Highlights from Tom Allen’s 1st radio show of the season

The first Tom Allen radio show of the 2018 season aired live Wednesday from the Holiday Inn in Bloomington. Here’s a recap of the topics Allen discussed with play-by-play man Don Fischer:

— On the hot, sticky weather that has hovered over Bloomington recently: “We’ve been praying for some heat because you can’t simulate it any other way than to practice in it. This week’s noticeably warmer, which is a good thing. … Half our team’s from Georgia and Florida, so that helps.”

— On the new South end zone facility at Memorial Stadium: “Our players love it. We were able to have our first meal in there when we started fall camp. The view is great overlooking the stadium. They eat all their meals in there and even the training portion on the first level is all first class.”

— Allen noted that IU will be the fourth-youngest team in the Big Ten this season. He said 66 percent of the roster is comprised of freshmen and sophomores.

— On replacing so many starters on defense: “We’re gonna be really, really young. Some of the guys aren’t young, they’re just new. They’ve been here and they’ve had to wait their turn. My emphasis has been that we’ve established that standard that we want to play here at Indiana. We need to rise to that standard.”

— On Brandon Dawkins’ decision to leave IU: “One of them decided to leave when it didn’t work out for him. That kind of caught me off guard. … You focus on the guys that are here and want to be here. I don’t have anything negative to say about Brandon. I wish him the very best, but I was surprised by that.”

— On this year’s freshman class: “I’m really excited about them. You go through and recruit and feel a certain way about how they’re gonna be. You get them here and sometimes they prove you were right and sometimes you’re not really sure. But I’ll tell you what, I’ve been so impressed by them. It’s a great group. There’s a lot of athleticism. Got a lot of guys who can really run well.”

— On the new redshirt rule: “It’s definitely created a whole new level of thought as to how you approach each game, how they travel and how you use them. … The Big Ten just passed (an updated rule) this week that lifted the number of travel guys from 70 to 74 (for conference games) because of that rule. For non-conference games, there’s no limit. We’ll take 78 guys down to Miami.”

— A listener asked for Allen’s expectations for Year 2 of his coaching tenure: “I don’t know that anything has changed. My expectation is that we put ourselves in position to compete in the Big Ten and be relevant in November for the Big Ten championship.”

— A listener asked which players from last year’s scout team could have the biggest impact this season. Allen mentioned linebacker Thomas Allen and tight end Peyton Hendershot.

— A listener asked about Reese Taylor’s shift from cornerback to quarterback: “He’s played quarterback his whole career. So it’s a smooth transition from that perspective. We’ve also had him on offense (throughout fall camp) and we’ve had him going both sides. He still took reps at corner, even today. He’s just a very well-rounded guy that has a lot of talent. Bottom line is, with the departure of Brandon, we needed to get him in that position. I feel good about that, for sure. He’ll grow, but he’ll help this team in a lot of different ways.”

— Allen on the running backs: “I’m really excited for Cole Gest. He’s worked so hard this offseason. He’s got great burst to him and I’m anxious to see him on Saturday. Ricky Brookins is Mr. Dependable. Mike Majette has gotten bigger, faster, stronger. Just gotta keep him healthy. Stevie Scott has really been a pleasant surprise. … Ronnie Walker is a young guy I think is really starting to figure things out.”

— A listener asked Allen which position is the deepest and which is the most thin: “Deepest, probably safety and corner. … Thinnest, probably receiver. That’s a position we have to address in recruiting to get numbers where they need to be.”

36 comments

  1. My head just exploded! In reference to Dawkins leaving, T.A. said, “That kind of caught me off guard. …….. I wish him the very best, but I was surprised by that.” What the bleep? For crying out loud coach, just shut up about Dawkins. When you’re standing in a hole, stop digging!

    1. The guy never seems to artfully sidestep a question. Asked what scout player could have the greatest impact and he picks his own son? He may be the best player but I would never set up the kid to fail like that. What if he struggles or has a bad game? Can’t you just say that there are a number of players that have have made great strides and are looking forward to FIU to show what they can do? Instead he gives you, ” yep my son, Tommy Boy, is going to lead the team this year. He’s better than all those kids not named Allen. He’ll probably be all Big Ten by the end of the year.”

  2. T.A. needs to spend time with a media relations consultant. He’s either honest to a fault, naive, or stupid. And I don’t think he’s stupid!

    Regardless, some of the statements T.A. has made to press this month make him sound oblivious and have a lot of people scratching their heads.

    1. You and 1 other are the only ones bitchin. I see nothing harmful in the least with his comments. Rather refreshing hearing honest answers.

  3. I like the honesty coach Allen shows and I like HC and t see no problem with that. I want an honest coach not afraid to anwer questions honestly [since I am like that, maybe that is why].

    I am ready for the game to get here and will be watching the Hoosier win their first game of the season. I want to find out how improved the OL is, how much faster the players look, and what this defense will be with new LBs.

  4. Indiana solid win against last year’s. 8-5 team. Ramsey will do well as will others. However, fool’s gold because of competition level. So, picture of how much progress is very limited unless IU comes to Bloomington 0 and 1. A good game for IU because they should get a good shot from F.I and hopefully not trailing later in game like a couple years ago.

  5. Maybe honest but out of touch. It is like he didn’t know or want to know on Brandon Dawkins the real reason why he left. It’s like he is a good to great Defensive Coordinaror that is learning to be a head coach in a league full of well seasoned head coaches. I do feel like he recruits better than previous coaches but his results are still not great as of yet. Last year was set up well for him and ……. …I agree with Po on this one. I think he needs to get coached up a bit.

  6. anyone that watched Purdue last night knows how much 1 player can change a team. Rondale Moore, a freshman all-everything wide receiver, almost won the game by himself. Let’s hope Reese Taylor can have the same kind of impact.

  7. NW plays pretty disciplined but aggressive D. But lacks quickness and speed. Be interesting to see how Brohm reboots to launch a successful season from the 2nd game. Without DC Holt Brohm would be like IU over a couple of coaching stretches. I think if improved IU team speed can flow into game speed it will be easily on display against a decent team like FIU.

  8. Obviously a smart offensive mind like Jeff brohm doesn’t know the right criteria for a competition to choose his starting quarterback.

  9. A few thoughts that arose while i watched the Purdue/NW game last night.
    1) If it wasn’t a sell-out, it was close. Purdue and NW fans filled that stadium. Will IU put that many fans in the seats at Memorial Stadium this season?
    2) Purdue’s first half QB reinforces the point that just having a strong arm does not make for a good quarterback. His INTs were horrific.
    3) Purdue was the more talented team, but they played stupid and made too many critical mistakes. Brohm will pound that stupidity out of his team very quickly.
    4) No, Reese Taylor will not get the opportunity to demonstrate his skills like Moore did last night. He may get in the FIU game, but he won’t be put at risk now that he’s IU’s 3rd string quarterback. And I’d guess that Reese is about 15 lbs. lighter than Moore is right now.

    1. …w/o Moore PUke is feeble…other than him PUke is neutered…Moore is listed 9 lb. lighter than Taylor…the things you assume wrong…

      1. Moore is only 5’9″ but squats an astounding 600+ lbs. He has the strength to run through tackles. Taylor doesn’t have that kind of strength yet (few players of any age do).

  10. HC, beyond the small number of people posting comments on The Hoosier Sports Report, there are a lot of Hoosier fans scratching their heads over some of T.A.’s recent comments. I got calls from numerous Hoosier fans expressing frustration and asking if Tom Allen is oblivious. The wife of a great friend and fellow Hoosier, who does not spend much time reading the sports page, told me she was “dumbfounded” by T.A.’s comments explaining his decision to name Ramsey the starter.

    I appreciate honesty too, but there is such a thing as being honest to the point of being careless and counter-productive. I would suggest T.A. spend some time studying how Archie Miller interacts with the media. I consider Archie to be very honest, but he knows what not to say when talking to the press. The man in charge must consider how his honest comments will be interpreted by his subordinates, and T.A. has yet to master that important skill. I appreciate people defending our head coach, but several of his resent comments have begun to create doubt amongst a lot of Hoosier fans that are paying attention. Of course, all will be forgiven and forgotten if his team wins seven games in 2018! But I guarantee you that if IU wins only three or four games this season, T.A.’s “honest” comments will be used to build a fire under his seat.

    1. Po,
      I am somewhat concerned with some of TA’s comments as well, but am more concerned with the AD & Sports information people not getting to him quickly on the matter.

    2. …and I never got “1” call bitchin about Coach Allen’s comments…small potatoes…nobody

      1. is this clarion or just cretin? I’m sure you predicted Allen going 5-7 last year? What is the team going to do this year? I want you to be held accountable. So stand by your man, let’s hear your prediction for the year.

          1. hmmmm…. so you are not sure enough of the team and coaching staff to even give a prediction? Kinda wimpy don’t you think?

          2. 123,
            I apparently missed your prediction…must have, since you seem so insistent.

            So, what’s your call?

  11. So HC, you’re saying that Moore is listed at 156 lbs.? The last time I looked, Taylor was listed at 165. There’s no way Moore is nine lbs. lighter than Taylor. What listings are you looking at?

    Regardless, if Taylor is in the game for more than five plays tomorrow, I’ll be very surprised. Because that could mean IU’s offense is struggling and needs a spark, and it would put IU’s third string QB at an unnecessary risk, which is a risk IU can’t afford to take. That was one reason why losing Dawkins was a major blow to this team; it requires T.A. to be careful in how and how much he uses the highly skilled Reese Taylor.

  12. think, you raise a good point. Has Glass arranged for T.A. to receive any assistance/training from media experts on how to interact with the media? For most new head coaches, that’s S.O.P.

    T.A. is lucky he’s the head football coach at IU. First of all, relatively few fans care enough about football to pay attention, and secondly, the media covering IU Athletics is very reluctant to criticize any IU coach (until after they’re fired), but especially the football coach. As one journalist said not too long ago (paraphrasing), “we need to get along with these people in order to do our jobs.” Or maybe they just feel sorry for any man tasked with trying to turn this program around?

    How many fans will be in Memorial Stadium on September 8 when IU plays its first home game? Anybody want to predict the attendance? Not the number of tickets sold, but the number of people who show up for the game!

  13. Do tell, PO, how are you going to determine the winner of your “real attendance” contest? Count ’em yourself? Paid attendance is what’s reported, I’ve never seen any “actual attendance” figures in the papers (which I still read, square that I am). I’m going with 38,460.

  14. Attendance at PU – NU last night was 47,410; pretty darn good. Although the two-hour jaunt from Chgo. to West Nowheresville is considerably shorter than anything IUFB fans would have to make from Bloomington/Naptown to any of IU’s East Div. road games.

    By the way, walk-on NU QB T.J. Green is the son of IUFB’s Trent Green, in case anyone didn’t know. I didn’t!

    1. That’s cool. Trent Green was the starting quarterback for the St. Louis Rams. He was playing in a pre season game. He was 13 for 13 went he was injured and out for the season. They put in his unknown backup.

      Kurt Warner.

      There you go.

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