The 2019 Big Ten Media Days have begun and Illinois head coach Lovie Smith has been to the podium.

He’s spoken with the media. He’s been asked questions and he’s made statements. To start off, Smith brought up the fact that he knows Illinois has had one of the worst-ranked defenses in the entire country.

He continued that thought a few hours later when being asked about improvements his defense can make by the members of the BTN staff:

“Where do we begin?” Smith asked, while laughing.

That isn’t necessarily a great sign, but it could be seen as a positive one. Smith is in his fourth season as the man in charge of the Fighting Illini. He’s been around the block now and has seen the positives and negatives.

If there’s something positive to be taken here, it’s that Smith knows that his defense has been a negative. Hey, he acknowledges it. Now, it’s just a matter of changing what happens on that side of the ball.

Here are some other things Smith said at Big Ten Media Days: