Tuesday, April 12, 2011

IU Football -- Wilson Taps into Seinfeld, Lil Wayne

Kevin Wilson as comedian. Could that be right?

Granted, the Indiana football coach reminds no one of, say, Jerry Seinfeld, but his all-business persona briefly morphed into the good humor guy.

Maybe it was because, on a sun-splashed late Tuesday afternoon, Wilson’s Hoosiers had practiced well. His mentally weak comments from a week earlier were no where around.

“We were good,” he said. “We had a lot of energy. A lot of enthusiasm. I don’t know if they’re excited about Lil Wayne coming to town, but I told them I’ll make a cameo. I’ll come up through the stage. With smoke. All that deal.”

Lil Wayne, for those whose musical tastes run closer to Bruce Springsteen, is a Grammy-Award-winning tattooed rapper who had a concert at Assembly Hall on Tuesday night. Even as the football Hoosiers practiced, students gathered for the show. A number of IU players were set to go and Wilson couldn’t resist a little fun.

“I think Lil Wayne was at my wedding. So I might have to go back and pay homage.”

Do you even know any Lil Wayne songs, he was asked.

“I don’t know. My daughter knows.”

And then he was back to business.

“Today was good. Really good teams and really good players, they repeat. They do it over and over. They have consistency.

“This team has the potential to be really good, but they’ve got to do it day after day. You can’t be up and down. When you’re going up and down, you’re not getting any better. You’re just staying the same. Good teams keep gaining.”

Wilson hopes the gains are apparent during Saturday’s spring game.

“I like the competition we’re showing,” he said. “It’s good to see the give and take in practice. I’d like to see this week be clean, healthy, very physical and competitive.”

IU’s spring game will not divide the players into two different teams. Instead, it will be offense against defense, the No. 1 offense against the No. 2 defense, and the No. 2 offense against the No. 1 defense.

Basically, the No. 1 offense and No. 2 defense will be on a team. The No. 2 offense and No. 1 defense will be another team. Players will switch from team to team as the coaches continue to evaluate to see who is Big Ten ready, and who isn’t.

After the spring game, the Hoosiers will have one more practice next week. Wilson will use it to show the players the work that needs to be done over the summer. NCAA rules prohibit coaches from having any time of athletic contact with the players, so it will be up to the players to get things done during voluntary workouts.

“I heard a great quote from (former Florida coach) Urban Meyer during the Texas spring game that you don’t get timing in the spring, you get it during the summer and preseason camp,” Wilson said.

If the Hoosiers get that timing, if they learn to play at the full-throttle effort Wilson will demand, they will have a chance for a bowl game. Yes, we've heard that before. But that's what spring is all about -- hope, optimism and Lil Wayne, not necessarily in that order.

1 comment:

  1. At least Wilson seems to be saying all the right things so far. Is there any doubt that every position should be up for grabs? No. Any truth to the rumor that the Hoosiers have long been mentally and physically unprepared for Big 10 play? Absolutely. Hopefully, Wilson will not back down from his intention to expect more from his players. Maybe Crean will seize upon this approach as well come October.