When Jerry Kill describes Mitch Leidner’s development this spring, the Gophers coach is quick to mention the hiring of graduate assistant Adam Weber.
Weber is the school’s all-time passing leader, and now he’s working hand-in-hand with quarterbacks coach Jim Zebrowski.
“Leidner’s got to get more consistent, just like our whole football team needs to,” Kill said after Tuesday’s practice.
“I’ve said it over and over again — Adam Weber’s helped him a bunch because he’s about his age, and he played here.
“[Weber] went through four offensive coordinators [with the Gophers]. He’s been in the NFL with two or three different teams. So he’s got a great deal of knowledge, and he’s from Minnesota.
“I think with him and Jimmy working with [Leidner] — that was strictly my call, and I think that’s going to help our football team.”
Leidner appreciates the knowledge Weber, 27, brings from his time with the Broncos and Buccaneers.
“He’s got a couple stories of Peyton [Manning] that he shared with us, and Josh Freeman, so it’s pretty cool to hear about how those guys do things,” Leidner said.
Weber said he’s “just trying to be a resource. Right now, I’m learning what it means to be a coach. And then, when it comes to quarterback play, helping Mitch and the other guys out, just try to pass on little things I learned along the way.”
Leidner didn’t look the sharpest Tuesday, but he was also playing through a rib injury. He hurt himself twisting with a medicine ball right before practice. It sounded like he might not practice, but he barely missed a snap.
Injuries hit tight ends
Former Gopher tight end Maxx Williams visited practice, but he’s headed to the NFL. One of his potential replacements, Brandon Lingen, broke his collarbone earlier in camp and will need about four to five weeks to heal, Kill said.
The Gophers also had tight ends Nick Hart and Nate Wozniak banged up before spring break. Both practiced Tuesday, but the injury bug has made it tough at that position.
“You don’t want those guys hurt, that’s for sure,” Kill said. “But we need to work all those receivers, too. So we just run a different personnel grouping [with more three-receiver sets].”
Special teamers wanted
Kill said the Gophers need more depth on special teams, so players such as Damarius Travis and Eric Murray, both defensive backs, can get a break.
“Being on special teams is fine, but Eric Murray and Damarius — they never left the field much,” Kill said. “So we’d like to take a little pressure of them.”
• Running back Berkley Edwards, who missed the first five spring practices because of a hamstring injury, was back at full speed.
• Linebacker De’Vondre Campbell was another player back at full speed after being banged up before the break.