Wilson: Quarterback rotation won’t be scripted

Kevin Wilson continued to indicate at his press conference Tuesday that there will be a quarterback rotation in Saturday’s opener against Ball State. He said that changes at the position, however, will not be scripted.

“We’ll go through the week and settle on where we’re starting,” Wilson said. “I don’t think we’ll go and say after two drives we’ll go to the next guy. As the week plays out, we’d like to settle down, ‘Here’s where we start.’ We’ll see how that guy handles the situation. I think each of them have subtle-ly different strengths, things they can bring. It’s not going to be like it’s scripted after the second drive, this guy’s in. We’ll kind of see how it goes. I don’t want a guy to make one mistake and feel like he’s going to be yanked. We’ll see. If we need a spark or some energy, we’ll see how it’s going to play out.”

Wilson reiterated that there are things he likes about redshirt sophomores Dusty Kiel and Edward Wright-Baker as well as freshman Tre Roberson. There’s just one thing none of the three have shown.

“The issue with them all is just the consistency and do you totally trust that young guy,” Wilson said. “One of my old sayings is the game is called football, and we put the name of your game in your hand. You screw it up quicker than any person on the field. You get all the credit, but he’s also the person that can mess it up and get us in bad situations as bad as anyone. the real deal with those guys is their consistency.”

Wilson broke down the games of all three quarterbacks Tuesday in greater detail than he has in previous sessions. He said he’s impressed by the running skill of both Kiel and Wright-Baker, but he pointed out that they haven’t been hit yet.

“They both run well, but are they runners?” Wilson said. “It’s one thing to run fast, but it’s another thing to run like a runner, how to protect yourself and protect the ball. Although they’re both athletes, it will be really interesting, because in practice, we put those shirts on and we don’t hit them. It’s really going to be interesting when we take off running, who’s really the runner of the crowd.”

As far as throwing the ball, Wilson said Wright-Baker has made some strides that may have given him advantage over Kiel.

“For what it’s worth, I think Ed’s been a little bit better on some of the deeper throws,” Wilson said. “Not that we’re bombs away, Raiders teams of the ’80s, little bomb passes, but I think he puts a little bit more air under it for what it’s worth. They’ve both been about the same in the intermediate game. Both been pretty good moving the ball.”

And Roberson is the fastest of the three.

“Tre brings a little bit more speed than both of them when he comes in the game,” Wilson said. “As a quarterback that has a little more of a run feel, even though we haven’t hit him, he looks to be a guy that can give you some run options as a quarterback. Young guy, pick and throw spots. We’ll see how those things play out.”

Some other notes from the press conference:

— Wilson was asked where exactly he and the staff came down on who would call the plays. He said they had decided that he and co/offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach Kevin Johns will be on the field and co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Rod Smith will be in the press box. However, they haven’t yet decided on a definitive¬† play-caller.

“I think we’ll do it a little bit by group,” Wilson said. “We kind of always do that anyway. We’re right now game-planning as a group. We’re planning practice as a group. … It’s always collectively by group. When we’re off the field, we’ll talk collectively about what we want to do next drive. … I’ll be more involved early, but it won’t be a revolving door.”

— Ball State has a first-year coach as well in Pete Lembo, so that hasn’t made for an easy scout. Wilson said he’s had to watch film to get an idea on Ball State’s personnel and Elon to get a clue about Lembo’s scheme. He’s also watched tape on Louisiana-Lafayette, because that’s where the Cardinals got their special teams coach.

— Wilson was asked about what playing at Lucas Oil Stadium would do for the team in terms of visibility. His concern is that it won’t do much.

“It doesn’t have great TV pickup in terms of what we’re getting,” he said. “I don’t know if you’re going to get a bunch of SportsCenter news and all that deal. It’s kind of great for our fans. I heard some numbers for ticket sales, which were a little disappointing. I’d like to think we’d have a lot of fans with all our alumni base up there. Even though it’s Ball State’s home game, I’d like for our fans to come out and have some interest in what we’re doing.”

— Wilson said wide receiver Duwyce Wilson and tight end Ted Bolser are “back healthy” but that they’re a little rusty. He hasn’t been specific about their injuries, but said they’ve mostly been dealing with tweaks and pulls and such. They were not listed on the depth chart at the beginning of the week, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be out on Saturday.

— Wilson wasn’t about to get emotional about the idea of it being his first game as a head coach.

“I just hope it won’t be my last,” he said. “… It’s just another day. Get ready to beat Ball State, win that game. Today’s just Tuesday. Today is nothing but Tuesday. And tomorrow’s Wednesday. Then we build up to a climax for Saturday. Then we clean the tape and move on to the next one.”

— Wilson referred to about five guys as “salty” during the press conference. First time we heard that one. he was asked what it meant.

“A guy who will grit his teeth, come to work, look you in the eye and not back down,” Wilson said. “With some fiber. The best way to be a good team is look people straight in the eye.”

— Wilson said Shane Wynn will likely be the kickoff returner and Dre Muhammad will be the punt returner, but he said he will also likely use some bigger guys to return kicks.

“They’re smaller guys, and sometimes that’s good,” he said. “But sometimes it’s nice to have a little size as a returner, because you’ve gotta run through some arm tackles. Sometimes the little quick little scat guy looks good as a return guy, but when you’ve got a guy that’s boring down the field at you, sometimes a man of substance. It will be interesting to see how they do and can the Jammonne Chesters, Duwyce Wilsons, Kofi Hugheses guys like that help complement those returners. You can be big and lose some quickness, but sometimes, when those guys are flying down, it’s nice to have a guy big enough to run through some trash, some arm tackles.”

— Wilson was asked about bringing NCAA compliance people into the locker room to talk about some violations that have rocked other teams this offseasons and to avoid those situations. He said he hasn’t brought any in, but that he makes a point to address those issues and tries to discuss them in post-practice huddles or post stories on the wall to point out the potential dangers of those.

— Wilson said Mitch Ewald would be the field goal kicker and Nick Freeland will handle kickoffs. However, he said they’re about even at long field goals and Freeland could be used there.

— Wilson said he could see about nine true freshmen playing in the opener. Wide receivers coach/co-offensive coordinator Kevin Johns said he would likely play all three true freshman receivers in Shane Wynn, Cody Latimer and Jay McCants. Co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach Doug Mallory said he’d likely play several freshmen in the secondary, including cornerbacks Michael Hunter and Kenny Mullen and safeties Forisse Hardin and Mark Murphy. Tight end Jake Reed, tailback D’Angelo Roberts and Roberson are also expected to play.

AUDIO: Kevin Wilson Part 1

AUDIO: Kevin Wilson Part 2

AUDIO: Doug Mallory

AUDIO: Kevin Johns

AUDIO: Will Matte

AUDIO: Damarlo Belcher

12 comments

  1. The only thing Wilson said during that press conference that bothers me is the bit about “the group calling plays.” Group play calling is not a good idea. Getting input from various coaches is fine, but one coach should call the plays. Watch for delay of game penalties in the first half. But who am I to question a coach of Wilson’s offensive pedigree?

    This might imply, or perhaps I simply infer, that Wilson does not believe, at this point, that Ball State is going to pose any serious threat in this first game and therefore, he can be a bit more relaxed about the process of calling plays.

    Should be interesting. But tickets and go to the game, people!

  2. He didn’t expand on who were the “Salty” guys on the team?? Interesting to see who those guys are.

  3. Relaxed, I doubt it. There will be a distinct and understood plan determined by the group this week in preparation for BSU.

  4. See the ‘Encouragers Optimist” club is out early in its usual pancake stand this year. Matt Perez is too short to be that heavy, too heavy to be that short, too slow to run outside, too small to run inside…too young too be experienced…too experienced to be fresh and too injured to hold together anyway.

    I know!…I know!!…Lord, we know… (or ought to know)… you guys would be the last people on Earth to tear down a Hoosier football player who we really… really!… really!!… love;.. four days before the season even begins.

    Statements are our diets, you’ve got to get some fiber (or Metamucil) in them or they just keep running out. Could we hold of a week or two before we call this season a catastrophe? (I’ve said it before; you say it…you own it! no freebies!)

  5. HC; maybe he’s just trying to convey a relaxed, confident attitude. I’m not saying that he’s taking it easy, but just that he’s not sweating the details regarding who calls the plays. Someone has to call the plays. You can’t have three guys barking in the ear of the QB during the game and you don’t have time for debate between plays.

  6. Its an exciting time for this new program. I especially like the fact these freshmen are getting a chance to contribute quickly. Hopefully they are ready, and their inclusion creates more competition and better practices.

    Go Hoosiers!

    Maybe we should all bring some salt to the game? Hahaha

  7. Coach Wilson not sweating the details? 3 coaches barking in the QB’s ear? You state relaxed does not mean taking it easy, I think they have the same meaning. After listening or reading about Coach Wilson at least 5 or 6 a dozen times in 9 months he conveys succinctly he is a detail wonk. You need to slow down and reread my last post.

  8. HC; To my reading, Wilson’s comments made it sound as if he was not concerned about the process of calling plays during the upcoming game. His comments on that particular matter do not convey any rigidity about who calls the plays or even the process utilized. Is he experimenting? Has he always embraced a group play-calling methodology? Or is Wilson simply not that concerned about who calls the plays during the Ball State game? I don’t know the answer and was just speculating. Regardless, as I said, it was the only thing mentioned in that article that bothered me.

    To your previous post, I’m not saying Wilson won’t have a plan, but logistically, there can only be one guy calling the plays at a time. It may change during the game, or from series to series, quarter to quarter, but only one person can do it at a time.

  9. PO, I woke up this morning knowing your interpretive reading of Coach Wilson’s comments was correct, please forgive me, I now agree more sky is about to fall on the FB teams offense.

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