SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - As he has said for the last week, Kirk Ferentz is not rushing to find replacements for two defensive assistants openings. He won't turn his attention to the search until after Friday's Insight Bowl here.
"We have been worried about the game," Ferentz said at Wednesday's media day. "In a perfect world, we have also been worried about recruiting, which unfortunately is part of what we have to do year-round now. And when we get through Saturday or Friday, then we'll shift our attention and we will be juggling two things there."
Ferentz took his time in hiring his initial Iowa staff in 1999. He took some heat from outsiders concerning that timetable.
Ferentz aknowledged that taking his time could affect recruiting but said that possible sacrifice is worth it.
"If it does, it does," the coach said. "I can't be worried about that. And I think the important thing is that we do things the right way.
"To me the paramount challenge was to get the right people in the right positions and that's really...when I turn my attention to that, that will be the number one thought. If we lose Joey Smith to state U or wherever, that's the way it goes.
"These are big things. When you hire assistant coaches, I think it is as big a thing you do as head coach. I think it is more important to get the right person if it costs us a recruit or two recruits, we will make up for that next year."
By Committee: Ferentz expects Iowa's rushing attack to be a group effort on Friday. The Hawkeyes will be without leading rusher, Marcus Coker, who will miss the game for disciplinary reasons.
"Right now, we will play it by feel, I think, more than anything else," Ferentz said. "I think it is realistic to think they will be in the first half. The guys I mentioned, they will all be playing. We have some specific situations cut out for certain guys. I think overall we are just going to let them play a little bit and see how they do and go from there."
With freshmen like Canzeri, Johnson and Bullock, the coaches have been working hard with them on pass protection.
"They have done a lot of work on that for the last three weeks," the coach said. "It is not something you get to practice live all the time, what have you. We have tried to get ample work to make sure they are caught up. Both in terms of execution but also recognition and these guys throw a lot at you, it has been another very multiple defense. It has been a great learning experience for these guys."
Family Affair?: Ferentz said on Wednesday that he would consider his oldest son, Brian, for an opening on his staff. The younger Ferentz is the tight ends coach with the New England Patriots.
"He knows more football than I know, I know that," Kirk said. "He is pretty good. He is in a pretty good place right now too. So I don't know if he is available right now. But I'm not saying we are going that narrow."
Brian played center at Iowa from 2001-05.
-Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta said on Wednesday that a member of the Iowa football team was sent home. He said the action was based on discipline and was not a legal matter. He would not reveal the player's name.
-Barta was asked if the door was open for Coker's return: "Yes, the invitation is there for him to come back. We'll let this play out and see what happens."
-Barta did not have anything to add on suspended running back Mika'il McCall: "He's suspended for the bowl and when we get back, we'll go from there." Barta said McCall has not told the Iowa coaches or administration that he's leaving the program even though he posted as much on his Facebook recently.