Knorr asks fans for patience, asks players for aggression

His fingerprints on the program are still fresh, but Indiana defensive coordinator Brian Knorr hears the concern.

The Hoosiers’ much-maligned defense, which followed a hopeful introduction against Indiana State with a second-half dud against Bowling Green Saturday, remains a work in progress. But it’s Knorr’s hope that the latest defensive collapse — albeit another in a litany of such lapses — is not enough to send the Hoosier fan base into apathy.

The first-year IU coordinator is asking for time and patience.

“Let us continue building, let us continue building,” Knorr said when asked what he would tell the fans. “I believe we have the players that can be a good defense. I hope that one half of a (game) isn’t gonna make everybody judge this defense yet.”

After spending much of the first half in bend-not-break mode against the Falcons, Indiana watched a 14-12 halftime lead devolve into yet another shootout. Bowling Green ran 63 plays over the final two quarters, while picking up 29 first downs over that span.

BG’s 113 plays were two short of tying the FBS record.

The Falcons saw third down only eight times in the second half, with only two of those occasions coming where they had to go more than five yards on third down. BG was also 2-for-3 on fourth down over the final two quarters.

Indiana couldn’t get off the field in critical situations. The Hoosiers couldn’t make stops on first or second down, either, opening up the defense to continued questions about planning, preparation and execution.

The consensus opinion between Knorr and IU coach Kevin Wilson on Monday was that the defense needs to find ways to be more aggressive.

“There are a lot of ways to be aggressive,” Knorr said. “We had particular packages where our three- and four-man rush, they were free rush guys to be able to get up the field, be aggressive. We had guys being able to spy and being able to give them an opportunity. So, there are a lot of ways for us to be aggressive. It’s not just bringing five or six defenders and playing man or zone blitz coverage. There’s a lot of ways we can have our guys be aggressive. That’s one of the areas we talked to our kids about — just being more aggressive out there, whether it’s attacking the bubble screen, attacking blockers. We had situations to give some guys some tackles for losses. I believe we only had four tackles for losses in the amount of plays we had and there were a lot of those opportunities. That’s where we’re challenging our guys to be aggressive. Be aggressive finishing those plays.”

30 comments

  1. Coach Knorr…we, no one I’ve seen, has called you an idiot. Some of us actually wanted to see you succeed. Now, you treat us like ignorant idiots. That’s your answer for what we were shown Saturday? Please…some respect!

  2. Be a man Coach Knorr! Tell us what happened. Why does the line play like they’ve been fed and need to go to the bathroom? Why do the defensive backs accompany receivers like love struck eighth graders? We expect you to stand up and say something that holds players individually responsible, by name. They should know, individually, who should be embarrassed by their weakness and indifference.

    And you should accept the responsibility of the challenge and show it in your leadership or be accountable for the lack of it.

  3. LOL. Reporters should have been more “aggressive” with their questions.

    DC Knorr sits back and calls no blitzes on a newbie QB all day and passively sits back with 6-8 dropping into pass coverage. Plays as soft and vanilla as any team ever has played in the history of college football. And now wants “aggression”. LOL. Unexplained and undefined – just “aggression”. Seems simple enough – ” boys – just go be “aggressive”. We don’t worry about fundamentals of tackling – how to cover a receiver – schemes – formations – situational packages or all that fancy stuff other schools do on defense here at IU. LOL.

    BG dropped back to pass 76 times. We had one sack for -3 yards. Which actually was a sack by definition only. Think about that.

    Why would we want to put pressure on an inexperienced QB on a team with less talent.

    Also – for those that would say our defense got worn down ( yeah playing 113 snaps will do that ) and that’s the fault of our offense.

    Time of possession for the game : IU 28 mins. BG 32 mins. Pretty darn close.

    You know I’m told at other schools – if your defense goes in there and makes just 3 decent plays in a row – they get to come off the field and rest a little bit. As an IU fan I’m not sure if this is true – but people I trust ensure me this actually happens a lot at their teams games.

    Zero blitzes in 113 plays. “Aggressive”. LOL.

  4. Great post Crimson! Keep a record of it and the points it makes one by one. Knorr can and should be held accountable for each one of those at the end of the season. We should record ‘improvement’ and remind him of it; one by one, game to game.

  5. Knorr: There are a lot of ways to be aggressive,” Knorr said. “We had particular packages where our three- and four-man rush, they were free rush guys to be able to get up the field, be aggressive. We had guys being able to spy and being able to give them an opportunity. So, there are a lot of ways for us to be aggressive.”

    What the _______ does this mean. In English!!! Please translate! What’s ‘aggressive’ to you? Define, don’t try to play games…say what you mean, mean what you say!! I have no idea what you are saying and my English skills are just fine!!!!

  6. Coach Knorr, you need to study up on the history of IU football and the many coaches that have gone through this cycle before asking Hoosier fans to have patience. Those former coaches arrived in B-town, talked a good game, created modest improvement in the first three years. Then, just as expectations began to rise and fans began to have hope, IU football would lose to a team that no Big Ten team should ever lose to, virtually assuring another losing season and the deflation of the program. You’ll find that we IU football fans have seen this cycle many times before. We’ve had coaches, in their fourth or fifth year, telling us we need to have patience. Well, for the 30,000 people who show up at Memorial Stadium to watch the first half against Maryland, it really does not matter. It’s the other 25,000 people who choose to do something else with their Saturdays that you need to plead with. And they’re a very skeptical bunch. Or how about directing your request for patience to Fred Glass? A few more games like Saturday’s loss to BG and Fred’s going to be under pressure to replace your boss. No ones going to care about the size of the American flag that flies inside Memorial Stadium if you and Wilson don’t produce a winning season before the end of November, 2015. And Saturday’s loss to BG made that a lot more difficult. As I’m sure you realize, at the end of this season, unless you produce a miraculous turn-around, your boss is going to be a lame duck, and he’s not going to be granted a contract extension. How’s that going to affect your ability to recruit the quality athletes you’ll need in order to elevate IU to an average Big Ten defense? Coach Knorr, we’re running out of patience and you’re running out of time.

  7. One other outside the box comment or question I would pose concerning IU’s defense is this. Lets take just the HCKW era or last few years. IU has had some exceptional offensive skill position players ( QB-RB-WR-TE ) over the years. It’s been brought up many times by many people – ” what do they do at practice -what do they prepare for – etc.”. I totally agree. It would appear whatever they do – it certainly does not translates into getting any better.

    In a traditional football practice you’d do a variety of drills. For instance – RB’s would go against LB’s in running/tackling drills – WR/TE’s would run routes against DB’s to work on catching and covering – etc..

    Here’s my point. The offensive skill position players at IU are usually better than what the defensive players actually face during most games.

    In essence – if a LB is used to going against Tevin Coleman – you would assume that they would get better for doing so. You would assume that if you can cover people like Cody Latimer – Shane Wynn – Kofi Hughes – etc. – that you could cover the lesser opponents you play against in games.

    I have no idea how having excellent offense players to practice against – has not translated into being better defensively.

    I mean if you played defense/guarded LeBron James and Kevin Durant all summer for instance – how could you not find playing defense against lesser people easier. Or learn a great deal to make you better at the very least.

    I have always wondered how practicing against great talent has not translated to better defensive players at IU. I’m left thinking that the coaching staff is completely inept. I’m fearful the units do not work against each other as I suggested.

    When you have outstanding offensive players – you would think they could help defensive players get better.

    I put the lack of defense over the years squarely on the shoulders of the coaching staff. I have no idea what the defensive unit does at practice every day – but I’ll bet we’d all be shocked and disappointed if we found out.

  8. Knorr has coached 2 games for IU and with that I read with anticipation you boys preparing to pull the pin on the grenade and lay on it.

  9. Bob, I would state it is the other way around. I am a deep rooted fan, from the 50’s. I have truly seen terrible performances, bad breaks, poor talent and inferior coaching most likely before you were born. I evaluate people/performance for a living. This present staff at IU is the very best in IU FB history. Yes, even better than any of Mallory’s best or Pont’s Rose Bowl achievers. It took 6 full seasons for Frank Beamer to attain consistency at VT and 7 for Alvarez at Wisky. IU is a bigger job than either of those 2. AD Glass evaluates using the same protocol I do. Even if attendance drops off(very well might but only slightly)BTN $ will keep the program very well funded until Wilson gets the corner turned squarely. Knorr is a positive for the program but he still will be ascending the same hill Mallory was challenged by.

  10. Hoosier Clarion is right. This is not a coaching issue. Mallory was a coaching issue, true, but I have no reason yet to think that Coach Knorr is incompetent. I actually saw some things I liked in the defensive performance against BGSU. That said, the basic issue remains the level and depth of talent…we’re getting better on both fronts, but we have not turned the corner.

  11. Hoosier Clarion, it didn’t take Alvarez 7 years to turn things around at Wisconsin. In his forth year he took the Badgers to the Rose Bowl and won.

    1990 1-10-0 0-8-0 (10th)
    1991 5-6-0 2-6-0 (T8th)
    1992 5-6-0 3-5-0 (T6th)
    1993 10-1-16-1-1 (T1st) Rose (defeated UCLA 21-16)

    This is Wilson’s forth year and we are no closer to the Rose Bowl as we are to any other bowl. I’ve seen my share of good and bad coaching at IU over the past fifty years, and saying that this staff is the best in IU history is laughable.

    Wilson neglected the defense for three years, and only now begins to realize that his team is going to be playing without the ball for approximately half the game.

    Understand I’m not down on Knorr. He’s the new guy and implementing a new defensive scheme. I have more patience with him because he is overhauling an entire unit. Wison on the other hand has been here since day one, and he’s not showing much in the way of improving as a head coach. I’m even beginning to question his ability as an offensive coordinator based on some of his forth down decisions. It’s a fact that some guys are just meant to be head coaches, while others will always be better suited for coordinator and position coach assignments.

    Wilson was co-offensive coordinator at OU with Chuck Long. Long left and accepted the head coaching position at San Diego State. He proved he wasn’t cut to be a head coach, and the more I see Wilson the more I realize that neither is he. IF BTN is hiring they may have a second former IU head coach to provide analysis.

    Four years and this is all Wilson has to show for his efforts, the same ineptness that he exhibited against Ball State in his first game as head coach of IU.

    Sorry folks, Wilson is simply not a good head coach.

  12. I agree that the jury is still out on Wilson but the comparison to Alvarez is unfair. Alvarez had a very impressive pedigree before Wiscy having coached a national championship defense at ND which is considered by many to have been the best defensive unit in college football ever. Moreover, he took over a program that admittedly was down but which had a historical winning tradition and a committed fan base. Wilson by contrast inherited a program that had never won consistently with a largely disaffected fan base and at best, lackluster institutional commitment to FB.

  13. ESPN “College Football Today” was heard to say about IU’s defense although a new defense Coord….the results are the same

  14. Like Hoosier Clarion, having received my degree from IU the fifties, I have seen a whole lot of bad football under 11 coaches and heard the always annual outcry to get another coach. We are today and have been for some time experiencing the results of a 100 plus years of administrations whose decisions or lack of them put us where we are now football wise. It is my opinion that no one coach is likely to change that in 3 or 4 years. With respect to Crimson and Podunker’s opinions I do not agree. If Crimson wishes to belittle HC for calling this one of the better coaching staffs at IU do so and please include me. And Podunker states that fans are running out of patience and Coach Knorr, who on Saturday coached his second game, is running out of time. We now have a beautiful stadium but it is the smallest in the Big Ten, a fan base it pains me to say is among the worst in the big ten that leaves in droves at halftime, but somehow it is the entire fault of the coaches we are so bad year after year. This coaching staff has lost 12 games by a touchdown or less, 8 of those by less than four points. Very frustrating, very disappointing, and a case could be made some of them by questionable coaching decisions. But just 3 wins in those 12 losses and we could have been in two bowls these past two years. Few will agree with me on this but I think the best move for Mr. Glass at the end of the year is to extend Coach Wilson’s contract by one year to avoid lame duck status. This 3-4 years and a new coach is killing this program on a long term basis and the overall cost if he must be terminated later is not that much more.

  15. will have to agree with Waitingforwins comment…he is being realistic while the others r making excuses as usual….

  16. Patience? Really?

    Patience = 1 Bowl Appearance in 20 year span.

    “FANS ASK KNORR TO WIN 6”

    PS…schedule Butler instead of Missouri maybe?

  17. Waitingforwins, In reference to Alvarez if you would have digested my post a little more thoroughly you would have determined my criteria was not a winning season but for “consistency” to evolve in the program. It took Alvarez 7 seasons for that as he had a 4-5-2 season in 1995. “Wilson neglected the defense for 3 years” is a lie. From his 1st week Wilson determined there would be 5 assistant coaches on the D side of the ball and 4 on the offense for his staff. If Doug Mallory had any other last name he would not have been around 3 full seasons and maybe not hired at all. The neglect tag does not stick.

    Mr. Walker knows what he is talking about when he says the best move AD Glass can make is to extend HC Wilson’s contract. If that does not happen then you younger guys will experience just what Mr. Walker and I have for the past 60+ seasons.

  18. Hoosier Clarion, I did carefully digest your post that is why I did not include the word consistent. What I did show was that four years into his program turnaround Alvarez put a winning product on the field. UW was decent under Dave McClain, but after his untimely death they struggled. Don Morton came replaced the interim head coach who was only there for a year and then drove the program into the ground the following three seasons.

    Alvarez’s teams were showing improvement, especially after 4 years, Wilson’s are not. To be more specific, Alvarez showed a depth and capability of being a head coach that Wilson has not. Both were successful coordinators, and it was the first head coaching gig for both. Both were going through OJT, but it appears that Wilson’s not as quick to pick up the nuances of being a head coach.

    Give Wilson a contract extension so that he won’t have to worry recruits about being a lame duck after 2015. The thing is 2016 won’t be any different from this season, or the ones in the past, and very likely 2015.

    IU is going to lose a majority of their OL after the season. That means 2015 will be another youth movement. Coleman will be stuck running behind a group of primarily untested linemen.

    The defense doesn’t have the talent to play at a consistent high level, and thinking that true freshman recruits are going to play at a higher level is highly unlikely.

    IU needed 2014 to be a bowl season. It shows progress and helps recruiting. We go without a bowl this season when we have a veteran OL, a veteran QB, and one of the top backs in the nation, because the defense is lacking in talent, then that’s on Wilson alone. He’s recruiting these kids. He’s the one assessing their ability to play at this level. He seems to have an eye for offensive talent, but is totally blind when it comes to defensive talent.

    To me Wilson is just an offensive coordinator masquerading as a head coach.

  19. CRIMSON makes and excellent point in #9 about the caliber of practice, but to my knowledge coaches don’t run the first teams against each other in practice ’cause they want the first teams to work on their systems against scout teams running the opponent of the weeks system as play-acted by the second teams. I guess that the starters could run drills against each other, but that’s not very much help.

  20. Wfw, So you conveniently ignored my use of the key word consistency to create an argument to fit your narrative. In other words your green apples to my orange oranges. Yes we will lose some OL after this season. But Wilson is a sharp HC and has learned the nuance that you need depth. There are 11 OL in the rotation this year. Next years starters are getting prepared thoroughly for next season. Just another point you have wrong.

  21. WFW….i’m with u…..I see all the fans r done being pissed about the game with BG and now they will settle back and make the excuses…….I don’t care if Peyton Manning was playing QB for BG no way u lose to a team that got smoked by a…..”Western Ky”……it was terrible mistake prone dumb FB….just sayin…

  22. HC IU didn’t use 11 OL in the rotation. I looked up the game participation http://www.iuhoosiers.com/sports/m-footbl/stats/2014-2015/iugame02.html#GAME.PRE
    and it only indicates 7 OL were used Eckert, Evans, Feeney, Kaminski, Rahrig,Spriggs, and Camiel. And I’m not sure if Eckert and Camiel saw much time on offense or was their participation strictly in the special teams capacity.

    I’ll agree that we disagree about Wilson and his sharpness as a head coach. Where you see rainbows and unicorns I see the same gray sky and warthogs.

    I don’t expect Wilson or IU to be conference champs this year or anytime soon. What I did expect was improvement in player performance and in Wilson’s own coaching performance. He’s still making coaching decisions that I wouldn’t expect a head coach to make, especially one who has been around two successful coaches like Walker and Stoops. If IU at least showed the capability of being a middling team that would be a positive. Wilson hasn’t shown that he can achieve that modicum of success. He’s a four or five win coach most years, with the possibility of a six win season if all the cards fall in the right order.

  23. 7 out of 11 not bad for that game. In fact there are 12 in the rotation as I forgot about Wes Rogers. With 2 Seniors in their last year and possibly Spriggs to the NFL that is not a majority lost for next season. Hardly gray skies and warthogs. The OL easily regenerates, something HC Wilson makes happen whether all the cards fall in the right order or not. That is something he might or might not have have picked up from Walker and Stoops. Now by his decision the D is in different hands and that too will progress to acceptable performance. I will give you he is a bit of a gambler(his offense makes it an intangible option).

  24. It’s not controversial to say that the head coach is responsible for the overall performance of the team, so of course Wilson should take the heat for the poor D performance under his rule. But its also true that most head coaches either grew up as offensively or defensively oriented, and that in most cases the “other side of the ball” suffers vis a vis the head coach’s experience. Example: the recent Bears. Smith was a defensively oriented coach and Bears defenses shone while offenses struggled. Now offensively oriented Trestman has stinky defenses and a much better offense. Wilson may have waited too long to can Mallory, but now he’s made the adjustment. Certainly his hire of Knorr is Wilson’s baby, and as INSANELY AGGRAVATING as it is to see IU score 42 and lose AGAIN, the trajectory is upwards froma a very deep hole; the sky is not falling.

  25. Also, “Knorr Asks Fans for Patience” is a welcome headline. The sky is not falling but impatient, demanding fans are the sign of healthy interest in what’s happening with IUFB.

  26. An interesting stat I read and thought I would share.
    – I can’t believe it, but who knows?

    IU is 30-24-3 (.553) all-time against teams currently in the SEC. vs Missouri (6-3-2).

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