Thursday, January 6, 2011

New IU Football Offense Wants Inconsistency -- In A Good Way

So what kind of offense will IU run under coach Kevin Wilson? Well, it probably won’t be the pistol the Hoosiers used last year under Bill Lynch, but then, it might.

Why the hesitation?

First, Wilson ran a wide-open attack at Oklahoma and, before that, at Northwestern. His new offensive coordinator, Brent Pease, was part of a wide-open attack at Boise State. His new receivers coach, Kevin Johns, thrived with a spread attack at Northwestern.

That would lead a logical person to conclude that the Hoosiers would run a wide-open attack.

They will, of course, but they aren’t adverse to versatility. Pease, for instance, saw the damage Nevada’s pistol offense can do when it upset Boise State

“Whatever you could steal from people and use, you did,” Pease said. “We saw what Nevada did. At Boise State we were very multiple with our running backs. If some of that fits with the kids we have here, we could definitely use it.

“You don’t want to get into situations where defenses can scheme you up and know exactly what you’re doing. You have to be very flexible nowadays. You have to be inconsistent so they don’t get tendencies.”

To clarify, that’s inconsistent as in versatile so you always keep the defenses guessing.

Nothing amplifies guessing more than speed. It ratchets up the pressure on defenses. It spreads them out and makes them vulnerable to big plays.

“Speed is a big key,” Pease said. “That’s where football is going. That’s where defenses are now. At the receiver position, at running back, once they get the ball in their hands and get through the first line of defense, they can change the game. They can break things open. Speed is a thing you’re always looking for.”

That leads us to recruiting. IU coaches are out now trying to lock down the 18 recruits still committed to the Hoosiers (four-star Detroit athlete Raymon Taylor is a soft commitment still looking at Iowa, Illinois and Michigan), plus bring in some other guys. Coaches will eventually recruit certain geographic areas, but for now they’re going after players at their coaching positions.

Pease, for instance, has done a lot of recruiting in Texas, mostly in the Dallas and Houston area. He’s also recruited Los Angeles as well as Florida, Alabama and, yes, Montana.

What is he looking for?

“I’m looking at quarterbacks. Any skill kids. Any offensive guys. Some of the needs we have targeted, like offensive line and speed on the edges."

Pease was at a great situation at Boise State, which has emerged as a national power. He has no regrets at giving up that situation for IU’s rebuilding project. He’s seen how for the Hoosiers have come in facilities. He was Kentucky’s offensive coordinator at the turn of the century and coached in Memorial Stadium. He's convinced IU is poised for a special era under Wilson.

“I’m honored that Kevin asked me,” he said. “When you see the staff makeup, you have to get excited. I coached here when I was at Kentucky and to see the improvement in the facilities is phenomenal. I’m excited to get going.”

As far as additional staff hires,’s Tom Dienhart continues to be at the forefront of this. He’s mentioned two offensive line coaches IU is looking at -- Michigan’s Greg Frey and Maryland’s Tom Brattan.

Frey is out of a job now that Rich Rodriguez is fired. Brattan needs work after Maryland’s Ralph Friedgen was fired. Frey coached with Rodriguez for four years -- one at West Virginia and three at Michigan. He is 37 years old and close to the age of most of Wilson’s staff. Brattan also coached at Northwestern, Stanford and William & Mary. He’s 60.

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