Written by Andrew Walker
The Indiana Hoosiers concluded their work week on Friday with another full contact practice. The squad’s energy was electric Friday morning, all helped by a few toe-drag touchdowns and defensive takeaways late in team drills. The defense continued their fast pace and the QB’s did quite well. Penix and Ramsey had an equally strong showing slinging the rock around today. Penix was able to find guys sooner, but Ramsey was able to improvise if the pocket collapsed.
Defense was extremely fast
O-Line was unstoppable.
Ramsey is just as slippery as we remember
Donovan Hale just keeps getting better
Tuttle had some inconsistency issues
On Reese Taylor being in a cast, “Just got a little hand issue. So I think he's gonna be fine.”
On the progress of the D-Line, “Improved….I think we all were anticipating that just with these young defensive linemen from the springtime and the improvement that they make, I'm telling you, sometimes the biggest jump you see in a player is when they go from their freshman year with a redshirt to now, All the sudden, they go from the springtime, where they're actually getting their first real reps. And then they come back to the summertime, some of those young players are really stepping up right now. It's exciting to see.”
On how experience helps the defense, “I mean, Jerome Johnson's a great football player. He's got experience and all these things. I think, probably in terms of the experience, the seven is the physicality. That's a guy that probably needs to take the most snaps in that room. I think we're all on the same page about that. One, Harris is just a different force and how big he is and he can't be moved. I know, man, you know, we got a number of guys that we really are, We're a D line by committee we believe in that. That's our, regardless of our personal work. We're going to rotate guys and keep them fresh. And I think what's nice is these young guys are with us in position to where they don't feel ham-stringed. I mean, either physically or schematically. Very fast, you know, being very aggressive. He's just naturally a violent player. So regardless of where you put him, he has a knack to find the ball. And when he shows up, he's he's got an attitude so that that Kam Jones is a football player. I got my job as the coordinator, right. And our job as a defensive staff is to take a dynamic football player and create different ways to get him close to the ball. So he will play stance. He's going to do some other things as well. And then even in that we're going to find creative ways to get him in one on one matchups. He's special.”
On Michael Ziemba, “Mike? Mike, a big fan. He's a really good football player as well. In fact, there were plays that he made out on the field last year, I'm not sure he knew what the defensive call was, but he made the play. So a heck of a job there by him. Now he knows what to do. He knows where to put his eyes. And when you take an athlete like that, that's instinctive and now he's starting to figure out what to do his production is going through the roof as I'm sure you guys can see.”
On young guys that are surprising, “I tell you what the young freshman Josh Sanguinetti. He is so ball savvy, he's got great quicks all those things. Those young inside defensive lineman CJ Person, Beau Robbins is playing inside and outside, excuse me, Jeramy Pasmore is playing inside and outside Beau Robbins on the outside and then Sio (Nofo) Nofoagatoto'a. He's, I'm telling those young defensive line, we're going to be special.”
On how he’s fitting in as coordinator, “Well, first, first defense coordinator here, you know what I mean. So this is certainly, I think, because of the relationship that Tom and I have, and because this will be my fifth years coordinating in the last six, certainly, this is my comfort zone, as being the coordinator and, and just, you know, I love building a culture of defense, I think our scheme is, is great. I think we're ahead of the game right now of where the game is going and where it has been. But at the same time, the building of culture to get players to execute to a high level and care more about themselves than they are, excuse me care more about each other than they do themselves that that's what's fun about this time of year.”
On how the secondary is playing, “Fast, playing fast right now, playing against really good competition, you know, some of these big wide receivers, they're so powerful, and we've got quarterbacks that can place it just about wherever they want to right now. And so they're, they're challenging route concepts and all that stuff. So I'm really excited just about their physicality and speed.”
On how the defense is in general, “Not bad. I think you know, the great thing about some of our guys is you know, because we did a great job in the springtime implementing some of the plays and did a great job over summer with themselves that we spend a lot more time will kind of fine tuning all the checks, we had a couple of days where you know the offense in the receivers got after us but all in all I'm very proud of kind of where we are right now. And we got a long ways to go though so we got to keep pushing and just continue to get the little things keep competing and see what we can do here and a couple weeks. Yeah it's starting to come through because I think now we kind of lean on one another and you come out here and not have a great day you get passed up and I think those guys started understand that and you don't Reese will be back here in a couple of days. And so we'll keep on going and see what we can do over the next couple weeks and see how we can take the take the field against Ball State.”
On takeaways, “We need more I think you know offense doing a good job of protecting the ball which is good for them but I think we can we can create more takeaways got to get the ball in the air get some some some PBU's and we got to do a better job of creating some takeaways. Yeah, it is another great thing about it, our D line tackles can get some pressure and our guys gotta go up there and compete for balls. I think that's one thing that we got to get better at as I saw today's practice is when the ball is in the air, we're in a great position, going to go attack the ball hats off to some of those receivers, they're doing a great job to go big body guys I mean Westbrook, Donovan Hale a big body guys 6'3, 6'4 230 lbs those guys are big men. So we got to do a good job and more physical at the corner attack. But all in all, I think we're we're slowly but starting to get it.”
On the new guys, “Well, you know, Larry (Tracy) has really done a great job since the spring, you know, you had shoulder surgery, and it is kind of just now getting back into almost will be one heck of a player, if he can just keep you know, it gets kind of long now because, you know, you kind of the dog days for a little bit buys a little tired or sore. So once it gets past that mental block, he's gonna be he's gonna be a really terrific player. He's got all the tools to be one of the top DB's in the coming year. So I'm expecting a lot from him. And he's just got keep learning. I think that that's the biggest thing this season is long as a lot more checks just can't go out and just run around. Got it. You got to be thinking about the next thing. So you know, I've been yelling at him "chess", what's the next move? Great chess players anticipate the next move. People just don't line up in formations. And so that's the one thing I gotta get him used to. But he's he's taken it all in. He's got a great football mind. And I'm excited about it.”
On how hard he’s pushing some guys, “Everybody's getting pushed. I mean, you know, nobody's safe. But the great thing about those guys, they know what happens. And they know. And I think hey this is a long season. And a guy who's a three could end up you know, Ben Bach four years ago, started in the bowl out in New York. So it's a long season. So physical League, everybody's got to be prepared to play because when your number gets called gotta be ready. And so everybody's getting pushed. Andre and Sean do a great job of being vocal leaders. And along with Rahim and so I'm very, very excited about our guys, we have a good group, I got a good group of solid feel. I got a good guys in the main room. And now which I made sure that he would go on the field and keep doing what we're doing.
On if he’s limiting some action for veteran players, “Definitely definitely you definitely count his reps. I mean, he's been out here a lot. And he's done a great job with this program. And so at the end day, I know what he can do. So what I try to do is get some those young guys in some situations where we're down at the red zone and, and you know, where they got to think and communicate, because he knows how to do that. So, you know, they got into a couple of times we had a couple of young guys and they're going to get some older guys that I just want to see him compete, you know, are they gonna be upset if the offense gets a big play and so that's what I want to see competition. Iron sharpens iron and they've done a good job. So that's where we're trying to do.”
Andre Brown Jr.
On how important it is for him to lead younger players,
“Oh it's very important you know they look for guidance and I'm here I'm here for the longest you know I kind of know to and and also to play books and that's really just the main thing you want to get them to learn the playbook and sometimes just you know sometimes when you're a freshman you just trying to do your job and just, you know what I'm saying and but once you know the playbook and you can just play faster and not think about it too much.”
On any specific position groups that are all standing out, “I feel like a whole defense is standing out and I feel like we're playing with a lot of energy right now communicating very well and I felt like when everybody communicating we're just played really fast.”
On whether or not they’ve started talking about Ball State, “We haven't really started on Ball State we've just been focusing on camp you know couple guys watching film here and there but as a team we haven't really focused on Ball State”
On the changes he’s seen under Kane Wommack, “Communication, play with a lot of energy he's a real energy guy so we make a play he's out there jumping out with us and celebrating around. So it's good to emphasize big on swagger to kind of inspire our confidence.”