Web  NIUHuskies.com
 After leading NIU to a berth in the 2008 Independence Bowl, Jerry Kill enters his second season at the helm of the NIU program in 2009.
Huskie Football Fans!

Your chance to chat live on-line with Northern Illinois Head Football Coach Jerry Kill is here!

Coach Kill will answer your questions on Thursday, April 16 in his first live web chat for niuhuskies.com. Have questions about next year's offensive line, who has been looking good this spring or even what the staff will concentrate on after spring drills? Well NIU's second-year head coach will discuss topics like those and much more as he sits down at the computer!

You can submit your questions now in the form below and come back on Thursday, April 16 at 4 p.m. to "talk" to Jerry Kill on-line.

Moderator NIU: Hello Huskie Fans! Welcome to today's chat with Head Coach Jerry Kill. We've got lots of questions to answer already but keep sending them in and we'll get to as many as we can! Coach Kill will be along in a minute and we'll get started...

Scott, Chicago NIU B.A, J.D.: Hey Coach Kill, Glad to have you at the helm sir. My question is: What efforts are being made to bring bigger name out-of-conference teams into Huskie Stadium, and/or to increase capacity of the stadium to better allow for such scheduling? Thanks, see you at the home opener! -Scott
Coach Kill: Hi Scott, thanks for writing. Jeff (Compher) and I appreciate your question very much. We are looking into a couple of games as we speak to get a couple big names into our stadium. A lot of it has to do with money and getting those teams to come. The power conferences because of money, holds the upper hand.

Joe (DeKalb): Seeing how Chandler Harnish had a good RS Freshman season, is he the starter for 2009 or is DeMarcus Grady going to challenge him for the spot?
Coach Kill: Yes Joe, Chandler is our starter going into 2009. However, I feel like DeMarcus is making progress and the QB challenges we had a year ago with injuries, DeMarcus is verey important to us and will definitely have his role.

Brandon (Rockford): Now that we have a young receiving core, are you goin to use a 3 wide receiver set instead of the 4 wide receiver set that we used for the spread formation last year?
Coach Kill: Hi Brandon - We have recruited a very talented young freshman receiver group. Hopefully one or two of them will give us the playmaking ability we need. If those young receivers come along, we will probably mix it up and be in several different looks. If they do not, we will be in more 3 and 2 wide receiver looks.

Jason (Chicago): Very simply... when are we going to get back to the 2003 level of NIU football????
Coach Kill: Jason, I respect your direct question and we want to get back to that as soon as possible and it comes down to recruiting the type of players we had in 2003. This is our first recruiting class that we're bringing in for 2009 and hopefully in the next 2 or 3 years we can bring the athletes that Northern had here in 2003.

ron--Dekalb: How do you and your family like Dekalb?
Coach Kill: Hi Ron, my wife and I really enjoy DeKalb. The people are great, we just bought a house and are looking forward to settling in. Our biggest excitement is my youngest daughter will be becoming a Huskie in the fall which we are very excited about. Thanks for your question.

Paul Platinum (Chicago): Who do you think is going to be the surprise player next season? There's alwasy one player that seperates themselves from the pack as a superstar. WHo on the offense has the most upside?
Coach Kill: Hi Paul -- I have the same question that you have. We have to develop some playmakers on offense and take some pressure off Chandler. We have to identify those 2 tailbacks that are going to be those type of players and hopefully a couple young receivers that we've recruited will step up to the plate. The three older players that have that ability need to step up their game which I think they will - Willie Clark, Landon Cox and Nate Palmer.

Mark (Waterman, IL): Don't you have to win the game in you're mind first, and then on the field?
Coach Kill: Mark - No question about it. I firmly believe that.

Alex Reed (San Antonio): Do You Think Our Two Wide Outs From Here Can Make A Impact Right Away
Coach Kill: Alex, we are sure hoping they will. We felt like we could have used them in our bowl game last year. Hope all is well in San Antonio.

Mike (Dekalb): Coach, the position I am most worried about this upcoming season is the defensive secondary. Who has surprised you so far this spring and how do you feel about the depth at this point in spring ball?
Coach Kill: I feel our safeties could be as good as anybody in the league - David Bryant, Tracy Wilson and Mike Sobol have had great springs. However, I am concerned about our depth there and the schedule we play. At corner, Patrick George has really stepped his game up and is the big, physical, fast corner you need in our league. Kiaree Daniels has been a pleasant surprise and we have a redshirt freshman named Tommie Davis who's doing well - he runs 4.5 and has a 40 inch vertical so we feel like his athleticism there will help us.

Randy, St. Charles, IL: Coach, among the new recruits, who will make the most immediate impact? Good luck in the 09 season. Go Huskies!
Coach Kill: Randy, Very good question. We definitely need a couple wide receivers that can come through for us, a tight end, and defensively, one of the young corners we recruited need to come through along with inside linebackers to help our depth and a rush defensive end.

Vero Beach, Fla.: Hi coach, Chandler Harnish looked like the second coming against Minnesota and Western Michigan, putting up unbelievable passing numbers. What difference did you see between those two games and the games after he came back from injury when he didn't have much success throwing the ball?
Coach Kill: Missing four weeks when you are a redshirt freshman quarterback and coming back to play is very difficult. I think we had to ask too much of Chandler and tried to do too much. I take that responsibility as a coach. This spring he has developed more and I feel he will have a good season. Thanks for writing in from FLorida.

Rockford, Ill.: Coach, What do you think was the biggest lesson you learned about coaching in the MAC after last season?
Coach Kill: Hello Rockford - Going through the MAC the first season gave me the idea of what type of athlete we needed to recruit to compete in the conference and win a championship. I feel now we have a very good take on what it's going to take.

Sebastian, Fla.: Coach, What's one thing that you're most proud of from a coaching aspect about last season? Also, what's one thing you regret most from a coaching aspect about last season?
Coach Kill: I'd say the thing I was most proud of was I felt the kids played as hard as they could for us and that's always very rewarding. One thing I regret is watching La Tech's kickoff return man go for a touchdown!

Joe (schaumburg): Whats your thoughts on bringing back the thundersticks. I am a recent grad and they made for a fun/loud atmosphere that was unmatched in the MAC!
Coach Kill: Joe - that's easy. Bring 'em on!! I love it!

adam - dekalb: Who are the best college players you have had an opportunity to coach? And a follow up is where do you rank Larry English in that bunch and how do you project him as an NFL player?
Coach Kill: Adam, I would say certainly the two players most people are familiar with now from my past are Bart Scott and Brandon Jacobs as well as Paul Spicer. They are three of the more recent players and I would rank Larry English right up there with them. I feel Larry will be a great NFL playerand I look for him to play for a long time at the next level.

Jim Downers Grove: What are the plans for getting an indoor practice facility. Good luck next season--I hope that NIU can do it's part for the MAC and beat at least one of the Big 10 teams on the schedule.
Coach Kill: Jim - Coach Kill would love an indoor practice facility as soon as possible.

Clarence Swamptown (Sycamore): Jerry, thanks for taking time to chat. My questions regard pro prospects. I've seen Larry English projected anywhere from round 1-4, where do you see him being taken in the NFL Draft? Do you see anyone else being a late pick? Which other players are gaining interest as potential free agents? Best of luck next season.
Coach Kill: Clarence, I feel Larry English will be a first round draft choice or early second round. Matt Simon could very well be a late round draft pick.

Jim (Elgin): Hello Coach Kill; Who do you believe has the best Football facilities in the MAC?
Coach Kill: Hi Jim, At this point, I haven't been to all the places in the MAC yet. I know there is a lot of talk about Akron's new stadium. We'll have to see...

Bryan (DeKalb): Before the NIU football team comes out on the field, we are going to chat "Kill, Kill, Kill" what do u think? isn't that intimidating .. i think it will work and cheer everyone up.
Coach Kill: Bryan - Whatever it takes to get the fans fired up is all right with me!

Jerry (Sycamore): Coach, enjoy reading about you guys in the Chronicle! How has Pat Schiller done this spring? He was great in high school.
Coach Kill: Jerry - Pat Schiller has had a great spring and we feel like he'll be a great mike 'backer in our league.

Derice Johnson: The defensive line is obviously hurt from the graduation of last years seniors. DJ Pirkle and Mike Krause played plenty of snaps last year but they cannot play them all. Who is stepping up at the D Tackle and D End and do you think that the Defensive Line can be as strong as last years?
Coach Kill: Derice, I think we all know it's hard to replace Larry English and we won't, but we have recruited very well at that position and also redshirted some youngsters and hopefully these young ones will keep improving and come through for us.

Neal (Mundelein): Which player has used the weight room in the off season to help his status in 2009-2010?
Coach Kill: Neal -- All of our players that have gone through our weight program and put the effort in have improved.

Jay (Wheaton): What is your opinion about the number of weeknight games scheduled for the MAC near the end of the season? Does it help recruiting? If so, do the pros outweigh the cons? Thanks and good luck this year.
Coach Kill: Jay - The exposure we receive does help recruiting and you can't put a price on the value of being on ESPN and getting the notoriety for your school. However, it's very difficult sometimes for our fans and also for the youngsters that have schedules and an academic schedule during the week. It is really tough when you go on the road. There are pluses and minuses to both. I definitely think it's a pro this year that we only have two on Thursdays and they are at home. That is a pro and much better than last year playing four. As a coach I'd say that's about right.

Sarasota: Hi - Coach. There's been a lot of defensive personnel defense; will the Huskies adapt the style on D?
Coach Kill: Hello Sarasota - We're always trying to improve each year on all sides of the ball. We visited Florida, Virginia Tech and TCU over the winter months to get some new ideas to help the personnel changes that we've had. Tracy Claeys and his staff have always done a good job coaching defense and I feel very strongly they will again.
Coach Kill: Everyone, thanks for the questions, gotta go watch some film and find some players. I hope to see everyone next Saturday at the Spring Preview! Go Huskies!!
Moderator NIU: Thanks everyone and keep logging on to www.niuhuskies.com for all the latest news on Huskie football.