Tim Beckman met with media on Monday.
Sept. 23, 2013
Head coach Tim Beckman met with the media at his weekly press conference on Monday. Selected quotes are below. For the full video of the press conference, please click the link above.
"Had an outstanding week, to be honest with you. Gave us a chance to really evaluate some of things we had been doing for the last three weeks. Evaluate our team and also get some recruiting done, so it was great for our players. We had our fourth practice last night - in the amount of time since the Washington game. I love the spirit of this football team. I love the willingness to get better on the things we felt we needed to get better on. On defense, obviously tackling and giving up some big, long passes. On offense, just continuing on a consistent basis, making the play when you have the opportunity to make the play, especially when you're playing a top-25 team like we were a couple weeks ago. I'm proud of the way the kids have worked out and the way this team has worked out, and we look forward to a Miami football team and being back here at home on Dads Weekend."
Do you think the timing of the bye week was a positive thing?
"Yeah, I do. As young as we are and the nicks and grinds and soreness that some of the guys have. We were able to get them a little rest, but we were still able to, as I told them, work their minds. They were able to get in and evaluate themselves in the last three games. As a coaching staff, we were out on the road doing some things, but I was able to sit back with Coach Banks and a couple of the other coaches that stayed in and got to evaluate. So it was a good time to evaluate after the first quarter (of the season), as we call it."
How do you improve the team's tackling?
"Just getting back to the basics. It was a lot of missed tackles out in the open field. We were in a couple man situations where, in man-to-man, your vision is on the wide receiver and we missed a tackle on the wide receiver that they're throwing the football to, and it breaks out and we lose leverage because we're concentrating so much on covering our man. Again, it's just the stuff that we've been trying to utilize to get ourselves better and its just work. You have to work on tackling; you're going to work on tackling every day. It's not like you're going to take a day off on tackling on defense, so you just have to improve and get better out in the open field and swarm tackle as much as we possibly can. "
On the Cincinnati/Miami (Ohio) game from last week:
"I thought Miami came out and played a good football game, had their chances and opportunities to win it, made some key turnovers to keep Cincinnati out of the end zone, but just couldn't get the ball in the end zone. I see about the same thing, I've known Coach Treadwell for a long time and respect what he has done at Michigan State and Miami, so I know they're in the process of building, also. So you can see them in the three games, from Marshall down to Cincinnati, they have gotten to become a much better football team."
On Aaron Bailey's contributions:
"I'm happy for him. The kid loves the game, he loves this team, and he loves Illinois. It's a great feeling as a head football coach because he is very spirited in what he would like to get accomplished and very spirited in making this football team the best that it can be, and I think it will just progress, as I've stated before, after this first quarter. We're going into the second quarter now; you'll see that Aaron can become more involved in the offensive game plan. "
How important to the defense is Jonathan Brown?
"Jonathan is a great player and I've been very, very blessed in my time of coaching the defensive side ball with some outstanding linebackers, guys that do win the Butkus (Award) and guys drafted in the first five picks in the NFL. Jonathan Brown is an outstanding football player. I love the way he studies the game on his own or with the freshmen, the Mason Monheims last year. Even when Jonathan was hurt, he was still there for Mason and Mike Svetina. I think a lot of people see what he does on Saturday, but he practices that way and when he comes to the fieldhouse or comes over to watch film, he is all in and he wants to make sure that this football team is moving forward. It is very important to him."