Spring Q&A: Ted Gilmore

After spending 18 years in the college ranks and the last three seasons with the Oakland Raiders, Ted Gilmore is now in charge of Wisconsin's young wide receivers and is challenging the group to increase their readiness.

BadgerNation: What attracted you to the opportunity to coach at Wisconsin?

Ted Gilmore: I’ve respected the program from afar for a lot of years. They have done a lot of good things here. More importantly from what I know about Coach Paul Chryst, as far as the environment he is going to create, it’s not just about football. It’s about molding young men and teaching young men. The x’s and o’s will take care of itself if you invest in people. That really stood out to me.

BN: What do you think you’ve learn the most from your long tenure at USC and your time in the NFL?

TG: Good, bad, indifferent, I try to learn from every situation, whether I would do that or implement that or wouldn’t implement that. I don’t think that has anything to do with the NFL or college because what I found out in the NFL, guys who are making a living, ask the same questions as these young men. They still want to be coached; they still want to be developed and they still want to get good at their craft. That part of it wasn’t any different for me. For me the NFL is more managing. I always wanted to get back to the molding, shaping, teaching and developing.

BN: When you got here and got a chance to start working with this young group of receivers, what were some of the impressions you got from them?

TG: I was telling my wife that I don’t know if it’s so much that I forgot, maybe I took it for granted how many hats you wear as a college coach. Like I said, it was refreshing. The wide eyes, the questions they asked, they genuinely want information, they want to work and they want to get better.

BN: Did you watch a lot of film on what these players did last year or did you want to come into it with a blank slate?

TG: I watched tape but I haven’t watched tape to the point of trying to nix a guy. It’s watching tape to try to get familiar with the personnel as much as anything. Obviously prior to taking the job over the course of that two-to-three weeks and talking back and forth, I kind of had an idea of who they had on their roster. I knew there was a gap that had to be filled in terms of getting some of these young guys ready to play. That’s our challenge. We need more than two guys.

BN: Is that a challenge you feel your group can meet this season? In the last few years before you arrived here, that was the main challenge of the offense in getting multiple receivers to step up consistently.

TG: That’s the million dollar question and that’s been laid out to them. That’s what we’re going to strive for. I’m going to push them and keep the thumb on them. Hopefully the light will come on for a couple of them.

BN: What’s the big thing you are trying to teach these players over spring football?

TG: It’s the fundamentals. Obviously we’ve got to know what to do and how to do it. The way Coach has the practice set up, it’s been great for me as far as them hearing a new voice, hearing things I’m emphasizing, getting on the same page and learning the new system and what Coach wants out of the system. We’re not going to throw a lot of information at them early but are whole intent is to know how to do it, why they’re doing it and doing it better than anyone else.

BN: Another hat you have to wear in college is recruiting. What do you enjoy about going on the road and doing that aspect of the job?

TG: For me, and I know it’s changed in the few years I haven’t done it with social media and all that, but I’m still going to recruit the way I always do it and that’s about building relationships. That’s the only way I know how. I’m not a guy with all the social savviness. That’s not me. I understand that I have to learn it and there’s a need and a place for some of it, but I’m going to tell the young men I want to talk to you. I don’t want to tweet you. I want to talk and have conversations. It’s still about building relationships. That won’t ever change.

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