McCarney Post Game Q&A

The Cardinal squad handed a 42-28 whooping to the Whites on Saturday and Iowa State head coach Dan McCarney talked to the media afterwards in the Jacobson Building. In this piece, read a Q&A session that the coach had with reporters after the big game.

How was Adam Carper for you today?


McCarney: I thought Carper looked good. He's athletic. The interceptions were really good plays. He's put himself in the position to be a really good player for us. He got some very valuable experience for us last year. He started some, and was ok as a starter but better as a back-up. He really looked like a starter out there today. He showed that he just won't be a guy, but will make plays for us. Shawn Sims has done a really nice job with Carper. I think he's got a great future, I really do. He reminds me a lot of a Nick Mosier type of player. He can play a lot of different positions. He was a high school quarterback and defensive back. We needed to find the right position for him and I think it is SAM linebacker. He's got a chance to have a really good career.


Can you talk about how you though Bryce Braaksma and Stephon Dale looked today?


McCarney: We were very limited with our calls. We had a very small game plan and that's the way I wanted it. I don't want a whole bunch of stuff out there in the Spring Game. That's a very small portion of our normal game plan and what we'll be doing in the fall. I thought they were solid but we're not where we need to be. There's a big drop off right now at NG and I'm hoping that there will be a small drop off when we kickoff on Aug. 31. If you say that we need somebody as good as Nick Leaders, not so fast. We've got to be good enough to play winning football against whoever it is. If it's Dale, Braaksma, Berg or one of those new defensive linemen coming in, I could care a less who it is. WE've got to have somebody who we can count on, trust and win with come August.


What impressed you the most offensively and defensively with the white team? (2's and 3's)


McCarney: Kyle Van Winkle did some good things. He had some pretty good pressure at times even with the four man rush and zone blitzes all day. I thought he did some nice things. Houston Jones made a couple of nice catches, he should have had three. He should have made the first catch that he missed. Then had came back and made two really nice catches. Marquis Hamilton and Jason Harris did some nice things at times. All of those guys who haven't played at all or have played very little, it's exciting for them. I asked some of the coaches at half time how big their eyes were? In most situations they were pretty big. It's a Spring Game and it's a scrimmage, but there are people in the stands. It's game like. They were game uniforms. You have officials and you find out about guys. It's a good valuable teaching thing and that's why the Spring Game is always really important to me and if I have any vote in it, we'll always have a Spring Game here at Iowa State.


What was your impression of the performance of the young secondary?


McCarney: The best play in the secondary all day was James Smith's interception. That's what I want to see. I know he's a physical tackler and a really good run support defensive back. He needs to continue to see the big picture and continue to improve in coverage. I thought it was a great play, not a good play but a great play. We just can't get enough work, with all of those guys. Smith, Berg (Caleb), Banks (Jon) and Hunley (Brandon), coming out of spring ball are our top four safeties. I don't know that they'll be our top four coming up on Aug. 31. We have a number of DB's coming in. Those guys have got to continue to improve. James Smith did some things today that I think solidified him being one of those guys being number one heading into two-a-days on Aug. 1.


Is this where you want this team to be?


McCarney: Yeah, you always want to be further along. You hope for progress and improvement and we saw those things this spring. I wanted to see this team toughen up physically and mentally. I think we did that. I wanted to see this team play to win and compete to win.


There's stuff out there that talks about mediocrity when it comes to this program. I don't know what people have been smoking lately that would make somebody say something like that, it's some bad weed I guess. When you look back over the last six years and you see that there are more wins than since Teddy Roosevelt was president. We play a little tougher schedule now than when Teddy was in office. We're going to build on it. We've got great things going on in this program. I'm really proud of the accomplishments that we have right now. I know that there are great things ahead for all of us. I wouldn't trade my staff for any in the country. I think that we have some pretty special days ahead of us just like there are special days behind us.


I got a little bit excited there huh? (Laughter) Just don't ask a question about mediocrity. I might come over the top of this thing. (More laughter)


You have to be used to people second guessing at this point. People aren't expecting much from Iowa State.


McCarney: I think that the first thing that you do when people say that is they look at the schedule and go wow! We know what we're doing and we've got a good plan. We've got good kids and a good staff. We have a tradition of winning. We have a rich program here of winning and success. I make no apologies for five bowl games in the last six years. Only five teams have done that in the Big 12. I'm going into my twelfth season, I've seen administrators and coaches from Iowa State come and go. I've seen administrators and coaches come and go so fast it will make your head spin and I'm still here. I'm still standing. I'm still the head coach at Iowa State and I'm damn proud of it. We have some great days in front of us boys. 

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