Allen gets a feel for responsibilities during mock game

The mock game was as much for Indiana’s players as it was for their new coach.

Six days out from his college head coaching debut against No. 19 Utah in the Foster Farms Bowl, Allen used Thursday’s simulated gameday experience to grow comfortable with the approach of juggling his defensive duties with his desire to be more in tune with the other facets of IU’s team.

Afterward, Allen said it was time well spent.

“For me, it was just the mechanics of calling the defense, as well as working with the offense and special teams,” he said. “And a lot of times, when you do things in practice, you have to structure it to where you’re not going No. 1s vs. No. 1s, or No. 1s vs. No. 2s. It has to be offense vs. scout team, defense vs. scout team. So we put the scouts on one side of the field and we were on the other as a whole team. We really, truly created a gameday atmosphere and situations to move the ball. I thought it was very good.”

So in that regard, it was beneficial for Allen’s personal preparation to jump into different scenarios and force himself to make calls on the fly.

He took notes as the game progressed, little reminders of ideas and situational reactions that he can lean on both next week in Santa Clara, Calif., and in the seasons to come.

“We simulated me being on the sideline, talking to the defense, making adjustments from that previous drive then, OK, three-and-out, we have to go back out again,” Allen said. “We have to go back out there on that third down and go be right there with the offense and make those decisions about what punt to use, if we’re going to go for it and all that stuff. Those were all different things I think we were able to iron out today.”

Actually taking time to watch the offense more regularly will be another change to Allen’s gameday routine.

Often during the regular season, while IU’s offense was on the field, Allen would be busy correcting mistakes or discussing plays with his defensive players and assistants.

That’ll change from here, too.

On Thursday, Allen got a feel for how it will work.

“We have the ability with the headsets to flip back and forth (between offense and defense),” Allen said. “So I’ll be able to talk to those guys. I’m not going to tell them what to call, but I do want to be in tune with what we’re doing, and also in tune with the situation, how we feel about going for things and what we want to do with the clock and all that stuff. … I’m definitely more involved with the flow of the game. I want to make sure I have my pulse on that.”

7 comments

  1. It will be interesting in the coming couple of years to see if Coach Allen can continue to call defense or if he will have to turn it over to a DC. He may decide to have an OC that he uses hands off but that will mean that he lets the OC determine tempo and clock management. There are coaches that are hands off with OC and DC, coaches that coach one side and are hands off the other side. Only time will tell how successful Coach Allen’s approach is. I would love to see his attitude be part of the offensive approach and I hope he can do that while still being the DC.

  2. Just learned on of my former players was shot and killed the other night. Nice young man. Disabled vet. He was on a date with a girl who witnesses say was texting her old boyfriend all evening. OB walks into the club they were at and shot my former player. They’d never met. No words were exchanged.

    So very sad.

  3. Chet it is very sad and knowing who it is I hope he gets put away for the rest of his life since he took a life. I have to wonder what role the gf played in this crime. I am sorry you hard such sad news and i pray for his family as this makes no since.

  4. I’ve been around too much of this stuff but…yeah…my first thought was that the gf probably instigated this but, you know, I wasn’t there.

    There are a lot of things about this that will haunt me.

    He was a good kid.

  5. V13, where does coaching end? I never felt like I did as much as I had the opportunity to do.

    That’s pretty much on me, I guess.

  6. Chet, you understand like my wife came to understand that coaching wasn’t limited to what we did on the field. One of the best players I ever had got mixed up with a couple of 35 year olds running teens as hold up gangs. He got caught and ended up going to the big house at Michigan City. I hated ad loved the calls from prison I accepted from him. He came to my house for a week after he got out and kept in contact with me. I had two kids that never could do what it took to be eligible for games but practiced with us trying to give them enough incentive to gain eligibility. Both were great athletes and one had the ability and size to play in NFL [I did have a punter go to the NFL]. Both kids were shot to death in different shootings. The one with NFL talent just stepped out on his family’s porch to see what the noise was out front. It was situations that make me wonder if I did enough but; Chet you and I need to remember we had teaching jobs and families to include in our life. One reason I thought about coaching in college, before getting married I couldn’t be away from my wife and kids to coach in college, was the idea of being focus on the players and football without much of anything else intruding on my life.

    I am sure Chet we both did more than most and as much as we could for our players. Just like our own kids we couldn’t protect our players from everything in their life.

  7. I just got a post on Facebook this morning from one of my former kids and he said I was his all time favorite teacher (he has a cochlear implant and I was his speech therapist). He was born deaf but mentioned it in his post because not many of his friends are aware of it.

    Made my day.

    Merry Christmas

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