Ferentz On The Side - Michigan State

Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz spoke with the media after his main press conference on Tuesday. He touched on injuries, special teams play and more.

Q: At linebacker on the last drive, James Morrise was in because Troy was hurt, and Shane Dibona was out there. Were you out of bodies?

Kirk Ferentz: We are thin, that is fair to say. We were down one going in and two more in the second half. We are thin. Tyler Neilsen is doing great, he is healthy as can be.

Q: Did we blow past the significance of the loss of Edds and Angerer?

Ferentz: We lost three NFL players off our defense. Maybe some other people minimized that, but to me that is a factor. We have been playing pretty good defense and no one is ready to pitch in the towel.

Q: Gettis went the whole way at guard, is MacMillan healthy?

Ferentz: He is better now, better than he was Saturday. Each week we have touch and go guys out there some guys practiced a little last week and could go. That is football.

Q: Are there similarities in special teams this year and going back to 2002?

Ferentz: Help me out there

Q: Dallas and Bob went back on special teams after they were starters.

Ferentz: It happens. We were talking about linebacker depth, your special teams pool diminishes when people get hurt. One thing affects another. You keep putting the pieces together.

Q: You have five true freshman on your kick coverage and a redshirt freshman in Dibona. Would you like to have more veterans on there?

Ferentz: I would love 11 seniors but that is not available. that is a reflection of where we are and we will work through it.

Q: Is it a challenge for you to have to defend your decisions to people that don't do what you do for a living?

Ferentz: It's part of the job. I don't have any problem with it. I don't have any problem with things that are written, that is a part of your job.

Q: Going back to Adrian's comments about guys not practice hard enough, do you think that is frustration or have you seen that?

Ferentz: Every team has some guys that don't practice hard enough. The idea is to get as many guys to practice as hard as possible. It's the same for conduct; every team has guys that don't eat breakfast or pay attention to curfew. I think we have been practicing better since we got into Big Ten play. I felt our practices were just OK prior to that, but since Big Ten started things have be good

Q: You are facing the 5th rated team in the nation who is undefeated and you are favored by a touchdown.

Ferentz: Seriously? Geesh. What tapes are they watching? That's all I have to say about that.

Q: You were in this position a year ago and teams get to feel really good about themselves and get into a flow. Is MSU reminding themselves of their flaw right now?

Ferentz: Every team has flaws. They are more aware of those than we are. You hope your flaws don't surface. The roll they are on reminds me of the roll we were on in 2002. They have it going pretty good.

Q: Is it easier for the players to bounce back faster than coaches after a loss like this?

Ferentz: It's hard on everybody. You have to shake it on Monday. I am sure everyone in the organization has had some thoughts. We are all human. We have been busy doing some others things since yesterday morning, and that is where your focus has to be. You can't let one loss beat you twice. You can't dwell. We will feel sick about it in the out of season and say ouch. That is what Saturday night is for, and Sunday. You can mope and move on.

Q: Can you say or do anything to help the healing process?

Ferentz: I hope I can. I hope I am helping them a little bit. You hit on points, give them reminders. There are things you say in all circumstances and you hope you say the right things

Q: Do you go through a typical set of emotions? Do you feel anger?

Ferentz: Yes. I have moved beyond anger years ago. But it guts you. there is nothing good about losing. that is coaching, in some sick way. My wife says its as simple as feeling great if you win and lousy if you lose. I read a few papers this weekend and I felt everything was fair. I read something interesting on Friday that said we won ugly at Michigan. I thought we have come a long way. If someone would have said 12 years ago we were capable of an ugly win at Michigan that is pretty good.

Q: Have you developed thick skin over the years?

Ferentz: The NFL is good training. Everything is second guessed there. Players, agents, fans, media, everything. I am still alive and survived six years.

Q: Did NW provide any blue print?

Ferentz: We are not built like them, so we can't take much from that tape.

Q: Is it more about you doing what you are capable of doing?

Ferentz: If we can minimize our errors and play the best we are capable of, knowing that we have some players that are more veteran than others. If you are playing a good team that is what you have to do. that was Saturday's game

Q: You saw Hartlieb in 1987 and Long in 1985, Ricky is on par with those seasons at least so far through seven games from a statistical perspective.

Ferentz: That is for the end of the year. It doesn't feel that way though. Saturday, Adam Robinson outrushed both their backs combined. From the sideline it felt like they ran for 250. The feel of the game is different. But Ricky is having a great year, making great decisions and playing well and doing what we are asking and more. We are not surprised by this. He is a fifth year senior, a leader and he has spent a lot of time on it.

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