Ron Turner's Big Ten Conference Kick-Off Quotes

Ron Turner discusses the upcoming season during Wednesday afternoon's Big Ten Kick Off Luncheon. Read more in this update from the Big Ten Conference and

On outlook for upcoming season:
"We're anxious to start. After having a tough season like we did in 2003, you're always ready to get the next season going. I like this team a lot. I'm pleased the way the guys have responded. I'm especially excited about their attitude and the leadership I'm seeing from not just the seniors, but the freshmen as well"

On Defense:
"Defense is the key unit we are looking to improve on. We've taken the steps by making Mike Mallory our new defensive coordinator and Scott Schafer coming from Northern Illinois and taking over the secondary. They both will work well with the rest of our defensive staff we have in place. We had a mini draft and I told the defense they could draft any player they wanted from the offense with the exception of E.B. Halsey over to defense. Kelvin Hayden, who was our leading receiver as a junior last year has switched over to cornerback. Along with Morris Virgil, we're going to add a lot of speed, and most importantly- work on technique, basic fundamentals and learn to tackle."

On Offense:
"Offensively, having Jon (Beutjer) back for a sixth year is a huge plus for us. Jon had a tremendous spring and has a lot of unfinished business he's anxious to take care of this year. Our offensive line has a lot of depth with a lot of young talent. I'm looking for the receivers to step up with Kelvin moving to defense. Kendrick Jones is constantly improving, Lonnie (Hurst) is getting stronger, despite his injury last season and Ade (Adeyemo) and Mark (Kornfeld) will also be key in their effectiveness. Special teams, there is a cause for concern kicking-wise due to youth."

On instant replay:
"I'm very excited about the implementation of instant replay. I believe that while the game can't be perfect, if you have a chance to get it right, you should get it right."

On Pierre Thomas:
"He's not quite 100 percent coming off a bad injury last season, but he has shown tremendous determination and drive, and I believe he will rebound nicely."

Quotes courtesy the Big Ten Office.

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