AUDIO: Bielema Brings in the Spread

Trying to prepare his team for the spread offenses and maybe taking some notes for the future, Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema talks about a number of topics, including John Clay, Daven Jones and running some spread options.

Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema -


You were working with Evridge and Phillips in the shotgun spread. Was that to give your defense that look or is that something you might use?

Bielema: A little of both. The one thing that I thougt from a year ago, we did not work enough spread in the spring. Based off what our quarterbacks can do, there are some things that they can do. Bottom line is we didn't do the shotgun because we didn't have a center that could snap the shotgun. Marcus couldn't snap it and this year we do (in John Moffitt). We're exploring the best of both worlds because it works great for our defense and our offense.

How much spread, if you like it, might you incorporate?

Well again, it depends on what I see and what we see. The one thing for Allan is that it seems like old times because I knew he ran it at Kansas State. Obviously Curt Phillips has done certain things. It just kind of depends on what our offense can do with it.

Do you like what John Clay has given you this spring?

The thing I like how John is he's a great competitor, very raw. John enjoys practice because I think he sees himself getting better everyday when it's important to him to make that progress. Everyday that he's out here you see more and more out of him. I like the way he competes and obviously he brings the football.

Do you think him putting on the weight has helped his mobility? He seems quicker than he has been.

The weight is different. The weight he is carrying now is a lot different since the first day that he came. I think that has helped him and I think he recognizes that. I was joke with his dad to see if he has any eligibility left because his dad is a pretty good, yoked up guy. John definitely has great genetics and hopefully it'll be able to carry over to the field for us.

You mentioned the wide receivers before. We haven't talked much about Daven Jones. How much progress has he made since the end of last year?

A little bit physically. He's up about 195, 196. When we recruited him out of high school, he was a guy that we were really excited about because we thought his potential down the line was really, really good. Since time, condition and football has gotten done to where we are right now, he's in better shape. He was away from football for really a year and a half. If you even remember the first couple of days, he was dropping balls. It just goes to show that if you are away from it, no matter how good of a football player you are, it can go away in a hurry.

Just catching balls everyday for him, he's a lot better at that. The thing about him is that he's got great size. Some of our wide receivers, Xavier, Maurice, are little guys, Daven is a big guy.

Did his time on special teams help him in terms of his confidence?

I think it did. We knew from an offensive point of view he was going to be limited to what he did. But I thought it was important to get him involved. If you look back to the Michigan State game where he flew down and busted it up. The thing I like about those Glenville (H.S.) guys is they love to compete. Sometimes when you deal with kids in recruiting, they get weary of guys that are coming in at their position if they are good players. Those Glenville kids just want good players all around. They want to bring the best players in at their position. It's something to be said to Coach Ginn and what he's able to preach there.

Bret you've got a couple guys going through ACL injuries. What's the key to rehabbing that?

Mental approach. I've had three of them. The thing that amazes me is that Allen Langford had a great mental approach, Jason Chapman had a great mental approach. If you go at it with an idea that it's a setback and do anything more than positive thinking, it could be detrimental. All of our guys, even Aaron Henry, we kind of had a rush of (ACL injuries) for a little bit and they all approach it the right way. Kudos goes out to Dr. Kaplan. He's the best I've been around since I've been in college football. I think he mentally approaches it the right way, which carries over to the kids.

How have your young defensive lineman been approaching this spring and what have you seen out of them?

At first, we did not if Patrick Butrym was going to be an inside-outside guy. We moved him to the inside and he probably had his best practice on Tuesday. Patrick is into it. Jasper (Grimes) has no understanding yet of what we need from him on every play but when I worked with him on the individual periods, good footwork, good strength and it's just something that has to carry over for him.

(Louis) Nzegwu can really move and he's got to have a bring spring for us and in turn, a big summer conditioning and in the fall, as well.

You said you felt (Elijah) Hodge would be limited today.

We were originally told that he wasn't probably going to scrimmage Saturday but what I saw from him today, he felt good. The positive thing there is if we don't get him on Saturday, we should have him full go for the rest of spring.

What's Casillas injury?

J.C. on the middle-inside drill planted a guy came down on him. I don't know how significant it is but he definitely hurt his ankle for a little bit. We might miss him for a couple of weeks.

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