Belcher: “We’re just tired of losing.”

Mark Hill’s strength and conditioning strategies, Indiana football players said, took some getting used to.

The tempo was faster, more high-energy. They were running from drill to drill, weight station to weight station.

There was rest, senior offensive lineman Justin Pagan said, but no breaks.

It was apparently a significant adjustment from strength training and conditioning in the Bill Lynch era, but it was an adjustment the Hoosiers were willing to make.

“We’re just tired of losing,” senior wide receiver Damarlo Belcher said. “Three years, we only won five Big Ten games, so it’s kind of like whatever ya’ll want us to do, we’re gonna do it in order for us to win. It’s whatever.”

Thursday marked the first occasion players have met with the media since new coach Kevin Wilson was hired on Dec. 7. Belcher, Pagan and defensive tackle Adam Replogle were made available after new head football strength and conditioning coach Mark Hill, so the interviews stuck largely to that theme.

But the players made it clear that they bought into the new staff from top to bottom, that they believe in the directives they’re hearing from Wilson, from the position coaches, and from Hill and his staff.

“As coach Wilson said in his press conference, ‘We’re trying to win games now,'” Pagan said. “That’s what we’re trying to do. That’s how we are in the locker room, that’s how we’re trying to take it.”

To get the Hoosiers there as quickly as possible, Hill said he’s trying to build a lot of lean strength. The team is running more than it’s lifting, and he said he’s trying to make players quicker and more explosive.

“We’re trying to get them more lean, faster, in shape, bigger, more muscular,” Hill said. “We’re closing out the sixth week of our program and I’ve noticed a tremendous improvement from where we started with them. They’ve totally bought in to what we’re trying to do. All I’m trying to do down here is to echo the message that coach is sending with them. To finish, to stay strong, to get better, stay together as a team. They’ve totally bought into it.”

Hill said the strength and conditioning team has also cracked down on bad eating habits. The team hired a nutritionist and Hill said he walks around at training table and chides players for their choices when it’s warranted.

“I’m able to walk in there and see what they have on their plate,” Hill said. “I’ll critique them. I’ll critique them. If I know you’re a guy that’s trying to cut your body fat down and I don’t like what you have on your plate, I’ll tell you. They’ve been very receptive and won’t eat it. They’ve gotten better. The chef said it best this morning. He said, ‘I noticed that guys are starting to be a little more picky and conscious about what they eat.’ That’s great, that means they’re buying in and they’re listening to us as far as nutrition goes.”

AUDIO: Mark Hill

AUDIO: Damarlo Belcher, Justin Pagan, Adam Replogle

5 comments

  1. Awesome to hear! I’m glad these guys are fed up and willing to do whatever they can to get better and win games.

  2. I saw Coach Wilson at Bloomingfoods (West Side) today. Good to know that Coach likes good, healthy food.

  3. Where’s Belcher getting the two extra wins from? It’s 3 years, 3 Big Ten wins. Maybe he thinks the Iowa game counts as one since he dropped two touchdown passes. That still leaves another mystery game tho.

  4. If he was tired of losing, why did he come here? Maybe he is counting each dropped touchdown pass as a win.

  5. I wish Belcher would have been tired of losing when he dropped that pass in the end zone against Iowa. Maybe we should be thanking him If he would have caught it and IU beats Iowa Lynch would still be the head coach.

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