Luke Fickell Sounds Annoyed Wisconsin Players Are Missing Practice

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Wisconsin football coach Luke Fickell doesn’t sound overly happy with some guys sitting out practice.

The Badgers are rolling through spring practice with the team’s spring game happening this Saturday. Fans are pumped up to see what the team looks like with a more aggressive and pass happy offense with Tanner Mordecai leading the way.

Well, before that happens, Fickell would like to see some players get back on the field instead of sitting out practices.

Fickell said the following after last Thursday’s practice about guys not being available (via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel):

I think more than anything, our guys are starting to figure out how we do things, the pace at which we do them. Not just the tempo of playing the game, but the pace at which we do everything. Now we’ve just got to take some other steps in all areas. We had too many guys that didn’t make practice today or too many guys that are dinged up. You’ve got to find ways to be able to get out there and go. Practice nine everybody’s going to be a little bit hurt…We can’t go at the pace we want to go if we don’t have enough guys out here. This last third of spring ball we’ve got to do a really good job of guys taking care of themselves to make sure they can get out there and practice.

Luke Fickell doesn’t sound happy with everyone.

It doesn’t take an expert to read those comments and understand Fickell sounds very annoyed. Whenever a head coach is saying “our guys are starting to figure out how we do things, the pace at which we do them,” you know he’s not happy.

Injuries happen in football. That’s just the nature of the beast. Hell, injuries happen in just about every sport out there. But there’s a difference between being “dinged up” as Fickell said and still able to play, and then being hurt to the point you can’t suit up.

Luke Fickell talks about Wisconsin players missing practice. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

Fickell’s comments definitely give the impression there are some dudes who could push the limits and are choosing not to. Spring is when the depth chart first shakes. Players definitely don’t want to be viewed by the staff as not tough.

That’s a great way to end up buried on the depth chart and not getting close enough to the field to sniff playing time.

Wisconsin fans are pumped for the season to start.

Wisconsin Badgers football fans are excited about the direction of the program for the first time in a very long time.

After several straight disappointing seasons under Paul Chryst, it feels like there’s finally some real energy and optimism in Madison.

Tanner Mordecai is under center after putting up huge numbers at SMU, the receiving room has the most potential in years and Luke Fickell has people believing Wisconsin will, once again, return to the program’s winning ways.

Luke Fickell doesn’t sound happy about guys missing practice. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

Week one is four and a half months away for the Wisconsin Badgers. Camp Randall is going to be rocking when the Luke Fickell era officially gets underway in Madison. That’s a guarantee you can take to the bank.

Written by David Hookstead

David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture.

He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics.

Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.


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  1. QUESTION: Is the current Training /Medical Staff “Fickell’s people” or holdovers from the PC regime? I assume they are 100% UW people. At most Power5 schools Go/No Go decisions on a player’s fitness for practice are the responsibility of a Medical Staff that is NOT under the HC’s control.

    In “the old days” the HC DID outrank the docs. Not any more …

  2. I did some research and …. the UW FB medical staff DO NOT answer to the HC. The Docs must sign off before an injured player is released to return to practice. It is NOT designed to be an adversarial relationship but to protect the health / wellbeing of the athlete – which may not always be a priority with over-aggressive coaches. … It is the same system Longo and Bicknell (sp?) were used to at UNCCH … but perhaps not what Fickell had at Cincy.

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