Wilson: “We kind of are who we are at this point”

Bye weeks serve different purposes to different teams at different times of the season, Indiana coach Kevin Wilson said. For a 1-9 team with a lot of youth and some talent deficiencies, it’s about fundamentals and recruiting.

Wilson said he’s not doing very much scheme work this week and not much focus on Michigan State, next week’s opponent. He’s mostly working fundamentals with younger players.

“If we were an older team and playing well, we probably wouldn’t be doing as much fundamental work,” Wilson said. “But that being said, it’s not a spring ball mentality, but it’s a little more fundamental with the young guys. … There’s different thought processes based on your opponents, who’s coming up. We’re so far down the road, we kind of are what we are with our personnel. We are what we are schematically. Typically, you got Sunday to Saturday to get ready for somebody. Do you need to spend two full weeks just for Michigan State or a little time for Michigan State and Purdue. We kind of used it for recruiting and as many freshmen and redshirt freshmen and sophomores are playing to not kind of wear them out, but make it more, let’s be a fundamental-oriented team.”

That hasn’t been easy, though, because he doesn’t have a lot of coaches with him. Wilson said co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach Doug Mallory and co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach Kevin Johns were the only two full-time assistants who were at practice on Tuesday. The rest were on the road recruiting, as the Hoosiers saved many of their available evaluation days for this week so the coaches could hit the road to watch high school practices.

“We’re trying to take advantage of the eval/observation time,” Wilson said. “… It’s a little bit by committee. Our meetings are shorter and our meetings are group meetings. We’re doing more, ‘Let’s meet as an offense. Let’s meet as a defense and do some general things.’ It’s kind of tough. I want to do fundamentals, but it’s hard to do a lot of specific fundamentals when you’re short some coaches. There’s a double-edged sword there.”

Wilson is also short some more players as well. He said that freshman wide receiver Cody Latimer will have surgery to repair a sports hernia, which will keep him out of the last two games. Wilson said safety Jarrell Drane, who has been out since the North Texas game with an ankle injury, will have surgery and is finished for the year as well. Safety Chris Adkins is “still gimping around” with an ankle injury, Wilson said, but safety Donnell Jones has returned to action after missing several games and could be available this week. Drew Hardin could also be available for Michigan State after missing the Ohio State game with a concussion.

Right tackle Peyton Eckert, Wilson said, is in a walking boot with an ankle injury suffered against Ohio State but he has a chance to return. Safety Alexander Webb, however, broke his arm during Saturday’s game and he is finished for the year.

The news of Webb’s broken arm was originally disseminated by sophomore cornerback Greg Heban, who tweeted that Webb was tough because he played two quarters with a broken arm. Wilson was asked what that says for Webb.

“It says that Greg Heban shouldn’t tweet,” Wilson said. “That’s exactly what it says. And that’s been dealt with. Sources say.”

AUDIO: Kevin Wilson

AUDIO: Tre Roberson


  1. This season has been one of forging men…I can’t remember when I respected IU football players more going back to the Mallory,Pont days.

    And yes, the “Heban shouldn’t tweet” (as much as we all love him) quote is priceless. It defines they why and the what some of us think of KW.

  2. I think that everyone has been working hard and improving. I can imagine all of these freshman and sophmores in a year or two when they’ve been coached up more and had a lot more time in the weight room. The coaches are making the tough decisions now that will hopefully change the tone, attitude, and work ethic moving forward.

    Three things I’m excited for:

    – All the LB’s that are commited and already on the team. I think that is truely going to be our strongest position. Hoobler, Zach Shaw, Mike Cotton, Ishmael Thomas, Jacarri Alexander, Darius Stroud, Jordan Wallace, Nick Mangeri (if he doesn’t move to DE), and Mike Replogle are all three star guys that have a lot of room to grow and develop under Eckler.

    – The OL is getting a lot of experience and will grow with Roberson. In addition to the guys they’re already playing next year Ralston Evans will be back and preseason he was projected as a starter at Guard but he hurt his knee. If they can secure commits from the two JUCO OT’s then it could be even better!

    – The RB’s look awesome! Houston and Roberts are very good backs, and it feels like something we haven’t had in a very long time.

  3. Actually the direction of this season has been about making young men declare their decisions as to whether they want to be student athletes forged into the IU FB program by a goal oriented staff. Be it stones, seeds or young plants all had to decide.

  4. You can read between the lines that injuries really hurt this team. Indiana is not 85 deep in talent. Many players are gutting it out at less than 100%. I share the admiration for these young players, working hard, playing hard, losing games, but never quitting. You have to give some credit for this determination to the coaches. Let’s win a game!

  5. What I like about the current situation is that KW and staff have transitioned uncertaintly to clarity. What I mean is under former regimes, we never really knew what our strengths and deficiencies were. We kind of just plodded along and had moments of brilliance in what was otherwise a sea of mediocrity or outright failure. I think the current staff has a very precise handle on exactly where we are and what we need to be doing recruiting wise and coaching. KW I think understands that you can’t fix a problem unless you understand it and can measure it. He’s doing that. The next step is the fix itself…we’ll see how that works out, but I truly think we are on the right path. Go IU.

  6. Great zinger about Heban not tweeting. But I’m puzzled by some of Indystar’s “contrary-to-the-common-wisdom” comments. Most people writing here (including me) seem to think that IU will get better only when it gets better players. Maybe I’m misinterpreting, but Indystar seems to think that our present LBs are wonderful and O-linemen “are getting a lot of experience.”

    Who cares if crummy players are getting a lot of experience? So they can come back the next year and be crummy again? Every August I am baffled when the newspapers size up the teams for the coming season and publish stuff like: “Whatsamatta U. is coming off a 2-9 season last year, but things are looking up because 8 defensive and 9 offensive starters are returning.” Huh? Who writes this drivel? Aren’t these the same guys that just went 2-9?

  7. Reminds me of Crean’s first team. A bunch of guys who probably wouldn’t be playing anywhere else doing their best to represent their university and setting the foundation for better years to come. Enough of coddling and pampering mediocre players into playing mediocre football – now we’ll see what happens when a coach demands maximum effort and focus. Out of respect to Coach Bill Mallory, I should point out that this isn’t the first time IU football has gone through this process.

  8. PSU will not want anything to do with Rich Rod or Leach and probably Tommy Bowden too. I think for the time being Urban like Dakich enjoys what he is doing. Toledo’s Tim Beckman will be hard for them to overlook. With this news I’ll bet Al Golden wishes he was still a neighbor at Temple.

  9. H-C,
    @PSU, it will be Tom Bradley, if only for 5 years, or so. This will allow continuity, a concept that IU is not familiar with. By naming Bradley the coach PSU will maintain most of the current staff, they can maintain recruiting connections and my guess is there won’t be new uniforms or the spread offense. Bradley is a good coach and can do the job.

  10. JG, 1st off I still am a Paterno fan. Under normal circumstances your assumption would also be mine. With recent current events, continuity will be the last thing a new Prez, new AD, new Business/ Finance Officer and a new attitude of the BOT will have on their priorities list of HC criteria. They will consider continuity in the same manner they rate RR an Leach. The new coach very well could be inclined and encouraged to keep some staff personnel. I damn sure would. I like TB but I judge Bradley being the man as less than 10-15%. Gotta go. Catch up later.

  11. I agree HC. I think the PS admin. will want to wash thier hands of the current staff. Might be hard to do without leagl probs. and long drawn out B.S. The media and anti Penn Staters will demand it. Although different, this is similar to what happened with IU and coach Knight. So sad as a sports fan, to see a good career end in such a way.

  12. I wonder what Chris Korman’s take is on all of this…Didn’t he go to Penn State? I went over to the Baltimore Sun Toy Dept. blog and found nothing..Isn’t Dustin also from Pennsylvania? I guess when something is this sick and shocking it’s hard to find words…There are no words. Talking of replacement coaches? I would shut down the whole damn program. There is no way in hell this stuff goes on in locker rooms without the knowledge of all parties.

  13. Wow…my bad. Right after I post this, Dustin drops a thread with a reference to a great piece by Korman.

  14. Davis,

    It all starts somewhere. BSU was 5-7 in 2006, 7-5 in 2007, Then go 12-0 through the regular season in 2008 with the same group that went 7-5 the year before. Experience counts more than you’re giving it credit for.

  15. @ Davis:

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that the last couple of years we have been seeing players who were not highly recruited, a lot of two and the occasional three star recruits. I am excited to see the players that Lynch recruited during the last year he coached, which was a lot of three and one four stars.

    Those are the guys who are young getting a lot of PT now. I think given coaching and seeing how much more physical kids get after a year or two in a weight room these sophomores and freshman will see a marked improvement. So, you mentioned we need better players, and what I’m saying is that we have better players (than from the last several years) who need to grow and be developed.

    And hopefully, we can add a couple more JUCO’s to help shore up the tackle spots and maybe a corner too.

  16. INDYSTAR, I defer to your astronomy. That is, I don’t how many stars were assigned to various recruits, so maybe these younger guys are indeed better than the older guys if Lynch’s later recruiting classes were better than the last of Hep’s classes and BL’s first ones (which seems counter-intuitive to the program’s direction in the last few years). My point wasn’t necessarily that you were wrong, just that your theme seemed to run counter to what most people have been writing.

  17. Not sure what clarity Kevin Wilson brings other than a dislike for tweeting? Do you think Brady Hoke is 1-9 if this was his team? You can blame a lack of talent, but the talent level in the B10 isn’t what it used to be, and IU doesn’t seem that far off. Kevin Wilson is still trying to figure out how to be a head coach, and everyone hopes he’ll be great. But this isn’t the empty house Crean inherited, and there’s no reason fans shouldn’t expect more than what we got this year….

  18. Even if the aggregate talent of the B10 is down(I do not agree)it is still easy to see IU is in the bottom 1/4th of conference talent.

  19. I would love to have witnessed the interaction between Wilson and Heban when the matter of Heban’s tweet was “dealt with.” Classic!

Comments are closed.