Big Ten Coaches Address Media

Selected quotes from various Big Ten head coaches at Big Ten Media Days.

Last season, in a spread offense, Denard Robinson set a FBS record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 1,538. This year he will have to adapt his skills to new head coach Brady Hoke's pro-style offense. Hoke talked about Robinson's transition to the new scheme.

COACH BRADY HOKE: Very excited. He's done a tremendous job. I can tell you, he ran the same offense in high school, which is a plus. One of the big differences is the mechanics of taking the snap from center, the footwork, the run game, the foot patterns, the play-action game. He was ahead of the curve a little bit. I think Al Borges has done a tremendous job with him.

We are smart enough, which I would -- people usually don't say that about me -- but we're smart enough to have elements he does well from what he did in the past in the spread in our offense.

Ohio State head coach Luck Fickell discusses coaching against Michigan's Brady Hoke and starting a new era in the Ohio State/Michigan rivalry.

COACH LUKE FICKELL: As you know, that's an exciting time, no matter what. If that starts hopefully a long rivalry as some of the ones in the past have had, that's what it's all about. Nobody will overlook that. I know that's not something that will ever be overlooked at Ohio State. Obviously look forward to that rivalry, continuing that great tradition.

The Big Ten's newest coach, Bo Pelini commented on playing new teams this season.

COACH BO PELINI: We prepare like we do any other time. We always find the new teams on our schedule. We put a little bit more time into those. Obviously we have 11 of them this year. That required a lot more time. It creates a greater challenge for us. But at the end of the day, I feel great about the preparation we've had. That started for me way back in February, our staff. We put a lot of work in. We feel good about where we are in that process. I think it will continue right up until we kick it off next week.

Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema spoke of coaching a 2011 squad that has just 11 starters returning.

COACH BRET BIELEMA: One of the great things I learned during the Coach (Barry) Alvarez time, when I was the defensive coordinator, he talks about one thing that never graduates is tradition. Players leave, you pat them on the back. I called all my guys yesterday that signed NFL free agency contracts, excited for them. You concentrate your efforts on the guys you have coming back. Those guys that won a Big Ten championship a year ago are back with us, the guys that weren't NFL eligible.


Gopher Illustrated Top Stories