News and Notes from Iowa Defensive Coordinator Phil Parker

Iowa defensive coordinator Phil Parker discusses the Hawkeye defense.


  • Cole Fisher is the most improved player on the defense.

  • Parker Hesse reminds him of Nate Meier in ways. 

  • Phil Parker is sure there's going to be times where they have to blitz more than they want to but they hope to stay around 17-22 percent in terms of how much they do it.

  • Desmond King is naturally instinctive and a hard worker. Has room for improvement and should have a few more interceptions. 

  • Couldn't name a defensive MVP because so many guys playing well. It sounded like he wanted to say Josey Jewell but decided against it. Statistically, it is Desmond King.

  • Josh Jackson has done great at corner. He wasn't getting the reps at receiver and they had a need at defensive back so they brought him back over. He came over already polished. They trust him.

  • Greg Mabin has become more of a student of the game. Teams are going after him more because they're avoiding Desmond King because of all his interceptions. Mabin is maturing rapidly and he still has a lot of upside left in his game.

  • The coaching staff had discussoin before the season that linebacker Jack Hockaday was a guy that could play as a true freshman. They burned his redshirt because they needed help on special teams and he's someone that can play on the defense right now so he was a logical choice for that role. They talked it over with Hockaday and he was all for it. He'd play the WILL linebacker position.

  • It took a while for Jaleel Johnson to get where he is but he's been very disruptive this year and still has a long ways to go.

  • It sounded like Matt Nelson is on his way to a lot more playing time at defensive end.

  • What's impressed Phil Parker the most about his defense is their attention and intensity in meetings and the preparation that they do. Parker said that this team has a chemistry reminiscent to the really good teams of 2002 and 2004. They have that type of togetherness.

  • After the four defensive tackles Nathan Bazata, Jaleel Johnson, Faith Ekakitie, and Kyle Terlouw, Parker is most excited about Michael Slater.

  • Parker wants the defense to improve at negating the big plays. They've given up five runs of 15 or more yards. They've also given up 22 passes of 20 or more yards. That's not good enough for this defense according to Parker. Whenever they've had great defenses, they've given up anywhere from 35 to 38 big plays. They're averaging giving up 3.9 big plays a game and they want to be around two or less. 

  • Using the bye week to do some self-scouting.

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