Brickey Post-Spring Q&A (Part II)

In the second of a two-part question and answer session with offensive coordinator Steve Brickey, CN gets some post-spring comments on how his group fared this spring in spring drills like two-minute, short-yardage and goal-line situations, and whether those areas will be improved when Iowa State returns to the field in August.

CN: Over at tight end, Brett Kellogg emerged this spring as your top performer and beat out returning backup Kenny Segin and JUCO transfer James Wright.

Brickey: Kellogg's a tough, hard-nosed football player that gives you everything he's got. It's really nice to see that kid find a position, because he wants so badly to contribute. He really wants to help the football team. This spring he finally settled down and channeled all that energy and enthusiasm into positive plays and not be so wound up and keyed up that he made mistakes, as he has done at times in the past. He was a lot more error free in his assignments, then you couple that with the fact that he plays so hard and is a physical guy. We were real pleased with what he did this spring.

CN: What about the status now of Segin and Wright?

Brickey: Those guys will play a lot as well. We feel like that tight end position is going to be a spot where all three of those guys can contribute. We think James Wright is going to be a real fine player. He made progress this spring and still needs to get a bit stronger, upper body strength in particular. But he's an athletic guy and real coach-able kid. He had an occasional mistake or two, because he's new in our system, but he'll be a real positive contributor this fall.

Segin's a steady guy. Particularly in the passing game, he is probably a little bit ahead of the other two at this point. So we'll get him involved in some situations where we might be doing a little bit more throwing. All three of those guys are going to play a lot of football.

CN: The group we don't hear much about because it's probably the steadiest on offense is wide receiver. How did those players grade out this spring?

Brickey: That's a good group and an experienced group that has performed in the past and did again this spring. They probably didn't get the work and/or attention that they would have liked, because the various rotations at quarterback and trying to develop a little more physical presence in the offensive line. I'm sure the wide receivers would have liked to have had more action, but when we called upon them they played well. They really stepped up some things, in terms of doing the little things. Their effort and blocking was exceptional.

We think we've added to that group a little bit, with Jon Davis, Andy Kohler and Todd Miller. They've improved. There's such good competition there for playing, none of the guys can afford to take a day off.

CN: Evaluate your offense's performance in various situations this spring, like goal-line, red-zone and short-yardage.

Brickey: The first thing I would say is our defense has definitely improved and made it a little tougher on us. I think they're better. But in some situations and on some days, I thought we did real well. We were consistently anytime we worked with our backs to our own end zone trying to punch it out of there trying to make some first downs. That was probably one of our better segments that we were good with all spring.

We were good at times on the goal-line and I thought that area improved a little bit from the past. We're still not as good as we want to be, but there was some improvement there.

We were good early on in the two-minute stuff, but didn't do as well later in the spring. That's an area we have been pretty good in our no-huddle, two-minute stuff, so that's something we've got to make sure we pick up the pace on a little bit in the fall.

The short-yardage stuff is an area we're still trying very hard to improve. We weren't as good as I'd like to be. The red-zone was spotty. We were good at times and not as good at other times. That was something we improved quite a bit last fall from two years ago, and we sure don't want to let that slide. That was definitely a real point of emphasis of improvement a year ago. We've got to get back to being a little better there.

CN: Finally, give us your outlook for this offense heading into the 2003 season.

Brickey: I feel like we've got a chance to be an effective offense. I think we'll be better in a lot of areas. I think we're deeper than we've ever been with guys that we feel comfortable putting on the field. Ultimately, it's still going to come down to getting effective play from the quarterback position. That's still the thing that's up in the air a little bit. If we do, I like our chances of having another effective offense like we did last year, and still be better than we were in some areas.

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