Hawks Talk: Jones & McMahon

Injuries have overwhelmed the Iowa offensive line during the last two seasons. But the guys on the right side - Mike Jones and Pete McMahon - aren't about to make any excuses. Find out what the duo had to say about their unit's performance the first two weeks, and what they expect going forward in this HN.com premium Q&A.


What is it going to take for this offensive line to take a step forward this week?

First, it's going to take practicing at a championship level this week. We really have to focus; we have to detail things. We have to start communicating better and just pick up our performance.

What has been the problem in communications?

It's just basically all of us being on the same page and knowing what to do at the same time.

How many games does it take for that to happen?

You never know, I guess. We just have to take it day by day here and make a daily effort in practice to improve.

What are you guys expecting from ASU?

I'm not 100 percent sure yet. I just looked at a little bit of the film yesterday. More or less, I was just looking at their personnel; what they do. Today and tomorrow, we'll do a lot more game plan things as far as what they'll bring at us.

How much tougher does it make it in communication when you have injuries like what happened to Plagman last week?

That's just going to mix things up a little bit more. I guess we'll have to see new guys in there, but we've got to deal with that and we have to prepare for ASU. Whoever is in there is going to be the next man in. They'll be ready.

Do you like being at tackle?

Yeah. I like it so far. Of course, I can improve on a lot of things, but I'm getting used to it.



Watching the tape, how do you evaluate the offensive line performance from Saturday?

We were all right. We made some improvements, but we still need to improve some more. There's still a lot of stuff that we need work on and fix up and clean up.

How hard is it to deal with another injury in what seems to be an assembly line of them?

It's probably better that it's earlier rather than later. It always makes it a little tough, but we'll be able to get all of that stuff straight today and get it ironed out even more tomorrow. It will be all right. Gates has been working in with the ones a lot.

Do you guys feel snake bit by all the injuries up front the last two seasons?

That's just the way that it always goes. It's pretty tough in there; guys working hard; guys falling in piles and turning ankles and stuff like that. You've just got to take it and do what you can do with it.

I know you don't want to make excuses, but it has to have hampered the progress of the line?

It's what you have to deal with. But every team has to deal with that every year.

Is there a way to speed up the growth of the line?

We do a lot with coming in on our free time and get together with a group of guys and watch film. We go through calls and look at different looks. We're just going to have to do a little bit more of that on our own time. We do all the stuff that we can when we're supposed to be here. We just need to do the extra things.

When a new guy comes in, how long does it take to feel comfortable with him?

I don't think it will take too long. After today's practice, we'll be pretty used to one another.

Coach Ferentz said that you guys need time but you don't have any time. What does that mean exactly?

It just means that we have to put the extra effort in every day, every chance that we get. There isn't much time. We have to be ready to go Saturday. We only have about five days to prepare. We have to do the best that we can with the time that we have.

Is this offensive line playing to the best of its ability?

No. We can play a lot better than we have.

In what areas?

Just as far as getting after our blocks; all being on the same page; every aspect.

Youth is not an excuse?

I don't try to make any excuses. We know that we can do better, and we're going to do that.

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