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Tim Beckman already has Illini competing

In this photaken March 1 2012 new Illinois head football coach Tim Beckman laughs with his players during spring football

In this photo taken March 1, 2012, new Illinois head football coach Tim Beckman laughs with his players during spring football workouts at the University of Illinois in Champaign. Beckman promises to build intensity into his team. They lost six in a row last season. Those six losses are why Beckman has his job. They're the reason Ron Zook, who came to Illinois renowned for his own brand of intensity, was fired. (AP Photo/The News-Gazette, Darrell Hoemann)

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The most glaring weakness Tim Beckman wants to fix at Illinois when spring football starts next week is special teams play.

The new Illinois head coach says the Illini were probably as bad as any team in the country. It’s one of the reason Beckman replaced Ron Zook after a 7-6 season.

Since coming to Illinois, Beckman has introduced his players to what he calls Illini time. It means that they get to meetings, practices and classes 10 minutes early. And he has them competing already in everything from bowling to dodge ball.

Linebacker Jonathan Brown says Beckman and his staff demand players be on what the sophomore calls their A game at all times.



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