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Old Aug 6, 2017, 03:28 PM   #426
CHEEF
Location: Loda, IL
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After rewatching last season's B1G games I saw a lot of plays that would have turned the game around- all of which being fundamental errors. Muffed punts, terrible penalties, and overall confusion on both sides of the ball. If this staff can eliminate things like this then I see 5+ win season being very attainable.
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Old Aug 6, 2017, 05:32 PM   #427
VAIllini35
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Originally Posted by ILL_INI View Post
I don't share your enthusiasm for the offense, nothing against McGee or Crouch. I'll be pleasantly surprised if Crouch is healthy enough to play more than half the season. I base that strictly on his fearless style of play.
I am assuming he's been coached to play smart and likely learned his lesson from last year. If he is as football savvy as the coach says, he should have figured it out. What about the O last year are fans so in love with that they don't see an improvement this year? A good arm didn't do much for us without mobility and receivers that could not get open.

We also couldn't run half the offense with out a mobile QB.
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Old Aug 6, 2017, 05:48 PM   #428
ballislife17
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Originally Posted by VAIllini35 View Post
I am assuming he's been coached to play smart and likely learned his lesson from last year. If he is as football savvy as the coach says, he should have figured it out. What about the O last year are fans so in love with that they don't see an improvement this year? A good arm didn't do much for us without mobility and receivers that could not get open.

We also couldn't run half the offense with out a mobile QB.


Crouch and JGJ have been throwing a lot of picks at camp so far.

Let's hope that's just because of our elite secondary


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Old Aug 6, 2017, 06:34 PM   #429
IllinoisFanAtFSU
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Crouch and JGJ have been throwing a lot of picks at camp so far.

Let's hope that's just because of our elite secondary


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In an average year, the defense always has the advantage at the beginning of camp. That goes for almost every team at almost every level. Getting chemistry between all of the offense's moving parts takes time, while a defense can still react and play instinctively/aggressively no matter the grasp on scheme and others' responsibilities. Both will improve but the offense more dramatically, and then it'll truly be up to which unit is better.
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Old Aug 6, 2017, 08:12 PM   #430
LFOD
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Originally Posted by VAIllini35 View Post
Chayce had a QB rating of 127 last year when he was in. And our 'passer' qb had about the same completion percentage. This year we have DudeK available and the threat of a qb who can tuck it and run. That loosens up the D considerably - especially with WR who can separate from the D. I think we net up re: ability to run more plays and options - that can only help vs a Stand and chuck QB style. Yes, Yes, sample size is small, but one could argue its tougher to have a small sample size and do well - it means you may have come in off the bench cold. And QBs and WRs should gel more as time goes on. Jury is out but overall i think we net up on O with Chayce in there and another year under this offense.
I'm becoming a big Crouch fan. And of course Dudek is a great target. I'm more worried about the OL. I think it'll be tough to score points this year.
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Old Aug 6, 2017, 08:17 PM   #431
LFOD
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Agreed. I think 2-4 wins depending on how depleted our/their team is that week. But I don't think a 3 win season means Lovie is a failure at Illinois this year. I think low win totals for the first two seasons are pretty much a foregone conclusion (or at least SUPER probable given the lack of veteran players and depth).

Given the project Lovie Smith has inherited I think giving him 4-5 years before we can say he's successful or not. IMHO I think the staff has done a TON of work on the recruiting side and it's starting to really pay off. They've got talented kids coming in. Build the lines, focus on a balanced offense with running backs that force the D's respect. That's going to make the QB's job a lot easier. I think we'll keep the passing quick and safe with some deep balls to keep the D honest. I just want Crouch to stay healthy when he runs.

Can we take care of the ball on the offense? That's a big concern for me. Turnovers = losses this year.

Pretty much same as last year with a worse schedule... I hope we see more gains on the recruiting front. I love what I see from this staff every afternoon. It's going to be a rough year on the win total column, but it's going to be fun to see our youngsters develop. Illini football is going to be exciting to watch if our boosters and fans don't lose their minds after having a rough season this year. Just because it's not easy doesn't mean it can't be done. The change is real people. It's just not going to happen over night. When Lovie & Co. go to their first bowl game, I am going with them.
Great post. It takes years to improve the talent and implement a system. I think what's important is that we don't get all down and negative if this is a tough season. It SHOULD BE a tough season. But as you stated, I'll be looking for the bright spots ... looking for takeaways on defense, enjoying Dudek's return, watching a TR O-lineman that is a monster but still learning. This is gonna be one of those kinda seasons.
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Old Aug 6, 2017, 09:33 PM   #432
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I'm expecting this season to be a lot like 2006. Maybe not a better record, perhaps a surprise win or two, but clear signs of improvement.

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Old Aug 6, 2017, 11:17 PM   #433
EJ33
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Originally Posted by lexwaldez View Post
Agreed. I think 2-4 wins depending on how depleted our/their team is that week. But I don't think a 3 win season means Lovie is a failure at Illinois this year. I think low win totals for the first two seasons are pretty much a foregone conclusion (or at least SUPER probable given the lack of veteran players and depth).

Given the project Lovie Smith has inherited I think giving him 4-5 years before we can say he's successful or not. IMHO I think the staff has done a TON of work on the recruiting side and it's starting to really pay off. They've got talented kids coming in. Build the lines, focus on a balanced offense with running backs that force the D's respect. That's going to make the QB's job a lot easier. I think we'll keep the passing quick and safe with some deep balls to keep the D honest. I just want Crouch to stay healthy when he runs.

Can we take care of the ball on the offense? That's a big concern for me. Turnovers = losses this year.

Pretty much same as last year with a worse schedule... I hope we see more gains on the recruiting front. I love what I see from this staff every afternoon. It's going to be a rough year on the win total column, but it's going to be fun to see our youngsters develop. Illini football is going to be exciting to watch if our boosters and fans don't lose their minds after having a rough season this year. Just because it's not easy doesn't mean it can't be done. The change is real people. It's just not going to happen over night. When Lovie & Co. go to their first bowl game, I am going with them.
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Great post. It takes years to improve the talent and implement a system. I think what's important is that we don't get all down and negative if this is a tough season. It SHOULD BE a tough season. But as you stated, I'll be looking for the bright spots ... looking for takeaways on defense, enjoying Dudek's return, watching a TR O-lineman that is a monster but still learning. This is gonna be one of those kinda seasons.
I hope most fans understand this. Robert @alioneye described the first practices as looking like an "expansion team." It's just unreasonable to expect much this year given the youth and lack of depth.

The "W" I care about this year is closing another solid recruiting class - hopefully a little better than last year, but no worse. The key metric to look at is the average player rating since we'll have a smaller class. The challenge for Lovie is to continue selling into a strong headwind of losses this year. I'm just hoping we look smarter and more competitive on the field so that recruits will continue to believe his pitch. If he can hold it together this year and close a good class then I think he'll be well on his way towards a brighter future.
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Old Aug 7, 2017, 03:18 AM   #434
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I think something to always remember in every sport is that the standings are a zero sum game. For every position we move up, someone else must move down. So not only do we need get better, we need to get better than they get better to move up in the standings.

End of my philosophizing for the day. Though that said, #wewillwin
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Old Aug 7, 2017, 05:09 AM   #435
Konnie
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Have the football season ticket sales been good or bad this year? I have not seen any report on the sales.
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Old Aug 7, 2017, 11:29 AM   #436
IllinoisFanAtFSU
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I appreciate the pragmatism in this discussion, but I think we will be better than last year on the field and in the W-L column.

Positions that are improved: LB, WR, RB, S
Positions that are question marks: DL, CB, OL
Positions that are a wash: QB, TE
Wildcard: Special teams

Our ceiling with a healthy OL and the young DL stepping up is 6-6. Our floor, given a bad OL injury or two, is 3-9. We can stop with the doomsday jargon folks. Looking at our depth chart actually encouraged me of what this team is capable.

I am happy to hear fans saying that they will be patient even if it is a 2-10 season though, that bodes well for Lovie and crew.
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Old Aug 7, 2017, 01:50 PM   #437
HR217
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I think the OL is actually improved. We just still dont have a lot of depth yet.
CB is kind of a 1/2 question. Dunlap is an ace corner.

There is A LOT of young talent on this team. The future looks good.
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Old Aug 7, 2017, 02:11 PM   #438
ChiefIllini
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I think the OL is actually improved.
Any offensive line that features at least 2 freshman starters and a sophomore or 2 is going to struggle.

As bad as we were offensively last year, I would be hard pressed to see this line panning out better than last years.
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Old Aug 7, 2017, 02:16 PM   #439
champaignchris
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Dunlap is an ace corner.
And one heck of a nice kid. I'm a fan.

The schedule really isn't that tough. Problem is we're basically rolling a junior college team out there.

3 wins is likely. 4 wins would be a clear sign of a improvement. 5 wins and a back door bowl invite could happen if all the balls bounce our way.

We have to remember that this is the new coaching staff's true first season. Any positive results we see this year are a year ahead of schedule.
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Old Aug 7, 2017, 02:16 PM   #440
Madco Illini
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Originally Posted by ChiefIllini View Post
Any offensive line that features at least 2 freshman starters and a sophomore or 2 is going to struggle.

As bad as we were offensively last year, I would be hard pressed to see this line panning out better than last years.
I actually think it will be better run blocking but significantly worse in pass pro. Hopefully our wr can get open earlier bc crouch def won't have time to sit in the pocket.

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Old Aug 7, 2017, 03:49 PM   #441
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I actually think it will be better run blocking but significantly worse in pass pro. Hopefully our wr can get open earlier bc crouch def won't have time to sit in the pocket.

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He's also way more mobile and has a chance to make something happen when protection breaks down.
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Old Aug 7, 2017, 04:46 PM   #442
EJ33
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Jeremy Werner is on the radio right now throwing cold water on the delusional optimism about the OL and QB. Talking about practice today he's saying things like "the quarterbacks are running for their lives" and "quarterbacks are struggling with accuracy." None of this should be a surprise.
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Old Aug 7, 2017, 05:11 PM   #443
BigStan97
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Jeremy Werner is on the radio right now throwing cold water on the delusional optimism about the OL and QB. Talking about practice today he's saying things like "the quarterbacks are running for their lives" and "quarterbacks are struggling with accuracy." None of this should be a surprise.


Keep in mind everyone.....this is camp....a chance to mix and match players all over the field to see how they perform.

Pair that with the odds of people being out with minor injuries that are most likely starters and you have a melting pot of kids trying to execute.

I would love to ask Jeremy some real football questions about what he saw at practice.

What's the odds that the OL that has been put on the field right now in camp is our best 5 guys? I would say maybe 25%.

So please everyone take what these so called reporters saw with a grain of salt. Until we get to end of camp or week of game 1. Then I will take what they say a little more to heart. Right now only in the second week of camp- grain of salt.

Same thing with the "struggling with accuracy" comment.

Is our first team OL in there? Is our top pass catchers in on that play ? With being only the second week of camp. I'd say slim to zero chance.
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Old Aug 7, 2017, 05:48 PM   #444
IllinoisFanAtFSU
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Keep in mind everyone.....this is camp....a chance to mix and match players all over the field to see how they perform.

Pair that with the odds of people being out with minor injuries that are most likely starters and you have a melting pot of kids trying to execute.

I would love to ask Jeremy some real football questions about what he saw at practice.

What's the odds that the OL that has been put on the field right now in camp is our best 5 guys? I would say maybe 25%.

So please everyone take what these so called reporters saw with a grain of salt. Until we get to end of camp or week of game 1. Then I will take what they say a little more to heart. Right now only in the second week of camp- grain of salt.

Same thing with the "struggling with accuracy" comment.

Is our first team OL in there? Is our top pass catchers in on that play ? With being only the second week of camp. I'd say slim to zero chance.
Co-signed all of the above.

I also want to reiterate that early on in camps, offenses struggle. It is one of the laws of football camp. If we are hearing the same reports consistently in the next couple weeks, then there is legitimate cause for concern. I'm no seer but I bet we will see an article from one of the traditional Illinois news outlets raving about the offense's performance in a practice or two within the next 5-7 practices.
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Old Aug 7, 2017, 07:48 PM   #445
Dan
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Awesome play between two impressive #Illini freshman. Tony Adams won this battle over Ricky Smalling though.
https://twitter.com/JWernerScout/sta...60417544495104




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Old Aug 7, 2017, 08:29 PM   #446
3DegreeIllini
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Co-signed all of the above.

I also want to reiterate that early on in camps, offenses struggle. It is one of the laws of football camp. If we are hearing the same reports consistently in the next couple weeks, then there is legitimate cause for concern. I'm no seer but I bet we will see an article from one of the traditional Illinois news outlets raving about the offense's performance in a practice or two within the next 5-7 practices.
https://sports.yahoo.com/greg-schian...154349058.html

Pre-season hype, sure. But not likely to be pretty.
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Old Aug 7, 2017, 08:50 PM   #447
drwillini
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I think we keep Crouch, Dudek and a couple top RBs healthy all year we can be close to 0.500. Like somebody said earlier, a WR like Dudek that stretches the field, and a QB that is not afraid to tuck it if there is nothing there REALLY keeps the defense honest. But like so many past Illini teams, we have no margin for error. We are pinning our hopes on a QB that was healthy for one start, and a WR that has missed both of last seasons. My heart says no problem, my head says don't get your hopes up.

This season is worth a lot. If for some reason we stay healthy, we are rolling. This current recruiting class looks to be a lot like last years, both an upgrade in talent, especially on the lines. So far Lovie is recruiting on his reputation and playing time, and laying a foundation. Some W/L momentum will be huge in the next class. Putting three good classes back to back will get us there. Capping two good classes with a great class will have us competing in the West a year later, when the great class are sophs and redshirt freshmen.

Tighten your seat belts. This is looking like the 80s to me in football and basketball.
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Old Aug 7, 2017, 11:48 PM   #448
EJ33
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Jeremy Werner posted some good photos of the team: free link

My favorite is Larry Boyd next to Jake Stover (who, BTW, is 6'3" 295).

Also of note, Ricky Smalling does not look like a freshman. I guess that's what 4 stars looks like.
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Old Aug 8, 2017, 09:25 AM   #449
wma500
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Originally Posted by BigStan97 View Post
Keep in mind everyone.....this is camp....a chance to mix and match players all over the field to see how they perform.

Pair that with the odds of people being out with minor injuries that are most likely starters and you have a melting pot of kids trying to execute.

I would love to ask Jeremy some real football questions about what he saw at practice.

What's the odds that the OL that has been put on the field right now in camp is our best 5 guys? I would say maybe 25%.

So please everyone take what these so called reporters saw with a grain of salt. Until we get to end of camp or week of game 1. Then I will take what they say a little more to heart. Right now only in the second week of camp- grain of salt.

Same thing with the "struggling with accuracy" comment.

Is our first team OL in there? Is our top pass catchers in on that play ? With being only the second week of camp. I'd say slim to zero chance.
Same could be said on the defensive side of the ball then too. Odds that the D line is the best 4 guys?

No doubt that defenses tend to have the advantage early in camp, and no doubt O line play, unfortunately, take a while to develop. I don't think the visuals of what's been seen so far can be fully discounted. O line play and QB accuracy are going to be essential to a successful season.
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Old Aug 8, 2017, 10:44 AM   #450
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Looks like one of WKU's starting cornerbacks just went down for the year with a knee injury.
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