CHICAGO — The question centered on the quarterback position. But Indiana coach Kevin Wilson turned it into a message for his entire team.
“When you’re a 1-11 football team, there’s no job safety,” Wilson said during Big Ten media day Thursday at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place. “There’s nothing etched in stone.”
Wilson has no set expectations as he enters his second year as IU’s coach.
“But where we are Year 1, I will say this: The record is not near as what it can be, should be,” he said. “I’m personally embarrassed, and if we’re going to win this year significantly and make strides, the first thing that happens is I have to coach, and our coaches have to coach, better.
“I’ve said a year ago, ‘We have got some talent.’ I think that can be OK. It’s getting the attitude right and the ability of the coaches to reach and understand our talent and make adjustments.”
IU has 16 returning starters, seven on offense and eight from a defense that surrendered an average of 37.3 points per game last season.
“I think we’ll be a lot better on defense, but we’re not at a point physically and in Year 2 to play lights-out great defense,” Wilson said. “We’ve got to score a lot more points, too.
“Everybody talks about our ‘D’ struggling. We average 18.4 points (in Big Ten games). That’s as poor an offense as I’ve been around since 1999.”
Tre Roberson returns at quarterback.
Wilson said Roberson is part of a 12-person leadership group. The list also includes Bishop Luers graduate Kenny Mullen, a sophomore cornerback.
“We targeted 12 guys as second in command to get a core group, because I don’t think we have one person strong enough to lead our team to victory. So we’ve tried to develop a core of guys,” Wilson said.
Wilson has noticed the work the team has put in.
“We have worked like a team that’s not 1-11 the Monday after the last game last (week) of November. We’ve worked at it hard; we’ve worked at it positively,” Wilson said. “We’re excited where we’re going.”