Wisconsin Football: Jim Leonhard Talks Long-Term Possibilities, Injury Updates, And More

Wisconsin Football: Jim Leonhard Talks Long-Term Possibilities, Injury Updates, And More

The Jim Leonhard era got off to a good start this weekend, but now the challenge of repeating it looms large. Wisconsin has had its ups and downs throughout the season, but Leonhard seems confident he can move things in the right direction. To open his presser, he had this to say.

“Extremely proud of the way the guys reacted, going for a win like that was great fun…we have to turn the page quickly but we were very happy after watching the tape to see how many guys played their best football of the season… happy with the confidence shown on the pitch.

After that, Leonhard was asked what the Badgers had done and needed to continue doing to play a clean game like they did on Saturday.

“We’ve shortened some things…I think it’s that time of year where the physique has to go down a bit to some extent. I think the number one goal is to be fresh on game day. We going to keep tweaking things, not to say we were doing it wrong, but i think it was the right time…we are light in some positions…i think we had some guys trying to do too much too soon… more than anything to get back to basics.

Later, Leonhard asked an interesting question about his possible full-time gig. Asked about the expectations and criteria he must meet to eventually land the full-time head coaching job, Leonhard answered this.

“First, it’s still early enough in my head that it’s still a bit of everyday life. There’s enough I’m learning about what I’m responsible for, who I need to communicate with and what happens when I I can still focus on the day to day. Eventually the big picture we’ll get there. Obviously after going through a week I’m now able to have different conversations this week that I didn’t feel needed last week. Will continue to grow within what is requested over the next six weeks Not really concerned with the bigger picture obviously if we play good football and win games I will have a bigger opportunity to be in this role in the future. That’s my focus right now…the big picture will come.

After that, Leonhard was able to provide an injury update on running back Chez Mellusi and safety Hunter Wohler. Both will likely release this week, and possibly beyond.

About Mellusi:

“Chez injured his wrist in the game, he will definitely be out this week, probably more of a week-by-week assessment to see how long the injury can last.”

On Wohler:

“He hasn’t been able to train so far, get closer, do more in rehab. Probably a situation where it’s going to be close to the week off, whether before after… excited to get him back but not yet at that time.

Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Leonhard was then asked about the transfer portal and its approach to this area of ​​college football.

“I would say the transfer portal is only growing, it will continue to be part of college football or the recruiting and roster building process in college football. You need talent and experience, but you need to finding a balance between how you’re going to recruit your players, develop them and give them time, right? And not constantly jumping over young players. Lots of conversations about what’s the right thing to do We have to trust in our ability to develop our players.

Later, Leonhard was asked about his new role and the difference between his current day-to-day and his previous day-to-day role as defensive coordinator.

“For me, just less downtime. I have to communicate more with the coaching room and the attacking side of the ball, special teams, operations with planning, a lot more check-ins than meetings. A lot more decisions to be made.”

To wrap things up, Leonhard was asked about the quarterback room. Specifically, Deacon Hill’s transfer, updates on Chase Wolf and Myles Burkett’s ability.

“Starting with Chase, injuries are progressing. Rehabilitation is progressing. He’s not yet back to where he’s ready to be on the pitch, but he’s moving in the right direction there. Myles next, impressed with his maturity He’s obviously a young lad, but he handles his stuff every day and he continues to improve and work. So happy with how he progressed early in his career… as far as Deacon goes, I I have a lot of respect for Deacon and it’s kind of the new normal. Kids have to weigh what they think their future is, where they are and how the communication with the staff has been…sometimes it happens to a point where they feel like they have to move on. We’ll do everything we can to support Deacon, I think he’s got a ton of talent, I think he’s going to be a great quarterback at this level, unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it will be here.

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