GBI Magazine

Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 27, Digital 5

Gold and Black is a multi-platform media company that covers Purdue athletics like no one else.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 15 of 87

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 27, ISSUE 5 16 fundamental stuff in our zone coverag- es. Going into spring ball, we had big question marks about our secondary — and we still do — but I feel a little bit better after two months of football that if we give our corners and safeties a chance of being good, fundamentally sound and not putting them on islands all by themselves every snap, we'll function OK. We can help them out. I think there's some good guys who can play zone. That's mainly what we are is a zone team. We found out maybe (we're) a little bit more solid than we thought going into spring ball as far as our back end." It'd certainly help if those potential playmakers in the front seven can have a productive offseason to surge into camp and deliver. Exiting the spring, Holt said the de- fense has "maybe four" playmakers but thinks more could emerge. According to Holt, Bailey is a no-doubter, Robinson could be the "best" on the defense if he plays hard all the time, linebacker Ja'Whaun Bent- ley has ability to be one "when he's in shape," Wilson "has a chance when everything is right in his life," Ezechukwu can be one "when he's in the right position" and first-year safety T.J. Jallow has promise, too, "when he starts to feel really comfortable." That's not a bad list, and more could be added in the fall, especially once Western Kentucky transfer T.J. McCollum is healthy. He participated this spring but wasn't full-go, and Holt already knows what McCollum can do from coaching WKU's one-time leading tackler there. But it'll be up to Holt to put each of those players in posi- tions where they can actually deliver on that potential play- making ability. And this spring helped him in forming those roles and opinions. "If you're going to be really good, you better be sound and simple and not do too much, but by the same token, we need to be good teachers. I've learned from some really good coaches that the more you can do well, the harder you are to play against. Hopefully, we'll be simple, but we're not at that point physically where we can just line up in a couple things and beat people," Holt said. "We're going to have to be dynamic in some things as far as being multiple. That's the fine point. We can't be so multiple where we don't know what we're doing. So that's why we install it and get it going." Experience curve Jeff Brohm's prowess as an offensive innovator had folks revved up about what he'd be able to do with the Boilermak- ers' personnel this spring. What Brohm, and many others, learned was there doesn't seem to be enough pieces to build around just yet. Starting up front with a line that had few players with any significant game experience and flowing out to an equally inexperienced group of receivers, the offense struggled to consistently produce. That probably isn't surprising considering the first-team Tom Campbell D.J. Knox looked quick, physical and cut hard this spring, so, in other words, back to his old self. Knox missed last season after ACL surgery, but he impressed first-year running backs coach Chris Barclay this spring. Barclay called Knox a "pit bull."

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of GBI Magazine - Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 27, Digital 5