CHAMPAIGN, IL - Illinois football training camp continued with practice No. 2 this afternoon at the Memorial Stadium East Practice Field. See below for a transcript of selected quotes from Head Coach Ron Turner as he met with the media following practice.
FAN APPRECIATION DAY: The annual Media/Fan Appreciation Day is just two days away on Friday, Aug. 13 at Memorial Stadium. Media will begin the day with a Coach Turner press conference at 4:30 p.m., followed by player interviews. But the fun for fans begins at 6:30 p.m. (6 p.m. for Quarterback Club members), when they have a chance to take pictures, get autographs and throw the football with their favorite Illini players. Admission is free to the general public and parking is available in the North lots of Assembly Hall. Fans can enter the stadium through the horseshoe entrance.
UPCOMING SCHEDULE: The Illini have three more practices at Memorial Stadium before moving to the former Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, Ill. The team will work out at 3:30 p.m. Thurs., Aug. 12 and in the morning at 8:40 a.m. on Fri., Aug. 13 and Sat., Aug. 14.
Post-Practice Quotes from Head Coach Ron Turner
On today's practice:
"It was good today. We have a lot of things we have to clean up, but the enthusiasm, the effort is there. The timing of the passing game is not where it needs to be yet and it shouldn't be, since we're only in day two. We'll be in shoulder pads and shorts tomorrow, and we're looking forward to that."
On wide receiver Ade Adeyemo:
"He's making great progress. The date we're looking at is the 18th; he should be released to go full speed by then. He's doing more and more everyday, so he will be fine. He'll have plenty of time to get back and get in the swing of things.
On the progression of Adeyemo's career:
"He's starting to show consistency. He's hung in there. Early, he showed some signs of inconsistency. He just needed to get some reps and he's gotten a lot better."
On moving Kelvin Hayden to defense and his confidence in the receivers:
"You can't make that move until two things happen. First, Kelvin's got to go over there and do well to make the move worthwhile, and also, the other receivers have to step up. Kelvin was the leading receiver in his first year in the program so we're looking for big things from him on defense. In order for that to happen, we have to believe in Kendrick (Jones), Ade (Adeyemo), (Mark) Kornfeld and Lonnie Hurst and have DaJuan (Warren) and (Bryant) Creamer and those guys step in and do some things, and we believe they can.
On wide receiver Bryant Creamer:
"He's doing a good job. He's a smart kid so he's picking everything up mentally. It looks like he has a knack for making big plays."
On adjusting as a freshman receiver:
"One of the hardest things is the speed of the game. If you can catch the ball, you can catch it and he's shown he can do that. Now its just a matter of refining his skills, learning the system, learning the adjustments and learning to do it all at the speed you have to do it at this level. Everybody's different at handling the adjustments. Brandon Lloyd came in and did it quickly, Lonnie Hurst came in last year and was able to do it pretty quickly and I think Bryant will be able to do that. Some kids need a year or two and some kids can learn right away, and I think he's definitely a quick learner and somebody who can make the adjustment quickly. He's got good football intelligence and good instincts."
On determining who gets what reps:
"We have a script and talk about how many reps we want each guy to get, how many with the ones, how many with the twos, so we go out with a plan and put the guys in there."
On finding a go-to guy at receiver after Hayden's switch:
"You're always looking for a go-to guy, but in this system there are going to be a lot of guys when you're spreading the ball around. We've got a lot of guys who if they continue to play like they did in the spring and like they've done this fall, I think we'll be able to do that. We're going to play four or five guys and we're pretty well set on who those guys are going to be and Bryant has a chance to be one of them."
On linebacker J. Leman:
"He's doing well. We don't have pads on and it's a different game without them, but he's doing very well, getting a lot of reps. He's going to be a very good player for us."
On Leman's development over his redshirt year:
"Physically he's gotten a lot bigger and stronger. He's gotten faster. He's developed maybe a little quicker than we thought he was going to. He's got a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm. We joke that he's half crazy, but that's a good thing."
On the improvement of linebacker Mike Gawelek:
"He's gotten quicker, which was the biggest thing he needed to work on. He changed his body type a little bit and has gotten quicker. I think that's the biggest thing and he's learning to be more disciplined. Mike had a great off-season, a great summer and has a tremendous attitude right now. He's worked his way into competing for a starting spot."
On comparing the defensive line last year to this year:
"The defensive line in a lot of cases has to protect the linebackers. When offensive linemen and backs are getting to the linebackers untouched as easily as they were at times last year, it makes it very difficult. Because what happens is the linebackers then try and do too much. We're better up front on defense right now than we were anytime a year ago, athletically, but again we have shorts on, I can't say that yet about when the pads are on, but with what I've seen from (Chris) Norwell and (Charles) Myles and (Mike) O'Brien coming back which is huge and Adam Wilk is moving a lot better, I think we'll definitely be improved."
On Coach Mallory:
"His playing days give him instant credibility. Both he and Coach Thigpen have been working with the linebackers where they both played. Tommy played in the NFL and Mike was obviously a great college player and I think the guys respect that right off the bat. Mike and Tommy can bring an insight into it, just the little things, the intricacies of playing the position. They're both very good coaches and were both very smart players and understood what it took to be a good player and they're both good communicators. There's no question that when we brought Mike here, with the experience he had, we envisioned him being a coordinator again."
Quotes from Freshman Wide Receiver Bryant Creamer
On getting used to college practice:
"The first couple days have been an adjustment, because everything moves so quickly. But I'm getting adjusted to it and I think I'll be all right. It's a lot different from high school, its more up-tempo. The guys are more competitive and everybody's better, so I'm just trying to get better."
On choosing Illinois:
"I felt most comfortable here, it's my home state school. I came here because I think I have a shot to play, and I just feel comfortable here."
On the competition in camp:
"I think everyone came to prove something. If we weren't competitive, we wouldn't be out here. I'm trying to make a statement, just keeping it in the back of my head that I have to do what I have to do. I hope to play early. I'm just going to go out here and work hard every day and whatever coach wants me to do, I'll do."
Story courtesy the University of Illinois
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