36 comments

  1. This is your very best ScoopTalk. I would not care to spend the amount of time it would take to list all the HC’s in the land who would like to have IU’s QB situation. Unless an unforeseeable dynamic would take place Wilson and Johns will develop ways to get the most and best from these 2 players on game days. I do not know if a duo gameplan was high on Littrell’s priority list or activated his creative juices much. The running game is going to make some incredible opportunities for passing using play action. I still believe NS starts. His 70% completion in the Spring game while adjusting to a new rotation of receivers is hard to ignore. TR threw at a 45% clip but his penchant for making things happen with big plays makes him a most valuable change of pace + his increased arm strength. The more mature D while playing with a new wrinkle is going to be fun to watch. The biggest positive for this team is that needed intangible depth, depth, depth, depth, depth, depth, depth,…

  2. Is it me, or has the coverage of IU football’s spring practice been virtually nonexistent? What gives, guys?

  3. I posted this on Monday on one of the articles and haven’t received a response. And we wonder why IU football isn’t taken seriously, the sports journalists in Indiana won’t even cover us.
    ———————————————————–
    So what’s the verdict? Are we going undefeated in 2014?

    Wasn’t able to attend the spring game due to prior family commitment, but to those who attended the game what were the positives? Negatives? Concerns?

    Read some posts on another site that Dinardo wasn’t all to positive about IU moving to the 3-4. Take his assessment with a grain of salt.

    Fans indicated that players looked more developed, larger. Is that by IU standards or Big Ten standards?

    Of the young guys who played, who looked the most impressive on defense? Is the defense capable of forcing a greater number of three and outs? Offense may put butts in the seats, but it’s the defense that wins games and eventually championships. Can the defense win us a few games this year?

    Let me know what you saw.

    Thanks.

  4. First, D&A do a truly phenominal job of covering IU sports, and I am usually loathe or too lazy to make comments, here or elsewhere, or ask silly questions that coaches will never answer for publication. Today’s “Dopey” HT summary (said with affection and with compliment)of his Spring Game summary and outlook heading into fall, was good-hard work that surely, deservedly continually helps sell H-T sub’s. Where would we and the HT be without this superior coverage. That said… to this experienced – but merely an old fan who never played – observer, I wanted MOST of all to see improvement among the DB’s. And Richard FANT has given me some hope — a route reading guy with quicks who delivered blows!
    Appears to need only a bit more weight. Appears to be a contrast to (Dopey’s adjective)the “‘strong’ sophomore (season)” by one of our corners… who for 2 years has all but avoided downfield contact by inevitably getting blocked or whiffing on tackles.

  5. AS FOR TAKING MORE FROM THE SPRING GAME… not enough basis to speculate on an improved pass rush, or not… or drop-back linebackers who know to deliver a receiver to a DB before leaving him… or safeties who can bring down or holdup-for-help at least, RB’s (not Tevin Coleman anyway!!)… BUT the inherent flexibilty of more variable, and unpredictable options in the 3-4, especially the increased blitzing, plus a couple players I’ve asked seem to enjoy the change… IT’S ALL GOOD. Also, and importantly, it’s revived fan interest at a critical time when there was rampant pessimism about ever having a competitive defense.
    As is said, you can’t keep doing the same thing over and over again, and expect diferent results.

  6. Thanks Jay Bee. Not going to argue with Podunker, though. There has been a lot of spring football coverage, but most of it in the paper/subscription portion of the website and not on the Scoop, and that was part of the reason why I wanted to do this Scoop Talk. I didn’t feel like we’d done enough on it to this point and I thought that would fill at least some of the void. We should’ve done better. Could get really technical with all of the reasons, but the basic point is that I felt like so much of what I was getting fit into narrative newspaper stories and less into a blog style format.

  7. Waiting for Twins and Podunker have a point (do you know how hard it is for me to agree with Podunker?)… and you were absolutely correct- but, definitely not right-, 2-4 weeks ago when you told a reader that “I always complain about your disinterest in providing [enough] football coverage.

    ‘Waiting for Twins’ asks a number of good questions. I share some of those and many here seem to do so as well. But, I watched with interest (and quietly) his post going unanswered. Nada! Simply put, what’s the problem? Are we undeserving? Do you not like being connected to Indiana football? Does it feel like not much motivation beyond professional obligations? Has someone in the program ‘dissed’ you (love new terms like ‘dissed’ or ‘gangbanger’ they sooooo… describe the individual using them and their problems with the English language) and diven you to disinterest. Has CKW ‘smirked-smiled’ at you? Or… is Harvard right … we are seeing a wondering about ‘is this the right gig’? (locomotive sounds please).

    And please, please…don’t give the answer you gave someone else, that you do a ‘lot’ more in the ‘print’ edition…(unless the HT is taking me, etal, for a ride in claiming my (electronic) subscription to the paper contains a different content than the paper’s ‘print’ edition)- now that would be news).

    (What’s wrong with the media these days? The CNN (the Catastrophe News Network) has one story and has repeated it 24/7 for the last 49 days- (with 2 or 3 minor blips about unimportant stuff like we may be going to war with Russia over the Ukraine)…no one wants to report. The same exact story with the exact same content is written three times by different writers covering the same game. Reporters simply ‘tell’ their readers/callers the equivalent of ‘I’m not interested in that [sport]… …neeeext!’ (as in ‘football guys’ or ‘soccer guys’…

    Has anyone figured out that’s why they call the activity a ‘job’ or ‘work’.

  8. Tsao,
    Like I said, could’ve done more and not thrilled with my performance so I’m not going to tell you everything’s fine. But I went to every available practice that didn’t conflict with basketball and I produced at least a story from each if not more than one. If you peruse through this page

    http://www.heraldtimesonline.com/sports/college/iu/

    you’ll find about 13 spring football stories from me and several more from Andy, plus the Isaac Griffith coverage. Every practice that was open — I believe about 11 of the 15 — we attended and wrote from.

  9. DD- I did read every last one of them. They blend into each other…each seems like the same meat and potatoes. Only once in a while do I read something like today’s story with Coach Smith. (And I appreciate that)

    It’s not a matter of ‘going to every practice’. Not only I know that…You know that!

    Smith is not boring, CKW is certainly not boring…, the players themselves are not boring… And, if they are, maybe you can ask the subject not to be so damn predictable and boring because it can make you look bad and makes each story bleed into every other story. That’s why people still read newspapers, otherwise we’d all buy a Twitter and be happy with just 140 words on everything.

    (As I write that, the CNN guy is telling me (and another billion or so) ‘we are awaiting results of the analysis on [the two liters of] sea water collected in a bottle’ off the middle of the Indian Ocean which has been their only story for the last 50 days, or 1200 hours, or 7200 minutes. And, when that doesn’t work to hold my attention they cut to the poor wailing families ….Please! please! please! DD…don’t torture us like CNN tortures the families of MH370. Don’t write stories telling me that after the spring game IU football or baseball or soccer has ….disappeared!!

  10. Wow…

    That kind of dig and I can’t even get a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on whether or not a gift certificate was received. You “so-called” journalists really stick together…Then again, is it really journalism when it’s sports? Isn’t sports journalism sorta like stopping high school basketball at JV level? Or maybe like being the pretty weather girl on CNN? And are those CNN weather bunnies not getting hotter and hotter? Can’t help bu notice that many attractive and intelligent women are also replacing many of the so-called male journalists at the sports desks as well…? It’s truly getting hard out there for a pimp…The only real future jobs for the rather unassuming male in the profession may soon just be the dull small town newspaper guy covering IU football..

  11. Sorry Harv, meant to drop you a line. I got it, but I wasn’t exactly sure what I did to deserve it or how that even came about. I’ve decided I’m only using it if you come with. Let me know when you’re in Bloomington.

  12. And Tsao, like I said, not thrilled with me either lately. But I would argue that meat and potatoes is part of the job sometimes, and if you write every day, you’re going to write something boring. Sometimes you write epics on Kevin Bush or Kofi Hughes or Kevin Wilson. Sometimes you write about injured tight ends. You can try to spice that up as much as you want, but you can’t say something is what it isn’t. You keep writing and write the interesting stories when they come and the boring ones when you have to.

  13. Waiting For Wins:
    The heights and weights are comparable to most Big Ten teams. The O-line doesn’t look like Wisconsin’s and the defensive line doesn’t look like Michigan State’s, but both are substantially bigger. Most of the starting O-linemen are over 300 and there are about four guys on the D-line who are too. They’re bigger across the board, but they aren’t as big as some other teams at linebacker, they haven’t proven to have that unblockable guy at defensive end, and the secondary is getting bigger, but you still wouldn’t put it anywhere near the MSU category.
    Will be able to get more three-and-outs? I say yes. Is it good enough to win seven games? I really have no idea. Every year and every spring I’ve thought the defense would make significant improvements, and every year I’ve been wrong.
    I do think the 3-4 will help. I don’t know if the personnel is better for a 4-3 than a 3-4, but I think the misdirection and confusion could be an asset to these guys. At the end of the day, four-man rushes on which the opponents knew where the rush was coming from simply weren’t getting anything accomplished. At least this allows IU to force opposing offenses to think more. How much of an effect that can have is hard to tell, but it’s worth something.
    Thought David Kenney got a lot better and that moving to a stand-up position is going to help him. He lost some bad weight, looks explosive again, and was pretty good at getting around tackles. Thought Rashard Fant looked really good at corner and Noel Padmore looked solid too. Think Clyde Newton and Marcus Oliver benefit from the new defense at linebacker. Secondary guys are happy with Chase Dutra. Think you’ll see Antonio Allen make a leap once his rehab is done. Darius Latham and Ralph Green have a chance to be pretty awesome up front.

  14. Now, #15 is one hell of a good (summary/evaluation) story about the IU football team coming out of spring practice…pure filet mignon (that’s a piece of meat) and spiced only by its own juices.

  15. I’ve done a little research so as to join the conversation. The results are surprising, enlightening and promising.

    Subject: Number of players 300lb. + (If a player was 299 I counted him, if he was 298 I did not.) MSU and Wisky both had players listed at 299lb. IU does not.

    The Spring 2014 #’s are from official program rosters.

    The Fall 2013 #’s are from ESPN CFB site.

    MSU Fall 2013 (17) Spring 2014 (11)

    Wis Fall 2013 (11) Spring 2014 (10)

    IU* Fall 2013 (16) Spring 2014 (17)

    The heaviest player was on IU’s Fall 2013 roster, Fr. OL Devon Butler @345. As a RS Soph. he is now 326.

    Both MSU and Wisky list a couple of guys over 330 on their 2013 Fall rosters but none on their 2014 Spring listing.

    Podunker your wish has come true, we have become Wisky.

    TTG, People still watch CNN? 50 straight days speculating about the lost plane? Why? I gave up on them years ago. That screams to me they are still as they have been for years 6 bubbles out of plump.

  16. HC, I doubt IU has become Wisky just yet, but I am pleased with IU’s “growth” and the progress they have made in recruiting and developing bigger players. The numbers suggest they are on their way to becoming a Big Ten football program. As the old saying goes, “a good big man usually beats a good little man.” Just ask Bob Foster, arguably one of the best light heavyweight boxers of all time, but a man who got knocked out by both Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali when he challenged for the heavyweight title.

    Butler weight loss from 345 to 326 is promising. I’ll bet he’s got a lot more muscle and a lot less fat today as compared to last September. It should be interesting to see what his weight is come September.

    Now, if we can just field an average defense, IU could start going to bowl games and hopefully avoid those terribly embarrassing blowouts to Wisconsin.

  17. ““I’ve been coaching at a lot of different places, and this is as physical a spring as I’ve ever been a part of, as far as just teaching the fundamentals of just teaching guys to get off blocks,” Knorr said. “Not necessarily scheme work — just beating the guy over you, and getting off (blocks) and making plays in the open field.”

    That is music to my eyes!

  18. Based on what I’ve read, I will be surprised, not to mention disappointed, if our defense isn’t measurably better this season. It’s not only size but better strength and conditioning plus better fundamental techniques: tackling, shedding blocks, defensive reads. Our offense is fast…very fast which means it isn’t on the field for long stretches. Obviously, if the offense isn’t on the field, the defense is which means they are more susceptible to getting worn down. When that happens, big plays ensue …also injuries. So, size plus depth plus better skills will clearly lead to more stops particularly 3rd down stops which has been our historical nemesis. It is clear our coaching staff is focused on this and I believe will make significant progress.

  19. iufan23; IU’s defense has only one direction it can go. I don’t believe it can not get any worse than it was last year. But I was excited to read that Knorr is focusing on improving defensive fundamentals and that spring practice was as physical as he has ever been a part of. It’s another reason to be cautiously optimistic.

  20. PO- and I would add that the D’s attitude must be sharper, too. A new staff and scheme can only be inspirational after what went down the last couple of years.

    Dustin- Who were the noses at the Spring Game? If a 3-4 is going to work the middle must be manned by a real beast (put intended). I’m partial to Ralphael Green.

    IN OTHER NEWS- NU players will vote on joining the United Steelworkers of America, AFL-CIO-CLC April 25, although the results of that election will be sealed until NU’s review is ruled on in by the NLRB Washington. But I’ve got a hunch on how that will turn out . . . .

  21. DD- I had read both. The first one sounded like a soup recipe…chop two red peppers into 1 inch squares, crush two garlic cloves….

    The second one, including your opinions, talked about a football team and how it may play-considering the talent- as a team. You seem surprised about your own innovative approach, huhh? I’ll even add,…it’s good.

  22. Davis, I have a hunch as well. The NU football team will vote against joining the SWA and I don’t think it will be close. But, SWA will keep trying… and Colter will some day be a SWA union boss… be elected to the NW Board … and fire Fitzgerald…The Chicago Way.

  23. HC…have never seen anything like this in the media…I even began to wonder if all the CNN producer/writers (but one) were on that plane…but, you’re right…even with just one story over 51 days they can’t get it right.

  24. Dustin-

    Glad you received the certificate.

    Don’t hesitate to use it…Take Jeremy and Andy out…Have a lunch on Harvard. I doubt if it will cover a whole tab for three, but at least it will take a good share off the bill. I’m not sure if I’ll be down in Bloomington in the near future, but maybe one day we’ll share some beers. But please use the certificate now.

    You guys do a fabulous job in bringing us IU sports. Thanks for allowing freedoms to say almost anything we want here. Thanks for your trust and your kindness. Now go have some beers!

    Harvard

  25. davis, Big Ralph’s running mate at NT will be Nate Hoff, 6’2″-310lb muscled white boy out of Solon Ohio who Wilson and staff took from the Naval Academy Prep. He was a standout wrestler in HS and is a weight room leader. It has been intimated he is kind of a mean bastard when his hand sets down at the LOS. He did exceptionally well in the Spring game. Our DL will be solid and with depth as will our DB’s. Maturity has done a lot for Knorr’s group.

  26. HC- whatever color Hoff might be, hope he can help out the IUD. I’m only partial to Green ’cause I noticed him knocking the PSU line around on my TV screen. That’s one man’s observations and I certainly don’t think that he’s “The Answer” to the IUD’s many problems.

    TSAO- why do you think that the NU players won’t vote to take more control over their lives? Most people would, so why not them? NCAA rules state that only 20 hrs./week can be devoted to sports, but think about it- any player who insisted on the rules and skipped the “voluntary” training and film sessions “suggested” to him would end up where? On the bench- if not on the street. The whole mess will be regulated by Congress, and that will be preferable to how the NCAA is handling things. Considering the low opinion most of us have about Congress, that should tell you a lot about how the public views the NCAA.

  27. Davis, you are an anachronism.

    Your wrote: “HC- whatever color Hoff might be, hope he can help out the IUD. I’m only partial to Green ’cause I noticed him knocking the PSU line around on my TV screen. That’s one man’s observations and I certainly don’t think that he’s “The Answer” to the IUD’s many problems.”

    I don’t care how you feel about Green, it’s none of my business; and, as a Nation, we now recognize the right to enter into relationships without regard to sexual orientation. Use of the IUD is up to each individual involved. There are also any number of myths regarding the IUD’s use,
    Myth 1: The IUD is dangerous—it can cause infections and infertility. You should always use one to prevent STIs.
    Myth 2: The IUD is a big effort consuming commitment.
    Myth 3: Getting an IUD is all pain, no gain.
    Myth 4: You need to get a Pap smear before getting an IUD.
    Myth 5: Your mate will be able to “feel” the IUD. Its safety, efficacy, and other benefits are amazing.

  28. Davis, I agree we could through the NCAA, Congress, and most (emphasis on most, not all) of the legal profession that are behind much of the problem with these two institutions into a bucket and all we would get out of it is the odor.

    But, you provide the answer to your own question and example. There are rules, they’ve been codified and the NCAA will probably first react to being questioned by enforcing these rules and protecting ‘the status of the student-athlete’, fully knowing that failing to do so will probably mean its own disappearance (if that is even preventable). I also suspect we will see a revolt from the university presidents that will reel in the NCAA ‘enforcement’ which will have two impacts, 1. enforce (for a while, anyway) over ‘student-athlete protections’ 2. an attempt to put lipstick on the pig by embracing some notion of amateurism, along with a generous increase in ‘stipends’ (in other words, they’ll use that well known and quaint custom of ‘buying out the protest’, aka bribe).

    Eventually, it will not work and the contradictions will become overwhelming and there will be a confrontation. It is inevitable. Probably most important, the universities will attempt to take over the NCAA ‘for the good of the game’, which will basically give them control of the ‘cash cow’. (It will be fun to follow the ESPN’s, CBS’s (the media in general) advertising, the dependent industries, etc.

    It will be a long and bloody war but, in the end, the structural ‘power’ relationship between the University (universities) as an institution and the NCAA is way too one-sided in favor of the first. Economic determinism defenders may (ok, will) scream and moan but it will be as futile as Mac Arthur trying to tell ‘that haberdasher from Missouri (Truman if history was not your subject) how to run the Korean War and US-Soviet relations.

    And, it’s always relevant to remember that the role and control (and, therefore power of the Board, and especially the members individually) depends on the political side of the equation. Their economic power- (notice even their economic status is defined with the word ‘power’- and influence depends on their being able to retain their ‘clout’.

    I’m surprised in you Davis. Who depended on who in Chicago? Daley or the most powerful figure of the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) or vice-versa. Ask Pat Arbor (former Chairmant of the CBOT). The Illinois Appellate Court ended up telling him: “Get outta here, and don’t come back until you show some respect” and the poor guy ended up hiding in, and trying to hide his money in Europe.

    Davis, there’s a lesson to be learned in the streets in Chicago; that money is fluid and temporary…real political power (well managed) is hard and permanent.

    The Universities (as an Institution) will move in on and wipe the floor with the NCAA…when they decide it is in their institutional interest to do so.

    (I’ll send you the consulting bill).

  29. TSAO- I’ve set aside two cents’ worth for your invoice. You’re right that the “reforms” you envision will not work, but you show a lack of understanding when you write that the universities will try to take over the NCAA- the universities ARE the NCAA. They formed it and control it, but act as if it were some kind of independent agency that has power over them so that they have cover for thier smelly business of college sports.

  30. Dustin, thanks for the info.

    I’m not expecting us to be UW offensively, and to tell you the truth I don’t want us to be. We’re good at what we do, and I believe we will keep getting better.

    In the same light I am not expecting us to be anywhere near the capability of MSU defensively in 2014. In a few years hopefully we can be half as good as they were last year, but now we aren’t in their league.

    My concern going into 2014 is are we capable of competing against the other members in the eastern division of the conference. OSU and MSU are going to be tough to beat. UM is not the feared program it once was, yet we still lost to them because we didn’t know you actually had to cover all their receivers. Offensively we put up more than enough points to win. We beat PSU for the first time in our history. Was it a fluke or a sign of better times? 2014 will tell. Maryland will not be a push over as some think. Rutgers might be the only team in our division that we can honestly mark down as a win. Going 1-5 in the divison will likely guarantee that we’ll be home for the holidays once again.

    The defense has got to improve.

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