Observations from a brief glimpse

Media was permitted for the first half-hour of Tuesday’s practice. As you can imagine, not much happens in the first half-hour, and the team isn’t wearing pads yet, so take all of the following information with the amount of salt you used on your sidewalk this winter.

— The team is apparently really healthy right now. There were only two players not in action, and one of them was Ralston Evans, who is out for the season with an ACL tear. Not sure of the other one.

— Stephen Houston looks pretty jacked. The 6-foot, 228-pound junior college transfer looked like he might have been wearing pads even though he wasn’t.  Seemed to have good speed and the sort of frame that could make him an immediate contributor. Not sure how that will play out as practice actually goes, but that’s a first impression.

— Edward Wright-Baker seemed a to have improved his accuracy. Not sure how much, because we just saw the quarterbacks throw routes to receivers against air. But Wright-Baker was more accurate than Dusty Kiel, who skipped a few passes…. Again, no one was wearing pads, no one was playing defense, so this shouldn’t be taken to actually mean something.

— Whoever is playing DJ has eclectic taste. The Hoosiers are using music during practice this year for warmpus. We heard three songs. AC/DC’s “TNT,” Dierks Bentley’s “What Was I Thinking?” and Lil Jon’s “Let’s Go,” (the one with the Ozzy Osbourne Crazy Train sample). So yeah, it pretty much went all over the place.

— Noticed something on the roster. Redshirt junior linebacker Chad Sherer is off the roster. An IU spokesman said Sherer is still on the team, but is not one of the 105 players who will be involved in preseason practice, but did not give a reason. The roster can expand once school starts.

26 comments

  1. Dustin, thanks for the great info. Will Wilson play the best QB or try to keep the Kiel family happy. I heard some co workers talking about that after Gunner verbal and what if EWB is clearly better?? Can you tell us more about Houston? Thanks!!!

  2. J Pat, I was wondering the same thing. From what I understand (I have no special insight or info at all. Just what I’ve heard from college sports commentators) Coach Wilson and the Kiel family have discussed just about every eventuality, something you get to do if you’re the #1 QB in the nation. I hope that’s the case. I keep wondering if they have discussed Dusty playing a different position if Gunner is the Wonder Boy.

  3. Those boys/young men have all distinguished themselves on the field to earn a chance to be recruited and attend IU to play ball.

    Our new coach has done very well in his career so far as a coordinator. Implying something underhanded is not being fair to him, or any of the Kiel boys, any of the other QBs, or the team.

    I’m excited to see this new team.
    Go Hoosiers!!

  4. Go get your commission DD! But, split it with Chet…he got the ball rolling. I ‘re-committed’ to the HT and gave my verbal and card. I’m taking your word for it…I will be filled with satisfaction reading two column, 10″+ (not including pics) (WITH big HEADERS)reports on football, soccer, cross country, tennis, wrestling, gymnastics, track and field (both), crew…etc. I’m forgetting a sport but I can’t remember which one…..???… ohh well…

    Now you take this to your editor and tell him the uptick in the circ. numbers is a direct result of your motivational written discourses and he is to give you a moderate raise putting you close to six figures plus full health care insurance and pension…or, we are boycotting (aren’t we Chet, JPat, Podunker, Hoosier Clarion,Chicago Hoosier (what part of town-we need to make arrangements for a beer)… etal?). No excuse DD…big time raise! You earned it son! (Quick, somebody call Hugh, he shoulda stayed…the big money is pouring in!!).

    (All right you bloggers…everybody signs up. Chet said it, not expensive and all that reading…!)

  5. KevinK…of all people on here I did not mean to offend you. I just think it is something real that must be looked at. It seems as every coach plays politics to a certain extent and it is the biggest recruit in IU football history.

  6. Seems to me it’d be practical and smart, KevinK, not underhanded. I think it’s a pretty fair question.

  7. I believe the best kid will play, and that EVERYBODY mentioned would have it no other way.

    To suggest otherwise, especially with no evidence, is offensive to all involved. Who that was mentioned in the original post would appreciate it being said (or true)?

    Come on. If Dusty wins the job now it’s just because his brother is coming? What kid, parent, coach, teammate, or fan would be proud of that? That’s unfair.

    I suspect that they all would like to win now.

  8. KevinK, I think you’re right and I never meant to imply anything else. When I said I believe they discussed every eventuality, I meant just that. Dusty may or may not get the nod and Gunner may or may not be named a starter as a freshman. There are lots of scenarios and we seem to be fortunate to have talent at the position.

  9. KevinK, what I said really bothered you and I hate that because you are not one that goes after people in any way on this blog. Heck, I remember defending you on here when someone went after you. I think you do though have to keep it real on here. If I am thinking it and my dad brings it up to me and I hear co workers discussing it…it is on some peoples mind. I wish the world was perfect in that the best player always played no matter what but that does not always happen. I did not mean to imply that Dusty get the automatic nod just because Gunner gave a verbal but you best believe they want to keep that family happy. I do in my gut believe that if it is close and EWB is slightly better that Kiel could be started over him for reasons I stated above, sad but true. I have never liked a two QB system but if this coaching staff would be smart enough to taper it’s playbook to each athlete…it could work.

  10. Based on my experience and observations, I believe most athletes (in team sports) are able to keep it real. They tend to be honest about themselves relative to their fellow competitors, whether those competitors. As competitive as they may be, and confident as they are in their own abilities,as driven to “win” (the game, the starting spot, etc), most of them are, down deep, honest in comparing their abilities to their competitors. I mean they see it every day, on the field and in film study. They’re getting very direct feedback from their coaches on a regular basis. They’re competing every day, right next to the other athletes. They know talent when they see it. I think most of them just want to be given a fair chance to compete with no politics affecting the outcome.

    Many, many years ago I was the QB on a successful HS football team (thanks to some great running backs). As an underclassman, I did O.K. and was progressing though my development. Honestly, I was an average QB in our conference, focused primarily on minimizing mistakes and protecting the ball. The winter after my sophmore season a “new kid” moves into the neighborhood. He was a QB. He immediately gets involved in the off-season FB workouts. When we’re allowed to start practicing with the football, it takes me about 20 minutes to recognize that he was a superior QB. He was taller, more accurate and had a stronger arm. And it was obvious that he had been very well coached for the QB position. Two days into the summer practice, he was named our starting QB. When the coach approached me with the news, I said, “what took you so long?” All my team mates thought I would be upset and disappointed. I was not. This guy was clearly a better QB than I was and he became the best QB in the conference. It was obvious. I had done my best, but the new guy was just better.

    I did not sulk, pout or become a cancer to my team. I changed positions, won the starting spot at strong safety, found I liked that position much better, and stayed ready as the back-up QB. Fortunately, our star QB never got hurt and he lead us deep into the state playoffs. After his senior season he got a D1 scholarship where he had a solid college career. Most of the colleges that recruited me had total enrollments smaller than my HS class. My football career was over.

    If Wilson is as smart about QBs as I think he is, he won’t play any games and simply allow the talent to rise to the top. The other QBs on the roster will either continue to compete and stay ready, or they can transfer.

    Having too many good players to choose from is the kind of problem every coach would love to have. The cream will rise to the top.

  11. Wisco, should have said thanks…started thinking I was nuts. Po, well said and I agree and hope it happens that way!

  12. We’ve been waiting a lifetime to have two talented QBs and thanks to the recruitment by Coach Kevin Wilson we have 3-4 in 2011, and perhaps as many as 4-6 capable candidates in 2012. Please let me enjoy this!….

    Why the constant speculation, the worse interpretation possible, the reliance on rumors, the gossip based on ‘they said’ and the invention of rumors. It almost sounds like the definition of Hoosier is ‘the fear that someone, somewhere is having success’.

    Leave it! Give it (or he) a chance. Some things we have to start out with the assumption that the guy in charge knows what the h___ he is doing. More important, you have to begin with, at least, the assumption about a man’s professionalism or integrity (or a woman’s). Nor can we, immediately after the ink dries on his contract, turn around and question their honesty, sanity and see his/her work as an evil plot to misdirect anyone.

    What is a jerk anyway? How do you get a ‘jerk’ degree?. To what degree should an individuals be allowed to live within their character, their personality? I carefully and enjoyed and felt informed by Andy Graham’s thought about Wilson and it seems to me that KW is pretty much like any man; he likes some things, dislikes others, knows the social requirements of his chosen profession and seems to be pretty adept and not afraid at drawing lines in the sand. He expresses himself…and, he does not cow tow. So…pray tell me, what separates a serious, focused, demanding, disciplined and direct man from the title of ‘jerk’?

    I find overly rehearsed, compliant, edgy, nervous, continually shuffling, gregarious individuals insufferable. But that’s me and I can (and often am) wrong by a mile. But, I don’t have to measure anyone by my criteria or my likes and dislikes. Likes and dislikes follow no reason; they are just that, likes (as in chocolate) and dislikes (as in spinach).

    Enough! We are all entitled to our opinions whatever they might be. But, if they are shared in a public arena such as this blog, everyone is accountable for the integrity and fact-based accuracy of their public statement, especially when it questions or reflects a negative view of an individual, any individual. You say it, you answer for it.

    It is simply not enough to come back and say, “…everyone knows I’m a nice guy but…”. If I wanted to insinuate, gossip, speculate, dribble, spray and continue to be unaccountable, I’ll become a Democrat or a Republican and run for office.

    So…let’s enjoy the football and soccer seasons. Can we, huh?

  13. Well, that’ll make you feel better. Good job.

    I really liked the statement, “I find overly rehearsed, compliant, edgy, nervous, continually shuffling, gregarious individuals insufferable.” Never thought of that before, but I agree completely.

  14. Tsao, I cannot go round with you. I said it and that is how I feel. If you think it is a negative slant, I disagree.

  15. Wasn’t my intention to offend anyone, just think it’s a fair point. I wouldn’t say that anyone would be particularly proud or love it, but this isn’t little league, this is big-time college football and if it takes that to seal the deal with the top prospect in the country, then the cost of doing business may be that some poor kid doesn’t get to start. That said, if Dusty and his family make it clear they don’t expect this type of treatment, it should be a non-issue.

  16. Wisco, the Kiels don’t have to make a statement and coach Wilson doesn’t have to make a statement.

    Hopefully,you won’t make any more d__b statements!

  17. I think it is sad that when someone makes a statement on here that some do not agree with that is somehow gets to be negative, or you are speculating in a bad way. Why was what Wisco said dumb? He explained himself well in post #17. It is all opinion in the end I guess. I remember a time when I could come on this blog and be positive or negative or neutral and not get beat down…I miss those days. Bottom line is the high majority of coaches in D1 football given the same circumstances would have a hard time being objective. If you do not agree with my last statement you are farther away from real world athletics than I can even comprehend.

  18. JPat-

    It’s really hard (and unfortunately, very idealistic) to have any faith anymore about an internet chat room being a civil space of public discussion. Give people a little anonymity and cover, and they go at each other’s throats. Says a lot about human nature: societal norms of face-to-face interaction create our public personalities and help us (sometimes) maintain civil discourse, but underneath we are blood thirsty animals. Hobbes was right.

    If you read news articles which allow comments at the bottom, you’ll see what I am talking about. 99% of comments are venomous attacks. I was reading about the London riots, and looking at the comments, you’d think that we were still living in medieval times or in Nazi Germany.

  19. Monkey News,
    You are so right. We(as humans) seem to be naturally contradictive.
    When someone is an ass, usually there are patterns and or signs.
    Lack of civility or, open mindness, belittlement and condecending.
    I think most of you can do the math.
    J Pat, anybody that is a true fan and pays attention has probably wondered the same about the QB situation, I did, you can’t not see it. I also hope it is all legit, and may the cream(and crimson) rise to the top.
    On another note. If you don’t think the little league mentality has not crept into College sports(politics, overbearing parents, favoritism, and coaches with hands tide)you are also naive or have not been around the real workings of college sports.
    Heres to people that are not asses.

  20. Trudeau was the ass. They made Coach Wilson wait and listen to them be smartasses, then expected him to be cordial.
    To be clear, my previous post was directed towards asses of the commenting type.
    Make no mistake, there is a new Sheriff in town.

  21. Mass, I knew exactly what you were saying in post 20. Yes, here is to people that are not asses!!!

    Monkey, you are so right and great comments!

    I will keep most of my opinion on the foxsports piece to myself and say Wilson could have handled it better but they were pushing his buttons and Tru was going at him. I appreciate Wilson not letting them dog on IU football though! I disagree with Tru saying Wilson will not succeed. Wilson is crazy competitive and like I wrote Dustin this morning…he has this team thinking they can win and they will play to win…not to lose! He has said he is working on the mental aspect as hard as physical and I just have a good feeling about this entire staff. We will see!!!

  22. Creating the “us against the world” mentality, whether intentional or by accident, can be an effective technique in motivating and bonding a team together. Demonstrating that you’re a no BS guy and won’t tolerate the program you represent being ridiculed in your face will endear you to a lot of fans. KW just stood up and defended IU FB to some hacks in the media. To some, he’ll pay a price for that. I suggest that most IU fans should be grateful for it and their respect for Wilson should increase.

    Mass; if any DI FB coach allows over-bearing parents to affect his decisions about who plays and who does not, that’s a D1 coach that is not going to be employed very long. These coaches are under enormous pressure to win early and win often. Their need to win trumps all other considerations in determining who plays (starts) and who does not. Yes, a player may get benched for having a bad attitude or for breaking team rules, or being lazy, etc, but those behavioral characteristics are legitimate criteria for determining a player’s status. And you can find “politics” in any group of people. I’m not saying that none of those things exist in college sports, but I think the impact is very, very minimal. At this level, talent, work ethic and attitude usually determine who’s going to play and who’sgoing to ride the pine. No head FB coach at Indiana can afford to allow a player’s overbearing parents or politics prevent him from fielding the players that give him the best chance of winning. Given the money these coaches make if they’re successful,there’s too much a stake for these coaches to be influenced by the “little league mentality.”

  23. Podunker,
    I think you are right with most coaches, especially bigger/winning programs. And, I didn’t nessessarily mean IU either. My wife has been a D1 coach for the past 8 years,( I don’t mean her either) and I have been in Sports turf managment which put me in contact with the goings on. Although unbelievable to me, it was and is there. Some of the stories our coaching friends would tell would make me shake my head. Parents calling AD’s like they were elementary principals. AD’s even taking the parents side, because they were legacy’s or big donars, Skill or effort aside. Coaches do things to win and/or keep their jobs. I am unprofessional by discussing it.
    I do know what your saying though. I should not have generalized. Coach Wilson seems to be a do it his way period, kind of guy. And I think he will push the best man forward. My only true concern is if he can push the defense forward.

  24. Mass; I know what you’re saying goes on and I assume that it’s more pronounced and prevelant with non-revenue producing college sports. My daughter played two years of DI college soccer, so I know the games some parents will play trying to influence the coach’s decision on their kid’s playing time. And I once interviewed a young women who had played two years of DI college BB. She was a starter both her freshman and softmore seasons, then she quit. I asked her why she did not continue to play all four years and she told me, “because I’m not a lesbian, and I got tired of my coaches hitting on me and pressuring me to sleep with them.” I have no idea whether what she said was true or just some BS excuse to dismiss the question, but she was convincing.

    So yes, it goes on, but in DI football, I think decisions about who plays and who does not are based on what the coaches believe will produce victories. Not much else matters, and some times, that’s not good either!

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