Today was a big day for fans of the Illinois Fighting Illini as head coach Tim Beckman took to the mic for the first time since the Spring Game. With his opening statement, Beckman made it clear what the strength of the team would be this upcoming season.
Well, we’re very, very excited. The first stat we talk about with our football team is if you look at our depth chart from the end of last year, you take the two deep and you look at your offense, defense, and special teams, and that rounds up to 50 football players. We have 40 of those guys back.
With depth being the focal point, there’s no doubt that Beckman would be asked about his QB situation. The Illini HC made it clear that the team is DEEP at the quarterback position.
You sit in your quarterback room there, Coach Cubit does, and they’ve got eight state championships just in that quarterback room. That’s outstanding.
However, it helps to have an experienced offensive line too.
But I think that our maturity of our offensive line, having four guys back that have played a lot of football together has been — the spring, we really didn’t have issues with that.
And what about the defense?
We need to make tremendous strides. We didn’t play well on defense last year. But again, you’ve got 18 faces out of the 22 on two deep that are back.
How are they getting better?
So you see their game getting better. You see that their bodies are getting bigger and they’re getting stronger and more physical. So we want those strides to continue to happen.
Beckman also talked about AD Mike Thomas’ expectations for 2014…
So Mike Thomas has asked for our program to continue to get better. And we did. I mean, we won more games. We won more away games. We won more home games. We have made strides to get better. Now, it’s not the numbers that we all want, but we did get better.
2014 Bowl Bid?
And in the long run, it’s not about what I want; it’s about what those players want. And I want them to be able to experience the opportunities to play in a bowl game. So it’s very, very important that these young men have that opportunity and get to just experience an opportunity like they did a couple of years ago going to San Francisco.
For the complete transcript of Tim Beckman Big Ten Media Day press conference, click here.
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