Weekly Press Conferences Begin
Aug 23, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana Football hosted its first weekly press conference of the 2013 season on Monday. Head coach Kevin Wilson, defensive coordinator Doug Mallory and offensive coordinator Seth Littrell took to the podium and shared their thoughts on the upcoming week for the Hoosiers.
A complete transcript of Coach Wilson's comments is available below.
Like I said, I think a week from now will be nine days, we'll do this on Mondays moving forward.
As a matter of fact, as we get to that point down the road, we're actually going to do some work for us on Sunday. Monday will be a non practice day, so we're going to have our kids in the morning doing some things academically, coaches game planning and you'll have some decent access to kids at a decent hour and with the coaches and myself as we move forward. So thanks for being here.
Coming out of preseason, getting wrapped up last night with really kind of a light day with seven days out leading into it, we've done our heavy scrimmage work earlier in the week and with our last major scrimmage the week before that, doing that, kind of make sure we are as healthy as we can be. We've got to keep hitting. We've got to keep building our toughness and our tackling, our ability to stay on blocks and all those things.
As coaches we have to manage where we're at, so sometimes you're doing some things in the best interest of your team, so last night we had a scrimmage format, but it was more for timing, where do we warm up and when do we warm up and we actually took our guys out that will be our captains and had the referee explain the coin toss and what he says. It was a little bit more for the bells and whistles than maybe it was like, hey, let's "scrimmage" or trying to show things or not show things. It was "a mock game" where we're scripting situations and whatnot.
But coming out of preseason, again, I was very complimentary of our team going through the winter, our staff and our players did a great job during the recruiting cycle and getting a good class. Off the field leadership, behavior, academics have been pretty solid, and what you'd like and what you expect.
Spring ball was, again, pretty good. When it gets very repetitive, mundane, there's not a game, I thought spring was good.
Summer is on your own. We've got strength coaches, we had 130 guys here. We're only allowed 105 on our preseason rosters. We had a bunch of new walk ons wanting to join our team, and those aren't tryouts because as coaches we can't even be here, but our strength coaches were. I would say the way we practiced it looks like we had a really good summer. We're not allowed to know if they passed the conditioning test because then that means it's not "voluntary" the way the rules are.
Our team came back in great shape. We appear to be. Have improved our team with size and strength. I think with that we'll hopefully be as quick or quicker because I do think there's some hereditary issues how fast you can be or how big you can be or how strong you can be. But we have to develop and get these guys as good as they can be. I think you'll see a team that's going to show some quickness and better speed.
I think summer appeared to be very, very strong. There was a huge commitment by our school and I think there's been a huge commitment by our kids to take advantage of summer school and our lifting program and whatnot.
Preseason: Some of you guys had a chance to see a couple of the practices that we had where you were able to get out there and see a lot of it. I don't know how well you paid attention or what you looked at when you're watching it, those of you that saw those. I appreciate you seeing those and kind of appreciate, too, the way you cover it because we're not sitting there trying to get information out to our opponents. Our first two opponents we are their opener, so every bit of information we're giving is going to Terre Haute and it's going to Annapolis. Those other people will get your game tapes and all that stuff. I appreciate the way you guys cover it because there's certain things that maybe we don't like to be what plays we're really running or who's looking good or not good, so I appreciate the way you guys kind of saw practice.
But what you didn't see on the days that you weren't there was probably what you would have seen the day you were there. We had some pretty solid, pretty consistent practices. I said coming out of spring, I wouldn't want a do over, and we ran some plays wrong and we repeated a play or maybe we started stretch one day a little lethargic and we had to holler at them for a second, pick your knees up and get it going. But we didn't have a sluggish practice day. Even had a couple extremely positive comments from scouts being thrown that they couldn't believe the way we looked and really appreciated the energy, the way the guys were practicing.
Again, two a days is a grind, so I think we have had a very productive two a day. But all that is talk until you start playing and the scoreboards reflect that. Just because I think we've done better doesn't mean we're going to do better. You need now to go out and we get into game mode, and today is the first of their game week, changing gears, so it's a little different sense of urgency, preparation, video preparation, getting your body right, getting your mind right, what's your routine, a lot of people call it superstitions, but what is your routine; what do you do, where you eat, what pair of socks you like, you name it. Who tapes your ankle, what are you doing to be at your best for those 12, 13, 14, kickoff days, and one of those is approaching at 7:06 coming up on the 29th with Indiana State. I thought preseason was good.
Depth chart, we put it out today. Here's where we are. Again, we're pretty healthy except for the loss of Chase Hoobler, who has a stress fracture, has not been with us one day of preseason. That will go through the bulk of the season and be determined in time does he get back at the end. He's a fourth year kid, been redshirted, so we will take his best interests into it long haul. He's doing well, but a stress fracture is going to take several months, so at best it'll be the end of the season and maybe it costs his season.
Dan Feeney with a Lisfranc injury that required surgery. Once again, take the bulk of the season. That's going to be a five month kind of deal that you'll get him back; January as we get started, February, and probably will be full go by spring. He was a freshman that played. He gets a redshirt year. We're losing a quality player, very good player, but also, again, one of the reasons you do play freshmen when you do have those deals, this will be his redshirt year. We'll move forward with him.
That being said, we'll need just not someone to come in and play the guard spot and pick it up. Anytime that you go through the season, you're going to have in our sport a little bit what I call hiccups or glitches along the way, and your team needs to pick up the slack, coaches and players. It's just not who Dan Feeney's replacement will be, and we'll talk about that. Other than that we're pretty healthy. We've got a couple guys that we've kind of had to monitor some of their practice, whether it be again coming off a gimp ankle. We've had no broken bones other than maybe a guy has got his fingers taped together because he's dislocated a finger grabbing a hold of something or whatnot.
We're pretty healthy and we should be at full force, but depending on how much these guys we've kind of monitored, how much practice work they get will determine how much you see them next Thursday night.
Our two-deep is, starting with the offense, as yet we haven't even talked to the quarterbacks, so for me to tell you who's going first, I don't know. I don't even know if we'll know until Tuesday or Wednesday, and our routine Tuesday and Wednesday, which is Sunday and Monday, and see how the guys practice. All three have done well. The offense will not change. I've said that, and you guys have asked questions, coach says he's not going to change. We're going to do what we do.
Now, certain guys have certain strengths. There's certain things that Ted Bolser does in route running that's different than Anthony Corsaro, certain things Cody Latimer does that's different than Nick Stoner. Every player has strengths and weaknesses, but the gist of our offense is going to be what it's going to be. One, we're going to spread it out, but we'll be a little bit more multiple personnel, so I think you might see some more multiple personnel groupings, because we did have a little bit more depth at tight end, backs, and we're getting a little bit better fullback play, so you might see a little bit more of personnel groupings.
We'll still work tempo. Tempo doesn't mean we're going fast all the time. We'll use that as we need to. We have the ability to we've worked on the ability to try to even go faster, but whether we do, when we do, we don't try to be consistent. No matter what you do, you do things you're trying to keep the defense off guard with play calling, formations, where you're attacking them.
Same thing with tempo. You don't want to be very, very slow. You don't want to be very, very fast. If you're doing something all the time you're consistent, and the more consistent you are with what you're doing, the defense can kind of hone in. So you kind of pick your spots.
But we'll continue to use tempo. We'll continue to spread around. What we've tried to do, yeah, I was trying to help the defense, but really to help the offense we've tried to work on the running game and to be a little bit more physical, and not just for short yardage when it's third-and-1 or goal line, to just have some balance and toughness, to incorporate play-action passing, whether you're intermediate, deep, moving the pocket, you name it. We've worked a lot on the running game.
Quarterback situation: All three of those guys are very, very good. They're all a little bit different. That being said, you've got to say do we need to play more than one. Maybe we do because maybe they can do different things for us. At the same time we're still kind of evaluating, because no one has been the guy and no one has been horrible. Again, Tre (Roberson) can make some plays with his feet a little bit better than the other two guys. But when he's in, it's not going to be a Wildcat offense. We'll throw our deep and intermediate and read our defense and throw our hots and adjust protections, and he's going to play quarterback.
And when those other guys are playing, if Cam (Coffman) is in, if Nate (Sudfeld) is in, it's not going to be a throw a thon where it's pass, pass, pass. If it's a play that we need to incorporate the quarterback as a part of the run, we're going to do that. So again, even though we have a two-deep, I don't know how many times you're really going to say so and so is really the starter because I think on both sides of the ball you're going to see pushing 44 guys, whether it be two or three tailbacks; five or six or seven receivers; two or three tight ends; seven or eight O-linemen; eight, pushing 10, D-linemen; probably six, seven linebackers. On the back end, probably six, seven in the secondary. So you're going to see some guys playing.
One, we've got a little bit better team, we've got a little bit more depth, we've got a lot of competition. We've got some unproven guys. Practice has been great. We've got to prove it out here when the scoreboard lights are on, the scoreboard is playing, and who's going to make those tackles and make those shots and make those blocks and score those points and make those kicks when it's for real.
So again, at quarterback we'll see how it plays out. Not being coy, not hiding anything from Indiana State.
Running back, good camp by all guys. Laray Smith basically had a welt on his back or a blood thing that had to be drained, and he's got he couldn't practice a couple days. He's got a wound so it doesn't get infected. So he's full go. As a young guy he's showed a lot of ability with speed, but again, missing a couple days. It's young guys with the ball, so we'll see where he is. But I'd expect him you didn't see him a lot if you were looking last night, but it's because he's got basically a wound, a cut that had to be drained, so we don't get it's not a major deal, and I think he'll be full tilt here tomorrow afternoon rolling, but yesterday with infection and temperature and sweating and whatnot, he wasn't able to go. So again, I don't have an issue there with Laray.
You're going to see four tailbacks here with D'Angelo (Roberts), and of course Tevin (Coleman) and Stephen (Houston), the two main guys and both doing really, really well. We talked about Mike Replogle playing some at fullback with Matt Zakrzewski. We're doing a run period every day; that'll be a part of our offense. Has done well.
Bolser, Corsaro, really playing better than they've ever played. Danny Friend, very, very talented freshman, big guy, can catch it, can block, for a young man. You'll see all three of those cats, whether it be together, individually, special teams.
Receivers: Seven, eight, (Caleb) Cornett getting a little in the mix on special teams and getting into receiver seven or eight, which you want to see. Mitchell Paige, a young walk on, second year guy receiver seven, eight getting in the mix. It's a quick little kid, it's awesome. But the main guys will be (Shane) Wynn, (Isaish)Roundtree, Ricky Jones at the slot, three good players there. Outside, Cody and Duwyce (Wilson), Stoner and Kofi Hughes. So you'll see the bulk of those seven guys with Cornett and Mitch Paige.
Offensive line, you lose Feeney at guard, but we've still got again, I think we'll be pretty solid with Bernard Taylor, who has starts, Collin Rahrig, who has starts, Jake Reed, who we think is doing as well as anyone, David Kaminski, Jacob Bailey have came on strong, Ralston Evans has played guard and tackle. Coming off his knee injury during two a days. We have to monitor some of his workload so his knee doesn't swell. He's probably our most effort lineman we've got, and we've actually worked Pete Bachman into the mix to be an extra tackle guard with Dimitric Camiel, Jason Spriggs, a great player.
We're not great at offensive line, but there's a lot of depth and a lot of strength, and it's young, not a senior, losing a good player with Big Dan up there, but got some depth and got a great line coach and not only Greg (Frey) but with Ryan Stanchek does a good job, so I think we'll play rock solid up there.
Defensively you're going to see a bunch of D linemen, whether it be the old guys like (Bobby) Richardson, and you've see Alex Todd, (Adarius) Rayner, (Ryan) Phillis, (Nick) Mangieri has had a tremendous camp, Zack Shaw has had a really good preseason, Ralph Green you hadn't seen some in practice, really good preseason. You got (Darius) Latham and (David) Kenney, the two young guys. You're going to see Jordan Heiderman, as well, eight, nine, 10 of those guys. There's not much separation. I don't know if anybody right now is legitimate upper level Big Ten, but the twos are as good as the ones and we need those guys. And Coach Fabris and Coach Patton are coaching effort, those kids are learning how to play hard, and I actually think we're going to get better D line play. No disrespect to a couple really good D linemen, but we'll see how it goes. You'll see a bunch of those guys.
Linebackers, (David) Cooper has been solid. You see T.J. Simmons in the spring, going to be a really good freshman player. Lost Hoobler outside, Funderburk was very good in the spring. Flo Hardin has come on, much like Mangieri, his best preseason sticking out and making plays.
You'll see some young guys out there Griffen Dahlstrom, as well.
Back end, Antonio Allen came in, he's fighting neck to neck with (Greg) Heban and (Mark) Murphy at safety. You'll see those three guys mainly. Dawson Fletcher is the fourth, but you should see some of Antonio Allen and Heban and Murphy are two of our veteran players.
On the outside Tim Bennett has been our best at corner. You'll see him at one spot, probably another spot, it'll probably be a combination of whether it be (Kenny) Mullen, Michael Hunter, Ryan Thompson, Brian Williams. That's kind of it there.
Kickers: (Erich) Toth and (Nick) Campos are very competitive but inconsistently competitive, show kicks of being good, then the next day I'm off and the next guy is good. Need that punter to be a little bit more consistent. We've got leg there, needs to be better. Our kicker (Mitch Ewald) has a chance to be a quality player, and I think we've got some good return guys.
What you'll see if you watch us, it's a sign of maybe being a better team. You'll see enough second team guys playing on offense and defense. You'll see Cody Latimer covering kicks or you'll see Flo Hardin on kickoff return. You'll see starters on special teams because they're not playing 80 plays of offense. They're playing 30, 40, 50 plays because they're getting complemented hopefully you'll see better special team play because some of our even a comment from a scout that he sent me, you've got your players on special teams, and that's being done because we've got depth, and we're going to play more players than what you have as the depth chart or the first name everyone on that list I would anticipate you're going to see 90 percent of those guys in these first games as we play ball.
Last thing I'll hit before we go to Indiana State. Captains, we're not going to really vote. We've got our team leaders, our 12 team leaders and we'll get that in the media release to you with Jeff. We'll rotate around each game between those guys that are our 12 team leaders that monitor our team. Those will be our game captains that go out for both coin tosses. We always vote for captain at the end of the year because sometimes as you go through the year, it kind of changes and you want that to be because it's an honor, and it needs to be a huge honor that's forever. We want the captain of the 13 team, which is going to be honored forever, is someone that's the true representative of the season.
At the end we've got 12 great guys, so you'll see different guys for coin toss for what that's worth. In this day and age that's all they do is say heads or tails, take it or defer. The rest of the time they're looking over and you're saying take it or decline it.
Everybody talks about quarterbacks' huddle command. Nobody is in a huddle. They're standing there talking at the line all the time so it's a little different.
Indiana State coming in, Coach Sanford first year, always difficult in an opener. You don't know what you've got. New staff, you're not sure what you've got because no matter what they've done it's always independent of what you've got coming in. So he might have been a guy that didn't run the quarterback a lot that runs it a lot. Never played with tight ends, got a couple good tight ends. Defense, we were always a four man front, but we don't have enough linemen, we're in three man. We used to blitz a lot, hey, we can't cover, we're not blitzing. Every team is different first year because every coach you go back, it's one of the hardest games to prepare for. You're looking at this, the special teams guy came from here. The offensive line coordinator came from here. Head coach it's like you're looking at 12 teams. I mean, it's painful for me, and you're watching guys that you're not even I'm watching some guy we're never even going to see this dude. Who's this No. 52? Shoot, he plays at some school halfway across the country.
The game planning is a little bit more you've got to be ready for everything, and you'd better concentrate on yourself and make sure you're ready. So we need to be ready for imbalanced formations. We need to be ready for, like this week our defense put in blitzes and didn't tell the offense they were doing it because the offense had to adjust. Last night we did a couple formations the defense hadn't seen because all of a sudden you're going to have to line up and adjust. We'll probably get the same thing from Navy, because again, in their opener there's always wrinkles that you've got early.
But their offense is led by a great running back, one of the premier players in the FCS, one of the premier players in college ball. He'll be an NFL player, kid out of our state, was recruited before I got here. He looks to me as good or better than guys we've played with, a Big Ten level back, and that's a credit, again, previously to all their linemen and what they've done in the past. Shakir Bell is a tremendous player. He is basically a Heisman Trophy type player in that league not that league, that division of football, and again, they've previously they've built that program in the last couple years being a top 25 team, played us last year to a seven-point game, came in last year to win the game.
They'll come in this year to win the game. It'll be an exciting game for their players, brand new coaching staff, a lot of ties to the state. It'll be a difficult challenge, and it's a team we're not slighting. Again, we're playing this first game early for preparation for the second game.
I called Coach Sanford and said I want to do this, and he said, I want to, too. As a matter of fact, then he called me a week later to talk about a job, a recommendation. He said, did my AD call you about playing this game early, because you make strides from week one to week two, and you get two more practice days with a coaching change and what we're doing, I think it's great for both teams. I hope it'll be great for our fan base. I know that Thursday is not great for everybody's work schedule, but it is Labor Day weekend. Student body, if it's important to you as a fan, no matter what team you're on, you'll be here. It ought to be a great little game for this region, and I say it because moving forward by 2016 we will not be allowed to play them. The new rules, Big Ten is not going to be allowed to play FCS opponents.
To me it's a great opportunity. For them it's a great opportunity. It's a great opportunity for our fan bases in our region. Again, appreciate your coverage here as media guys and treating both teams with great respect, and again looking forward to a big week, an opening game and a great challenge from a team we've got a lot of respect for.
Q. Has this been a camp that's been more crisp than it has in the past and how much are they chomping at the bit?
Now, I thought last night we were a little sluggish. We got a little tired. We're kind of trying to do some things where we keep the physical presence coming without wearing the team out physically and mentally. It has been reasonably crisp, and again, I'm excited. I don't know if our team is, I'm just excited to see it in a game setting how far we've grown. Not to compare scores. Every year it's a different year. The score could be significantly different anyway. I'm really excited to see in a game setting do we play faster, more physical, do we play more sound, could we play more complete, O, D, kicking, can we put it all together. I'm excited.
I think our guys have gotten to like hitting, period. We like hitting each other. Everybody talked are you ready to hit someone else, yeah. We don't dislike hitting each other because that's a part of the game and there's a physical presence you want to have, and we sell that. I think our kids are embracing that. I don't think we're excited to hit Indiana State, I think we're excited to go play a game and see where we start, and no matter where we start, how much can we grow and where can we take these guys by the end of November.
Q. Talk about Tevin Coleman...
I would have said prior to the setback with the little drainage we had to do for Laray (Smith), Laray might have been actually doing better than D'Angelo (Roberts), so it's just very talented players and it's a very healthy competition. It's kind of the same thing we've got going on at quarterback. It's not like Stephen has done bad, it's close. We just think Tevin right now is going to jog out first, but I'd say they're both I don't say one has beat the other guy out. That's the starting tailbacks, and I guess Tevin will get first knock because he might have been a hair better. But it's a hair.
Q. In the past you've talked about the quarterback, that you wanted someone to step up and take control. Have you gotten more of that this year than you have in the previous two years?
That's why, again, it's not who's doing poorly. The offense isn't going to change. In fact my comment to Coach (Seth) Littrell, the two coaches I worked most with, one guy said you call the plays and don't worry about the players. If you want to do this play, don't say, well, he's in, don't do this. No, that's the play you want to run. And the other guy said you call plays like you're rolling dice; don't think you're going to hit craps, roll a good number, be positive, attack, go hit the number, go be aggressive with what you're doing.
My thing is when we went through things, okay, nothing has changed, because okay, Cam (Coffman) is in, run this play. Nate (Sudfeld) is in, run this play. This is our offense, and this is how we're doing it. Now, we're getting in there, there will probably be subtle strengths that we'll emphasize a smidge more, but the offense is not going to change.
Q. Talk about the challenge ISU runnings back Shakir Bell presents...
It'll be a nice here's where we're at. But no matter where it is when we start we'll need to continue that through the year because I always have said you probably caught onto it, I think you build your toughness through each day, through each week, through the season, and to me when we're talking toughness it's physical plays, running, stopping the run, short yardage offense, short yardage defense, scoring zone. If you play good score zone defense that means they're not running the ball too well. If you can score a lot of points that means you've got a little bit of a run game because those spaces get tighter in those deals.
To me it's going to be a great starting point. I don't know if it's a pure indicator. It'll let us know where we're at, and not just in the run game, the whole team. When we go from week one, the things we need to improve on, because we'll have the advantage. There's two advantages going into the second week in our world playing Navy. They don't have a game, we don't know what they're doing. We'll also have an advantage of really showing our kids things we need to improve on, so it's going to be a great starting point with Indiana State.
And again, whether, if we can win 3 2, we need to get a W, and it needs to be a physical style of play to get a W, and I expect those guys to come in and play a tremendous game, and our whole deal this week now is we've worked very, very hard. You don't get do overs in this. A lot of sports there's doubleheaders, home and homes and tournaments. We work I showed a clip to our team the other day of a guy's comments, you practice a lot more football than you ever play. The real deal is not just stopping the run or Shakir Bell, it's us playing as good as game as we can to get this first win because you don't get these games back, and from that we'll have great teaching points to emphasize and grow into week two, three, four, and see where we can take these guys.
Q. Is it important to have a good showing in terms of physicality on both sides of the ball?
Q. Did you accomplish what you set out to do in preseason camp?
We don't tackle the quarterbacks. Heck, I've seen times in the first game where I see the D lineman beat a guy and almost stop because he gets used to, I'm not supposed to tackle the quarterback, because you're training for eight weeks don't tackle the guy. I've see guys the first week flat out miss wide open sacks because it's almost like you're a trained dog and you're breaking we always talk about staying off the ground. When you stay off the ground you start playing high. When you play high, what's your pad level on third-and-1, short yardage, you can't run the ball, you can't stop the run because you're playing high. Why do we play high? You don't want to get guys on the ground for injuries. You try to play smart, you get bad habits.
Those are things as coaches that we're managing. The real deal, I think we've had a tremendous preseason, but the real deal will be do we come out and start off looking like a clean, efficient team? There'll be some penalties, there will always be those little glitches, but we come out and look like a better football team with the energy and the toughness and the execution.
Q. Do you think at this point you're sort of uniquely prepared to deal with a multiple quarterback situation?
To me because we're going to run our offense, in my world it has no effect on me. I think they're all three quality leaders. I think they're all three respected by their teammates. I don't think there's any favorites. If one of those guys make a bad throw you'll hear guys getting on them, come on, man, if they make a good play you hear guys cheering for them. I think they look at them like another player, and even though the quarterback gets a lot of notoriety, I mean, to them I think they like them.
Again, we'll see, and that'll be our job as coaches. I don't anticipate it it'll be a problem if they don't play well. We're going to everything we can what's in the best interest in the team and winning games. This school has made a commitment, these kids have made a huge commitment. It's our job as coaches, put the best dudes out there, make sure you have the right game plan, make sure you've practiced the right way, and now let's cross that white line and let's go play, and it's my job to make sure the dude coming out there is giving us the best chance to win because at the end of the day everything we've done is about trying to get us a chance to win.
We'll start fast, play well, win, and we'll win as much as we can. That's all this is about. It's not about favorites, mind games, being coy or motivation. I mean, this is about winning some doggone football games. It's about time we started doing it.
Q. You talked about how you have good leadership at the center position with Collin Rahrig...
Appreciate it, guys.
Check back soon