Here
3:10 P.M., WEDNESDAY, AUG. 5, 2009

Art Briles and the Baylor Bears will officially kick off the 2009 season as it opens fall camp Thursday, Aug. 5.

Thursday's workout will be the first of 27 before the Bears travel to Winston-Salem, N.C., Sept. 5 to take on the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest.

Check back throughout the year with the official football blog of, 'This is Bear Country", for behind-the-scenes insight as well as photos, links and videos.

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