The third and final football media day of the past week was held this afternoon at the Yordon Center and Northern Illinois coach Jerry Kill answered questions about a variety of topics for a solid half hour.
Kill stressed patience with his young team, which was evidenced in Thursday's opening practice when the coaches gave the veterans the final 30 minutes of practice off and worked exclusively with the young players.
"We have a lot of younger kids," Kill said. "Me screaming and yelling isn't going to us any good right now because we're just trying to teach them how to breathe and walk and talk and line up and those kinds of things."
As for how long that patience will last...
"I have to be patient," Kill said. "Now, like I said, I'll be patient for about five or six days and then I'm going to be pretty [impatient] and I'll probably throw somebody out of camp. But the bottom line is I've got to teach them what we expect."
Kill said that running back Cameron Bell is still in the appeals process to determine his eligibility for this season. Asked when he could expect a decision from the NCAA, Kill said he didn't know when he would hear a final decision.
With nose guard Mike Krause out for the season, Kill said NIU might rotate just three interior defensive linemen (presumably D.J. Pirkle, Adam Coleman and Brian Lawson) at the start of the season but that number could increase to five.
Kill has also been pressed about the running backs consistently over the past year, easily more than any other position. He was asked again today about getting a 1,000-yard rusher this season.
"I don't worry about 1,000-yard rushers," Kill said. "That seems to be a big topic around here."
One more Kill quote on the running backs: "We've got about 400 in camp. You'd think we'd be able to find one or two."
Now, Kill is confident that he has quality running backs that can get a good ground game going, but he doesn't want to pick one after one practice. And, based off his history, he's looking for three that can gain yards at a good rate. So don't read too much into those two quotes.
On a final note, Kill was absolutely thrilled with his punters, saying this was as good as he's ever felt about that group after one practice. The punter job is one that figures to be decided late in camp and something we'll keep an eye on as camp progresses.