Kirk Ferentz: We are on totally different planes. Let's move on.
Q: Do you promote players to NFL guys?
Ferentz: I answer questions. When people ask me questions, I answer them. No one has asked me a question about Derrell....very few in the fall and none since the end of November.
Q: I apologize for asking it in that format but you have shortened these over here (on the side sessions) so I can't do that here...
Ferentz: It's so irrelevant. It's so irrelevant. It's so irrelevant.
Q: You are talking about a kid's career here. I think he played pretty well here for you guys.
Ferentz: Ask an NFL scout then, why are you asking me? Ask for an assessment from an NFL personnel guy.
Q: I didn't ask you an assessment, I asked if people had talked to you.
Ferentz: And I answered the question. No one has talked to me
Q: With the history you promote in the media guide having 75 of 82 senior players getting invited to NFL camps...
Ferentz: If an NFL guy asks me a question, I answer very candidly. No one has asked me a question since at least since Thanksgiving. I can't tell you how many asked in the fall, but not many I can tell you that.
Q: What did you say to them in the fall?
Ferentz: Judge the film and go from there. That is what they do.
Q: You are playing four first year coaches this year, what kind of preplanning does that cause for you and the staff?
Ferentz: We have eight new preparations out of 12. It creates more work. It's like we are in a new conference.
Q: Do you find more tape?
Ferentz: We have tape from everyone, that is not an issue. Just how much time you have to spend on each one of them.
Q: Do you look at what Pitt and Tulsa did last year?
Ferentz: Yup. Michigan, you name it. You trace the family trees.
Q: Of the mobile QB's you face, who is the one who keeps you up at night?
Ferentz: Go right down the list. There are a lot on the schedule this year. If we played Drew Brees...Henson at Michigan, they would have kept me up and night as well. I wouldn't describe Gabbert as a runner and he kept us all up. Good quarterbacks, if he is good, he is good. They don't have to be runners.
Q: What has to change for you to make the plays, the opponents last drive or two minutes that you did not in those six losses?
Ferentz: Saturday is a classic example...there were probably 15 plays during regulation that if we cold go back and do a better job and change, or coaching decisions, it doesn't go to overtime. That is probably true in most of our games. When you lose a close game, things are like that. There were more in the overtime period as well. I am sure they would say the same thing. If they had done a few things differently, it wouldn't have been overtime. That is the challenge. that is the clock we are racing against now.
Q: Do you look back on these, the five close losses last year and one this year...
Ferentz: If you go back...it's three-plus years that we haven't lost by more than a touchdown...four points per loss.. This is right on that average.
Q: Is that what you are built for, close games?
Ferentz: We are not involved in a lot of blowouts. We are not quite as well endowed to count on many of those. We had better figure out how to win the close ones...the first thing you have to do is be in close ones. We have been there and now you have to win them. I think we did a good job of that in 2009.
Q: All the talk of containing mobile QB's, was Steele Jantz better than you envisioned?
Ferentz: I think time will tell. He warmed up in his first game as the game went on. He played awfully well the other day. Based on the last five quarters I have seen, I would say he is a pretty good player. It's like our team and like the Heisman trophy..we will all know more in November, but I expect he would play well.
Q: Coker...does he have a breaking point? Do you give him a rest?
Ferentz: We do. I don't know if we are there. Its not like he is holding off the 100 enemy troops as one guy. But to think we will go on this way, it;s not realistic. It's not something we want to do or can do. We need to have a rotation set up.
Q: How long has this defensive line unit been practicing together and does that matter?
Ferentz: Its been sporadic. We talked a while ago about how we don't have Bryan Bulaga's..not that he didn't get better but he played right away and you could tell. Coker did that last year. Hampton did it a few years ago. Most of our guys have to climb the ladder and we are in that process right now and we have to speed it up as much as possible, then you have injuries and missed practice time. It has happened to a lot of these guys.
Q: Does defensive line have the steepest ladder?
Ferentz: DL and OL, because its more physical there. It's a different challenge.