April 2, 2007
Don Fischer just completed his 34th season as the "voice" of the Indiana football team and is excited with the strides the team has made during spring practice. Fischer recently sat down with IUHOOSIERS.com to discuss how the team has looked and what he is looking forward to as the spring campaign winds down.
On the spring season:
"The spring is very exciting from the standpoint that last year's team made so many strides and most of these kids are back. Some of the redshirt kids who were touted to be very good now have the opportunity to show what they can do with the first and second teams. And then there are the position changes that are really important to the football team and this is the time of the year to get all of those worked in as well. Blake Powers switch to tight end wasn't talked about back in December, but one of the problems this team had, or at least one of the weak points, was the tight end position. They didn't have a tight end that they thought could play the position consistently and I think they really have to find that guy to help this offense. It gives them a safety type valve receiver and something else that the defense has to plan for, which opens up other things. I think that it is a critical spot and then obviously the other position switches, to see if those work out. It is an exciting time of year for the coaches."
On Assistant Head Coach Bill Lynch:
"I think the real key to any good football team is the coaching staff, the guys that are around the head coach. Bill Lynch is a guy that has been a head coach and he has a proven reputation of being a solid football man, who knows what he is doing. After watching practices I haven't seen the team miss a beat and that's saying something about how much these kids feel about Coach Hoeppner and this program. Bill Lynch knows what he is doing and he knows how to get it done. The other thing that people lose sight of here is that Coach Hep is still involved and is a part of the planning of the whole spring sessions. These coaches know exactly what he wants done."
On the team's excitement to be back on the field:
"We have seen an excitement here at Indiana from the players that we didn't see before Hoeppner got here. It hasn't changed and this spring has the same type of enthusiasm that we saw last fall. I'm out here and I see how these kids react, how they are coached and how enthusiastic they are. There is real excitement about this football team and the prospects for this upcoming season. These kids believe that they have the chance to go to a bowl game and will take it upon themselves to go to a bowl no matter what. You can see it in the way they go about their business on the practice fields."
On the team's talent:
"There is no question that this team has the best talent they have had here in the last six or seven years, ever since Antwann Randle El's senior season. These kids have a belief and that's a big part of whether any team is capable of winning. It's their attitude and how they go about their business. We saw last year how much improvement was made under Kellen Lewis and with him back, with a year under his belt, knowing what he is doing with a receiving corp that is good as anybody in the country, it will be exciting. I think all of these kids have gotten bigger and stronger due to their workouts in the winter. I am so excited to watch the offensive line because there are a lot of young guys that will get significant playing time. I said a year and a half ago that was the best looking offensive line class at Indiana University in my 34 years and I can't wait to see them perform."