Notes from practice

Got to watch the first half-hour of practice this morning.  A few things to pass along.

— Don’t know exactly what this means, but there were four players riding exercise bikes instead of practicing — running back Darius Willis, cornerback Brian Williams, tight ends Ted Bolser and Paul Phillips. If they’re on the bike they’ve sustained some kind of injury, but at this point we don’t have any idea the nature or the severity of any of them. Could be slight muscle pulls, could be something worse.

— The Big Ten Network is at practice today for its camp series. This is apparently stop seven of 12 for those guys.

— Quarterbacks still look a bit shaky from what little we’re seeing. Again, it’s the beginning of practice and it’s guys throwing routes against air, but saw a bunch of misses from several of the five competitors, especially on deep balls.

— There were some changes to the roster of 105. Linebacker Chad Sherer, who was originally not part of the 105-man preseason roster, is now. Running back Isaiah Roundtree, an Indianapolis native who spent his first year of school at Morehead State, was added to the roster. Sophomore punter Nathan Reisman was added to the 105, giving the Hoosiers a third punter on the 105 along with junior Aam Pines and kicker/punter Mitchell Voss.


  1. I really dont think guys that are riding an exercise bike is anything to be concerned about. This could be typical of CKW practices to keep guys loose. This could be something as simple as a “cool down” session. Its probably worth noting, but I really don’t think its anything alarming. Preventive excercising is a great way to keep guys from getting hurt, pulling a hamstring, tearing muscles, etc….

    My dad coached basketball for many years and it wasn’t uncommon to walk into the gym to find one or two guys jumping rope or riding bikes. Jumping rope improves calf muscles thus improving ones vertical and also helps to keep guys in overall shape. Riding the bike helped with slight ankle sprains, overall cardio, and keeping muscle loose after running killers. Im no sports therapist, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night

  2. It’s probably not major, RHF. They were all wearing full pads, so I doubt highly that any of them suffered an injury that would cost them games or even a multitude of practices. But they probably wouldn’t cool down while everyone else was practicing if there wasn’t something keeping them off the field. Guys riding an exercise bike doesn’t raise any red flags at all. Guys riding an exercise bike instead of practicing tells me there’s at least some kind of injury or some reason they can’t be on the field. Again, probably no reason to be alarmed, but something I thought I could point out in a notes package made up largely of things that aren’t all that telling.

  3. Good observation and comment by RHF. Perhaps with a player (or players) prone to incapacitating muscle pulls and strains (I believe Willis had a history of boo-boos), the bicycle and dynamic movements is a common preventive measures for stretching (European and South American soccer teams use a lot of rhythmic movements that make them look like they are rehearsing for “Chorus Line” or carnival, but the theory is to stretch in a rhythm so the ‘rubber band’ stretches and contracts in motion. Calf injury usually come from the emphasis of the strength work without enough motion. The approach sounds wise and we can probably assert less meaning since we do not know.

  4. GOD knows not trying to stir anything up…just want to make that clear first thing. When a kid rides an exercise bike for an entire practice it is not for punishment, it is because they are not 100% healthy, period! It might be minor, but they are nursing an injury of some kind.

  5. You see those bikes all over NFL camps and sidelines. I just think that’s where the game is now. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot of new things that other college and pro teams see as standard operating procedure that we haven’t been doing previously. It’s a good thing.

  6. Something must have been lost in translation from me here. The issue isn’t the bikes themselves. The bikes aren’t new. This isn’t a Kevin Wilson invention. Guys have been riding exercise bikes on the sidelines for decades at IU and everywhere else. And of course they serve a preventative purpose. But they don’t hold you out of practice to ride the bikes unless there’s some sort of physical concern — maybe not necessarily an injury, but a concern. It’s a fair point with Willis that they might not want him to practice every day for fear of injury. So it’s altogether possible that nothing new happened to him. But those four guys didn’t get held out of practice by random drawing. Again, are we talking about injuries that will keep them out of games? Probably not. Probably muscle pulls or ankle tweaks or something of the like. The sort of stuff that happens during the first week. Just something I noted from my 30 minutes at practice. Not a huge deal, not a major discussion point. Just something I noted.

  7. Maybe Willis is still rehabing, not pushing the envelope. To be good, we need him in the lineup.

  8. Uhh, guys Dustin and JPat are 100 percent correct about the players being on the bikes because they tweaked something or have some medical issue where they can’t or shouldn’t participate in some of the segments of practice (this is something you would see at just about any major college football practice you attend). But just for fun, let’s continue down your path:

    1. Maybe these players are on the bikes while others practice because the football team is planning on participating in the Little 500 this year.

    2. Maybe the bikes are generating energy that can be stored and used to light Memorial Stadium this season and various players take shifts in riding them throughout each practice.

    3. Maybe these players are the first participants in an experiment in which IU will take Bill Lynch’s no tackling/full contact policy to the next logical step. Maybe they are working toward a plan in which all of the IU players will ride bikes and do other non-impact cardio work throughout every practice. This phase of the experiment would examine whether the Hoosiers can eliminate non-game injuries almost completely.

    4. Maybe Darius Willis has been so amazingly good in practice that coaches are now holding him out so he doesn’t completely demoralize the defense and cause career-ending injuries to would-be tacklers every time Super Willis carries the ball.

  9. Well, one should never be flippant about someone’s health regardless of circumstances and we all want the entire roster up and running. However, I have serious doubts about Willis’ ability to stay healthy in B10 competition. I hope that the increased emphasis on strength and conditioning proves me wrong, but I will be pleasantly surprised if he goes more than 2-3 games.

  10. Remember, Wilson recruited another stud for the back-field. IU’s season certainly does not rest on the legs of one running back. When healthy, Willis is very good, but IU has more depth this year and the new JC transfer could be the outright starter.

  11. Willis does seem cursed with a lot of connective tissue injuries. I remember last year how he was going to change his diet and his conditioning workouts, all as a means of trying to reduce injuries. Then boom, he went down again. He has a lot of talent, if he can just stay healthy for a full season.

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