Indiana football wide receivers coach Grant Heard caught up with the media recently to discuss his position group.
Heard is in his fourth season at Indiana and his first as co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach. He served as passing game coordinator/wide receivers coach from 2017-19.
Six times Hoosiers have earned All-Big Ten honors during Heard’s time in Bloomington, highlighted by 2019 second-team selection Whop Philyor.
Heard was a wide receiver at Ole Miss from 1996 to 2000. He helped the Rebels to four bowl games and graduated as the school’s all-time leader in career receptions and scores. Heard arrived at IU after a stint as the wide receivers coach at his alma mater.
To see Heard’s thoughts on how Philyor can take another step forward in his final season in Bloomington, go here.
Transcript via iuhoosiers.com
Q: On what the younger guys on the roster have to do to fill in for the graduated players…
HEARD: With not having spring ball that is a big issue, because it was their time to show everybody what they can do. But right now, they need to make sure they come back in shape. Learn as much as they can away from us, which is kind of difficult at times. Some of my guys are doers, they need to do it, read it in the playbook and see exactly what they need.
They all want to be NFL players and this is what NFL players are doing right now. They are having to do it virtually and on their own, take a bunch of mental reps and try to learn in that way.
Q: On how he’s been keeping on top of what preparation could look like once you do get back…
HEARD: Like I said before, this is an NFL type model here. When they’re with us we have complete control over them. We can say you’re working out at this time, running at this time and this and that. I’ve just been challenging them, if you all want to be NFL guys, NFL guys are not at their facilities this time of year anyway. If you want to start getting yourself into that lifestyle this is where it is. You need to do training yourself, you need to be self-motivated and it’s going to show.
They all say they’ve been running and doing this. I’ve been in their shoes and I know they may not be running at the intensity they need to be at. I don’t know that, but time will tell and the cream is going to rise to the top and what you say you’ve been doing is going to be shown. We’re all going to know the truth, you can’t hide from it when you get here.
Q: On how much you can practice route running and dills from a distance…
HEARD: One thing I’ve done is I’ve gotten my drill tape up on the server where they can watch it. They can go out there and do drills. Now each kid was a little bit different because of the area that they are in. They might not be able to go out to the parks because of restrictions and what not. I said hey, if you have to, run driveway to driveway. Do something.
For me it’s more conditioning, making sure they’re in shape. The older ones know the drills they need to work on, the Miles’s, the Whop’s, the Ty’s. They know what it’s like and what they need to get ready for in a game. The younger ones, they have not played and it’s a little bit different. So mentally I just really want them to hone in on what we’re doing, what we’re doing offensively, and then the drills I put on tape for them to watch. It’s not me standing there making sure they’re running routes. They have to make sure they’re doing it.
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