Ask beat writer Bob Asmussen about the passing of Pete Elliott, upcoming Signing Day and why there hasn't been much news on any shakeup of Tim Beckman's coaching staff. He's chatting at 1 p.m. Monday but submit questions any time.
Welcome back to another chat. It seems like it has been forever since we last talked. There have been a lot of bowl games during that time.
Looks like it will be a busy 2013 both wiith Illinois and the Big Ten.
Enough stalling, let's get to the questions.
Will Beckman go into this season again with co offensive coordinators with Bily Gonzalez or is it finally one coordinator per side of the ball? Plus why has nothing else changed from a coaching staff that was reported to not getting along with each other?
Bill Cubit will be the offensive coordinator. From what I understand, though nothing official has been said yet, Billy Gonzales will be receivers coach only and will no longer be co-offensive coordinator.
I don't think all of the changes are done on the staff. I think more could be coming in the next couple of weeks.
I feel bad for Chris Beatty, who had a tough deal in his one year here. I think he's a good coach and will definitely land on his feet.
So is Beatty just the convenient scapegoat or was he really the main reason the offense fizzled all season and finished dead last in the Big Ten? Now that Beatty is gone, Gonzales demoted to wide receiver coach and Cubit the new sole offensive coordinator, will the Illini offense soar next season? Also Is Scheelhaase the best QB for Cubit's pass first offense?
I think changes were going to be made. And I don't think you can blame one coach. It was a collective failure on offense, so all of the coaches and players share in the blame.
Bill Cubit has a good track record of producing offenses. Can he fix the Illinois problems in a year? Or two? A lot will depend on the development of the young offensive linemen, receivers and running backs.
Great question about Scheelhaase, who will do whatever he is asked to get on the field. I think the spring will help determine who is the best fit. But it could be Scheelhaase. Certainly, he has an experience edge.
Happy New Year! With Culbit as the new OC, will this be a pass first offense? I think Ferguson is a superstar if someone would block for him. I don't think Scheelhaus can be a pass first quarterback and O'Toole hasn't had the time or open receivers to be one. Well, lets hope the team will have a required physics course over the summer to learn about momentum, unstoppable forces, and immovable objects!
Cubit's history as a coach who favors the pass. So, if he feels that will work the best with this team, that's what he will do.
I agree with you that Josh Ferguson has a chance to be an important player for Illinois. He is due to have a healthy finish to his Illinois career.
The quarterback situation is a tricky one. Scheelhaase will get the first look and Reilly O'Toole will be second. But I don't think we can make any guarantees.
Just an observation but does it seem strange that Thomas has hired yet another MAC coach. I understand that Cubit has coached at some other Big schools, and may very well be a good hire. Does Illinois football/athletics deserve better coaches that .500 MAC coaches?
It wasn't actually Thomas who made the hire, but Tim Beckman. You have to let the guy hire who he thinks will fit in best on his staff.
I think Bill Cubit is a good hire for Illinois. He knows the league and the program and he has shown he can succeed against it. He owns wins against Illinois and Iowa as a head coach. Honestly, I'm a bit surprised Illinois has been able to land him.
Bob, I know December 23 has passed, so I missed on saying Happy Festivus to you; however, I must air my grievances with you.
1. Ron Turner, a fine coach for FA? Bob, you may like the man, but come on, two winning seasons in 8 years at Illinois. He went through as many d-coordinators as Lovie Smith went through offensive coordinators. And those '00 and '02 seasons hurt our recruiting! Did you forget his lousy coaching at Minnesota in '02 when he had a lead just before halftime and blew the team's momentum by having inexperienced Beuter trying to throw a pass? I don't!
2. You defended Nebraska when they fired successful Frank Solich, but heaven forbid, Illinois cannot fire an inept coach after one year. Southern Miss gets rid of its guy and hires the guy we should have gotten, with the caveat of keeping Koenning. If football is the key to conference alignment, then Illinois should be getting the best it can.
3. Beckman will get his own guys; therefore the team will be better is not a true statement. You reneged on how you felt the talent was on this team, especially on defense. Well, what Beckman guys will be playing d? The young linebackers? Where is the d-line, secondary? Big trouble coming here. It just ticks me off that people are ripping on the players, whereas the focus should be on the coaching staff and its incompetence. Should we go down the list of coaches who were successful without their players - Rich Rod, Todd Graham, Paul Chryst, Kevin Sumlin, etc.
Bob, sorry I started to sound like Frank Costanza ripping on George, but this season was terrible. That means I see no light at the end of the tunnel. I do not see success with this team as long as Beckman is in charge.
Like always, y9u don't hold anything back. Which I appreciate.
On Ron Turner's new job, I do think he might be a good fit. I don't think talent is an issue there, but coaching might be. And that's what he does well. He's going to hire a bunch of young recruiters and will have a chance to win in a soft league.
In hindsight, Nebraska should not have fired Frank Solich. But there was a sense that the program was going downhill.. I understand how folks here would have the same ideas, but the difference is that Solich had been in place for a while. If you are Illinois, you can't fire a coach after one year. You just can't.
Know way to know why it didn't work for Beckman in his first season. But I think another spring and summer gives him a chance to turn the corner. We will know very soon whether or not that happens.
Thanks for the Seinfeld references. You make me want to watch again.
I see Beatty got the axe. Why on earth is Banks still here he is worthless.
Banks still here,
I don't think all of the coaching changes are done. But I don't think Tim Banks is definitely moving on.
I'm guessing Tim Beckman wanted to have his offensive coordinator situation settled as soon as possible. After that he can turn to other possible changes.
We will keep you posted.
Who do you think will be the candidates to be OC job? Is there any chance of landing former Cal coach Tedford for this position? He did have some prolific offenses while he was the head coach. Will there be any more changes to the staff that you know of or think should be made? Any news on the recruiting front with about a month to go before signing day? Would love to see a couple more guys, especially on the offensive line, come on board to hopefully turn the program in the right direction. I say this cause the OL has been the root of our problems the past 2 seasons, and the previous staff didn't bring in QUALITY guys to play those positions for the future. Looking at the past classes Zook brought in most of the O-linemen were ranked either 2 or 3 stars, no disrespect to the players cause they're doing the best they can but a lot of times they were totally out played and overwhelmed. GO ILLINI
Jeff Tedford would be a terrific candidate, but I think the choice has been made, I wouldn't be surprised to see Tedford move into the NFL.
I think there will be more changes on the staff. Not sure who will be moving on.
Illinois is considered to have a pretty good recruiting class, among the top five or six in the Big Ten. I think it wil be one of the larger groups to sign in a long time, which seems like a good plan. There will be an influx of players in the spring, who will push the returnees.
What are your thougths regarding ILL football currently least valuable program in B1G ?
Until Rutgers and Maryland join according to the Wall St. journal....http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324391104578225802183417888.html
Really interesting stuff. Hard to believe Notre Dame isn't No. 1. Or Alabama. Texas feels wrong, but that's just because of the string of down seasons for Mack Brown, who I hear might be going into his final year.
Hard to believe that Indiana and Minnesota are ahead of Illinois too. I don't buy that. I would think Illinois would be eighth or ninth in the Big Ten, ahead of Northwestern, too.
Thanks for sending that along.
I've got to start planning my BCS party, so I'm going to cut it off for today. Thanks for the questions. I'll talk to you next Monday.