Offensive coordinator Tim Beck is starting to sound more like the old Tim Beck after his summer jaw surgery.
Beck told a crowd at the Big Red Breakfast he's playing at about 95 percent now.
A few kernels:
* Beck's philosophy on playing fast: "I always tell them, If everything you see is clear, we're not playing fast enough. What I do is I make them so uncomfortable in practice. We have music blaring, I'm changing personnel. And everything is signaled. They have to focus on the signals, where to line up, what's the play, where's the defense. We're going fast, I'm yelling, 'Let's go, let's go, let's go.' They don't get any breaks because the 2s are over there, the 1s are over there.
"My goal is to create chaos because they have to be comfortable and focused when there's chaos. Our guys have gotten really good at that. They used to hate practice. They were like, 'Coach, it's like a biker bar.' It's nuts."
* But one of the things Beck found himself saying last Saturday? “We got to slow them down. They’re playing so fast, so fired up, they’re running by the guy."
Beck saw a few occasions where linemen missed blocks on the defensive tackle in a rush to get to the second level.
* "We lost focus," Beck said of his team's final failed three drives in the opener.
On some occasions, Beck said the line and tight ends were not blocking the guys the play call dictated. "It was kind of surprising when you go back and look at the tape."
*Beck said the uncertainty of playing a Southern Miss team with a new coaching staff makes matters more difficult this week. “It’s like preparing for a test and you don’t even take that class."
* The Golden Eagles have lost 13 games in a row, but Beck said Southern Miss -- which won 12 games in 2011 before winning none last year -- still has plenty of talent, especially on defense.
"They're probably more athletic than any defense in the Big Ten," he said. "Very fast."
* Beck on playcalling: "You’re setting things up for Game 9 sometimes. It’s just not this game."
* On rotating players, specifically at running back: "You gotta keep them fresh. This is a marathon, this isn't a sprint. Our goal wasn't (only) to beat Wyoming, our goal is to win it all. So you have to keep that in mind."
* The backup quarterback? Beck's answer hasn't changed since the spring. "It depends." Situational decision.
Beck said it's only been in the last couple weeks that Tommy Armstrong has seemed to play at full speed after having his knee cleaned out just before fall camp.
The coach said Armstrong faced a "harder recovery than he thought and we thought."
More to come.