Opening spring ball: Indiana

March, 8, 2011
3/08/11
10:30
AM ET
The Indiana Hoosiers hit the practice field today for the first of 15 spring practices.

Here's a snapshot of what to expect in Bloomington:

The big story: A new era dawns as coach Kevin Wilson and his staff put the Hoosiers through their first practice sessions. Wilson wants to change the culture in Bloomington and has talked about getting Indiana players to believe they're better than what they think they are (and what they're told from the outside). Hoosiers players went through a ramped-up winter conditioning program, which showed some positive results. Now it's all about football as they adjust to new schemes on both sides of the ball.

Position in the spotlight: Quarterback. Three-year starter Ben Chappell departs, and Indiana's other quarterbacks lack substantial game experience. Dusty Kiel and Edward Wright-Baker are the leading candidates to succeed Chappell, but the competition is wide open and could spill over into preseason camp, when heralded recruit Tre Roberson arrives. Wilson has been terrific at developing quarterbacks throughout his career, and co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Rod Smith oversaw Denard Robinson's rapid rise last season at Michigan. But this will be a huge spring for the men calling signals.

Coaching changes: Indiana made a change at the top, and Wilson brings in an entirely new staff. Smith and Kevin Johns share offensive coordinator duties, and Mike Ekeler and Doug Mallory will oversee the defense. Among the new assistants is defensive tackles coach/special teams coordinator Mark Hagen, who returns to his alma mater after spending the past 11 seasons at rival Purdue. Smith and offensive line coach Greg Frey both join the staff from Michigan.

Keep an eye on: Adam Replogle. He started games at both defensive line positions but made eight starts at tackle in a system that often went with three down linemen. Ekeler and Mallory will operate in a 4-3 season, so it'll be interesting to see how Replogle adjusts. Replogle recorded 32 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and three quarterback hurries last season.

Spring game: April 16

Final spring practice: April 19

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