Notes From Ron Turner's Press Conference

After giving his team Sunday off, Ron Turner took his normal time out on Monday to meet with the press, and Jeff Murdock thought it would be interesting to watch the conference on a Monday night. Among the topics he discussed were: EB Halsey's health, the quarterback situation, and the health of Tight End Melvin Bryant.

I was going to get direct quotes from what Coach Turner said during his press conference, but that turned out to be much more difficult than I thought it would be. In order to get you the majority of the information the head coach of the Illini discussed yesterday, I will just bulletize the main points in lists under a general subject heading

  • As the group heading states, the team had an off day on Sunday. The off day was the team's first day off since August, and it has occurred often in the past when the bye week is so late in the season.
  • The team needed some time off to recover mentally, emotionally, and physically from the wears and tears of this season.
  • The team still met and lifted, but there was no official practice.
  • EB's status was described by Coach Turner as "day to day / week to week."
  • His injury is a strained MCL of the left leg. This is the opposite leg he injured last season, and the injury is no where near as bad as last year's injury.
  • EB felt better on Monday morning than he did on Sunday, so it is not out of the realm of possibility that he will play on Saturday, but right now that is just not known.
  • While Turner would not rule him out of Saturday's game, he did officially list EB's status as questionable.
  • At this time he does not know who the starter will be for the Michigan game.
  • The decision could take the whole week, or it could be something he knows before tomorrow's practice. He just does not have a timeframe for making the decision.
  • The decision will be based on what the coaches want to do with their game plan against the Wolverines.
  • He was asked whether or not he would consider using Kisan Flakes. Turner stated that Flakes was very good, but he doesn't know the snap count very well. He then went on to state again that both Flakes and Billy Garza will both be really good.

    Writers Note: I don't think there is any chance either of these two freshmen play this season.
  • Turner stated that he tells his quarterbacks to throw the jump ball to his receivers if they are in one on one coverage. The quarterbacks need to have faith in their receivers to either catch the ball, or stop the interception from occurring.
  • If the receiver is either double teamed or there is a safety over the top, the quarterback should not throw the deep ball to the receiver.
  • Turner said he encourages the quarterbacks to throw the deep ball, and they are instructed to do so when the coverage is correct.
  • Bryant will not play this week.
  • His status for next week's game against Minnesota is wait-and-see until next weekend.
  • Yes, he is definitely concerned that the way the season has gone is taking its toll on the players and that the kids might get discouraged.
  • There is definitely a lot of frustration within the locker room.
  • Turner stated that he cannot ask any more from the players. They are doing exactly what the coaches are asking them to do.
  • Turner said it is his job to make sure that the frustration within the locker room does not turn into discouragement, and that is one of the reasons that he cancelled practice on Sunday. He wanted to let his players get away from football and go out and have some fun to take their mind off things.
  • Spencer Jensen will be returning punts for Illinois while EB is recovering from his injury.
  • He understands and knows the offense.
  • He is not as athletic as the other two (Bower & Beutjer), so he has to be very accurate with the football when he makes passes.
  • He did some good things for us when he was in the game, but he also did some things that we will need to work on with him.
  • He is still in the picture at the quarterback position.
  • He definitely brings something to the field that the other two quarterbacks don't with his athleticism.
  • There were games this season, where I thought the defensive backs were playing a little too far off the receiver. The Purdue game was one of those games. He then went on to detail the stat that about thirty of Purdue's forty passes were for less than ten yards.
  • The defensive backs need to get more disciplined in the zones, and as that happen we will be able to tighten up on the receivers at the line of scrimmage.

Illini Inquirer Top Stories