Hoosiers Return to Practice Field
March 28, 2002Bloomington, Ind. - The Indiana football team completed its fourth day of practice on Thursday on a soggy and cold Memorial Stadium field.
Practice opened with a little rain, but it was obvious that the players, in full pads for the first time outdoors, paid no attention. Drills were run with full contact and the Hoosiers were openly excited.
Head Coach Gerry DiNardo and a trio of players spoke about Thursday's practice and the adjustment the players are making:
Coach DiNardo speaking about the effort and the general impression after four days of practice:
"Our effort has still been good. The offense competed well today, but the defense could've competed a little better. It was a better offensive day than a defensive day. The challenge will be on Saturday when we scrimmage and see how the defense responds. Typically in the spring you have some pride in what you do. At most places in the country when this happens, one side having a better day than the other, the side that had the bad day will usually come back. Now if the defense doesn't come back, then we have reason to be concerned."
Coach DiNardo talking about the unity among the team and their willingness to play hard for one another:
"I think they will play hard for one another. I don't have any doubt. I do think that you have got to set practice up to compete. The single biggest thing that we are trying to find out this spring is to see who our players are. So you have to simulate the game as much as you can with this lower risk of injury as you can. This is why we do a tough drill and back off. It would be counterproductive to send the guys out there and beat them to a pulp for a hundred snaps in a row."
Gibran Hamdan speaking about Coach Borges and his ability to understand his players:
"The thing that I like the best, while the West Coast offense is complicated, is that Coach Borges really knows how to teach and he really knows how to coach and make you improve. I think all of the quarterbacks have seen a lot of improvement in three days. It's exciting because you are sitting here thinking that if I can improve this much in three days, god knows what's going to happen. Obviously, with a new system things are going to be challenging sometimes and you are going to be confused. Coach Borges just knows how to teach and coach quarterbacks. He knows what he is doing and you feel comfortable with him. With me, almost everything is a baseball analogy because I can relate so well to it. This morning we had a meeting and everything we talked about was football, but for everything I did wrong or every mistake I made on Tuesday night he gave me an example that related to baseball and I could come out here and translate it. It is really and awesome thing."
Derek Barnett speaking about Coach Cullen and his intensity:
"Coach Cullen loves the game of football and is out there to help us perform better. It is just his character. I like the level of enthusiasm. It's different and I think we need it. I think he gets the players going and I believe in what he is teaching us. I believe he is going to have us performing to our potential. Coach really believes that when you get on the line you go to war, literally.
Barnett concerning the team unity:
"You can't do it by yourself. It is a team game and it will take 11 of us on each side. We don't have any choice if we want to be successful. I think everybody is trying to be a team player to get the job done."
Brian Lewis talking about the offense and his general impression:
"I am pretty satisfied. It is a pro-style offense and it isn't the option type that we are used to run. It is a more downhill type of offense and that is the kind of football I like. It's good for the program. Everyone is enjoying themselves right now and whatever comes in the future is going to be a good change for us. I have all the confidence in the world in the offensive line as far as playing together. They stick together"
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