What do you expect your approach to be on offense?
DH: We'd like to be balanced. We have a couple of backs returning, [and] obviously Rob Henry can be a difference maker to our run game. Three of [our linemen] are potential NFL prospects [in] size and athleticism.
SI: SO HOW IMPROVED CAN THIS TEAM BE OVER LAST YEAR'S?
DH: SIGNIFICANTLY, BECAUSE OF WHAT WE HAVE BACK AT QUARTERBACK, THE SECONDARY AND THE OFFENSIVE LINE. AND BECAUSE OF OUR PUNTER.
Besides making up for the loss of Ryan Kerrigan, what does the team need to do?
DH: Well, I [wouldn't call] them areas of concern, but we're not as far along at blocking tight end with Kyle Adams gone, and our snappers and holders haven't played yet. Every other area we're significantly better than at this time last year.
How has recruiting in your home state of Florida given the Boilermakers an edge in the Big Ten?
DH: When I came back to Purdue [Hope was the Boilermakers' 0-line coach from 1997 to 2001 before leaving for stints at Louisville and Eastern Kentucky], we only had a handful of guys who could run a 4.5 or better. Going into great recruiting areas and pursuing speed, we've tripled or quadrupled the number of guys who run a 4.5 or better.