Illinois Head Coach Tim Beckman had barely left the podium at today’s B1G Media Day and the first negative shot towards the Illinois Football program had already been fired.
Tim Beckman on losing Nathan Scheelhaase: “How do you replace a four-year starter?” Illinois was 6-18 last two, so shouldn’t be too hard.
— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) July 28, 2014
I get it, I really do.
Anyone that’s paid attention knows Illinois hasn’t been busy lighting the world on fire in the win column under Beckman, but it’s beyond me why anyone would feel the need to take a shot, not only at Beckman, but at an outgoing QB coming off a career season that led the B1G in passing yardage and completion percentage who is the kind of player, and person, that virtually every coach in the NCAA would have liked to have representing both their program and their university.
Beckman was simply trying to tip his cap to a player who turned in a career year a season ago who tried his best to guide Illinois back onto the path towards respectability.
Honestly, comments like this are to be expected because Illinois hasn’t done much winning the past two seasons to help keep both local and national negativity silenced, but the detractors should still use some common sense when sniping away on social media or in full blown blog posts.
A 6-18 record the past two seasons is in no way reflective of Nathan Scheelhaase’s performance as a quarterback. If anything, those 6 wins were because of how he played, not despite it.
Those who choose to follow the program closer than checking a final score and watching a highlight package know that there is a chance that last year’s Illini could have represented the B1G in a bowl had the defense done a better job as a whole throughout the season. The coaches know it, and so do the players.
Things are going to change, and it’s going to happen sooner than most people think. With an influx of talented defensive linemen already in the fold the turnaround will begin this season. It will be a point of emphasis, and it will get fixed.
Gone will be the days of opposing running backs registering 200 yards game in and game out, and when that happens watch out because the Illini offense is filled with talent and an offensive coordinator who knows exactly how to turn talent into production.
A new day is on the horizon, and there’s nothing wrong with patiently waiting for that day to arrive without feeding into the negativity that tries to infiltrate every fanbase who suffers through prolonged losing.
It’s a day that many Illini fans can’t wait to see come to fruition because that will be the day that writers like Yahoo’s Pat Forde will have to start looking elsewhere for a program to use as a punchline, and if they don’t, the joke will be on them.