Earlier today football coaches from the Big Ten participated in a teleconference with the media where they talked about how spring football has gone for their teams. Peegs.com has the full transcript of what Indiana head coach Tom Allen had to say during his portion of the teleconference as his team gets ready for the Cream & Crimson Spring Game, which will be played tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. inside Memorial Stadium.
COACH ALLEN: Excited to be here. Appreciate it. Just wrapping our spring with our spring game tomorrow night. It’s been a great 14 practices for us, and excited to see our team develop each and every day, and come together and give tremendous attitude and effort as we’re on a quest to breakthrough in 2017.
Q – What do you consider the most important recruiting area for Indiana in football?
COACH ALLEN: To me it always starts at home, so our most important state is the state of Indiana.
Q – Outside of Indiana what next?
COACH ALLEN: I would say for us Ohio numerically if you had to go through and talk about the history of our program, the location, the proximity and all that, and the number of guys that we’ve produced from that state, it’s been real important to us.
Q – I know finishing strong is real important as you go into tomorrow’s game. As you watch the game tomorrow and review it in the days to come, what are some things that would constitute a strong finish? What are some of the things that you are looking for?
COACH ALLEN: I just want to see consistent execution on offense. I’d just like to see us be able to from a base perspective execute the core concepts that we’ve been working so hard on the last several weeks. And just feel good about the mechanics we have in the backfield, catching the football and being clean up front and assignment sound.
And then defensively I just want our guy to get their feet set, get their eyes right, and fly to the football. Tackling well is always a non-negotiable mainstay of how we have to be on our side of the ball defensively.
Q – Just curious what you think of Richard (Lagow) so far after getting to know him since you’ve gotten on campus? How has he progressed from last year into the spring and into next year?
COACH ALLEN: I feel like he has made some string strides in the area of his execution in terms of understanding what we’re trying to have him do offensively. He’s increased his poise and his confidence. I think the biggest thing I see him growing in is his leadership, just being careful in both the pocket and in that role of being the leader of the offense. Having the guys look to him to be a guy, that no matter what happens, good or bad, you’re a guy that is a calming presence in the huddle and on that side of the football even though you don’t huddle a lot like we used to. But just figuratively being able to command that side of the ball with confidence and with an unshakable poise that I feel like you have to have to play that quarterback position.
Q – Talk about what it means to you and to the program to have someone like Jon Gruden involved in the spring game?
COACH ALLEN: It’s pretty special. He’s just got such a presence about him and such a personality. I’m excited to spend time with him for sure. Obviously this place is special to him and his dad being a coach here for five years and him being a boy here and spending some time here.
They are excited to have the opportunity to come home and we’re excited to have them. I think it’s going to be a treat for our entire team. He is going to address our guys and be involved with some things before the game and during the game. So very, very excited about having him, and it’s going to be pretty cool.
Q – Coach, competition is paramount in spring practice. You guys have split up teams for the spring game via a draft. How has that helped fuel the competition between the players?
COACH ALLEN: It has definitely intensified it for sure, and the coaches too. But it’s been neat to see. They had me go through and grade the draft of each team and it was amazing, I went through by position and there was an equal number of wins for each team. So I feel like it is pretty evenly distributed. Some areas are obviously stronger than others per position, but I think the coaches did a good job picking them. It just adds extra fuel to the fire to be competing for something more than anything and just the pride that your team won.
We’ve had competition as a very, very key part of our spring practices every single day. We were keeping track of those periods and who won each and have consequences for those winners and losers. It’s what it is all about, you’ve got to learn to compete. It’s fun to win and it stinks to lose and that’s how it’s going to be.