Kirk Ferentz: They have been committed the entire way and the fact there are 26 speaks volumes. One of the biggest enemies of success is attrition. Sometimes its a good thing. these guys have stayed the course and done a great job. They haven't just been showing up. They have been invested and not just getting checked off on the attendance list. That is why we have had great success and they have a chance to leave here with a good resume.
Q: What type of legacy do leave behind?
Ferentz: Still to be determined. There are three more games. The final word will be after the last game. Their body of work has been stellar and there have been a lot of great moments these past two years And some this year, despite the current mood and we want to create some more. Thy have done a great job of showing our younger players how to do things. I appreciate that and that is what good teams have, older guys showing younger guys showing them how to work.
Q: Do you worry about the current mood getting in the way of the big picture?
Ferentz: I am not worried about that. At the end of the year we will evaluate things and know more about how things are. If everything ended today, these guys have done a great job and should be very proud.
Q: If it ended today what would be your lasting memory of them?
Ferentz: I don't know. Go down the list. Thy have done a lot of great things. It's more than just football, they have done everything right.
Q: Ever had a player as diverse as Vandervelde?
Ferentz: My 12 years here the first guy that comes to mind would be President Skorton. I have never compared a player to a college president. Skorton was a renaissance man and Julian is too. He is not as accomplished but diverse with his interests and intelligent. He is a guy you can talk with like a normal person.
Q: A couple players this week got some negative messages via facebook…
Ferentz: I have no idea what you are talking about.
Q: Being critical of this season…
Ferentz: Imagine that. Seriously? that happened in real life? Geesh.
Q: Last year, Trey Stross dealt with that…
Ferentz: Trey reached out, but I am guessing they reached out to him first. That is the world we live in. Now its not just radio or newspaper and you can turn on your computer and it comes right to you, I guess, I don't do that stuff. Not all communication is positive. I have learned that in my life.
Q: The season is not time for you to reinvent and get introspective on things that can change…
Ferentz: We do that in the out of season. We do talk about things weekly, too. We don't just play cards. It's a weekly process.
Q: You go with your best hand
Ferentz: We try to, yeah.
Q: With an offense that's Ricky a lot of the times…
Ferentz: I would suggest our running back has been fair and our receivers are productive. Our goal is to be balanced. In 2004 we had no chance. This year we have been decent in that regard. I don't look closely at the stats. I think Adam is doing a good job in yards per. Coker is doing the same. the big question heading into this year was the offensive line and thy are doing OK.
Q: It's the quick fix out there that people come up with in their minds, right?
Ferentz: I know a lot of people in the media a few years back were clamoring for a spread offense. I think. What I have learned is if you are struggling, the flavor of the day is what you should be doing. But if you look at the teams in contention now, in our league, you can assess them yourself. Defensively, if we are not winning we don't blitz enough. It will always be that way. If we do win, we don't take chances, they bend but thy don't break. I could have written these stories in July, both to the good or bad. I am sure you do the same thing, keep them in your pocket and tweak it a bit. that's how it works. Who's zooming who?
Q: Is that why principles and logic seem to be behind….
Ferentz: We were getting ready to put Oregon's offense in, but when thy only scored 15 I felt that wouldn't cut it. We were going to do that this week, but that isn't good enough.
Q: There is logic and principal behind what you do.
Ferentz: Hopefully. It's debatable.
Q: But you are right, when it doesn't work…
Ferentz: It's how sports are. It was that way 20 years ago.
Q: Amplified more today?
Ferentz: If you lose, everything is amplified and if you win "good thing they do that." Norm was an idiot in 2007. After that Western Michigan game, he was too old and the game passed him by. After the Orange Bowl, he is a guru. That is how it is. It was that way 20 years ago. Or 40 years ago. People thought Amos Alonzo Stagg made too much money.
Q: Do you take it personally?
Ferentz: I try not to. I try not to. If you get caught up in that you should get another job. Marv Levy said that. If you spend too much time listening to the fans you will be sitting with them. If I spend too much time worrying about what the media people think I may end up with them. I don't think I would be accepted.
Q: I don't see you being the Gerry Dinardo
Ferentz: No. Don't worry about that. I have some other plans.
Q: Sideline reporter?
Ferentz: No. I wouldn't be able to think of a question with some of the ones I have been asked.
Q: Did your players have the same expectations as the outside world?
Ferentz: They may, I don't know. All I know is what we talk about when we are together. All this being said, we are all disappointed. I said that on Saturday. It's disappointing
Q: How do you keep air in balloon when you invest so much to win a title and the odds of that are long.
Ferentz: We knew that in August. It's like recruiting..x amount of schools recruit them and one school wins . If that is going to break your heart you will be in trouble. In our league, it's tough to win conference titles. Ohio State has done a masterful job, but it's tough to win in this conference and tough to get a ring. We knew that in August. If that is your end all…like as a person, if your whole way of judging yourself is what the score says at the end of the game or how much money you make as an NFL player, you will live an empty life and a disappointing life. You have to see the big picture and you have to understand anytime you go on the field you run the risk of losing. Just like players can get hurt and coaches can get fired. That's reality. You keep it all in perspective. You have to. If you can't you will be tight as a drum and won't be able to take three steps without having a fall.
Q: Could you argue that a lot of your success is due to staying the course and resisting change?
Ferentz: Whatever success we have had, you can't jump around and go with the whims. That is my philosophy. It's the best path, at least according to us. Others may disagree.
Q: Do you feel like a team that does the wholesale change is one of first signs of sinking ship?
Ferentz: If we had a 4.40 quarterback I would think about the option or running the guy. You do what is intelligent for the program. It's always changing. It changes in season, too. Your strategy changes and you have to be flexible and assess the smartest approach.
Q: Is that built around the players you get (in recruiting)? There are not a lot of 4.40 guys in Iowa.
Ferentz: No question. There 4.40 guys in the Midwest, but it just depends on…Persa is from Pennsylvania. Players come from all different places. You try to bend in a way that suits what you have. But it's week to week.