Wilson still sees quarterback inconsistency

Kevin Wilson wasn’t as blunt with his dissatisfaction on Tuesday as he was last week, but he still sees inconsistency at quarterback, so he’s still not ready to name a starter.

“You see flashes,” he said. “Sometimes it’s not fair to them. When you’re rotating in with different receivers, timing, protection breaking down, young receivers not running routes, sometimes you get hung out to dry. I just see some inconsistent play. I like a couple of guys. Think they’re doing OK. But I think we’ll hold tight before we say we know we got a guy for sure.”

Wilson was asked if he thought he’d be ready to name one by the end of this week.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I’m not trying to be coy, or that it’s a secret deal. They’ve played so little, it’s not like all the sudden it’s going to be a different game plan for our first opponent or that kind of deal. I need to talk to our coaches. In two-a-days, we practice so much, we don’t sit around and do a bunch of feel good meetings and state of the union type stuff. I’d like to get it done, but again, you think the guy’s doing well, then all the sudden you see a couple of hiccups. When you think a guy is struggling, ‘Wow, a couple of nice plays.’ So it’s just a little inconsistent right now.”

Junior Darius Willis has started to see more time in practice, but Wilson said he’s been more pleased with junior college transfer Stephen Houston, redshirt freshman Matt Perez and true freshman D’Angelo Roberts. Those three have had the bulk of the reps so far, he said.

“Those guys have been the most consistent,” Wilson said. “Those three right there are a little bit ahead of Nick (Turner), Antonio (Banks) and where Darius is just based on reps and time on task. Those three guys have done real well. They ran the ball well Saturday (in a scrimmage), they stayed on schedule, we’re gaining on it.”

Wilson said that sophomore Duwyce Wilson missed the practice with a nagging lower body injury. He said it was likely he has a hip flexor or a groin problem. Linebacker Chad Sherer was also out. He’s missed most of the practices so far.


  1. I like this, Coach Wilson keeps applying the pressure to Baker and DK and the one that deals with it best will be his man. Why else would he be rotating in so many people as he stated? It creates at least as much disruption for a QB as real game circumstances would.

  2. Sometime about six months ago, I remember a discussion in this blog by either Dustin or Hugh critical or questioning Coach Wilson ‘coaching style’, his forthrightness and direct manner with players and others. Whoever it was, Hugh or DD, they stated they liked Coach Lynch’s affability and gentler approach.

    Podunker even today commented his preference for Wilson’s very direct style as a ‘coach, a teacher and a mentor’. I totally agree with Podunker’s view. Anything else, I believe, is the stuff of losing and incompetence.

    I could not disagree more with the argument that was made at the time that a ‘nice coach’is preferable. This same issue frequently comes up when the name of Bob Knight comes up. His style left little room for ‘discussion’. But his record and his success leave no question, even for his detractors.

    The opposite is truein the case of Bill Lynch; passivity is confused for ‘niceness’. And, it cost everyone involved big time. I even wondered if Lynch knew that his ‘gentle’ approach and his lack of directness, frankness and even an occasional ‘rage’ moment not only contributed to making his football team ‘losers’ (in an objective view of results), but threatened everyone involved; eventually jeopardized his players and closest collaborators. It cost them not only in wins and losses, but their jobs and their careers as football coaches.

    My son, a battalion/brigade level officer in the airborne with ten years experience in intense fire war zones reminded me the other day that ‘leading and commanding’ do not allow much room for ‘niceness’ when bullets are flying overhead, where IED’s are buried on the road and the enemy may be wearing a suicide bomb belt. Or in a case like the captain of USAir flight #1549, ‘Sully’ Sullenberger when he found himself with an engine shut-down over New York, needing to take emergency measures. He was direct, emphatic and clear in his orders, not time to discuss propriety of tone or language.

    My son’s soldiers look for him to take them home safely when he barks an order, no debates or discussions. “Their kids expect me to bring their dad or mom home”. And, the passengers on flight #1549 expect the pilot to not ask or consult with the copilot (that’s exactly what happened with the Air France flight that went down in the Atlantic…when the crisis came, there was doubt, confusion and discussion between the pilot and copilot).
    Orders,… strongly, decisive, assertively and clearly stated. Listen to the conversation between flight #1549 and the tower controller. Sullenberger spoke clearly to the passengers” “.. we’re landing on the river! brace yourselves down NOW!” Every last one of them was safe.

    In all cases, leadership has to lead. That is its role and its fundamental moral obligation. It is also what we should be teaching and the fundamental justification for our sports programs. It is what Wilson projected when he was hired and what he projects when he speaks now. It is exactly what Hoosier fans who know anything about sports played under stress expect. You want mellow tone and rythm …get interested in poetry recitals.

    The lessons you learn in competitive sport are about stress, limits, emotional strength.. and about order and discipline. And, if you do ok with these, leadership

    While we discussed this, my son reminded me of a …”It’s not necessarily nice guys, but cowards, that finish last.”

    That’s what I hope is the teaching lesson for all of us that Kevin WIlson brought with him.

  3. I highly doubt either Dustin or Hugh made any such claim that a “nice” coach is a better football coach. If anything, perhaps they were stating in passing that they prefer Lynch’s affable style simply in relation to how he interacted with them and other media members…

  4. There is a good reason that they discourage fraternization between officers and enlisted. I can remember having to telling an enlisted sailor in my division that he could not take leave to be with his family while his son was having emergency life threatening surgery back in the states. We were deployed and he was the only person on the ship that could do his job. I felt terrible about it and he surely hated me, but we had a job to do. I said no.
    We are lucky to have people like your son watching our backs.

  5. TsaoTsuG,

    There are many ways to climb a mountain or coach young men or women in sport. I caution many observers of IU football to say that under Bill Lynch IU had just a nice guy or a passive coach. Bill was far from that; he didn’t have enough wins to back it up, but he was a good football coach. Indiana Football’s shortfalls have always been enough talent across the board, not passive coaches. Indiana does not have the pipeline of recruits that Ohio State, Michigan, or even Wisconsin to compete for a bowl game year in, year out. Bill Lynch is a classy individual who, if he coached Ohio State last year, would have won as many games as Jim Tressel.

    With that said, I’m very excited and hopeful Kevin Wilson, with his own style of coaching, can be successful at Indiana! I hope he can have enough time to build a pipeline with strong in state talent to make Indiana football a formitable program for years to come.

  6. Tsao,
    You’re putting words in our mouths there. Or at least mine. I never said Bill was a better coach than Kevin or that his style was better, and I don’t think Hugh did either. From a media perspective, did I like dealing with Lynch more? Yeah. And I don’t say that to rip on Wilson. Everything Lynch did was open and accessible, and he was one of the nicest most genuine people I’ve met in this profession. At the end of the day, I’m first and foremost trying to do my job, and I’m going to enjoy doing that more with the coach who makes it easier on me. I understand why Wilson closes down access, and I get why he can be prickly with the media sometimes (he’s gotten much better since the spring). I don’t agree with it, but that’s fine. But do I miss open practice? Yeah. It made my job easier because I could tell you more about what was going on.
    And can we tone down the war rhetoric a hair? Don’t get me wrong, all due honor and respect to your son and the duty he’s performed for the country and to so many others who have been mentioned on this board lately who have obviously done the same. But I think he’d also be the first to tell you that football isn’t war. I get that there’s a correlation when it comes to leadership and such, but Kevin Wilson isn’t a general. Neither is Bill Lynch. They coach a game. Can we not please not try to judge them on the same scale as Patton?

  7. Well said TuShay. Anyone trying to claim Lynch was passive just does’t know him.

    Tsao. Enough of the military references. many like to claim the football is like war, I believe it is more like boot camp. I am thankful for your son and his service to our country, I doubt however, that he would be a very good football coach.

  8. Tsao Tsug; Someone once told me that a good coach/teacher/manager is one that makes their player/student/employee, no matter how much talent they have, better than they think they can be. A good coach drives his/her players to expand their individual and collective capacity, to go beyond where they believe they can go. My father, a sergeant in the 82nd Airborne during WWII and a successful coach back in the day, used to say, “growth is not comfortable.” From boot camp through airborne training, my father said “feedback” from their instructors and leaders was not subtle, gentle, or sensitive. In preparing a group of young men to “win,” when losing was not an option, communicating expectations about performance in training had to be direct, immediate and honest. “Nice” was never part of the experience.

    Good coaches know what level of performance it takes for teams to become winners. Wilson has been there and knows what it’s going to take to transform Indiana FB into a winning program. That’s the basis for his elevated expectations and communication style with his players. To my knowledge, Lynch had never been a part of a team, let alone a coach on a team at that level of competition. Lynch simply never achieved the level of success that Wilson aspires to. I believe that was reflected in Lynch’s communication style.

  9. Everyone, and I’m sure that includes Tsao Tsug, knows that football is not war, that athletic competition is not combat, and that the gridiron is not a real battlefield. But there are undeniable parallels between being a part of a military combat unit and being a part of a football team. To be successful at either requires strong, competant leadership necessary to train young men to win in violent competition. I think we were discussing communication styles and the level of expectations between two football coaches. The references to the military, which is the ultimate in competitive contests, were simply used to make a point.

    To say that Bill Lynch would have “won as many games at Ohio State last year as Jim Tressel did” is sentimental nonsense and besides the point. If frogs had wings they would fly. Yes, Lynch was a nice, honest, classy guy. For all I know he is a great human being. And clearly Tressel, as it turns out, was a cheater and a liar, which is not nice or classy. But the point is, being nice and classy and a really good guy to the public and media does not make a man a good football coach! It makes him a nice guy. Indiana needed a good football coach. I believe we now have one. Like a former IU BB coach, Wilson may not be nice or classy, but I’ll bet he’ll be a winner.

  10. I don’t think it’s wrong to compare a military leader with a football coach. Both need to display strong leadership capabilities and trying to get the most out of the young men at their disposal.

    As for Lynch, I don’t know how he was with the team but his comments after games were nothing but making excuses and saying how great the other team was that day. That doesn’t portray a very strong leader or a very good motivator in my opinion. The way he portrayed himself in the media, he couldn’t get me motivated to eat a bowl of ice cream, let alone play the game of football.

    Wilson on the other hand seems to have a plan, working a plan and is setting the bar high. He’s not trying to lower expectations but raising them. He’s confident and sounds like a leader…a breath of fresh air. Now lets just hope it’s not all just smoke and mirrors.

  11. Dustin, not at all putting words in your mouth (as I read …I did remember). It was a statement you made indicating a personal preference for the type of coach who is ‘nicer, more of a ‘friend’ type and referred directly to the style of coaching (I’ll search and send it verbatum if I find it. Not sure how far back your archive goes).

    Nevertheless, it was not a criticism directed personally at you (I could care less about your preferences), just adding to a blog conversation and in agreement with a statement made by several other bloggers recently, while disagreeing with others who opine (as is their right) to state the style, in their opinion, describes an a** h***).

    Specifically, I was not reacting against anything; but in support of a comment I strongly agreed with made by Podunker.

    As to what analogies I may choose to make, the “[E]nough…yara,yara…”, you seem to be having an issue with a free press. First, I think the issue is any activity involving a lot of stress, physicality and even, to an extent, violent interaction is a legitimate comparison. In this case, your comment “more like a boot camp …is really silly because, in fact, it supports my point. Your description ‘boot camp’ is a reference to a military term.

    Third, and most important, where do you find the gall to say to any reader/poster on a newspaper ‘free’ blog who complies with all the rules regarding language and propriety, “Enough”? Your likes and dislike are irrelevant and really inappropriate. Do you understand the concept of a free press and freedom of speech (as long as I use it in an appropriate manner)? Is there an entitlement here that holds for reporters but not for their readers? I doubt your publisher or editors would agree.

  12. We will certainly know who is better soon. Here are the facts. The majority of the players are the same. Coach Wilson is implementing new offensive and defensive systems, he has a new coaching staff that is just getting to know the players, and he does not have a veteran (not a military reference) quarterback to rely on, so that will all be a handicap. If there is any improvement at all on the level of play in year one, then it’s safe to say we have made improvements in the coaching situation.

    Tressel is, and always was, a creep. While Lynch is obviously a better person than Tressel, to suggest he was as competent a football coach is laughable. Tressel has won at every stop whereas Lynch has lost everywhere he has coached. A case could be made that neither man was head coach material.

  13. I used to work with a school principal that was abrasive and difficult to deal with. But she was competent. When she retired, her replacement was a genial fellow who, unwittingly, sabotaged the system at every turn, always with a smile on his face. I was speaking to the department director and she commented that I “must be glad that [principal A] was gone.”
    I replied, “There are worse things than being an a$$***e.”

  14. This is a column I read yesterday, just after seeing Podunker’s comment on coach Wilson and his style. I thought about the discussion on Wilson and Lynch (as many, I thought Lynch was a prince of a guy, but also thought he lacked the leadership skill to make IU a winner). Specifically, I wondered (and stated it in 3-4 previous posts) if he understood his inability to be firm, direct, uncompromisingly demanding and address his weaker assistant (mainly defensive)with resolve would cost all of them their jobs. And, I wondered if his being ‘nice’ would end up in a disaster for several families. It was beyond me why he would not do what he had to do.
    He didn’t.

    This column states it best:

    Not nice guys, but cowards, finish last
    By Robert Kiyosaki (To CNN)

    “I remember sitting down in front of my [mentor] to show him the financials for my nylon and Velcro wallet business. I was 32 years old and the business had [grown faster] than I’d ever imagined. [It was] soaring, I was also young, inexperienced and running the company into the ground.

    As my [mentor] studied the company’s financial statement, I sat nervously, knowing that things weren’t good. [O]n this day, he was studying my own performance in business. After what seemed like an eternity, he looked up and said, “Your company has cancer, and I’m afraid it’s terminal. You’ve mismanaged what could have been a rich and powerful company. You don’t know what you’re doing, and worst of all you don’t have the guts to admit it. You’re incompetent, a bad businessman and you’re either a crook or a clown. I hope you’re just a clown.”

    He knew I was in danger of not paying my employees because my accounts receivable were more than 90 days old. It affected my cash flow and I had a choice to make: use the money I needed for payroll to pay bills and keep the company afloat or pay my employees and close up shop.

    I’m reminded of this story tonight as I read about a new study: “Do Nice Guys — and Gals — Really Finish Last? …The researchers found, in part, that “agreeableness is negatively related to income and earnings,” that nice guys “take a hit for being highly agreeable,” and that this translates into lower earnings. Essentially, the study found that people in the business world who are “nice” make less than people who are “mean.”

    Let’s ask ourselves, “What do they mean by ‘nice’?” My [mentor] is not a “nice” man by many people’s standards. Some would call him mean, but I’d call him principled and strong. And he was successful. He showed me that he cared enough about me to speak the truth plainly and challenge me to be a better man. He didn’t mince words and was often harsh, but I knew he cared for me like a son.

    Strength and compassion are not mutually exclusive. I believe that one key to success is to accept truth, no matter how it’s spoken. If he hadn’t been so harsh with me decades ago, it’s likely I’d have become just another failed businessman — and possibly even a crook [and a cheat], instead of just a clown.

    I’ve received much feedback in my life from many different types of people. The old adage, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it,” is an appropriate reference here. While I don’t condone mincing words or dancing around issues, I do believe that all of us are capable of showing respect and empathy for those with whom we work. If that is the foundation for feedback, even the strongest and most critical of assessments can be delivered with respect and consideration.

    Say it like it is … [you] don’t take joy in skewering someone or engaging in what might border on personal attacks.

    The world is full of people who make excuses, people who are cowards and people who use the term “nice” to cover up their inability to make a hard decision, say what needs to be said or defend themselves, their position or other people because they’re afraid of how they’ll be viewed or that someone won’t like them anymore.

    This is cowardly.

    In my experience, many people confuse being cowardly with being nice. It’s easier to aim to please and say what others want to hear than to form an opinion and fight for it, even if it means taking a risk or losing your job.

    And that’s the real issue: the employee mind set. It’s drilled into us from childhood. Schools teach children to be compliant, to do as they’re told, to be good employees — or face the consequences. Those who question the system are usually considered “problem” children. Those who think for themselves, who challenge and question, are labeled “deviants.” From a young age we’re taught to please people. That, it’s believed, is what makes you a good or nice person.

    The [successful] are willing to take risks, question the status quo and say what needs to be said, even if it’s hard to hear — and hard to say. Many people view this as mean, but I believe it’s the exact opposite. It’s a kindness to speak honestly and say what you feel is right. Only cowards let fear keep them from making tough decisions.

    I’m convinced that among the keys to success…are truthfulness, the ability to take — and give — honest and well-intended feedback, strength of character and conviction in one’s principles.

    And that’s not mean. That’s nice.”

  15. Podunker, missed the fact there were two of your postings next to each other until I just went back and saw the one about your father. Your family, my family share a common point, values and it explains a lot…the All Americans
    82nd.(504th, 325th and 508th), Ft. Bragg and beautiful, scenic downtown Fayetteville.

  16. I actually didn’t say “enough.” That was Larry. He also made the boot camp reference. Check the comments again. I asked (read that again, asked) if we could tone down the war rhetoric, and apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks it’s a tad much.
    If I was planning on infringing on your right to free speech (anonymous commenting does not constitute “press”) I would have just deleted your comment. I’m not making demands and I’m not coming down as a dictator here. I just think the rhetoric here has gone in some strange directions on so many different occasions now. I’m not saying you guys aren’t entitled to say what you want to say. It’s just … I mean… did my post on a football practice really just lead to a discussion of bullets and IED’s and falling planes? I mean, really?
    I’m a big fan of political discussion, and I’d like to think my world extends beyond sports. I just think there are lines that get drawn from sports to society on this blog that sometimes aren’t really there and are at the very least vastly overdramatized.
    I guess, the thing is, I’m starting to feel like the Dude in Big Lebowski listening to Walter talk before attempting to spread Donny’s ashes over the Pacific. Hope you know where I’m coming from there.

  17. Dustin, I did mistakenly attribute Larry’s ‘not war, more like boot camp’ and “…enough military [references] comment to you.

    That said, I have absolutely nothing to consider ‘toning down’. The contrast/comparison is about qualities and attributes of leadership, effectiveness of styles etc. While I would be the first to agree that playing a game is not war, the analogy is very valid. particularly when examining leadership under stress.

    I think the attributes, qualities and character of leadership and contrast/comparison was and is entirely fair for this forum with nothing to be considered “strange directions’ or reason that I or anyone else “tone down the war rhetoric”.

    You can read or not read my posts, and the others in the blog can do as they wish as well. I make them because I like thinking about sports in the context of our culture and our times, enjoy the conversations with others who do as well, enjoy writing, respect the thoughts and intelligence of several others on this blog and am drawn by our common bond and passion as IU graduates, fans and Hoosiers.

    So, I’ll continue to blog and express my thoughts as I always have; thoughtfully, with deliberation, respect and consideration for others. Have a good night.

  18. be careful, dustin. your brain is showing. the natives won’t like that. norwin still needs a sports editor. my wife is holdong it for you. high school football coverage is lacking. plus, i hear there will be a new PAL jr. high league this fall. time to come home, man.

  19. I won’t mention any names, but some people (okay one in particular) have ALOT of time on their hands, and a very vivid imagination…


  20. Tsao. now you are calling lynch a coward? I am glad you have the time to research articles that can corroborate your misguided perception. If I were going to war I would rather have the “coward” lynch in my foxhole than some old dude that would write s dissertation about why war is bad. you are a joke.

  21. Tsao,

    Get a life dude! You have way too much free time to be posting novels on these boards. Just stick to the discussion at hand without going off on random tangents.

  22. Tsao,
    Here’s the thing. No one’s trying to muzzle you and halt you in your noble quest to bring high-minded discussion to the Scoop. I’m just pointing out that, as always, you’re being absurdly overdramatic.
    Here’s the thing. Bill Lynch didn’t try to coach football like he was fighting a war. He coached football like he was coaching a game. I feel pretty safe in saying that he would have related to his men differently if he were preparing them to attack Fallujah than if he were getting them ready to play Wisconsin.
    I get that tough guy coaches are often successful, and I’m by no means suggesting that Kevin Wilson won’t be. I’ve also seen “players coaches” win. I mean, Tony Dungy has a Super Bowl ring, am I wrong? It’s not all or nothing here. What works and what doesn’t work really comes down to day-to-day interactions, how some guys react to things how other guys do. There’s not one way to do things.
    Lynch was harsh sometimes. He was soft sometimes. Perhaps he needed to be tougher. And perhaps that’s the reason he and the rest of the members of his staff got fired. He also appeared to adhere to the war analogy that the captain doesn’t throw anyone overboard. He goes down with the ship. And perhaps his loyalty in the end in effect made him disloyal, and in the Greek sense, that’s sort of tragic. He’s worthy of all sorts of criticism for that and in the end, he was punished by getting fired.
    But do you really not thinking calling someone you don’t know a coward is a little over the top? You’re a professional writer, you don’t see how invoking images of IED’s and suicide bombers and bullets doesn’t take the conversation way out of perspective? It reads like you’re suggesting that Lynch is guilty of treason or dissertion. I know you didn’t actually say that. But again, you’re a writer. You don’t think bringing in overtones of that level of drama takes credibility from your argument?
    Stop viewing me as some sort of administrative overlord for a second while reading this and just consider me an observer. Don’t you think you’re being overdramatic?

  23. Dustin, you are totally correct and that is not me sucking up to you as I have disagreed with you more than once but, again, you are 100 percent correct this time. I know Tsao will see me as just another poor shallow unintelligent and uninformed person but I couldn’t give a $hit less what he thinks. There is a place and time for everything and leapfrogging into suicide bombers, IEDs and fire fights when the discussion is about football is more than a little bit of a stretch even if part of it is about the coach. I have no problem appreciating our troops and go out of my way to thank them whenever I see one of them but this is not about them or about all of the great things that they do on a daily basis for me and everyone else in this country. The novels that Tsao posts are much better suited for a political blog or a military blog or, I don’t know, any kind of a blog, besides one of this type. With the time he seems to have on his hands or with the amount of intelligence that he claims to have, albeit without coming right out and saying I’m a lot smarter than just about all of you that comment on here, he should have no trouble finding the type of blog that is suited to the kind of comments he makes a lot of the time. JMO Tsao

  24. And the clouds parted, and a great light shined upon the earth…What a wonderful, wonderful day.

  25. Now finally Dustin, we can have a mature conversation. First, I want to make clear that (in my mind) the analogy I used were both legitimate and correct. They were also mine and used in my blog post. Whatever analogies I made were mine and I truly feel relevant to the point. Nothing to apologize for and nothing to be lectured for. Nothing.

    Want to disagree, disagree. Don’t lecture nor try to control what I write, (until, of course, I step over the bounds of propriety).

    The issue from my stand point was the contrast between Coach Wilson and Coach Lynch in Indiana’s situation.
    I disagree with you and doubt Lynch would have “handled his men differently” in any situation (Fallujah). Leadership style, in my opinion, comes from personality and character and, on both counts, I think his was much more likely to demand and accept less than the best from the individual involved, including himself.

    Ironically, I actually thought he had a very good offensive mind and was a decent recruiter. Fate and Greenspan, sadly, made him a Head Coach. The Peter Principle at work.(A Man is Promoted to the Maximum Level of his Limited Capacity).

    I wrote a post last sumemr, prior to Lynch’s last season, that reflected my concern with the obvious and irreversible weakness in our defensive coaching staff. I asked if Lynch was aware of the impact failing to change incapable assistants would have not only on our program, but on the very good (mostly offensive- including his own son) other assistants, their jobs, careers and on their families and children. I hoped he had the nerve and the strength to do the right thing. He didn’t.

    Dustin, you argue that Lynch’s virtues caused him to falter. In your …”the captain doesn’t throw anyone overboard. He goes down with the ship.” I ask, and, with no one in charge, no one is saved? That is exactly why Lynch failed. Thank God he was not a ship captain. It was exactly that miss placed loyalty that “in the end in effect made him disloyal, and in the Greek sense, that’s sort of tragic.” Tragic to the other coaches, their wives, children…even the community. That, my budding writer friend, is the classic Greek tragedy…the cowardly (man’s nature) act unwilling to do the morally true and harder thing.

    And, that’s why the column by Robert Koyasaki that I enclosed in which he criticizes the moral cowardly act of not doing the right thing, is in fact the point I was making about what I like about Kevin Wilson. He seems to be the kind of leader who understands the challenges and demands of leadership.

    I thought it was an excellent point about leadership and that it applied directly to the coaching style of whoever may be trying to revive Hoosier football (or our Nation for that matter). While I did not use the term ‘coward’, I won’t back away from it. I agree with Koyasaki.

    One last point. Why can’t we have serious discussion of content and depth in a sports blog? Is there a Twitter rule that posts must be devoid of thought and generally inconsequential?

    Hope we can come to terms with each other.

  26. How did this article and accompanying comments go from being about Wilson being dissatisfied with the quarterback play in camp to a whine fest about the personality differences between Wilson and Lynch. Please excuse me for deviating from this discussion and focusing my comments on what was actually in the article.

    So Wilson is somewhat frustrated by the inconsistent play of the three quarterback candidates. Anyone else as concerned as I am?

    I’ve got to tell you that if Robinson earns the starting assignment I’ll drop my number of predicted victories by two. Redshirt freshmen make plenty of mistakes. True freshmen even more. The more mistakes equates to the offense struggling and being less productive, forcing the defense into an unenviable position of having to win games. That won’t help us out as our defense is as big a questionmark as our offense.

    I’m hoping that our OL gels enough that we have a viable running game this season. That would really help take the burden of our inexperienced quarterbacks having to try and win games solely on the strength of their passing.

    We are coming down to where the rubber meets the road and I got to tell you I’m not hearing as many positive and uplifting comments coming out of Coach Wilson as I did this past spring. I’m behind him 100% and believe he is what IU has needed since, oh let’s say the past 100 years, but simply uttering “Win Today” won’t make it happen unless out players can perform at a higher level than our opponents. That is going to be difficult to do as seven of our conference opponents attended bowl games last year, and they too have catchy slogans and are working just as hard to win games.

    We got to keep priming the recruiting pump until top talent continuously flows into Bloomington. Coach Wilson can and will do it, but it is going to take time and effort.

  27. Waitingforwins, thank you for the much needed course correction and couldn’t agree with you more.

  28. I took a day off for this upcoming Friday Sept 9th to polish up and organize my IU stuff for tailgating while some on here (not speaking of Dustin) would rather get on this blog and rip a true IU fan for stating his/her opinion. One thing we must always keep in mind when disagreeing with a blogger is that we are all cheering for the same team…The Indiana Hoosiers!!!

  29. Tsao,
    You can have a serious discussion of content and depth in a sports blog. There have been a lot of them on here, and that’s fine. I have never deleted anything you’ve said. I don’t care that you write long. If you’ve been using that subscription (thanks) you know that I write long pretty much all the time.
    If you want to have an in depth conversation about what’s wrong with the NCAA, have at it. You guys just did, and even though I disagreed with more than a few things that were said, I didn’t stop you. Heck, if you want to talk about the debt crisis or Libya or whatever, have at it. I don’t live my whole life in the toy department. I don’t expect you to.
    I’m just asking — not requiring, asking — that we keep some perspective here. I just think too often on here, I see players and coaches get inserted as characters in certain morality plays that greatly distort the actual situation. Some guys are emblematic of everything that’s right with the world, some guys are emblematic of everything that’s wrong with the world. This person is a symbol of our society being too obsessed with instant gratification, this person is the sort of person I’d want in my foxhole. This coach could lead a battalion into war, this one couldn’t. This one is good. This one is evil. And a lot of time, you don’t even know these people. I don’t know, at the end of the day, they’re all just humans. They try, sometimes they fail, sometimes they succeed. They do the best they can. Sometimes, their stories are part of something much bigger. Sometimes they’re not, and dragging them into certain arguments isn’t really fair. I thought this was one of those cases. Bill Lynch was a football coach, and he very much realized that that was all he was. He coached a game. He knew full well that there were bigger more important things out there, and that influenced some of his decisions. He might have been better off if he didn’t have that perspective. But if suddenly, he would’ve been put in a situation that was life and death it would’ve altered his way of thinking and way of leading.
    Look Tsao, talk as long as you want. Feel free to take discussion in different directions. I’m not going to cut you out unless you really cross the line. I just ask — don’t require, ask — that you take a sober look at what you’re writing and ask yourself if you’re not making certain things more dramatic than they really are.
    Also, I’m presuming that you didn’t get my Lebowski reference. I suggest you watch that movie. Might help your sense of humor and help you see where I’m coming from.

  30. Tsao. Bill Lynch …………

    As anyone who has studied World War II in the Pacific knows, the U.S. Navy submarine fleet was amazingly successful and virtually destroyed Japan’s merchant marine. The Imperial Navy’s submarine campaign, on the other hand, was a fiasco from beginning–the midget subs at Pearl Harbor–to end. This is ironic, because any submarine’s main weapon is its torpedoes, and America started the war with torpedoes that almost never worked, whereas Japanese torpedoes were the best in the world.

    Hellions of the Deep, Robert Gannon’s study of American torpedoes, attempts to be a comprehensive report on every type of torpedo used by American forces during World War II–submarine anti-ship, submarine anti-escort, aerial anti-ship, aerial anti-submarine, and those launched by PT boats and destroyers, too. It also offers a fair amount of information about what the Germans and Japanese were doing in torpedo development. In fact, it concentrates on three themes: the disastrous Mark 14, which crippled USN submarines for fully half the war; the Harvard Underwater Sound Laboratory (HUSL), which accounted for most of the research into torpedoes during the war; and the creation of the “Mine Mark 24,” the acoustic homing torpedo used against German U-boats.

    Much of this material is well researched and effectively presented, especially the story of the Mark 24, which Gannon claims was the first effective homing torpedo. Although Gannon is a professor of English at Penn State, he has worked for years as a science writer (as has this reviewer), and is well qualified, unlike most military historians, to describe the science and technology behind this revolutionary weapon. The challenge facing the collection of mostly young scientists at HUSL–few of whom had ever studied acoustics or seen a torpedo–was a formidable one. They wanted to create a torpedo that could be dropped from an airplane, locate a U-boat which had just dived, swim toward that U-boat and hit it. In the era of vacuum tube technology, it was a considerable feat just to produce a set of hydrophones and servos that could be packed into a small torpedo, stored on a ship for months, then survive being dropped into the water. Yet they succeeded, and invented a weapon that is credited with destroying 31 U-boats and damaging another 15–an almost incredible 32 percent success rate, since American planes dropped only 142 Mark 24s during the war.

    Gannon captures the human drama of the work at HUSL well, no doubt because he interviewed dozens of scientists, submarine officers, and Navy bureaucrats over the course of 20 years to get the background he needed to write Hellions of the Deep. But his tremendous amount of knowledge, and the large portion of it coming from oral histories, does not always serve him well. Some of his informants seemed to have remembered the comic aspects of their war years, and not much more. Gannon’s short chapter on Keyport, Washington, the Navy’s West Coast torpedo facility, consists of little more than one amusing tale of using a test torpedo to chase a civilian motorboat. He would have better served his readers if he had omitted some of the “human-interest” passages, as well as the superficial introductory material on torpedoes during the American Revolutionary and Civil Wars. If, instead, Gannon could have provided more about German and Japanese torpedo work before and during the war, this would have been a better book. There is some coverage of Axis technologies, and a few mentions of British torpedoes, but not a word about Soviet, French, or Italian torpedoes.

    That said, Hellions of the Deep does provide a detailed history of the wretched Mark 14, a weapon right up there with the Brewster Buffalo, and far more important to American fortunes in the Pacific. Miserly budgets during the 1920s and 1930s meant that not a single Mark 14 was ever test fired under war conditions before 1942–while the Navy wasted $78,000 (a large amount, then) developing a magnetic exploder that did not work. Gannon also provides good descriptions of the development of aerial torpedoes and of the Mark 18 electric torpedo. Among the wealth of statistics in this book is the striking fact that the United States produced 57,000 torpedoes during World War II, yet only fired 15,000 of them. Along with these statistics, Gannon has included dozens of photos and drawings, almost all of them appearing in print for the first time.

    OH Wait. I just randomly copied and pasted a war article. Nevermind.

  31. Nooooo! Nnoooo!… Larry!, don’t apologize…very interesting…I read the entire post and am grateful. I’m about to reread it to make sure I didn’t miss something.

    I did not know quite the details nor the complexity of our torpedo development or submarine warfare history, particularly during World War II. I did know that the Nazis gave the Brits quitea time during the late 30’s and early 40’s almost causing the English collapse through their near-total destruction of their merchant sea routes and their sinking of quite a number of our Liberty ships. Three factors really saved us, our breaking (actually the Brits with help from the Polish, breaking of their secret codes, allowing us to intercept deployed U-boats and our development and ability to build thousands of magnetic mines we used to intercept hunter submarines and our improvement of submarine hunter aircraft- including seaplanes- to locate the Nazi subs. and virtually destroy the Nazi underwater hunters.

    And that the Japanese had tried to infiltrate 4 or 5 of their minisubs into Pearl Harbor. Two, I know sank or ran ashore before the attack, one we believe a destroyer on patrol actually located it and blew it up before and a fourth may have actually operated and did some damage to the American Pacific Fleet anchored there. There are really some interesting films that may show its wake as it moves around the harbor. Near where the Arizona was sunk.

    An interesting additional fact of information that further links your points and mine, of course… to IU football. John Pont, along with Bill Mallory, one of our most successful football coach, (he took us to the Rose Bowl in 1967 (well the Jan 1. 1968 Rose Bowl where USC and O.J. Simpson-later best known for wacking his wife- beat us in a close game. Our QB was Harry Gonzo, currently on our Board of Trustees and Al Gage, from E. St. Louis, Mo. the tight end who caught our touchdown pass). Pont, a former 5’5″ halfback at Miami (O)was a submariner for quite a career in the Navy. He used his GI Bill money to attend college. And, like Mallory, his friends Bo Schembechler, Ara Parseghian, our own tragically lost Terry Hoeppner an entire group of great football coaches all developed their philosophies at Miami(O) University, the Cradle of Coaches -(you kind of have to make sure you make clear we mean the legitimate one in Oxford, Ohio; not the football cess pool in Miami, FL these days.(By the way, did you hear the one about the whale that swam close to a submarine…every time it launched a torpedo, the whale passed out a cigar).

    Aaaah! and, guess who else came from that same setting Larry….yes!, our own coach Kevin Wilson spent the most formative part of his coaching/mentoring/teaching career there.

    Never apologize for transmitting knowledge nor making legitimately well-intentioned posts. (I do have a confession however, after the two-three sentences I knew that it wasn’t your writing. Your writing is not that flowing, nor your thoughts that coherent…but I read it anyway because I wanted to acknowledge your great effort and the content was really, really interesting. Thank you.

  32. Waiting;if you were Wilson, would you, at this stage in the FB team’s development, make statements expressing your confidence and enthusiasm or would you try to manage expectations? Is Wilson expressing doubt and concern or is he identifying the challenges that must be overcome if his team is to play to their potential? And waht is his team’s potential this year? Is Wilson the kind of guy that minimizes his comments in front of media, but conveys a different tone to his team? What’s the smarter way to communicate with the public/media?

    Wilson’s players are all new to him and he’s really just getting to know them. He’s back in the Big Ten for the first time in eight or nine years. All his coaches are new to him. Is he being prudent or negative in his statements?

    I just don’t think Wilson is an effusive man. That just does not seem to be his style. He may be one of those guys that, no matter how good his team is playing, always see’s room for improvement, can always see potential for playing better. He may just be one of those guys that is never satsified.

    If I think back to Bob Knight’s statements about his players or his team, especially those made before the season, he typically focused on needs for improvement. At best, when handing out a compliment about a player, he would balance his statement with some form of constructive criticism. With the exception of the aftermath of his championships or a player’s graduation, his comments gave the impression that he was not yet satsified. Ironically, he delivered more praise to his weakest players than he did his most talented players, often making reference to a weak player’s effort during garbage time or during recent practices.

    My guess is that Wilson is the type of coach that understands that talk is cheep. My guess is that he has very high expectations for the long term and is not going to be effusive in his praise until he can field a team that is prepared to meet those expectations.

  33. Podunker, Wilson has maintained an excellent attitude and from what I gather tries to accentuate the positive and minimize the negatives. I don’t ever expect him to call out a player publicly or throw one under the bus.

    Before spring ball Wilson made a comment about our talent not being that much different than what he was used to at Oklahoma. I took that as his way of again trying to build up a program that for years has had a negative image. He had to get the players believing in themselves. Wilson for lack of a better term sold this statement by his tone and mannerisms and I started to feel better about our team and its chances this year.

    Wilson kept that upbeat, positive, attitude, but I started to notice that he was becoming more critical of player performances, especially as of late. Saying things like, “We need to get faster” just resonates with me that our talent is further from OU’s than what he originally stated. Every coach wants to get faster players, but when it keeps coming up in interviews it sends up red flags for me and screams, “We have an Issue!”

    I have always thought IU has struggled with a lack of team speed, and this is not something that can be easily corrected with coaching. As they say, you can’t teach height and speed. Wilson took over a slow, an poorly conditioned team and has transformed them into a well conditioned that unfortunately is still slow.

    The quarterback inconsistencies are troublesome because an offense needs to become familiar with the quarterback. We’re a week out from the opener and we’re still playing musical chairs at this position. A three headed monster is not a good thing for a team that is trying to develop continuity and consistency. Here’s to hoping someone emerges from the pack by the end of the week.

  34. Waiting; good post! Not sure I completely agree with your comments about IU’s lack of team speed. The way I see it, IU has had some speed, but often they did not have the size to compliment that speed. And for those players that had good speed, a lot of them went down with injuries. As you alluded, conditioning seems to have been a major problem for IU in past seasons. Who could have guessed?

    I remember Wilson making the comment, “we need to get faster.” I would share your concern if he had said “we don’t have enough speed.” I interpretted his comments to mean his players needed to play faster, not that they lacked speed. I think the difference is important. Not playing fast is caused by hesitation, the inability to move to the right place with confidence and anticipation. Playing slow results from the confusion associated with learnig new schemes, new plays, etc, and the inability to anticipate and do things as second nature. I think IU probably has adequate speed, not great speed, but they need to learn to play fast, which comes from learning the new system so well that the players move without hesitation or even thinking, just reacting.

    I’m more worried about team size. I think IU was small last year, and have gotten a little smaller this year due to vastly superior conditioning which slimmed these guys down (a good thing). I hope the new conditioning program improves their stamina, makes them quicker, stonger and more resilient to injury and that those improvements will compensate for a lack of size.

    And one more concern. Have the defensive players improved their tackling skills this year? IU was terrible at tackling last year.

  35. Podunker, I think you are correct that a big part of team speed being a result of the players not being sure of their positioning and responsibilities. We could see it on the field when defenders were constantly out of position and down field blocking was non existent. On paper, it looks like he was able to lure some pretty good coaching talent to Bloomington. As someone mentioned recently, we are on the radar of some high school players that would never have considered being a Hoosier in the past. Maybe some folks don’t like Coach Wilson’s communication style but he is certainly selling the program to the people that matter.

  36. Po, IU has lacked team speed for several years. If you talked to my dad he would say it has been bad on a whole since Mallory left. Our team speed on defense at the CB and LB positions are what have killed us for the last 15 years or so. However, your argument about size is right on as well. Our LB’s are never the size of other Big 10 schools but where we get killed is our size on the OL and DL. When we play schools like Wisconsin and Penn St and OSU…we are totally exposed in the size dept. I see Wilson has stepped it up on the size and the speed with his recruiting and I am impressed so far. My worry though is not size and speed really…it is simply what you stated at the end of your last post…can they tackle better! I think they will tackle better because of the new staff and because they are not playing 2 hand touch in practice! This year will be quite interesting all the way around. I am busting with excitement because it is the best staff to have ever coached IU football…at least in the experience dept and speaking of where Wilson pulled everyone from. Fundamentals have been lacking for so long and now we get to see a staff we trust in. I had NO faith going into last year but let me tell you…next weekend cannot get here fast enough!

  37. J Pat; I love your excitement. It’s contagious.

    IU recruited players with speed over the last few years and several of them ended up in the defensive backfield. Unfortunately, many of the fastest players went down with serious injuries as several recent HT articles have documented. Guys with the best speed were having season-ending surgery the last three years. So far as I know, those guys are healthy to begin the season (keep your fingers crossed that they stay healthy).

    While I agree that IU was not the fastest team in the Big Ten and can always get more speedsters,lack of speed was not the issue on offense last year. As for defense, I think it was lack of size throughout, terrible defensive coaching (utilizing basic schemes seen in High School games) , and really, really bad tackling that killed the Hoosiers. With just a little improvement on the defense, IU could have won another game or two (Michigan and NW)and gone bowling last year. We must assume that the new coaching staff, especially the new defensive coaches, will improve performance in 2011.

    In college, coaching is everything. I share your confidence that Wilson and his staff represent a major upgrade and should produce a much improved “product” on the gridiron. The recruiting will be better, the conditioning will be better, the stamina will be better, and in time, confidence will imrove.

    Have a great this weekend.

  38. There seems to be an intense focus on fundamentals, technique and quickness (which I’ve always considered a product of intelligence (reading, recognition, skill) x speed, muscle quickness). In particular, I enjoy reading the content of the player interviews (read Matte’s closely) and how well he has defined and described both the coaches’ roles/teaching and his reaction to it. It is so encouraging to have the players enjoy and understand their own development.

    Hopefully, it will show on the field. But, regardless, the Hoosiers seem to have chosen the right people, and the right path. I look forward to this season and to the process over the next few years. Winning is a growth process.

  39. Tsao; Well said. The player interviews are my favorite articles. They seem to convey a different level of excitement this year. All the players seem to be motivated by the higher expectations, the greater amount of work in preparation and the better coaching.

    Hope all this translates to solid execution on the field.

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