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9/14/2010: Kirk Ferentz teleconference transcript (premium)

Posted on 14. Sep, 2010 by in Iowa Football

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By Brendan Stiles

HawkeyeDrive.com

Below is a written transcript of Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz’s teleconference on Tuesday with the Big Ten media:

Ferentz’s opening statement:

“It was certainly good to get the win on Saturday. We played Iowa State, who came on and had a great season last year, so we were eager to play the game. It was a great crowd and a great environment, and fortunately, our team came out ready to play. I’m happy to get the win and now, we’ve got to move on.

“We have a very tough task in a couple of ways. We’ve got a road trip out to the west coast, or the West at least, this week, which is one thing to deal with. And then more importantly, we’re playing an excellent football team in Arizona, a team we really have a lot of respect for last year going into our game with them, and came out of that game with even more respect. They’re an excellent football team, and I think everybody would agree, they’re a much better team this year. It’s going to be a great task, a great challenge for us. We’re going to have a really busy week getting ready for it.”

On Adam Robinson’s success thus far in 2010 at running back:

“We thought he had a good year last year, and that was his first year playing obviously. I think it’s like any player. You hope from Year One whenever they do get to the field, to Year Two, they improve, and I think that’s basically the case. He has done a good job. We have had pretty good blocking the first two games, and he has taken that and done a good job with that. And then more importantly, he really finishes runs. He’s a guy that you have to tackle. He runs with great determination, and we’re hopeful he can go on and have a great year.”

On Robinson’s toughness, in reference to coming back from an ankle injury and playing vs. Ohio State last year:

“Yeah, one thing with him, toughness has never been an issue. He has always been very determined, always very tough and competitive. He has a very quiet demeanor. He doesn’t say much and you hardly know he’s around, on the field or in the building. From that standpoint, he has just got a very quiet demeanor. But when he’s on the field and competing, and he does the same thing when he blocks, he’s a high-energy guy. It’s a tribute to him.”

On the Big Ten’s image being affected negatively or positively based on Michigan’s performance:

“I don’t know if I can answer that. You’re probably a lot more aware of those things than I am. But just in general terms, I think things are cyclical in college football. Not talking about Michigan specifically, but if you look at any program, whether it’s a well-known program through the years or a program not so well-known, every program has its ups-and-downs. I think that’s pretty well-documented, and I think last year was evidence of that. I think there were, I can’t remember but, a couple or three teams that didn’t make bowls or were like 6-6, whatever it may have been, or 7-5 that are traditionally are New Year’s Day bowl teams. I think it’s just those are indicators that everything is cyclical in college football, and I think it’s the same when you start comparing conferences.

“I’ve said this many times: Everybody thought the sky was falling in the Big Ten in 2002, and we had four teams in the top 13. A year ago, it was the same situation. The sky was falling, and I think we ended up with a pretty strong situation. That’s a little bit more global than the world I live in, I guess.”

On whether he would recruit mobile quarterbacks and see the Big Ten moving that direction:

“I guess if there are two right now, then we’re moving that way at least with two teams. But I think we’re probably like most teams. You try to recruit the best players you can by position. We’re not an option team or quarterback-run team by design. But if we had a guy capable of that, then we would probably utilize his skills that way. Our playbook is not that thick. I doubt many people’s are. Especially at Iowa, we just try to recruit the best players we can recruit, and do what suits their skills.

“I think bottom line, most coaches are just trying to win. For most programs, that’s what it’s all about and you try to recruit the best players possible and go from there. I’m sure there are exceptions to that rule. I’m sure Georgia Tech would not recruit a guy unless he can run. I only say that because we played them last year in a bowl game, and that’s what they do. They’re strictly an option team.”

On Norm Parker’s status for going to Arizona this week:

“As far as Norm goes, I made the comment the other day that Norm is diabetic, and I think that’s well-known. He is under care right now, and I think it’s doubtful that he will be with us this week.”

On whether facing a Denard Robinson or Terrelle Pryor changes how Big Ten teams prepare:

“We haven’t gotten that far. We’re playing a quarterback [this week] that, I’m not saying he’s not mobile, but he doesn’t intentionally run much. All I know is he can throw the heck out of the ball. So we’re a little more focused this week on guys on defending guys that can really throw the ball well. That’s what we’re going to see this Saturday.”

On whether his team is aware that Arizona has outscored opponents 93-8 this season:

“That’s all? Yeah, basically it has been two slaughters. We know that. This team, they were really good last year. We were very impressed going into the game, and I think we came away even more impressed. The obvious change is the quarterback after our ball game, and he went on and just had tremendous success. Going back to the last question, we played these guys last year and we were concerned about a running quarterback. That’s what their design was, and certainly, they have really changed design now. They’re a team that is going to throw the football. [Nick] Foles has done a great job leading their football team last year, and as a result, they have gotten off to a really impressive start, not just offensively, but defensively.”

On if there’s anything specific about Foles that impresses him:

“He is what you would expect from a good-throwing quarterback. He’s a good decision-maker, he’s quick in his operation, and he has been accurate with his throws. And they’ve got a lot of good guys to get the ball to. They’re very, very talented. They’ve got a veteran offensive line. It’s a very well-conceived scheme. They’ve got good players, and more importantly, their trigger guy has done a very nice job. He’s a good football player.”

On whether he acknowledges the difference in time zone:

“It would be tough for us not to acknowledge it. We’ll just do our normal routine with it being a night game. We’ll do our Friday night meetings on Saturday instead of Friday, and we’ll travel out there. We just had a couple of practices later than normal during camp just so our guys are aware of it. At the end of the day, it’s going to affect the coaches a lot more than the players. Players are young, and they’re used to being active at 9 o’clock at night. Coaches, we’re all well in bed by then.”

On how not having Parker affects his defense’s preparation:

“It’s like a football team. We’re better off if we have all of our best players with us, and Norm is certainly one of the critical cogs of our operation. But unfortunately right now, it’s not going to work that way, and it was that way for the better part of last week. The good news, I guess if anything, we’ve got a veteran staff, guys that have worked together, and they work extremely well together, even though it’s kind of grabbing a little bit more of the responsibility. We’ll find a way to get it done. That’s just what we’ll have to do. We certainly would offer if Norm was with us, and hopefully, he’ll be back with us soon.”

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