VIDEO: DeBord and Westbrook’s early impressions of Penix

Offensive Coordinator Mike DeBord and wide receiver Nick Westbrook talk about freshman QB Mike Penix.


  1. Very curious to hear word everyone’s thoughts on Penix. I am cautiously optimistic to the possibility IU might have got a very good quarterback.

  2. It will be interesting to see how the three scholarship QBs play this Spring. It is great to have competition from the same style of QBs. They will push each other to be the best they can be and the best will start the 2018 season. As I pointed out in another post the three have closer stats than fans are aware of with each one having a trait that will help one become a starter. I also like that each is smart and able to learn the offense quickly which will allow coach DeBord to have more of the offense instituted for 2018.

    For people criticizing the play selection, understand RPOs start out as a called play but the QB’s read can change a run into a pass or pass into a QB run. All the calls aren’t what was called by the coach. Philly won the Super Bowl using RPOs so they are a good way to counter a defense when QBs make the right reads.

  3. I don’t care what you term the calls made in the Red Zone on the last IU drive in the Michigan game at Memorial Stadium. Those calls were dumbfounding and stupid. They mirrored other likewise play calls prior to the M game and after the M game. I have only moderate expectations ’18’ will be much different.

  4. Who are the 3 scholarship qb’s? Is Reese Taylor being disqualified @ qb completely? On play calling (and not referencing Taylor) gifted 4 and 5 star players can often make competent coaches look really good and turn ordinary plays into spectacular. Yawn.

  5. If Phenix already understand this offensive after only three days of spring training camps…I cannot believe that this offensive is that complicated be it RPO or PRO!! If all they are doing is that ding and dunk (3 to 5 yard pass) from last year….this will be long season again.

    1. You may be correct bit ‘ding and dunk’ also describes the New England Patriots offense of the past decade.

  6. Is Penix #9? Weight transference doesn’t look ideal in his form…Back foot is lifting early. Probably limits him from having big arm throws.
    What’s with all the knee braces?

    1. H4H,
      Are you seeing that on this video? I only saw one throw from a stationary position, all the rest were on the move. Not sure if it is a hitch needing correction or just happened on the throw. Interested to know from those watching practices if this is a habit.

  7. All they said they are happy with progress and has caught on quickly for first couple days. So if out of let’s say 200 rungs on the ladder. Phenix is on rung 3. It doesn’t really tell you anything other than he is competing for the IU qb job who is in need of a quality qb. Other than talking a little about next fall these posts are useless in terms of telling anyone if IU is going to win beyond 5 games. We will know that in later fall.

  8. Our most experienced quarterback has played in parts of nine college games. All the other quarterbacks, regardless of how talented they are, have played in zero college games. It is therefore unlikely that IU will produce the offense necessary to win more than five games in 2018. The factor that could change everything is if IU can put a stifling defense on the field. But given that four of our best and most experienced defensive players have graduated, it not likely that IU’s defense will stifle any Big Ten offenses. As I said when he first got the job, Allen’s third season will likely determine if Allen can lead IU to “break through” with a winning season.

    1. Po,
      You may be right, but with IU football all one can ever do is hope. I guess it is for those of us old enough to remember the ’67 season well. No one saw that one coming, but it did. I think I am most curious about Penix because even though he will be a Freshman, you never know. No one could have saw the effect a self destructive Freshman QB at Texas A&M a few years ago could accomplish, but he did.

      Not saying IU was TA&M of that time period or Penix a Freshman Johnny Manziel, but stranger things have happened. Everyone knew Manziel was talented, but no one expected that level of play. Same holds true of the ’67 IU FB team, it was known there was some talent but no one saw it to that level. Not saying the ’18 IU FB team is anywhere near that realm, but the biggest surprises come out of nowhere.

      I am intrigued by 3 incoming Freshman and what their potential impact could be if everything else falls into place. First is Penix, second is Walker, and third is the potential wild card of Taylor. If all three are as talented as hoped, I think it would be most interesting to see all of them on the field at the same time. Coupled with hopefully a back to speed Mr. Westbrook, it could potentially be an offense to be reckoned with. Remember 3 very talented Sophmores in their first varsity year (Freshmen weren’t allowed on varsity in those days), were key to the ’67 offense.

      Probably pipe dreaming but it is fun to dream.

    2. A sober assessment, PO. But I prefer to get drunk on the ol’ rotgut IUFB Kool-Aid; I predict for 2018 that IU will beat ND for the BCS championship and Allen will spurn all poaching attempts to sign a thirty year contract with IU to coach for free so that the assistants will get raises and also stay w/IUFB forever and ever. But I might be suffering an awful hangover come November . . . .

  9. Nothing would please me more than if IU’s 2018 team found the magic that propelled the 1967 Hoosiers, lead by John Pont, to the Rose Bowl. But please remember, that 1967 team had a great defense! For 2018, I’ll take five wins as long as we’re competitive in every game and one of those wins is a victory over Purdue. Six regular season wins would get us into a minor bowl game, and seven wins would be a minor miracle. If we had a quarterback who was an experienced upperclassmen (Ramsey will be a Junior, but he’s not an upperclassmen in football), I think 6 or 7 regular season wins wins in 2018 would be possible. But asking young and inexperienced quarterbacks to produce a winning season, especially when their running game is somewhat pedestrian, may be asking too much. Perhaps Penix is the beginning of IU’s string of highly talented quarterbacks.

      1. Personally, I think we are in better shape overall at the quarterback position than the Hoosiers have been in long time. Sudfield was great but there was no second act. I like this bunch.

        We’ll see.

    1. Po,
      I agree the ’67 team had a great defense. With the exception of OJ Simpson getting loose for two very long runs, USC was held in check the entire game. I may be wrong, but I don’t see a huge fall off in the IU defense for 2018. Reason being this will be the 3rd year for the defense under Tom Allen. If anything, they may get better as the players will be in their 3rd year under the tutelage of Coach Allen. Not to mention, he now has two recruiting classes of players brought in specifically to play his style of defense.

      On Offense H4H’s comments are well taken regarding the DeBoring approach, especially if ineffective. Exciting lightning strike offenses don’t always mean wins if they outpace the defensive ability to stay on the field for lengthy periods of time. I don’t mind a pedestrian Offense if it is effective and compliments a good defense. A stifling Defense can be just as exciting, especially if the Offense doesn’t put it in difficult situations.

  10. Any success for Hoosier Football could bring on levels of high anxiety …So little gained through the decades could cause a feeling of too much to lose very quickly…Such anxiety could even lead to a Penix attack.

  11. Hope we see more fans stick around for entire games next season…Right on, Podunker!

    You do know why most fans leave games early…?
    DeBord out of their wits. ……(get it?)

  12. Debord offensive was made for Ramsey. Ramsey looks very comfortable running this offensive. The short quick pass is perfect for Ramsey. Ramsey has the accuracy to run Debord offensive to perfection. Nick Tronti should be the backup and maybe you can redshirt Mike Phenix for the future. Personally, I think the offensive line will be great this year and the running game will be awesome. the lack of a passing game will stagnate this offensive. IU has reliable starting wide receivers, but no depth whatsoever!!! An in this offensive receivers are required to catch passes over the middle (exposing the wide receivers to hard hits) which leads to lots of injuries or concussion.

  13. Chet, academically, Ramsey will be an upperclassmen (a Junior) next fall. For football, you are correct; he will be a redshirt Sophomore, which is what I tried to say in my previous post.

    And I agree with you that, in a sense, “we will be in better shape” at the quarterback position than we have been for years. But depth of talent is one thing and game-experience is something else entirely. From top to bottom, we will have more talent at Quarterback than we’ve had for years, but as for game experience, we have less now than we’ve had since Wilson became IU’s coach. The fact that each of these four quarterbacks are effective runners, and could be interchangeable, may be a valuable wild card next season. I don’t care how the offense scores points, as long as they score points. If IU’s quarterbacks have to run for first downs and touchdowns, who cares, as long as they score touchdowns. But inexperienced QBs usually produce more turnovers because a young quarterback’s brain has not adjusted to the level of speed and athleticism they’re facing from college defenses. Things they got away with in HS, because they were the best athletes on the field, won’t be possible in college. So I think the key will be for DeBord to coach them up so they are not prone to doubt or hesitation during plays. If a pass play is called but the pass is not there, they need to run like hell and get positive yards. Once they start to run, they should not attempt a pass, but finish the play as a run.

  14. This is where Crean left us…It’s the first week of March and Indiana fans are left with talking about a football program that hasn’t been .500 in conference play since when…? I don’t know. I can’t find the stat. I only know that it’s March….and the Indiana high school gyms are filled to the rafters for sectionals and regionals….I thought the passion for basketball would dry up in this state when Indiana decided implement “class” basketball and to do away with ONE tournament for all…But it has not. There have been reports of people standing in lines for hours to get into weekend sectional championships.
    But what are we discussing in Bloomington…as the Irish prepare to face Duke tonight?

    Hey…I think Podunker sounds incredibly like this Mark Axelrod dude. Of course, that would be a crazy suggestion. But it’s really weird ….Check out the linked article from 2011…Everything fits. Time spent in Bloomington, etc, etc. And the negativity in style and tone is eerily spot on.

  15. What I find rather disconcerting is that the institution has presumably recognized there has been a losing tradition at Indiana and it has accepted that losing tradition. While other institutions have looked for the best possible person to coach their teams, Indiana, except in the case of Bill Mallory (perhaps things might have changed had the late Terry Hoeppner survived), has not.

    Just too damn eery….I think you’re busted, Podunker.

  16. For someone who was at IU when they went to the Rose Bowl, it’s a bit disconcerting to think that in over four decades they haven’t returned there. But maybe Wilkinson was right. It appears to me that unless IU is serious about changing this 122-year atmosphere of failure by building a football program on which it can be proud, it might consider dropping out of the Big Ten and becoming a Division III team. At least at that point there’s always the possibility of breaking even.

    If it ain’t Podunker, I think I found his soulmate. lol.

  17. Gang, was away last couple days and wanted to ask this question regarding some of the FB failures of the last 50 years. What is the one thing in common for the limited success for IUFB? I will consider Heoppner’s tenure to have been a success had he survived. The common denominator for success in IUFB has been hiring the head coach from Miami of Ohio. Unfortunately, the stars don’t always line up to do this every time. Yet the fact remains each time one has been hired, success, however limited, has followed.

    Pont was on track for major success before colliding with major cultural change. Mallory was on track for major success but needed significantly more support from Hoosier Nation. Sadly, Hoeppner was on track for major success before succumbing to illness. Thing in common? All successful Miami of Ohio Head Football coaches hired at the height of their tenures at the institution.

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