When the announcement was made that Bob Bostad was being hired to replace Justin Wilcox as inside linebackers coach, plenty of people raised an eyebrow or two. That likely included the players most directly impacted by his hire — the inside linebackers.
Given the veteran nature of this group, with T.J. Edwards, Jack Cichy and Chris Orr having so much experience, what could Bostad really bring to the table?
Fast forward a few months and the hire makes a lot more sense to the players. The players have taken to him and most importantly, he figured out how to get the respect of the players quickly.
According to senior captain Jack Cichy, Bostad sat back and learned and evaluated before doing any talking. Knowing he was serious about knowing the defense and the individual allowed the group to open up to his teaching as well.
Both Cichy and fellow inside linebacker had glowing things to say about their new position coach at Big Ten media day on Monday. They indicated that there has been a lot of knowledge and help imparted in a short amount of time.
“Coach Bo, he’s already helped a lot,” said senior Jack Cichy. “Once he finally knew the defense, he called us for a spring ball meeting and had a cut up of 20 plays, just on us from the season. Just plays where he thought we could move more efficiently or how we could do something better from an offensive perspective.”
“He taught us about taking more efficient paths and how to defeat power better. Stuff like that, it is really going to elevate our game.”
Cichy also noted that coach Chryst had brought in Bostad not to teach them the X’s and O’s of the position but to “become better football players.”
One of Bostad’s biggest strengths has actually been his long tenure as an offensive line coach. He’s been able to impart an offensive mindset to the inside linebackers group.
“He gives us a lot of insight of what the other side of the ball is looking for,” said Edwards.
“We do a lot of drills with our hand placement, and things like that, things that he taught at the o-line that can easily relate to us.
“He brings a huge level of physicality to this group, to where he expects it and needs it every day and I think that is what you need at the linebacker position. So, I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
While unconventional in terms of a hire, it appears that this veteran group getting a new perspective to see the game through is paying off.
Fans may not be able to see the difference, but players are already feeling it and it may be to their advantage come game days in the fall.
Ultimately, that is what hires like this are supposed to be all about.