What the Indiana coaching staff has done, offensive coordinator Seth Littrell said, doesnt show how much progress the Hoosiers football team has made this spring.
This time around, its about what the coaches havent had to do.
You got to be able to have some fun with your guys, but at the same time, you have to be able to come out and work – you got to teach them how to do it, Littrell said. I think theyre understanding that a little better. As coaches, you see that and now you can have a little bit more fun. Theres always a time and place for that.
Fun this spring has included a snowball fight, a coaching staff decked out in spring break gear and plenty of hard work along the way. The staff is more relaxed because the players, more than any time in coach Kevin Wilsons tenure at IU, are able to coach themselves.
Duwyce Wilson, a sophomore during coach Wilsons first season, has seen all the growing pains.
We just got to play hard and play good, and coaches see that, the senior receiver said. They know they dont always have to be super hard on us.
Its a huge step.
The team will try to showcase its improvements during its spring game at 4 p.m. today.
There is no charge for admission to the game, and tailgate lots across from Memorial Stadium will open at noon. The Big Ten Network will show the game live on its website and broadcast the game on its network at 7 p.m. Monday.
The team that weve developed to this point doesnt even compare to last years team, said junior cornerback Kenny Mullen, a Bishop Luers graduate. Weve never competed against each other at this level. The standard that we set, both offense and defense, is so much higher.
As such, Kevin Wilsons staff has loosened the leash. The intensity in practice hasnt waned, a credit to upperclassmen who accepted the new standard for work ethic in the program.
We got a lot of things to work on, but again, since the last game until now, I think weve grown, Littrell said. Across the board: at every position, at every coaching position.
Those improvements are lip service until its proved on the field against an opponent five months from now. But in todays preview, Duwyce Wilson said fans can expect to see an energized, excited squad.
The energy is through the roof right now. Everybodys loving it every day, he said. I believe our team knows this year is the year everybody needs to step it up another level.
Were a good team, and we can get better.