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#pounditTuesday, December 7, 2021

Bret Bielema defends his controversial remarks about Illinois roster

Bret Bielema

Bret Bielema made some comments about the current state of the Illinois football program this week that were viewed quite negatively, but the coach insists his intentions were not bad.

Bielema was shockingly candid about his own roster while speaking with the media on Monday. He said Illinois does not have the players needed to contend and blamed the program’s previous regime for doing a poor job of recruiting. More specifically, Bielema criticized his offensive line and said, “I don’t believe we have a player in the two-deep that they’ve recruited here over the last three years that is really significantly doing anything for us in the playing department.”

It seemed like there was only one way to interpret the comments, but Bielema said Thursday that they were taken out of context. The coach claims he showed his players the full transcript of what he said and that they have no problem with it.

Obviously, Bielema saw the negative reaction to his remarks and knew he had to backpedal.

Even if the things Bielema said are true, it’s a horrible look for him to say them publicly. He’s essentially taking zero accountability for Illinois’ 2-5 record. He also showed players that he is not opposed to throwing them under the bus amid adversity.

Fans seemed excited about the Bielema era after the coach won his first game with the program earlier this year. It has been all downhill since.

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