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    Randy Walker Answers The Fans' Questions

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Coach Walker fields questions from the fans during Wednesday Live Chat sessions.
    Coach Walker fields questions from the fans during Wednesday Live Chat sessions.

    Sept. 6, 2000

    Randy Walker
    Hey! I'm excited to be here and we're looking forward to our second ballgame against Duke. We've had a great week of preparation and we're looking forward to answering some of your questions!

    Realistically do you see the team in a bowl game this year? Also do you think Marvin Brown could see some time at safety as the year goes on?
    Randy Walker
    We believe as a program that we've made enough progress to have a realistic chance of being bowl-eligible. There are a lot of Saturdays left but we're off to a good start and we'll work to take each opponent one game at a time.
    Marvin had an outstanding preseason and has put himself in position to get more playing time as the season progresses.
    Great game against NIU, coach, but you must have some reservations about your secondary.
    Randy Walker
    We knew that Northern Illinois would present a real challenge to our defense. They had a veteran offensive line, two very fast wide receivers, and a three-year starter at QB. While we didn't have a picture-perfect game, we were pleased with some big stops and great effort for 60 minutes from our defense. We are working to have an even better game this week against Duke.
    Hey Coach, what's the strongest aspect of the offense this year?
    Hey Coach, what's the strongest aspect of the defense this year?
    Randy Walker
    I'll answer both of those at once.
    I think what gives our football team a chance to be special is the balance that we have on both sides of the ball. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and we believe through a great offseason and preseason preparation that we can be very consistent in all aspects of play. It will be important that we stay healthy and work to get better one week at a time.
    Could you compare the new offensive sets the Wildcats are running with the sets Coach Joe Tiller runs at Purdue?
    Randy Walker
    We are obviously more wide open with our offensive approach, but every offense takes on the characteristics of the players that make up the unit. Purdue has some great players, and Coach Tiller and his staff have the system well in place. We feel like we have made strong progress in the last year developing a balanced attack that can run and pass equally well.
    Coach - a lot of very positive things in the NIU win. Congratulations. Can you give us an update on Salem Simon. When he returns, what will he add to the DL?
    Randy Walker
    It was good to see Salem practicing with the defense this week. He has made steady progress and we anticipate his full-scale return before the first of October. It is still a week-to-week situation, but he has passed every obstacle with flying colors.
    Great win, Coach!

    Your redshirt freshmen defensive linemen Woods and Nyenhuis played great. Can you comment on their talents and give us an idea as to if we will see Colby Clark playing any time soon?

    Also, compliments to all of the 5th year seniors and Teddy Johnson for sticking with the program. Hopefully, their perseverance will pay off bigtime at the end of the year.

    Randy Walker
    It was great to get George and Gabe some playing time, and I think their role will increase as the season progresses and they continue to refine their skills as football players. Colby has a great future in our program, but like many freshmen is not ready for the rigors of college football.
    Any chance of getting Ben Johnson (hoops) to play wide receiver anytime in the near future? Have you had any contact with him?
    Randy Walker
    Ben is prohibited from playing football this season because he signed an early letter of intent. We have had no contact with him regarding playing football.

    All right, I have time for one more question...
    Tell me what do you like about Austin King.
    Randy Walker
    Austin has a relentless desire to be a great player. Certainly there are some with more physical talent, but I have coached few players with the desire and competitive nature that Austin possesses. He has a chance to be an all-conference player during his time here at Northwestern.

    All right, folks, that's it. Hope to see y'all at Ryan Field on Saturday for the Duke game. Kickoff is noon in Evanston.

    See you next week!
    Coach Walker takes fans' questions during a weekly live chat session each Wednesday at 7 p.m. Central. You can accesss the chats through!