Closing Comments from Coach Mac

On whether Ryan Kock will play defense…


We saw in the spring he had a little bit of a chance to help us there. So he's our starting fullback and if we go into short yardage and goal line it's Ryan Kock, but whether he's ready to step in there and start playing some on defense I don't know. He was a ways away in the spring. We just want him on the field to help our team. Ryan's one of them Austin Flynn kinds of guys from an unselfish attitude - you put me where I can help you. So he'll definitely be out there at fullback and whether he plays on defense or not he'll have to earn that this two-a-days.



On an improved offense…


One of the main reasons I just feel good coming to work everyday right now is the continuity. From the head coach to my graduate assistants everybody returns. My strength staff, my video staff, my equipment staff, my training staff. Every bit of it is so important to Iowa State football. They're here. It's the same people. So everybody knows how to work. We succeed together, we sure aren't where we want to be yet, but we've done a lot of good things together.


And knowing that Barney's coming back and now we're not starting from scratch. How we coach, what our expectations are, all those things it really will help. Now is that insuring touchdowns? No. But I just love the passion, the talent, thee chemistry of my offensive staff, under Barney's leadership. To answer your question, should we be a better offense this season – no question. Who ever ends up starting on the offensive line, whoever ends up being our backup, whoever ends up being our backup quarterback, whoever ends up being our two and three and four tight ends and those things. When it's all said and done we should be a better offense this year and I put my trust and faith in Barney to do that.



On Aaron Brant


He's a quiet giant. He's a kid that wants to lead by example but he has slowly but surely started to emerge verbally and being a verbal leader and trying to say some things. Listen to Matt McGettigan and Chris Ruf and other players this summer.


So he's slowly but surely coming out of his shell. As a leader, as a player he's been out of his shell a long time. When he committed to me before he even began his junior year of high school I knew we had something special. And coming in and starting regardless of the record of the team. It sure as heck wasn't good two years ago and he still started and played all year as a true freshman on the offensive line. As time goes on I'll be very surprised if he isn't one of the better offensive linemen this school has ever had. He's not there yet, but he's well on his way to become one of those kinds of players.


I love him. The family's unbelievable. He's from Dubuque-Wahlert High School, lived on a farm. Everybody knows chores, he knows hard work. They've cleaned the chicken house, they've slopped hogs, baled hay and you know that when you're in that home and your around that family. So you can't throw too much at Aaron Brant. Just like you can't throw too much at Jordan Carstens. You can't throw too much work at them. They've already had more than that growing up on the farm.



On the development of Shawn Moorehead


He's 250 pounds. He came in here and he looked like a stick, he was a pencil. He was a big, tall, skinny guy who looked like he might be out of place trying to go to the Big 12 and play.


The coach up there at Mason City Newman said there's something real special about this kid, I don't know how long it will take but someday he'll play for you. Boy was [the coach] a prophet.


Shawn stepped in and started for us and played winning football every week. We won, we lost, we won big, and we lost a heartbreaker. We won close games, Shawn Moorehead was right in the middle of that success. Good luck trying to beat him out Cephus Johnson, Korey Smith, Jason Berryman, you name them, good luck trying to beat out Shawn Moorehaed.


Again if he stays healthy, that's always a big if in this game. If he stays healthy I'd be shocked if he's not one of our 11 on September 3rd. He is really something. 250 pounds and he has 12 starts under his belt and the confidence of everybody in this program and the confidence that he's already built in himself. He can go out there and play winning football.


What an unbelievable kid. He's an unbelievable kid. One of the better students; he had a 3.7 in the spring, dean's list. Quietly goes about his business, and a phenomenal young man. I'm glad we have him for two more years.



On whether they'll throw more this year…


It'll just depend on can we protect? Obviously it's a good receiving core. We want to have as much balance as we can, because we know in physical games, in defensive games, in low scoring games, which we know we'll get into at times that running game is so important.


And if you do throw, throw it with efficiency, but you know play in and play out if we can protect, we do have playmakers at wide receiver. We've got a quarterback who knows how to win in this game and has a good arm and can turn a bad play into a good one when he scrambles.


So if we want to throw when we want to throw not out of desperation. We want to be able to dictate that's when we throw and not let the defense dictate when we want to throw. As much as we can, we want to come out on 1st and 10 and throw something. We'd like to come out on 2nd and two and throw the ball with efficiency. We need to come out at third and three or two sometimes and throw the ball with efficiency, but if you had protection like we did in the bowl game you can do that. If you had protection like we did in the Oklahoma State game last year, good luck. We didn't protect very good and next thing you know we got four turnovers. And a lot of that starts with the way we protect that quarterback.


On what position Berryman will play…


He'll play one of the outside positions, either defensive end, rush. You know we've got to get him into shape. He's been away from football for a year. He's been here working out with our players this summer. But he'll play somewhere along that defense.


He is almost 250 pounds and he did make his conditioning time when he ran with the players a couple of weeks ago. So he's in shape now. And those things as you know are secondary I'm just answering an honest question. Those things to me are secondary. Has he grown as a man? Has he learned from his mistakes? Has he taken responsibility for his mistakes?


As I mentioned a number of times, that whole thing with Jason would have been a lot easier for me and for Jason for him to go on to a JC and play some place else. We both know, he and I both know this is tougher for he, this is tougher for me to come back here and face up for him. Especially to come face the people that he so disappointed with his behavior. But I'm real proud of the job he's done this summer.


He hasn't gotten a dime from us, he's gotten support and slowly but surely I think he's proven to people around here that he deserves an opportunity to come back on this team. But may the best man win. It's not like we got open spots on the defensive line. We got some real talent there. Cephus in his senior year doesn't want to sit there and watch. And Shawn Moorehead in his junior year doesn't want to watch. Curvey's not going to be watching and who's going to beat out Leaders?  You name them, nobody around here, nobody in this room.


He's going down to the scout team and if he gets back on the team and takes care of his academics. He'll work his way up, back on this team. That's the way it is. You're going to earn your way back on this team. It will be slow; it's not for show, that's the way it is. You're going to earn you way back on this football team one day at a time


On the schedule….


There's no doubt that Texas and Oklahoma are high ranked, we all know that. You know they'll be right back on the schedule next year but meanwhile Oklahoma State was in the Alamo Bowl last year and Baylor was much improved. Everybody giggled, laughed, oh big deal Mac got a win over Baylor. They just turned around the next week and beat Texas A&M who ends up being in the Cotton Bowl. So Guy Morriss isn't going to come in here being a dummy. He knows what he's doing.


So those teams will be better and they'll be improved I think. Mike Gundy is a tremendous football coach. I've always been very impressed with him as a coordinator, as a player and as a coordinator; very impressed again with him at the Big 12 meetings. He's ready for this heads up and he's taking over a program that's been to a number of bowl games so there's not going to be anything easy about it. You know that and I know that. There's nothing easy and about the time we feel that we've arrived and we're taking something for granted at Iowa State they're going to knock us back where we started and I'm not going to let that happen.


On Nick Leaders


I've defiantly coached better athletes, but I don't know if I've ever coached a young man on the defensive line and I was a position coach on defense for sixteen years coaching defensive linemen. I don't know that I've ever enjoyed being around a young man more. I don't know that I've been around a kid more in the defensive line that has cared more about the team concept and gives more to a football team.


He'll walk out there. He's got a hair cut that belongs in the 1960's. He still looks like he should be in Iowa City back in the hippie days of the 1960's. His body is not exactly what we're looking for. Matt McGettigan doesn't put him out there and say ‘well this is what I developed'. His hips might still be a little bit wider than his shoulders. He is a football playing son-of-a-gun. If you want a cat on game days who's going to go out there and make plays for you and give you his heart and soul Nick Leaders is going to give you that and I'm glad he's on my team.

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