My biggest concern covering Thursday’s portion of Big Ten football media days was making sure I logged enough quotes from Illinois coach Bret Bielema, Illini athletic director Josh Whitman and athletes Doug Kramer, Vederian Lowe and Owen Carney Jr.
But those weren’t the only people attending this robust event. Certainly the six other Big Ten coaches involved had some interesting things to say. Let’s take a look.
MINNESOTA COACH P.J. FLECK
The man may’ve chugged 15 Red Bull energy drinks before entering the center-stage portion of media days.
Hyped up as ever, fifth-year Gophers coach Fleck dropped this line involving a former Minnesota coach and a current Gophers running back.
“Glen Mason said a long time ago ... ‘You need a pair and a spare,’” Fleck said. “The good thing about Mohamed (Ibrahim) being our running back, yes, we have a pair and we have a spare, but we also have air to go in the spare.”
The air ... or maybe the spare ... is fellow rushers Trey Potts, Cam Wiley and Bryce Williams. For those keeping track.
MIKE LOCKSLEY, MARYLAND
The former Illinois assistant name-dropped Ron Zook — another ex-Illini who’s now on Locksley’s Terrapins staff — in an opening statement.
But then the floor was opened for media questions. For 10 seconds or so, none were asked to the third-year Maryland boss.
“Perfect. Thanks,” Locksley said before quickly departing the stage.
SCOTT FROST, NEBRASKA
Perhaps the polar opposite of Fleck as far as tempo and tone, Frost still espoused the belief this is his most veteran team in his fourth season at the helm.
Frost also was asked if he has any mantras for his players. Fleck is full of them, and Locksley uttered the phrase “no complaining, no excuses” during his brief main-stage time.
“I’m not into sloganeering,” Frost said. “If the players need ... a unique slogan to get them to play harder, I probably don’t have the right players.”
JIM HARBAUGH, MICHIGAN
Everyone’s second-favorite khakis enthusiast (behind Jake from State Farm), the sixth-year Wolverines leader was fairly subdued in responding to his first batch of questions on the day.
Until he was asked about being unable to get a win over Ohio State in five tries.
“We’re going to do it,” Harbaugh said, “or die trying.”
I unfortunately missed Penn State’s James Franklin and Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald in real time on the main stage because of side interviews with Bielema and Whitman.