No more “Golden Loafers” at Minnesota with Kill in charge

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Jerry Kill has been making changes since he arrived at Minnesota in December. One of the most important changes has been discipline. According to linebacker Mike Rallis, one of the new disciplinary measures at Minnesota is a brown shirt with pink lettering: “Minnesota Loafers: I let my teammates down.”

“It’s definitely an example of the discipline he brings,” Rallis said. “No one obviously wants to wear that, and then you do conditioning on top of it. You look at how many brown shirts we had week to week during the winter, and the number went down every week.”

According to running back Duane Bennett, the shirt is has been a positive step in discipline at Minnesota.

“It’s a disciplinary action to get you to realize that your decision doesn’t ultimately affect you individually, it affects the team. When you make a decision like that, to do something that’s out of character of what the Minnesota way is, it kind of puts you as an outcast. You realize it’s not just about you, you represent yourself, you represent your team, you represent your family.”

Despite the strong sense of discipline, Jerry Kill’s transition at Minnesota has been smooth according to Rallis. In fact, Rallis, Bennett, and quarterback Marqueis Gray all labeled Kill as “a player’s coach.”

“He’s all about the players, he’s always looking for something to do that’s going to benefit the players,” Bennett said. “Any time we look for direction, ask for direction, we go to Coach Kill. He’s able to do different things that are going to benefit the players.”

According to Gray, Kill’s attitude during practice may give people the wrong impression of his style as a coach.

“From clips people see at practice, they might think he’s just a screamer, and a mean guy” Gray said. “He’s a loving coach. He has our back, and we have his back.”

According to Gray, the ability of Kill to relate to the players on a positive level has a direct impact on making the players want to perform better on the field.

“We have a new practice field, a new weight room. He’s been doing a lot of things to turn this program around,” Gray said. “Once you have a coach like that, it’s up to us players to make sure that we keep him happy. We’re looking forward to playing for him.”

Beyond discipline or coaching styles, the transition to Kill appears to have been seamless and smooth, especially for the players.

“It’s been a really smooth transition. It’s like he’s been there all along,” Rallis said. “I think the team responded to the leadership, but the team as a whole was ready to believe in something like this, in a disciplinarian. We were ready to step up and chance our ways after last season…when coach Kill and his staff came in – you look at his track record and he’s won everywhere he’s been – it was easy to buy into.”

 

-Jamie Arkin

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