ISU Pregame: Ferentz OTS

In his press conference after the press conference, AKA On The Side, Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz talked about the much-rumored Nike Combat uniforms, James Morris playing running back and more.

Q: Have you been approached by Nike about Pro Combat uniforms?

Kirk Ferentz: It never made it to my desk. Maybe they did, I don't know. Maybe someone told them don't bother. I don't know.

Q: Does anyone stand out to you in Iowa State's secondary this year?

Ferentz: They are all good, all four of them are very athletic. That is the first thing I would say. They have good corners, that goes without saying. Their safeties are guys that can cover like corners, one guy was a corner. He has good size, too. It's an athletic group.

Q: This weekend saw some other games besides yours with weather delays. Do you get the sense next year when coaches meetings come up that it will be a topic?

Ferentz: If not even sooner, I would think. There were a lot of variables on Saturday, as well as at the Michigan game. Someone highlighted an article, saying there were four possible alternatives to finishing the game. My sense is that someone is talking about it on a higher level. We need more clarity to the situation. If that were a conference game, you probably wouldn't stop playing.

Q: You would be on board with a Big Ten policy in place?

Ferentz: I think it's the next step. I would think they might want to do something to get through this season. What if you had a night storm that knocked the lights out? I am sure that will be addressed.

Q: Were you surprised at all of the commotion that took place a few weeks back surrounding the CyHawk trophy?

Ferentz: No, I am not surprised. I am glad I was not on the committee and am not on the committee with what would work. You are not going to please everybody. I would think there is huge interest and that was voiced and it will remain.

Q: Do you have a favorite?

Ferentz: I haven't been thinking about it. no. I was OK with the old one. But I am OK with the new one.

Q: Do players care about trophies?

Ferentz: I think they are like I am; the idea is to win it, regardless of what it is or looks like.

Q: How much do you practice INT returns?

Ferentz: I think our coaches do a really good job of that. We do practice that, along with returns, blocked punts and kicks. I think back to the 2002 Purdue game. It's something we invest time in. But our players do a good job of understanding and trying to hustle and make it an offensive play. It helps if a guy like Prater or Hyde gets it. They have good skills.

Q: Along that line, why are you able to intercept so many passes the last several years?

Ferentz: I can't answer it other than the credit goes to the players. We are playing the same stuff. Like Jovon Johnson when he was here; he'd get an interception every day. He wasn't that fast, but he had that knack. It's like Broderick Binns, he doesn't go through a practice without batting down a ball. Some guys have a better knack. It's not necessarily size or speed.

Q: Does it take a certain discipline to stay within the system and not free lance?

Ferentz: That temptation is always there for a player. It's like an offensive player; if you are hung up on stats, and i know Shaun made a bold prediction that I hope ends up being a reality, but if you get focused on those things it takes you off the track. But he has come up with some balls.

Q: What are you looking for in a defensive back?

Ferentz: That is really tough, because it's fair to say the hardest position to evaluate is defensive back, for high school players and NFL guys. At least our guys are playing defensive back and on film. But a lot of our guys..Jovon…he was a quarterback, punt returner…he played defense, but how many chances do you get and it's usually not on the film. It's hard to evaluate that.

Q: You said after game Saturday that you would take the next 48 hours to check out RB depth long was that discussion?

Ferentz: It didn't take 48 hours. About 48 seconds. We have what we have. Marcus, Jason, two guys that have been in games…I guess Bullock and Johnson are the most veteran guys after that and Canzeri. We will see what this week looks like.

Q: Could James Morris go back to running back?

Ferentz: I had that thought when he was running, I actually did. I did have that thought on Saturday.

Q: Would you consider that?

Ferentz: No. No. We need him at middle linebacker

Q: You can't just throw anyone in at running back…

Ferentz: No, you can't. We have players at that position and they will do well. We lost one guy; I am not minimizing that, you saw what we saw the last three weeks. We are not going to shut down the season because we lost one player. We have other guys that can play.

Q: You mentioned ISU is a tough place to play, can you be specific about that? When Hayden went to Wisconsin he always talked about getting schnapps thrown on his head.

Ferentz: I have not had that pleasure yet. It's loud. Ohio State has 100,000, we have three stadiums with 100k plus in the Big Ten, but it's every bit as loud at Iowa State. That defies logic. It's always an eager and excited crowd when we get there.

Q: Will you become more proactive on ball security this week?

Ferentz: You don't want a mental block. We emphasize it every day and will continue to do that. He will be fine.

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