GT: I think it’s really too early to say, the dust is still settling. If you are looking for an early candidate for replacement, presumably you’d want something, working under the assumption that Baylor wants someone who runs an offense like Art Briles, which is not necessarily a sure thing but is a possible thing. There are a number of coaches that could be a decent fit. Does David Beaty want to leave Kansas to come down to Baylor? I think it should be mentioned more. He’s kind of an offensive wiz kid, he knows Texas high schools and he’s trying to turn Kansas around.
I’ll tell you this, a lot of the names that have been mentioned, I don’t necessarily see. I don’t see why Morris would leave SMU so soon. I think he’s got a good gig and I think he’s got a situation at Baylor that isn’t getting better. Same goes for Tom Herman. I think there’s a decent chance he’d take a job at Texas or Texas A&M, but the dust is still settling at Baylor.
I think Baylor is a lot better job than when Briles took over, but I think we have to wait and see how the dust settles before we can make a real projection where the Bears can go next.
DMN: Let’s shift over to the team. Where are the roster’s greatest strengths heading into next season?
GT: I think a great strength has to be quarterback. I think Jarrett Stidham could step in right now and be the guy and Baylor’s offense not miss a beat. And he’s not even going to start. I think you look at that quarterback depth chart and it doesn’t take long to call roll. You have two guys that you say they can definitely do it.
I think wide receiver is still very loaded. I’m still a big fan of KD Cannon. I think Ishmael Zamora could be in for a big year. The running backs are excellent as well. Shock Linwood is probably going to become Baylor’s leading rusher next year, rightfully so for the kid from Linden-Kildare. He’s been super, super good for them. They’re also very deep there, you saw that in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
Defensively it’s a little different. I think people would be a little surprised if they looked back at Baylor’s defense last year, their defense was actually pretty decent. I think people assumed, oh, Baylor scored a ton, that wasn’t the case last year. The linebacker spot should be pretty good with Taylor Young. The defensive line needs some work, but the secondary with Orion Stewart and Chance Waz, I think they could be pretty good. You look at the roster and there’s a lot to like about this team next year.
DMN: Let’s work under the assumption that Phil Bennett remains the interim coach and there are no other coaching changes before the season. Do you expect any significant changes in scheme or priority?
GT: You’d think that just losing the head coach, the coordinators will be able to hold it together and operate similar to last year. I wouldn’t expect too many changes from an offensive perspective just because Art Briles are gone. I think you should assume the same kind of stuff.