Hoosiers Kick Off 2010 Preseason at Big Ten Media Days
Aug. 2, 2010
CHICAGO - The Indiana Football team and the rest of the Big Ten Conference kicked off the 2010 preseason with the opening day of Big Ten Media Days on Monday, August 2, at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place and Conference Center. Head Coach Bill Lynch and seniors Ben Chappell, Terrance Turner and Tyler Replogle met with members of the media to discuss the upcoming season.
Here is a transcript of Coach Lynch's opening statement to the media on Monday morning. Click here for the full transcript.
Head Coach Bill Lynch:
"Coming off the season, we thought we made great strides. We certainly didn't from a win loss record, but we learned how to compete, particularly on the road, and I told our guys in January when we got back together we were really 12 plays away from having an outstanding season and playing in a pretty good bowl game. And I think that's been the motivation throughout the off-season.
"Our theme has been to finish, because we had so many games last year where we were competing and had the lead in the fourth quarter in the Big Ten and didn't finish the job. That certainly has been our theme. And I think our guys have responded well. One of the things that you certainly try to develop in the off-season, whether it's the winter program, spring practice, when they're on their own in the summer, is that chemistry, the leadership and what goes on in that locker room. And I don't think any of us know that until we get back and get together. But I know talking with our older kids, they certainly feel good, and I think we've had a great off-season.
"One of the things that we've done in our program, we've redshirted a lot of kids. In fact, in the last three years we've only played six true freshmen. And as a result we've been able to get them in the weight room and develop them and certainly get them ready to play at the Big Ten level. And I think it's starting to show itself. As we get started we have a lot of experience in our team, guys that have played a lot of football. They may not have started, but they're fourth and fifth year guys that we certainly feel good about.
"I have to start on offense. Ben Chappell is our quarterback, one of the players we brought with us. Ben is everything you're looking for in a quarterback. He's a fifth year senior. He already graduated from our Kelley School of Business, is working on his master's in accounting.
"He's the leader of our football team, particularly from the offensive side. He had a good year last year, threw for a lot of yards and has a chance to break a lot of our records. But more importantly, I think he knows what it takes to win. And guys respond to him.
"We've got a very good receiving group to go with him, guys with experience. Tandon Doss and Damarlo Belcher both had big numbers last year. And Terrance Turner, who's the fifth year senior, another young man we brought with us here to Chicago, is the leader of the group in terms of what a great kid he is. He's an interesting story. He's a theater and drama major. He spends as much time acting as he does getting ready to play football. He's a very, very talented young man that goes along with Damarlo and Tandon.
"We've got a redshirt freshman by the name of Duwyce Wilson that was a really good football player in the state of Indiana. He was a state long jump champion when he came out. We redshirted him last year, and he's ready to step in. We had enough experience at receiver heading into the spring, that we were able to move two quality receivers (Mitchell Evans and Matt Ernest) over to the defensive side of the ball to help us there. So I think certainly Ben at quarterback and our receivers give us a chance to be a pretty good passing football team.
"Our tailback is Darius Willis, and if we can keep Darius healthy, we think we have somebody special. When he played last year, we were a pretty good offensive football team. He battled some injuries, but hopefully he's healthy and ready to go, because he's what we think is an outstanding guy with vision, strength, speed and the kind of kid you want carrying the football for you.
"We've got a good group of tight ends. Max Dedmond is the one with the most experience. He's kind of done a little bit of everything for us in terms of he's played split out wide, he's been kind of a move guy as well as a guy with his hand on the ground. But he's bigger, stronger, and I certainly think he'll be a factor for us offensively.
"On our offensive line, we've got three seniors, three juniors, a good group of sophomores, and some redshirt freshmen. So many of them have started. Looking at the key guys, James Brewer is a starting offensive tackle that has a great future. We return our starting center in Will Matte, starting guards in Cody Faulkner and Justin Pagán. We have a good group of experience there.
"On defense, I can't wait to watch this defense play. We lost some guys from a year ago, guys that played a lot of football. And I think we feel as a staff that what we've done redshirting and developing kids is going to show, because we've got a lot of guys that are maybe no name guys to our fans, to the media, but ones that we've seen practice, not only in spring ball, but in the past couple of falls, that didn't get the playing game because of the older guys that played ahead of them. But I think we're going to have a different style of defense, a different personality, and some new faces that I think are going to be important.
"We think for the first time in a long time at Indiana we can say the strength of our defense is our defensive tackles. We've worked hard to get to that point. Adam Replogle, Nick Sliger, Larry Black and Mick Mentzer all played a great deal of football last year, and they're all back. In fact, they're all just sophomores, because we redshirted a big group of them. We think that's the strength.
"We've got some kind of hybrid guys at defensive end, which are different than what we've had in the past. Darius Johnson, Kevin Bush, who is a really interesting story. Kevin is 25 years old. He went into the service out of high school. He did a couple of tours of duty in Iraq, came back, and had always dreamed of playing football at Indiana. He's had an impact at our program since he walked on last fall.
"Our linebackers, we brought Tyler Replogle with us, who is what you're looking for in a Big Ten linebacker. He played as a true freshman. I mentioned his brother Adam Replogle at defensive tackle. We've got two Replogles that will be important on our defense. We brought in a junior college transfer, Jeff Thomas, who joined us in January and will be the other guy inside, along with Leon Beckum who's been a back-up. We've got good experience, fourth year guys other than Jeff Thomas, who came as a junior college transfer.
"Our secondary is the area we've really worked hard on throughout the offseason. We felt like the last couple of years as the season went on, we ran into some depth problems that we didn't have depth with a few injuries that came about, maybe the personnel we needed.
"We went out and recruited two junior college corners and moved two outstanding offensive receivers in Mitchell Evans, who was really not only a receiver but kind of a Wildcat quarterback last year, and Matt Ernest, a wide receiver who was playing behind Belcher and Doss and Turner, over to defense. We've got four new faces there to go along with really some returning starters from a year ago in Richard Council and Adrian Burks. Chris Adkins is a safety that's played a lot of football, as has Donnell Jones. There's a lot of competition in the secondary, which we felt we needed to be a better football team on defense and to have the depth once we go throughout the course of a 12 game season.
"We have our punter and kicker back. Chris Hagerup has been our punter the last few years, and Nick Freeland was our placekicker last season. He'll have competition from a young man by the name of Mitch Ewald that we redshirted.
"All in all, we feel like the personnel are in place. We've had great consistency and continuity with our staff. And, again, we are looking forward to getting going here and finishing the games that we didn't quite get the job done last year. But we think it's going to be a really good 2010 season."
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