- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 23, 2014

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Illinois football coach Tim Beckman says the push to find a new offensive line coach with preseason practices starting Aug. 4 was “kind of crazy.”

But Beckman said Wednesday that he found the right guy in Tom Brattan.

Brattan is taking over for A.J. Ricker who left earlier this month to coach the offensive line at Missouri.

Beckman says he talked to four potential replacements but wanted to avoid hiring someone from another coaching staff given that the season is so close.

Brattan says he’s been able to work quickly to get to know his players. The line has four starters back. Brattan says one key area to work on is communication and the terminology his line uses.

Illinois opens Aug. 30 against Youngstown State. The Illini were 4-8.

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