Kirk Ferentz: At that time, I can't remember the particulars but it looked ok in the backfield. Some people were moving on at safety. It means we felt good about our running backs and that we might need some help on defense. So it had to be before Tyler emerged, I am guessing. I can't remember who he followed. We were searching. Adam has always impressed us with his toughness. When you have a guy that is playing something and you can balance the team out, it's a thought process you have.
Q: Do you remember the conversation when you switched him back?
Ferentz: Not really, other than how do you feel about moving back? One of those deals. He didn't take to it the way we had hoped. I could say the same thing about Shonn Greene. The only validation I have in this whole thing is when I was freeloading at the Doak Walker Award dinner, Calvin Hill was up giving his talk and during that time I learned that Tom Landry, they drafted him, he was actually playing tight end there at first with the Cowboys. They were in a preseason game and someone got hurt. They threw him in at running back and he gained 100 yards in a quarter and that is how his pro career going going. Tom Landry blew one, too.
Q: You just never know?
Ferentz: No, you don't. If we knew we would have offered him a scholarship sooner than we did, too. I imagine other people would have too. He is not Barry Sanders, but I think he had four offers. Iowa State, Wichita, Okie State...it happens.
Q: Does RB lend itself more to that?
Ferentz: Yes and no. The great ones are great, they are obvious. I imagine Adrian Peterson looked the part quickly. I doubt they put him at safety. You see a lot of NFL running backs that come from mid to late rounds.
Q: So Anthony Hitchens is your next big running back
Ferentz: I hadn't thought about that. I hope you are right.
Q: How is Mike Daniels?
Ferentz: He is fine. He is ready to go.
Q: Did you find Mike Meyer or did he find you
Ferentz: We knew about him. We were trying to recruit him, convince him to come.
Q: You had two kickers on scholarship, he walked on.
Ferentz: We told him he could come to camp, and we told him he had a very real opportunity. The other thing is we promised him he would have an opportunity to compete and after that it's in his hands. He has confidence. That showed when he got here. The fact that he chose to come shows he had confidence in his own abilities. Worst case he could have sat out. Our biggest sales pitch was that we felt he could kick off for us this year, or have a chance. He has done that and none of us foresaw Dan getting hurt. He is running with it.
Q: What led you after the Arizona game to make the move from Trent to Mike?
Ferentz: I thought it was worth looking at.
Q: Had he practiced well?
Ferentz: Yeah, if he hadn't we would not have considered it. I thought it was worth a shot.
Q: What is his make up like?
Ferentz: It seems to be pretty good. Sorry you can't talk to him. He seems unaffected by everything. That showed up in his first game. We were curious to see how he would kick off and he did well. I am sure his mind is racing a bit, but outwardly it doesn't seem that way. He did the same the other day. that was a big field goal.
Q: He seemed pretty cool on Saturday. Did you see him run in?
Ferentz: I didn't look at him too closely. He realizes he is on the team and has a role and we are counting on him. that was a big moment for him to get that. I know he has had two others but that one really counted and hopefully that is a good building block.
Q: How do you combat their size, 6-6, 320 on OL
Ferentz: We can't get any bigger. Our guys are not real small. Broderick is not in that category, but you have to be really good with your technique. You can't hang around. You had better get off blocks and get moving. If you hang around too long you will get gobbled up. You need to separate and use your feet and what your attributes are,play to your strengths. If you give up your leverage you will get moved out of there. You have to fight for that. You have to compete hard or you will moved out of there. Then you have a back that is as big as most of our linemen coming right behind them.
Q: It seems like there are a lot of good individual match ups this year.
Ferentz: There are a lot of good players in our league right now. Week in and week out you will have interesting things. Conference play is like the NFL in a lot of ways. There is a lot of parity between teams. if you are not ready to go 100%, anything can happen. There are a lot of good match ups because there are a lot of good players. Every week you get these different match ups.
Q: What makes Carimi NFL worthy?
Ferentz: He has great size. He is a veteran player and we have seen him a lot. He has great athleticism, is smart and he competes.
Q: When you look at how ‘light' your OL is...can they get bigger?
Ferentz: They could all get bigger, it just might not look good. I don't know how much bigger Gettis can get, maybe five or ten pounds. But there is a rate guys grow at and if you push it it's not good.
Q: It doesn't seem like you look for ‘over the belt' offensive linemen.
Ferentz: Our guys have to be pretty mobile. Gallery was 320 when he was out of here, but he was playing 285 too. That is where he is in his progression. We are not against it if a guy is a good player and weighs 320, I am all for that.
Q: Last year, you had some bigger guys.
Ferentz: Calloway and Bulaga and Dace were all 315-plus, but you don't always have them. They were older guys. If you have them, that is great. Calloway was big all the way through.
Q: I don't know when last time a Big Ten coach was fired at midseason
Ferentz: It's unusual in college football. that is an outsiders opinion. I know they had reasons for it. They felt it was best for their program. Those are tough calls that get made by administrators. I can't judge it as I am not close to it. I wish Tim the best, he is a good guy. I don't think anyone in coaching likes to see that outcome for any other fellow coach. That being said its a reality of the business and he is an adult and he will be able to handle it.
Ferentz: I don't know enough about their situation. They will attract a good coach and go from there.
Ferentz: I think DeAndre was ready to commit. We had good feelings about both players. DeAndre was ready to make a decision faster than James.
Q: Does that come up a lot?
Ferentz: It can. It's one of the things that can happen.
Q: When you have two on your board with similar talents, is it the first to say yes?
Ferentz: If they are in same category, then yes. that can happen.
Q: You were in on Clay right?
Ferentz: Yeah, sort of. It was us and them. I am not so sure how close we were. We were in the conversation. I was never convinced it would happen. We were closer on Ingram. Not close enough again.
Q: Do you and Ricky bump into each other after film sessions, have you noticed him around?
Ferentz: He is always around. He has a parking spot out there...I am joking, that would be a violation. I am sure he has a scooter. Everyone does.
Q: Can there be a paralysis via analysis for him?
Ferentz: I don't think so. The biggest worry you have with him is trying to be too detailed or too perfect and not being able to perform. I think that is where experience helps. I am not worried about that.
Q: Has anyone had to kick him out of here?
Ferentz: Not that I am aware of. He is around a lot and he is not carrying a lot of hours and he will graduate in December. He has done all the work academically and he is enjoying the fruits of being a 5th year senior.
Q: Is his best attribute just being a winner?
Ferentz: Winner and a leader, those are the two things that come to mind. Winners and leaders are totally committed and no one is more committed than he is.
Q: Does that trickle down?
Ferentz: Yes, that is a great thing. Pat Angerer, you have to be committed to be a leader and you don't talk about it, you just are. Everyone knows what Pat's level of commitment was. You can go through the roster.
Q: If you have a QB that is not as good a leader, do you have to do stuff differently as coaches?
Ferentz: You try to educate. Quarterbacks have to be leaders to be successful. It all shows. Ken does a great job. He is not just coaching steps or reads, there are a lot of things that he coaches. Rick has been very receptive to his coaching.
Q: Shonn coming back this weekend?
Ferentz: Hoping for it. He can't play though. I think Bret would notice. I tried Fred Russell last week and he said he would be good for about 6 snaps. It's nice to have him hanging around right, fantasy football.