College Football Media Day 2009: Big Ten Head Coach Translator

Sam Wenk@srwenk22Senior Analyst IJuly 27, 2009

The first day of Big Ten Media Days was chock full of quotes that left some fans and media scratching their heads.  Lucky for you, Bleacher Report was there live and able to take what each coach said and insert their confusing answers through the newly patented Head Coach Translator.  Enjoy...

Northwestern Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald

What He Said: “[After the contract extension,] I bought a couple wiffleballs from Target for my boys.  That was about the biggest splurge.”

Translation: Living in luxurious Evanston, Illinois isn’t exactly cheap.

What He Said: “Will Corey Wooton participate in every practice, probably not.  He was cleared a couple of weeks ago.  I fully anticipate him to be 100 percent by the opener.”

Translation: Basically, Corey Wooton is still hurt, but luckily we still have a few weeks to get our best player healthy.  The last thing I’m going to do is make him practice.

Illinois Head Coach Ron Zook

What He Said: “We didn’t reach those expectations [coming off the Rose Bowl loss].”

Translation: Can we change the subject?

What He Said: “There’s no question we need to get the ball in Rejus’s hands as much as possible.”

Translation: Arrelious ‘Rejus’ Benn isn’t the best player in the conference for no reason.

What He Said: “We’re all chasing Ohio State right now.  Anybody in this league can win this conference.”

Translation: Well, everybody except Indiana and Michigan. 

What He Said: “It’s hard for players and coaches to go 12 straight weeks. These guys have got a lot on their plate.”

Translation: How can we expect our college athletes to deal with teachers giving them extended deadlines, and the fans treating them like superheroes?

Wisconsin Head Coach Bret Bielema

What He Said: “We didn’t play well in last year’s bowl game.  We have to move on.”

Translation: Florida State destroyed us by 29 points, end of discussion.

What He Said: “I love to read the coaches' and players' comments about preparing to defend us.  Every coach talked about the difficulties of playing the Wisconsin offense.”

Translation: Every coach except Bobby Bowden.

What He Said: “If you play at Penn State [at home] and you beat them, you don’t have hot water [in the locker room shower].”

Translation: For some reason, we always seem to have hot water.

Michigan Head Coach Rich Rodriguez

What He Said: “I kind of know that the lights are bright at Michigan.  Obviously we have a lot of work to do.  Last year, we don’t want to talk about it.  I do expect us to be a lot better.  We need to get a few key areas shored up.”

Translation: There, I said it.  Last year we stunk.

What He Said: “I usually don’t worry about anyone else’s program.”

Translation: Well, unless the school rhymes with Mest Tirginia.

What He Said: “We ask our punters to do some unconventional things.  [Punter Zoltan Mesko] is great in the community and is one of our team leaders.  When our guys go through workouts, he’s right there in the middle of it.”

Translation: Yes, our punter is the best, as well as strongest, player on our team.

What He Said: “(Quarterback Tate Forcier) is still young and most of his buddies back in high school were getting ready for prom while he was getting ready for our spring game.  Tate did a lot of things in spring to improve himself.  We’re excited about him.  I have all the confidence in the world.”

Translation: My job status is in the hands of a teenager.

What He Said: “Once we win a big bowl game, [our perception] is going to change.”

Translation: Heck, once we reach a bowl game, our perception will change.

What He Said: “(Terrelle Pryor) can beat you in a lot of different ways.”

Translation: He can beat you on the field as well as off, like turning me down and signing with Ohio State.

What He Said: “I think (Ohio State) is the greatest rivalry in sports. We saw a few old ladies hold up some hand signals while we were driving in, but I had seen that before, too."

Translation: Yes, even old ladies make fun of me. 

Purdue Head Coach Danny Hope

What He Said: “(Quarterback Joey Elliot) is a guy that fans and experts don’t know a lot about.”

Translation: It’s hard to know a lot about a guy when he has thrown two touchdowns his entire career.

What He Said: “You’ve got to be your own man.  A lot of the things we’re going to do in the future will be done the Joe Tiller way.”

Translation: Man, Purdue fans are obsessed with Tiller.

What He Said: “Elliot was ready last year.  I thought he was a heck of a quarterback.  I’m a big-time Joey Elliot fan.  I’m a lot more comfortable [with our QB situation] than most people realize.”

Translation: I love Joey Elliot mainly because he is the only player anyone has heard of.

Minnesota Head Coach Tim Brewster

What He Said: “Eric Decker deserves a tremendous amount of praise.  I don’t think there is a better wide receiver in the country.”

Translation: If Decker gets hurt, our season is over.

What He Said: “I think the state of Minnesota is really excited about getting back outdoors (in new TCF Bank Stadium).  Hopefully we’re going to have some cold, snowy days and embrace the elements.  The cold is overblown.”

Translation: Wait, our new stadium doesn’t have a retractable roof?

What He Said: “I think for us to win a championship in the Big Ten, we have to play a higher caliber of opponent.”

Translation: Even a high school team can beat Indiana, so we need to play teams that actually have talent to be considered for a bowl game.

Ohio State Head Coach Jim Tressel

What He Said: “Spring practice was a lot of fun.  Our September is an extraordinary one.  Southern Cal comes in, enough said there.”

Translation: Hopefully, the early loss to USC will be forgotten by December.

What He Said: “When you step in and take over, I think that’s a difficult assignment.  Pryor has a real passion to do well.  For a freshman, he was pretty careful with the football.  There were some tough experiences along the way.  [The bowl game against Texas] was another lesson.  He is a guy that is passionate about being good.  He loves being on his own with his DVDs.”

Translation: The DVDs might not all be football related, but he does love them.

What He Said: “It’s difficult to replace a Beanie Wells.  He was the kind of guy that got stronger and stronger as the game went on.  You can’t replace exactly what he did.”

Translation: First round draft picks don’t exactly grow on trees.

What He Said: “As coaches, we all copy off each other.  Then you have to sort out, is that a good idea?”

Translation: Well, the coaches copy me.  I wouldn’t copy Rich Rodriguez if my life depended on it, much less my football team.

Indiana Head Coach Bill Lynch

What He Said: “Football is important at Indiana.  All kids are looking for that wow factor and they’re going to experience it this fall.”

Translation: The wow factor will mainly come from their reaction to the scoreboard revealing how fast we are going to be blown out each game.

What He Said: “The sororities [I visited] were a lot better than the fraternities! It was kind of a goodwill tour, and it was a lot of fun.”

Translation: Recruiting is a lot easier when you don’t even have to leave campus.

What He Said: “There’s a new face to Indiana football.”

Translation: Now that I kicked Kellen Lewis out, any face is better than his.

Michigan State Head Coach Mark Dantonio

What He Said: “One of the things you have to do to grow is experience a little bit of pain.”

Translation: Watching Javon Ringer graduate is about all the pain I could tolerate. 

What He Said: “We played against an outstanding quarterback [Matthew Stafford], but we kept most of his throws under 10 yards.”

Translation: Yet somehow those throws still accumulated for 250 yards, three touchdowns, and Stafford eventually becoming the No. 1 overall draft pick.  And we lost by 12.

What He Said: “Great rivalry [with Michigan], it's intense and it should be intense.”

Translation: Now that Rich Rod is there, I own this state.

Penn State Head Coach Joe Paterno

What He Said: “I’m not sure right now where we [our football team] are.  I don’t want to make this too long.”

Translation: I only have so many more days on this earth, please don’t waste my time.

What He Said: “Oh I miss you guys.  I just enjoy [coaching], I enjoy the competition, I enjoy being around young people.  I don’t think I’ve reached that [retirement day] yet.  I’m just reluctant to get out of it right now.”

Translation: Everyone knows I will coach until the day I die.

What He Said: “I can’t be looking forward to whom we’ll be playing in 2020. I might be dumb, but I’m not that dumb.  I might be optimistic, but I’m not that optimistic.”

Translation: How could I look forward to who we’ll be playing in 11 years?  My grandkids will nearly be retired.

What He Said: “The only thing I found out is I get a little tired [after hip surgery].  I used to walk 4, 5, 6 miles every morning, but now I’m working up to do what I used to do.  There’s no reservation on it.”

Translation: No, my hip will not be a reason I stop coaching, so stop asking!

What He Said: "You guys have to talk about something. The fans have got to put something on those, what do you guys call those things, Twittle-do? Twittle-dee? I haven't got the slightest idea what you're looking at."

Translation: *ERROR.  Translation malfunction, input too hysterical.*

Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz

What He Said: “What a great year Shonn Greene had.”

Translation: Any time a single player is the reason for a team’s success, it’s considered a great year.

What He Said: “Every time a staff changes, you have a new philosophy.  You’ve seen coaches come in their first year and [have success] right off the bat.”

Translation: Well, everyone except Rich Rodriguez and Danny Hope.

What He Said: “[The SEC] has a tremendous conference.”

Translation: Yeah, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Auburn, Vanderbilt, and even Kentucky would probably wipe the floor with us.


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