Coach McCarney Quotes From Presser

Dan McCarney talks about spring ball.

Iowa State football head coach Dan McCarney Press Conference quotes on April 11, 2006

Iowa State spring game is Saturday at 1 p.m. in Jack Trice Stadium

"Spring football has gone real fast.  We're going to get another pad practice (Wednesday), shorts Friday and then the spring game on Saturday.  Coach (Brian) Schneider won the toss and he'll be the head coach of the starters (first and fourth-teamers) and coach (Shawn) Simms will be the head coach of the reserves. The reserves start the game with a 21-0 lead.  I like the format we have been doing in recent years.  I think it's a lot more game-like and a lot more realistic.  You get into more situations with more urgency when you're down three touchdowns with your starters to start the game.  We don't want to get into the practice of that when we get into the fall but I think it's a real good situation and I like it.  In fact, you remember last year it came down to a goal line stand at the end of the game.  We've had some real good competitive spring games and I think you get a lot more out of them this way.  Our first-teamers have been going against each other all spring, and one day they get to unite and be on the same team and play together and try to win a football game.  So I think it's a good way to do it." 

"We'll have 12-minute quarters like we've been doing and a 15-minute halftime.  I'll check at second half to see based on the injuries, because we had a few more this spring than normal, whether we go down to 10 minute quarters, let the clock run. I'll just see how it is at halftime and we'll go from there.  We're still finalizing our kicking game plans.  You know with a new punter, new kickoff guy, and the competition at PAT's and field goals we may want to get a little more work than normal and were just going to continue to work through that and see where were at after (Wednesday's) practice.  But we won't be covering kicks, there won't be kickoffs and kick off returns, but myself, Brian Schneider and his coaches are still finalizing what we may want to work on with our punt team.  Punt returns will probably be fair catches but we just need to finalize some things in the next couple of days." 

"The absentees, the guys who won't play in the spring game are: Jon Davis (WR), Scott Stephenson (C), Seth Zehr (OG), Jordan Goos (L), John Machado (DL, Ryan Baum (WR/PR), Milan Moses (WR), Joe Conklin (DB), Jason Scales (RB), and Eric Shultz (TE).  Those guys won't play and then Nick Frere (DL) and Todd Blythe (WR) are questionable right now.  Nothing serious with either one of them.  Todd Blythe didn't get to scrimmage Saturday, he's got a bruise knee and it's not the knee that he had surgery on fortunately, so that's the best news.  But I don't need to run him out there on Saturday.  If he's not a 100 percent then I don't need to put him out there to see if he can play winning football in the Big 12.  So we'll see how he is in the next couple of days.  Frere had a practice injury on Monday and we'll see how he is doing.  We hope he will be able to play, because he is the mix there as a No. 2  in the defensive line." 

"Mike Brandter is definitely our starting punter, he just needs to be more consistent.  He has shown all kinds of potential and has a real strong leg but he is real conscientious and has done a lot of good things this spring. Saturday will be big for him because there will be people in the stands and its going to be great weather and I want him to step out there and look like a Big 12 starting punter for us at Iowa StateBret Culbertson is definitely our starting PAT and field-goal guy.  We will continue to evaluate, especially (Wednesday) for the kickoffs because we have a number of guys who are in the hunt there and I don't know who the No. 2 is there because no one has been consistent as a backup PAT/field goal guy. Shaggy (Culbertson) is definitely our starter PAT and field-goal guy." 

"I like the competition so far this spring. I think it has been a real good spring.  You know any time you have guys out of the lineup and have a few guys missing, that always makes you a little nervous because you don't get a real test or evaluation on a Saturday when Stephenson, Zehr, Blythe, and Jon Davis are out of the lineup.  You're pulling some real good players out of there. This impacts my evaluation of our No. 1 offense coming out of Saturday's scrimmage.  It's hard to be real accurate when you have a lot of the most important pieces that weren't even there.  But I know this much, this team wants to win.  They want to carry on the tradition of successful winning seasons, going to post season play, and challenging for championships.  From that standpoint I think its been real good."


"Among the most improved guys on our team is James Smith, who is holding down that No. 1 strong safety spot.  He has had a tremendous spring.  Everybody thought he was too short, except myself and my defensive coaches.  Watch his career.  It will be special.  (Smith) is going to be something but he needs a lot of work and experience in playing in games.  He has never played in a Big 12 college game yet but he is going to be something.  Tyrone McKenzie has played SAM and MIKE linebacker and is a great addition to the Iowa State family.  Alvin Bowen (WLB), as good as he was off the bench last year, he will help us win games. He has really improved this spring and will be a tremendous player.  Kurtis Taylor (DE) has really stepped it up for us and will be much more than a special teams player for us. He has really solidified a No. 1 spot on the defensive line.  Chris Singleton (DB) continues to impress all of us.  Losing all-Big 12 defensive back Lamarcus Hicks to graduation meant we needed someone to step up and so far it has been Singleton on defense.  Offensively, (WR) Austin Flynn has had a great spring.  Ryan Kock (FB) is playing the best football of his career.  Kyle Van Winkle is our No. 2 at quarterback  -- it's not even close.  It has been that way ever since the first day of spring ball and I am really impressed with (Kock's) improvement and the things that he has done." 

"I am really impressed with how hard these kids have worked.  I am real impressed with the tempo that we have had all spring.  I think we have accomplished a lot and we have thrown an awful lot at our players.  A majority of this spring has been trying to get Iowa State better while not worrying so much about our opponents.  Even though as coaches we worry about them and we write them down and critique them and prepare all the time, on the field we try to get Iowa State as good as Iowa State can be this spring.  The door is going to be wide open for some of those No. 2 spots this fall.  There's no doubt about it. Considering the large class that we signed, I would be very disappointed if some of those newcomers don't come in and challenge for those back-up spots.  If they're good enough to start, then great, we will make a lot of people silly. I think it's a heck of a class.   For years, they have not ranked our recruiting classes high and yet we have been going to post season play for a lot of years. We just continue to find ways to win and bring pride and success to Iowa State football.  So, I'll open it up to questions and I appreciate everyone being here today."


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