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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 26, Digital 6

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Page 15 of 110

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 26, ISSUE 6 14 that change comes optimism. "The energy in the building right now is unbelievable. That's really good from this seat," Hazell said in mid-June. "Guys are up here all the time, wanting to learn the new systems, and I think the older guys have done a good job with being much better leaders, too. I think that's helped us. People speaking up, 'Now is the time.' It helps that (coaches) don't have to say it all the time." Players have adopted other say- ings. Director of sports performance Duane Carlisle's "earn your check" mantra during the spring hit deep for many of those players on cam- pus for discretionary workouts — a figure, 44, that was the most in the Hazell Era. They thought of it every time they thought they were finished, willing themselves to do another rep, an- other sprint, another max. Receivers coach Gerad Park- er had been telling his players, "It ain't personal — but it is." And that got underneath their skin, in the best way, and they shared it with other teammates and the group un- derstood. It became a rallying cry, of sorts, over the summer. "It's just because the last three seasons have gone the way they have and we haven't been as suc- cessful as we want them to, we've lost a lot of respect from our oppo- nents and the media and the fan- base," said senior receiver Cam- eron Posey, explaining the idea of the phrase. "It's just kind of what we like to say, 'It's not personal, but it really is.' It's not their fault that they don't respect us because we haven't done what we're supposed to do. But, again, we have to take it personally because if not, we'll just keep being the joke of the Big Ten, and that's not what we want. So we need to flip it around. "It motivates everybody. So it's good to hear it. It just keeps it in mind that we haven't done what we're supposed to do and been successful like we want to and just gives us that extra edge to work a little harder every day." The offseason work is such a key part of the process to building chem- istry — the attitude that players are playing for each other, not just the coaches, though that matters, too — as well as the all-important phys- ical strength. Players say Carlisle's group has them at top speed and strength, and not being able to compete from a physical standpoint during the sea- son won't an issue like it has been. The next step toward finally win- ning could be more mental. Too many times the last two sea- sons Purdue hasn't been able to finish a game, to rally for a win or to hold on to a late lead, to earn a victory. Part of that is discipline and part can be mental toughness. Who will rise to make the physical plays because they have the right inner drive, the fire, the desire, who invite the pressure? Developing those kinds of souls will be imperative for success, play- ers said. "There's a difference between failure and the fear of failure," quarterback David Blough said. "If you have a fear of failure, you're 2016 Football Schedule Sept. 3 vs. Eastern Kentucky 2015 record: 6-5 Series: 1-0 Noon, ESPNews Sept. 10 vs. Cincinnati 2015 record: 7-6 Series: 1-1 Noon, BTN Sept. 24 vs. Nevada 2015 record: 7-6 Series: First meeting TBA, TBA Oct. 1 at Maryland 2015 record: 3-9 Series: 0-1 3:30 p.m., TBA Oct. 8 at Illinois 2015 record: 5-7 Series: 41-44-6 TBA, TBA Oct. 15 vs. Iowa 2015 record: 12-2 Series: 46-37-3 Noon, TBA Oct. 22 at Nebraska 2015 record: 6-7 Series: 2-2 TBA, TBA Oct. 29 vs. Penn State 2015 record: 7-6 Series: 3-13-1 TBA, TBA Nov. 5 at Minnesota 2015 record: 6-7 Series: 32-36-3 TBA, TBA Nov. 12 vs. Northwestern 2015 record: 10-3 Series: 50-29-1 TBA, TBA Nov. 19 vs. Wisconsin 2015 record: 10-3 Series: 29-46-8 TBA, TBA Nov. 26 at Indiana 2015 record: 6-7 Series: 72-40-6 TBA, TBA

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