Wednesday was a very important day for head coach Tim Beckman and his Illinois Fighting Illini. It would be the first time that Illini Nation and the Big Ten Conference would see what kind of team to expect from Illinois in 2013.
Tim Beckman began his press conference at the Big Ten Media Day by saying that he is “anxious” about this upcoming season for the Illini. Not anxious as in “worried,” but more as in “eager” to play football in 2013.
Coach Beckman answered a ton of questions during his press conference on Wednesday, and with no surprise the biggest topic surrounding the team was the offense and, more specifically, the quarterback situation.
When asked about the quarterbacks, Tim Beckman said the right thing by stating that Nathan Scheelhaase is the Illini’s starting quarterback. He also stated that Scheelhaase has had a successful spring with new offensive coordinator Bill Cubit’s new system.
He also discussed how Reilly O’Toole will need to limit the turnovers from the 2013 Spring Game and that he will need to work on his decision making on the field. He even mentioned freshman Aaron Bailey and said that he will have the opportunity to complete at Illinois.
Also, head coach Tim Beckman was asked about new OC Bill Cubit and what his impact will be for the Fighting Illini.
First thing Beckman said was:
“I don’t know if words can describe what he’s meant to this team.”
Following that, he expressed the leadership that Cubit brings to the coaching staff at Illinois and his experience as a playcaller in college football.
One of the only questions about the entire Illinois football team on Wednesday came in the form of team depth.
Coach Beckman expressed how team depth was an issue in his first year with the Fighting Illini, but talked what was done to fix that. He discussed how Illinois brought in 33 players this offseason and five of those players are from Junior College.
He went on to say that the depth will not be an easy fix and how Illinois might need to recruit like this for the next two to three years.
The only rough spot in Tim Beckman’s press conference came when he was asked about the team’s slogan, “Whatever is Necessary Today.” or “W.I.N. today.” This came up because Northwestern has a slogan called W.I.N. or “What’s Important Now.”
When asked about where he came up with the slogan, Beckman said:
“For us, it means whatever’s needed, we added today to it. So it’s WIN today. Only worry about one thing at a time, that’s day-by-day. We’re going to do whatever is necessary for us to be successful that day.”
Coach Beckman handled this question gracefully and kept the focus on Illinois. This is something that Illini Nation will see especially with the Chicago Homecoming Game this season because Northwestern calls themselves “Chicago’s Big Ten team.”
Overall, I thought it was a nice press conference for head coach Tim Beckman. Would I have like a little more at times? Yes, but none the less it was a solid press conference.
My only negative was that he talked a lot about the offense and said almost nothing about the defense, but that was due to the questions from the media asking about the offense.
I believe Beckman gave the image of Illinois football that the fans want to see and the confidence that we’ve all been waiting for. Now all that’s left is to win some more games in 2013.
What do you think, Illini Nation? What are you taking away from Tim Beckman’s press conference at the Big Ten Media Days?
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