On Matt Roth sack dances:
We wanted to get your thoughts on Roth's sack dances. He had the Heisman pose, the brushing himself off and the gator Chomp.
(Laughs) It's kind of funny how those things can go. You know how in sports things can change quickly. There were probably some people on that (USC) team that could have been doing the Hesiman pose for most of the fourth quarter. That's the danger of doing things like that. Last year turned out a little differently.
But, I've always been one to let your plays speak for you. That being said, Matt is an emotionl guy. If things are spontaneous and not contrived...you want your guys to enjoy the good things that happen on the field.
Matt is an outstanding player. All he has to do is play well. That will speak very highly of what he's all about. That being said, you don't want to take away a player's effectiveness by boxing him in. You don't want to turn players into robots. I'm not all about that either. I don't think that's healthy at all.
The contrived stuff is what I don't like. I'd rather a guy be thinking about what he's got to do to be successful rather than what he's going to do after he does something successfully.
Of his sack dances, do you have one that you like?
Ah, no comment.
On being named as a possible successor to Joe Paterno at Penn State:
Yeah. And I've been thrown in on some NFL lists, too. Both cases are illustrations in this era of talk shows and all that. If I wasn't from Pennsylvania, I wouldn't be on that list. If I hadn't worked in the NFL, I wouldn't have been on that list.
The thing that I feel badly about is just any talk about Coach Paterno's status. I reall commend the administration of Penn State for doing the right things this passed spring, nit that my opinion counts for anything.
On being the center of the Pheasant Ridge story in the DMR:
This summer an off the field story gained a lot of attention - The Register article on Pheasant Ridge. How did that impact you and Brian? It kind of singled out Brian.
(Laughs) I didn't have much to say during the whole process. I still don't. It's probably best that I keep my mouth shut.
The intent of the article was good. There was basically almost an identical article written in October of 1994 in the Daily Iowan. I read a copy of it.
I just find it interesting, I guess, that an article like that was written 10 years ago, yet really nothing has taken place. I do believe that it's probably a situation that needs to be addressed, should be addressed. I don't think it's my job to address it.
I found it interesting more recently some of the reaction to the article by some prominent people or a prominant person. I found that curious because again this is 10-year old news.
And that guy was in office then, too.
Yeah. That part was interesting to me. But maybe this time he'll do something about it. That's probably a positive thing.
Was Brian bothered by it?
Yeah. I'll let you answer that question. You can use common sense there.
That being said, Brian knew that when he made the decision to join our program there were going to be some highs and lows. You'er a little bit of a lightning rod at times or can be. That comes with the territory, and he can handle that.
Kirk on quarterbacks:
You still have Drew Tate No. 1 on the depth chart. Is it penciled in or still a competitive situation?
It's a firm pencil. But he's like everybody on our team, they have to compete and do the job here in the fall and starting out camp and then certainly through the course fo the season.
But I think we have a healthy competition between he and Jason. Jaosn is a guy that we've been very high on for a long time. He had an excellent spring and got better with each day. Jason doesn't want to sit on the becnh, either. It's a realy healthy situation, probably not unlike the situation we've had the last couple of years.
On the young defensive linemen:
Are there any of those guys that have moved out form the pack?
Two guys that last year really impressed us were kenny Iwebema and Brian Mattison both did a great job as redshirt players. Alex Willcox did an excellent job. Those three guys are probably the three leading guys of the young guys right now. They've alll gotten bigger and stronger over the course of the summer.
What the status of the Big Human?
The Big Human is back with us. Everything is under control. He's has a good summer. He's got everything straight academically. We're anxious to get him on the field. We haven't seen him yet with a helmet on.
Kirk on Greenway and Hodge:
How do Abdul and Chad compare with other LB duos you've seen in college?
That're a magnificant pair. The exciting part was that they were both good players last year and they played extremely well. They both can improve, too. And that's exciting. We're counting on them again for production, but we're going to need their leadership. They're capable and ready to do it.
Kirk on Albert Young:
Albert is not Ladell Betts, but he's a lot like Ladell. He does a lot of things well. He's a very polished, very smooth efficient player. He fits inthe passing game as well as the running game. It's just a knack some players have. Ladell had it. Albert has that,too.
Kirk on offensive line:
Even though you're replacing guys on the O-line, there seems to be a feeling that everything is OK because Kirk Ferentz is coaching the unit. What are your feelings on that?
Well, if I have to block anyone, we're in trouble. I was the kind of player that got coaches fired.
I can just say this that the month of December was really big for that group. I felt really good even before the bowl game just because of what I saw during our practices.
That being said, we've suffered quite a blow. We lost two guys that had a significant playing time during the month of February. That has kind of put us in a little bit if a scramble mode.
The key thing right now is that the guys that we have have to keep on developing. If they do that, which we expect them to, we'll be fine. It would really be hurtful if we lost somebody during camp. We're kind of thin right now.
We're hoping David Walker will come back hopefully in the month of September, maybe October.
The great thing about college football is that there are great stories emerging every year. Ramon Ochoa was a great story.
I see guys like Mike Elgin, who to me is really capable of being a very good player. Lee Gray has done a nice job. Ben Gates is a real surprise story this spring. He'll compete with Ben Cronin for a spot.
We have very high expectations for Mike Jones. So, we have some strengths, too. Pete McMahon is a high caliber player. So, we have a few guys that can play. We'll be OK.
Is there a harder position to learn in your game than center?
That and quarterback are two pretty challenging places. Our last center was a little dopey, the guy we started out last year with. But Mike Elgin is a 4.0 student in engineering.
He's the first engineer I've ever coached that actually has football sense. Usually engineeers out on the football field, they're dangerous. I've left many of them saying," Geez, I don't want to drive across the brdige he built."
Kirk on his tough start at Iowa:
Was there ever a time when you thought you might end up being a coordinator of Boise State or something when things were bad?
There was only one time when I did get a lttle bit down. I think it was somewhere in the middle of the 2000 season. I think it might have been before the Ohio State game. We had had out share of injuries that year. It was a Tuesday or Wednesday practice. One of our RBs ran right into the back of one of our starting offensive linemen. He went down like a shot. It caused us to revamp our lineup again. The individual that got hurt, that was like his third injury ina short time.
That night I went home and I started thinking that this wasn't meant to be. But i got a good night of sleep, and woke up and went back to work. That was the only time that I thought that the clouds were hovering or something like that.
On Matt Roth's chances of playing in the NFL:
There's no question about that. Matt is 270 pounds. He's all football player. He plays with such explosion, such impact, I don't think that there's any question that he's a player that a year from now is in the NFL.