Tom Schmeling Q&A

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Q:  We just had a chance to talk to Coach McFarland and he said that the offensive line was pretty much set.  Talk about how you feel that line is right now.


Schmeling:  We're coming along really well.  We're getting our communication down and getting used to how we're fitting into each other on double teams.  We're getting that cohesiveness that we need.  Now we just need to focus on the task at hand.


Q:  How physical is this unit right now? 


Schmeling:  I feel we're really good.  I don't think we're where we want to be…we're pretty close, but we've just got to get there.

Q:  One of the guys that's going to be in that starting unit is Dedrick.  Talk about his game and his thoughts on how he's come along.


Schmeling: I think the biggest thing about Dedrick is since he got here he knew he had to put on some weight.  He's done a great job with that.  I've seen him block our guys.  He's fitting into the scheme.  It's working out really well.


Q:  Talk about the surprise emergence of Robinson at running back and talk about the battle between he, JJ, and Jason.


Schmeling:  All of the running backs are looking good. Scales is running strong.  He's fighting back from an injury.  JJ is the real deal.

Q:  What's the passing game looking like?


Schmeling:  Good.  Bret seems to be getting his timing down.  There's not too many new guys except for Wallace and he's fitting in well for us.  We, as a line, our pass protection has come a long way from where we were.

Q:  The wide receivers…I was looking at some of their stats from before.  Todd's put on about ten pounds, and some of the other backs got bigger, stronger, faster.  How are they looking out there?  Talk about some of the little things that they're doing now that they weren't doing before.

Schmeling:  It's just continuing to get better in everything they do.  I don't know a lot of the little things because I'm trying to focus on my stuff, but doing what's asked of them…that's all they can do.


Q:  In terms of the offensive line, who's running with the twos on the offensive line?


Schmeling: We're switching in a few people and trying to figure out who fits the best.


Q:  Who are those guys?


Schmeling:  There are just a few other guys.


Q:  In terms of the tight end position…that seems to be evolving in an interesting way.  We heard about their learning the pass block and we noticed them.  Talk about the evolution of that position in the offense.


Schmeling:  They're coming along.  It's always funny for us.  We used to tease them about how they never had to pass block and now they do.  The first few times they got out there and tried it, it wasn't exactly pretty.  They're coming along well.  I imagine we're trying to use them a lot more and they becoming good targets for us.


Q:  How's Howe doing?


Schmeling:  Good.  I imagine it's got to be a tough transition going from d-line to tight end, but he's working out really well.


Q:  And Lamaak?  How's he doing making the transition from tight end to tackle?


Schmeling:  Lamaak's looking pretty good.


Q:  In terms of the offense, give us your impression of the running game.  Is it a power running game?  Is it more of finesse running game?

Schmeling:  I think we'll be everything…speed, power, inside, outside…that's all you can do because you've got to keep defenses guessing. 


Q:  As an offensive player, give us your impression of where the Cyclone defense is right now.


Schmeling:  The defense is coming along pretty well.  They seem to be getting Coach Chizik's schemes down.  They're fast.  We're going to fly the ball this year.

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