football

Big Ten Media Days: Thursday snapshot

Hjis29zvtmptxtak2ejr
CHICAGO
- All 12 Big Ten coaches stepped to the podium Thursday to provide
their thoughts on both their teams and the league for the upcoming
season. Since we've got plenty of information on Bo
Pelini and the Huskers,
here's a primer on what the other 11 coaches said.
A main topic of discussion was
the sanctions handed down to Penn State and whether each coach would be
open to pursuing current PSU players, who are allowed to transfer
without penalty. Their responses are among the answers below.
MORE
ON MEDIA DAYS:
href="http://rivals.yahoo.com/video/college-football/B1G-Media-Days-preview-1106018">Media
Days preview |
href="http://nebraska.rivals.com/showmsg.asp?fid=522&tid=156564658&mid=156564658&sid=928&style=2">2013
Thursday LIVE Media Days updates
name="offense">
style="padding: 4px; background-color: rgb(205, 2, 5); font-size: 8.5pt; color: white; font-weight: 900;">
size="+2">BIG TEN MEDIA DAYS THURSDAY BREAKDOWN
style="padding: 4px; background-color: rgb(228, 231, 235); font-size: 8.5pt; text-transform: uppercase; font-weight: bold;">
size="+1">Wisconsin
style="padding: 4px; background-color: rgb(246, 246, 248); font-size: 8.5pt; line-height: 150%;">
Coach:
Bret Bielema
2010-2011:
11-3, 6-2 conference (first in Leaders), lost Rose Bowl
Key question:
Do you believe the Big Ten has a problem with Big Ten schools
recruiting committed players? Is it best to have a
'gentleman's agreement'?
Response:
"I didn't say anything about a
gentleman's agreement. I didn't say anything about
coaches recruiting other players. That was kind of spun into the word.
So I've never made any comment about that. I've
never referred to it in any way, shape or form."
Need to know:
Quarterback Danny O'Brien, who transferred from Maryland,
arrived in early June. Bielema said that while he hasn't been
able to be with players during workouts yet, he's heard good
things. That being said, O'Brien will have to compete for the
job.
Quotable:
"I'm not blind and oblivious to the fact that
we're in a division that has six teams and only four are
eligible for the Big Ten championship game. But it really
won't change our approach."
Stance on recruiting Penn State
players: "I made the
decision as a head coach that we will not reach out to any Penn State
players."
Noteworthy:
Wisconsin's appearance in the inaugural Big Ten championship
game stood out more than any other game in Bielema's
career… Every left tackle that has started for Bielema at
Wisconsin has been a first-round draft pick in the NFL.
style="padding: 4px; background-color: rgb(228, 231, 235); font-size: 8.5pt; text-transform: uppercase; font-weight: bold;">
size="+1">Purdue
style="padding: 4px; background-color: rgb(246, 246, 248); font-size: 8.5pt; line-height: 150%;">
Coach:
Danny Hope
2010-2011:
7-6, 4-4 conference (third in Leaders), won Little Caesars Bowl
Key question:
What's your thought on recruiting fifth-year transfer
players, as Wisconsin has done?
Response:
"If a guy has graduated and spent his time at his institution
and has his diploma and has other options that he feels can serve
himself, maybe that's a good thing for the player. On the
flip side, if you're the coach and you invested four years
training an athlete… you hate to see that guy leave your
program."
Need to know:
Caleb TerBush comes into fall camp as the No. 1 quarterback, but there
will be a competition.
Quotable:
"(This is the) first time since I became the head coach at
Purdue we potentially have a very good football team coming
back."
Stance on recruiting Penn State
players: "As long as
we're compliant, we're going to exercise every
opportunity we can to enhance our football team."
Noteworthy:
Purdue is much more disciplined than a year ago… Quarterback
Robert Marve's health is back to 100 percent and he looks the
best he has since he arrived at Purdue… Winning the turnover
battle is a major emphasis this year.
style="padding: 4px; background-color: rgb(228, 231, 235); font-size: 8.5pt; text-transform: uppercase; font-weight: bold;">
size="+1">Ohio State
style="padding: 4px; background-color: rgb(246, 246, 248); font-size: 8.5pt; line-height: 150%;">
Coach:
Urban Meyer
2010-2011:
6-7, 3-5 conference (fourth in Leaders), lost Gator Bowl
Key question:
Does the fact that you can't participate in the postseason
make 2012 a kind of buffer year?
Response:
"There's no such thing as a buffer year, and
certainly not at Ohio State, certainly not with myself or our staff or
our players."
Need to know:
Tight end Jake Stoneburner, who was arrested in early June, is actively
working out with but has not been reinstated to the team. A decision on
his status won't be made until training camp.
Quotable:
On Ohio State's sanctions: "We got hit with a
two-by-four that day they said you can't go to a bowl game.
It was a two-and-a-half week barrage of negativism and the recruiting
that we were dealing with. You find out who wants to be a Buckeye.
There's not going to be half-ins anymore."
Stance on recruiting Penn State
players: "I have a
problem with that… A young man has the right to play
wherever he wants to play. However, when he part of a team,
you're getting into a situation I'm not familiar
with, and we're not going to get very familiar with
it."
Noteworthy:
Meyer has no feud with Bielema… year in the broadcast booth
as an analyst for ESPN gave Meyer some new ideas for his
team… Meyer thinks the Big Ten is lacking in athleticism
compared to the SEC, but the conference is changing.
style="padding: 4px; background-color: rgb(228, 231, 235); font-size: 8.5pt; text-transform: uppercase; font-weight: bold;">
size="+1">Illinois
style="padding: 4px; background-color: rgb(246, 246, 248); font-size: 8.5pt; line-height: 150%;">
Coach:
Tim Beckman
2010-2011:
7-6, 2-6 conference (fifth in Leaders), won Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl
Key question:
Can you talk about why you've chosen to emphasize the
Northwestern game so much?
Response:
"We call it the team upstate, and I'm not scared to
say that. We're going to make it a rivalry and
we're going to make it a very, very important part of our
football season."
Need to know:
The offense will be different. Beckman plans to better utilize
quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase's dual-threat talents. He said
the Illini will also have packages with two quarterbacks on the field
at once.
Quotable:
"When (potential NFL draft picks) Michael Buchanan, Graham
Pocic, Terry Hawthorne and Akeem Spence made the decision to come back,
I sure hope that's the start of something special."
Stance on recruiting Penn State
players: "We were in
State College, but we did not go on campus. We went to two
establishments outside campus and called some individuals and if they
wanted to come by, it was their opportunity to come by.
Noteworthy:
Scheelhaase is the favorite to start again, but there will be a
competition… the offensive line is a concern…
lost final six conference games of 2011.
style="padding: 4px; background-color: rgb(228, 231, 235); font-size: 8.5pt; text-transform: uppercase; font-weight: bold;">
size="+1">Indiana
style="padding: 4px; background-color: rgb(246, 246, 248); font-size: 8.5pt; line-height: 150%;">
Coach:
Kevin Wilson
2010-2011:
1-11, 0-8 conference (sixth in Leaders)
Key question:
What do you have to do to improve a defense that gave up over 240 yards
per game on the ground each season?
Response:
"I think we'll be a lot better on defense, but
we're not at a point physically and year two play lights-out,
great defense. We've got to score a lot of points too.
Everyone talks about our struggling defense. We averaged 18.1 points.
That's as poor of an offense as I've been around
since 1999."
Need to know:
The Hoosiers ended 2011 on a nine game losing streak. What else do you
need to know.
Quotable:
"When you're a 1-11 football team,
there's no job safety. There's nothing etched in
stone."
Stance on recruiting Penn State
players:
"We're working on our program, our team. We have
not studied tape or talked about guys to this date. If
someone's interested, that's a kid that's
wanting to transfer and this stance: let's go recruit those
guys."
Noteworthy:
Tre Roberson enters camp as the favorite to win the quarterback
job… Indiana brought in a couple of JUCO linebackers Wilson
is impressed with.
style="padding: 4px; background-color: rgb(228, 231, 235); font-size: 8.5pt; text-transform: uppercase; font-weight: bold;">
size="+1">Penn State
style="padding: 4px; background-color: rgb(246, 246, 248); font-size: 8.5pt; line-height: 150%;">
Coach:
Bill O'Brien
2010-2011:
9-4, 6-2 conference (second in Leaders), lost TicketCity Bowl
- all wins vacated
Key question:
What will be the key to having success on the field in the upcoming
years with the restrictions?
Response:
"I came from a league (the NFL) where there were 53 players
on the roster. So I'm pretty well aware of how to handle a
roster of 65 scholarship players. We have plans in place. I
don't think that's as bad as everybody says it is.
Need to know:
As of Thursday, O'Brien didn't have an update on
running back Silas Redd, who is rumored to have met with USC coaches.
No players have yet informed O'Brien that they intend to
transfer.
Quotable:
"I've heard the talk that this is so bad and what
are we going to do. I don't see it that way. I see it as an
opportunity. I see it as a little bit of adversity we need to
overcome."
Noteworthy:
Matt McGloin will be the starting quarterback… the first
thing O'Brien did after the sanctions came down on Monday was
to have a meeting with the players… O'Brien wants
to install an offense similar to what he had as the offensive
coordinator of the New England Patriots.
style="padding: 4px; background-color: rgb(228, 231, 235); font-size: 8.5pt; text-transform: uppercase; font-weight: bold;">
size="+1">Northwestern
style="padding: 4px; background-color: rgb(246, 246, 248); font-size: 8.5pt; line-height: 150%;">
Coach:
Pat Fitzgerald
2010-2011:
6-7, 3-5 conference (fifth in Legends), lost Meineke Car Care Bowl
Key question:
Is there an imbalance problem between the Legends and Leaders divisions
in the Big Ten?
Response:
"As a coach, you think about those things. From a macro and big-picture
standpoint, maybe our division winner should automatically be in the
championship. Then, you take the other teams that are eligible and you
put a committee together of the 12 (Athletic Directors) and
Commissioner Delany as the 13th vote, kind of how we do in the playoff.
That would make a little bit of sense to me and I like the idea of
maybe having two guys from our division. Who knows?"
Need to know:
Wildcats are hoping to get their first bowl win under Fitzgerald.
Northwestern returns 13 starters in 2012, including their specialists.
Quotable:
"If we handle our business, we're going to be in
position to play for a Big Ten championship."
Stance on recruiting Penn State
players: "There may be free
agency created by rule and by regulation, but we're not going to be a
part of it. Number one, we believe in our team that we currently have.
We're excited about our team. We've set our roster already."
"If you're asking me my opinion, I just believe there are certain
things we're going to do and we're going to stand for as a program and
this is one of those cases."
Noteworthy:
The Wildcats have gone to four straight bowl games, something
Fitzgerald said is unprecedented in the program… Fitzgerald
called sophomore safety Ibraheim Campbell the quarterback of the
defense… the coaches have a lot of confidence in sophomore
quarterback Kain Colter, who already has more experience than previous
starters Mike Kafka and Dan Persa did when they took over the job.
="">
style="padding: 4px; background-color: rgb(228, 231, 235); font-size: 8.5pt; text-transform: uppercase; font-weight: bold;">
size="+1">Minnesota
style="padding: 4px; background-color: rgb(246, 246, 248); font-size: 8.5pt; line-height: 150%;">
Coach:
Jerry Kill
2010-2011:
3-9, 2-6 conference (sixth in Legends)
Key question:
Can you describe how you plan to use quarterback MarQueis Gray after he
spent so much time running last year?
Response:
"I think he's come a long way. I think our big deal
is we need to get better people around him. We've got to get
receivers and running backs and people that can step up and make plays.
We've worked hard in recruiting to do that."
Need to know:
Kill feels "fantastic" physically after suffering a
stroke during a game last season.
Quotable:
"I think we're in a huge transition, but a positive
one. Our kids have been through some adversity and some tragedy in the
past year. I think it's brought us closer
together."
Stance on recruiting Penn State
players:
"We're not going to do anything to go see players.
If a young man called us from Penn State, we'd do the proper
procedures. But right now, we're focusing on what we need to
do to become a better football team.
Noteworthy:
Minnesota has just 10 seniors… The Golden Gophers have 36
new players this season.
style="padding: 4px; background-color: rgb(228, 231, 235); font-size: 8.5pt; text-transform: uppercase; font-weight: bold;">
size="+1">Michigan
style="padding: 4px; background-color: rgb(246, 246, 248); font-size: 8.5pt; line-height: 150%;">
Coach:
Brady Hoke
2010-2011:
11-2, 6-2 (second in Legends), won Sugar Bowl
Key question:
With Alabama on your schedule, do you think the Big Ten lacks the speed
and athleticism of the SEC?
Response:
"I think everybody's different. I think people make
the mistake of lumping the whole conference in on not having speed or
whatever it may be."
Need to know:
The coaching staff has yet to make a determination on the availability
of running back Fitzgerald Toussaint following his DUI arrest last
Saturday.
Quotable:
"We had a disappointing year a year ago when we
didn't win the Big Ten Championship. And at Michigan
we've not won that championship since 2004."
Stance on recruiting Penn State
players:
"I'd be lying if I said we didn't look at
the roster to some degree, but we've kind of made a decision
that we're going to stay and recruit the guys and keep our
business our business."
Noteworthy:
10 of Michigan's 12 games are against teams that went to bowl
games in 2011, and five of them are on the road… the team
went to the West Coast this offseason for a few days to undergo a Navy
SEALS-type training session… quarterback Denard Robinson has
become a guy Hoke can count on as a leader. The quarterback said
he's a solid 200 pounds.
style="padding: 4px; background-color: rgb(228, 231, 235); font-size: 8.5pt; text-transform: uppercase; font-weight: bold;">
size="+1">Michigan State
style="padding: 4px; background-color: rgb(246, 246, 248); font-size: 8.5pt; line-height: 150%;">
Coach:
Mark Dantonio
2010-2011:
11-3, 7-1 (first in Legends), won Outback Bowl
Key question:
Was there any trepidation of adding Boise State, a noted BCS giant
killer, to the schedule this year?
Response:
"We have a deep amount of respect for them. We need to get
our quarterback experience, get our wide receivers experience.
We're talented but inexperienced. The best way to do that is
put them in the light, put them in the camera, put them on prime time
and put them in a situation where there is something to gain by playing
well and winning. That's what we've been able to
do."
Need to know:
The Spartan defense, the Big Ten's best in 2011, returns
eight starters and 18 players off of 2011's two-deep depth
chart.
Quotable:
"We have a void in leadership in terms of who is left, in
terms of Kirk Cousins, but with that said, I think we've got
great chemistry on our team and established players who will assume the
leadership responsibility."
Stance on recruiting Penn State
players "I
don't think there are any winners when you speak of that
entire situation. But we acknowledge we have a program that we have to
run and try and get better. And so what we have done is if people have
contacted us, a coach, a parent, we've followed through.
That's the extent of it."
Noteworthy:
Long snapper Steve Moore underwent surgery Wednesday to fix broken
vertebrae in his neck and will be rehabbing for six to 12
months… wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett, a transfer from
Tennessee, could be a major weapon after the Spartans lost B.J.
Cunningham and KeShawn Martin graduated… Dantonio believes
the strongest point of his team might be both lines.
style="padding: 4px; background-color: rgb(228, 231, 235); font-size: 8.5pt; text-transform: uppercase; font-weight: bold;">
size="+1">Iowa
style="padding: 4px; background-color: rgb(246, 246, 248); font-size: 8.5pt; line-height: 150%;">
Coach:
Kirk Ferentz
2010-2011:
7-6, 4-4 conference (fourth in Legends), lost Insight Bowl
Key question:
What are your expectations for the running back position?
Response:
"You look at us historically - Fred Russell was our
primary back in '02 and '03 and obviously we had
Shonn Greene in '08. And then you'll get a year
like '09 where we basically had a committee and a true
freshman ended up being the MVP of the Orange Bowl that year. So
there's a lot of different ways to have success, and
we're open to any of them."
Need to know:
Ferentz is now the longest-tenured coach in the Big Ten (14 seasons).
Quotable:
"I think you can draw a parallel between the University of
Iowa and the Pittsburgh Steelers - they stay with their people. And
I'm very, very appreciative of that."
Stance on recruiting Penn State
players: "First and
foremost, everybody needs to be compliant. I think after that,
it's a matter of people doing what they feel is appropriate.
We'll try to continue to do the same moving
forward."
Noteworthy:
Freshmen Greg Garmon and Barkley Hill will both get chances to play at
running back… Iowa was 6-1 at home but just 1-4 on the road
in 2011… Brian Ferentz, Kirk's son and a lineman
at Iowa in the mid-2000s, is now the team's offensive line
coach.
[rl]
Edit