Between the lines: Illinois week
Every Tuesday at lunch, Chef Tress sits down with the media and holds his weekly press conference. There are a lot of questions and answers, and a lot gets said. Here is our weekly look at what was “unsaid” by both reporters and Tressel. We try to read Tressel’s mind … er, between the lines.
Tressel [referring to the defensive effort and the pressure on Opelt]: I’ve probably not seen more throwaways in a game than I saw in that game and obviously the young man was well coached. If there’s nothing there, don’t just throw it up for grabs, and he didn’t. He threw it out of bounds a number of times[.]
Reading between the lines: God, I hope Terrelle was watching that because the next time he gets pressured, gets shuffle feet, and throws a jump pass for an interception, I am going to body slam the nearest headphone holder. I mean, Jesus, what is that move? It is not all that often that he receives enough pressure that he needs to throw the ball away so it should be easy for him to recognize that moment. Obviously, we need to practice that and whatnot.
T: We didn’t have a Jack Tatum hit candidate this particular week and we had some guys do a good job on the scout team.
BTL: They barely had enough plays down field downfield for our guys to make plays. Seriously, I think their longest play was about 28 yards. You can imagine how hard it is to get a big hit when the other team averages 1 yard per carry. Our defensive line was gobbling those muthas up so fast that Jermales, Kurt, and B-Rolle barely had a chance to warm up those shoulder pads. I am not complaining, though. It is nice to get a gimme every now and again.
T: And then Chris Fields, wide receiver from Painesville Harvey, I think Chris is going to be a good player. I told Darrell Hazell and those guys more than once that Chris reminds me of the way that Santonio looked as a freshman. I think Chris Fields is going to be a good football player and we’ll see if he gets to the Santonio Holmes level. Santonio obviously climbed, but at this moment, I’ve got a lot of good feel about what he’s going to become.
BTL: This kid is going to be sick. Remember, when I almost played Santonio against Miami in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl? Well, I did. And, then by the end of the next season against Kansas State he was clearly our best player. Man, those were the good old days. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, as long as Chris can manage to not get arrested until after he is drafted, we will be cool.
Let’s take some questions…
T [regarding the offensive line play and false starts]: Well, we’ve got to go off on the count, but I thought J.B. did some good things. He’s a young guy playing a tough position. These ends, as we head into Big Ten play, are going to be good ones, but he’s got to progress, as does Mike, as does Andrew. We’ve probably still, in our minds, are thinking that Corey Linsley and Marcus Hall may redshirt, but we’ll just have to keep playing along, because we think that we can be contributors as we go, but they’ve got to keep getting better.
BTL: If they are getting anxious against the Rockets, they are going to be eaten alive in Happy Valley. I don’t care how many injuries they have. Do you remember Tamba Hali in 2005? I guarantee you that Troy does. Ouch! Man, he blew right past Kirk Barton on that play. Whew, bad times.
REPORTER: Did Jordan Hall impress you in his late game running there and how much will that earn him more playing time?
T: You know, Jordan’s been impressive since he’s been here. He’s a hard-nosed kid, studies the game, has done well running the football every chance he’s gotten, so now that we’ve seen him in a game, obviously it makes it easier to put him into a game, but, no, he’s going to be a good player. He’s a tough oh he’s a tough kid.
BTL: Seriously, I just want one guy to step up and play well at tailback. I don’t care who it is or what year he graduates. We thought Boom was that guy this season but I think he is barely averaging 2 yards a carry. It just seems like he runs to contact, like he is looking to engage the defender. It is weird. I will not even mention all the short yardage runs he has failed on. Ick. Obviously, that is upsetting. So, yes, Jordan Hall; step right up and take as many snaps as you can handle. We’re dying over here.
REPORTER: As honorary captain, will Coach Bruce give the pregame speech?
T: Yes. Our honorary captain always addresses the squad at the pregame meal because it’s too late once we get to the locker room.
BTL: Yes, he will address the team and, yes, he will likely scare them and reinforce all stereotypes of the elderly in society. Have you heard him speak recently. Whoa! This is going to be hilarious…I mean, inspirational.
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