Baylor was building a lot of hype last season, and most believed the Bears would finally qualify for a bowl game.
Then star quarterback Robert Griffin went down with an injury.
Baylor never recovered.
But Griffin is back, and coach Art Briles says he is completely healthy. So, as you might expect, that hype is back.
“I feel we’re better now than we were in 2008 or even 2009,” Briles said. “We’ve been around these guys for 2 1/2 years, and the ones that are still with us and hanging around and part of our program, we appreciate them, and we’ve been working with them, and we’ve been working on common goals since we’ve been with them. The more people you’ve got stepping in the same direction, the more force, and the more power you have.
“So that’s why I feel that we’re better now, is because, you know, early on we were operating on a little bit of a high, a little bit of smoke and mirrors. We were trying to make things happen instead of expecting things to happen. Right now we’ve got a pretty calculated decision-making process.”
“We’re physically the best football team we’ve been from just as far as the talent standpoint.”
Baylor did not bring Griffin to these media days, because Briles said he wanted the regional and national media to get a look at the rest of the Bears’ squad.
But the players who came said Griffin will be a force this year. Phil Taylor said he even expects Griffin to be better.
“He’s more humble now,” Taylor said.
Antonio Johnson said the Bears let down last season when Griffin went down, especially on offense. He could see the intensity drop in his teammates. That was unfortunate, he said, but with Griffin back that intensity is back up where it should be.