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Coach Kill on position battles

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In an article you may have missed, Jimmy Johnson of the Northern Star poses three interesting questions to Jerry Kill as we approach MAC Media Day this Friday.  Not answered in the interview: How the Star got an ex-NFL coach writing for them.

On how this year's team compares to previous ones:

I think that’s hard to judge, every team is different. When I first came here, we had so many people injured and we really never got healthy through that year and that team was an amazing team

If I look at our team right now, I think all the areas have some talent. Maybe a little more talent that we’ve had but it’s all young. My concern is, is it mature enough to be successful yet? Is it another year or two down the road? I don’t know. To me, looking at them when I have the opportunity to see them in the classroom and through the spring they’ve got some work to do in that area.

That is pretty much the biggest point going in to the season.  This team may have the talent, but can these young players focus in and win games right away?  I sure hope so.

On position battles:

We have more depth than we had last year except for maybe one position.

Which position?

I’m not 100 percent confident about our depth at safety and linebacker. I’m anxious to see how that all works out. I’m anxious to see what young players step up at linebacker. We kind of know where we are at safety and corner-wise but at linebacker, there could be a few of those young players that nobody really knows about.

Good thing we have 4 studs in Jamaal Bass, Mike Hellams, Greg Barksdale & Cameron Stingily coming in.  Whoever wants to step up has playing time for the taking.

I’m anxious to see who steps up in the offensive line in a couple places there; I think that’s something I want to see.

Interesting to see that he doesn't seem to be that worried about the offensive line... we'll see how this shakes out as camp progresses.

We have some talent at wide receiver but I want to see someone step up and show me that they’re going to be good. I know what Landon Cox is going to do, he’ll have a great year but I want to see what everyone else is going to do. There’s a bunch of those freshmen and redshirt freshmen running around with all kinds of ability, but I want to see them take that ability and put it to use.

Same as the theme above.  Is this team mature enough to take on the challenge?

And of course the million dollar question that I think everyone is going to ask throughout camp and I won’t be able to answer until the beginning of the season is how things are going to work out at quarterback. I’ve always said it’ll kind of work out by itself because of the situation.

Well there it is: The starting QB won't be decided until Iowa State.  In writing.  But we already knew this...

This has been a little bit of a unique experience for me because we’ve never had a healthy quarterback. We need to get that position solidified and we need to keep somebody healthy at that position. I think that’s a big key to where our success lies in who that guy is going to be and if that guy can be there for 12 games. Chandler [Harnish] has certainly done a good job but when he’s gotten hurt, then he has to come back and it‘s almost starting over again and we got to be able to keep whoever is healthy.

Message to every QB on NIU's roster: STAY HEALTHY and you'll play.

Hopefully we put the guy out there to take us where we need to be because it is a quarterback conference. It seems like whoever is playing the best at that position usually wins this conference.

Again, Coach Kill just said what we all were thinking about already.

NIU FOOTBALL, IT'S FOR YOUR HEALTH