Big Ten Luncheon: Kirk Ferentz Talking Football

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz joined fellow Big Ten coaches today at the Annual Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon event in Chicago. He spoke about the 2004 team, replacing Nate Kaeding, being a top 25 program and his star defensive lineman, Matt Roth. Read his comments, as well as other comments from all of the league's coaches...

Overview of 2004 team:

"We are in a situation much like last year in which we have a great group of seniors and anytime you're going to have a great football team you are going to have a great group of seniors. This year's team is going to be a little bit different in some respects because we don't have as big a senior class as we've had in the past. We have 15 seniors on our roster and we are going to count on those guys to do a great job, but we are going to need some underclassmen to step up and provide some leadership."

On kicking game and replacing all-America Nate Keading:

"Nate Keading was an outstanding kicker and a great team leader and he is the only kicker that I have been around that I can describe as a team leader and that is pretty unusual. We are not asking his replacement Kyle Schlicher to do that. All we are asking him to do is to go out and play his position. All of us are aware of the fact that we are going to have some ups and downs with Kyle at least initially. Kyle has had two years of being with Nate at practice and watching his attention to detail, the way he prepared, the way he did things and hopefully that has rubbed off some on him because that was really the secret to Nate's success."

On being a Top 25 Program:

"That is certainly the goal and that remains to be seen. We have a lot of work to do and our focus is on doing the best we can in Conference play because if you do that everything else falls into place the way you want it to. We are proud of being recognized as a good football team the last few years, but there are people on our football team right now that recognize that we haven't accomplished anything yet this year. We certainly are not a team deserving of a high national ranking at this point."

On instant replay:

"I have no qualms about instant replay. We are all in agreement as coaches, administrators and officials and the objective for all of us is if there is an obvious error made that it is corrected. The system is not as extensive as perhaps that used in the NFL, but I think it's a great start and we will just have to see what comes out of the season."

On Matt Roth:

"He was extremely productive two years ago when he wasn't a full-time starter but more of a situational player. He is just a tenacious football player. I don't want to say he is the same as Bob Sanders, but he is a lot like Bob Sanders because he too only has one speed; he goes full speed with everything he does."

To read quotes from the other Big Ten conference coaches, CLICK HERE

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