MISSOULA — As Kent Baer stood at midfield at Washington-Grizzly Stadium, Montana’s defensive secondary jogged out of the hallowed tunnel chanting in unison a well-known three-letter rallying cry reserved for only Montana’s fiercest rival.
Montana’s new defensive coordinator knows the next weeks and months will be filled with teaching and learning for both he and his players. The Grizzlies are in the midst of an overhaul after missing the playoffs for consecutive years for the first time in a generation. Baer, new head coach Bobby Hauck and the rest of the coaching staff need to find four new starters on the offensive line, a new primary pass rusher, two inside linebackers, two new starting cornerbacks and replacements for a trio of senior safeties.
While the cadence of “FTC” from the DBs seemed like a return to the glory days of Hauck’s first tenure — a stretch that saw Montana win 81 games and seven league in seven seasons between 2003 and 2009 — the Griz enter spring break, the proverbial midpoint of its 15-practice spring session, more than eight months away from their showdown with the ‘Cats with plenty of work to do.
Photos by Lacey Young, Brooks Nuanez and Jason Bacaj. Andrew Houghton contributed the Rosenbach quote for this story. All Rights Reserved.