Jerry Kill: Coaching from press box 'wouldn't make any difference'

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Embattled Gopher football head coach Jerry Kill met the media Tuesday for the first time since his on-field seizure at TCF Bank Saturday afternoon.

At the outset, he batted away questions about his health, without answering directly whether he even considered stepping aside.

"I appreciate everyone's thoughts through the weekend," Kill said. "The press conference today is about our football players and our football team who did a great job Saturday.

"This game is not about a football coach, it's about the players."

Asked if he will consider coaching from the press box, Kill said, "No, I haven't ever thought about it. It wouldn't make any difference anyway."

Kill's epilepsy has generated a spirited conversation this week about whether he should remain in his position. Among those suggesting that Kill step down was Star Tribune columnist Jim Souhan, but Kill has also gotten an outpouring of support. (Souhan later clarified he had no intention of demeaning Kill or his illness.)

Athletic Director Norwood Teague on Monday said he was 100 percent behind Kill.

After Kill left the field on a stretcher Saturday, his team rallied to top Western Illinois, 29-12, to improve to 3-0 in the non-conference portion of the season schedule. But Minnesota did it with backup quarterback Mitch Leidner at the controls, instead of starter Philip Nelson.

Kill said Nelson, who injured his hamstring against the Leathernecks, is only "65-70 percent" healthy.

As for this Saturday: “We’ll be prepared to play Mitch and feel good about it.”

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