Ferentz Quotes: Attitude of Team Crucial this Week

In Part II of his weekly press conference with the Iowa media, Kirk Ferentz talks about David Walker's injury, players who will be seeking medical hardship for another year of eligibility, his players reactions to the loss at ASU and much more...

Q: Do you know what exactly happened on David Walker's injury?

We don't know if it was on contact, or when he was going to the ground to brace himself. When you see the play on tape, it's not like you say ‘wow'. It's one of those things. It has been explained to me as being similar to an Achilles coming off of the bone. Hopefully it wasn't as painful, but it requires surgery and it takes time to heal. Hopefully like an Achilles, it will be stronger once it's repaired than it was before.

I think all three of the guys that we have lost (Albert Young, Marcus Schnoor and David Walker), if you look at the circumstances, you would think there would be compelling arguments for all three of them. I don't know about Albert if he would want a sixth year. He would be 24 or 25 by the time he gets there, like Fred and Dallas (laughs). I think in David's case, with what has gone on…I have not asked him, but I think he would be interested and I think Marcus is probably the same way.

Q: Do you have confidence in Scott Chandler and Tony Jackson, or your tight ends in general?

Both of those guys play for us, as do Mike Follett and Ryan Majerus. We have confidence in them. We are going to use all four of them.

Q: Is a loss like this a good way to get the attention of your players? Is it almost a good thing to have before you play a Michigan, or is it good to play a Michigan after a loss like that?

We checked and C.W. Post was not available, or interested. We have no choices in the matter. We didn't want the results we received on Saturday. But we got them, and now we get Michigan. You are starting at the top, and they are one of the league favorites for a reason. I can't remember a bad Michigan team, ever. There is no question that we need to get better. It was evident on Saturday.

Q: How did your players react? Are their chins still up?

Anytime you lose a ballgame, it's tough; whether your lose by two or 42. That is a challenge. The bottom line is that it has always been this way. If you do not get back on your feet and try to do all that you can to right things, you will be feeling the same things a week later. So that will never change. I hope everybody feels bad; we should feel bad. We earned that. Now what we need to do is to correct some things to make sure that we are not feeling that same way again.

Q: Do you think that Michigan might be more dangerous because of their close win at home against San Diego State on Saturday?

I don't know; they are 2-1. I am sure they had won the one they lost, and you can always go back and look at plays. They are a talented team working through some things. With a freshman quarterback, you have to work through some games, so they are no different than anyone else, other than the fact that they have an outstanding supporting cast, so that will make that transition easier. I would assume they feel pretty good about where they are sitting going into conference play and they are going to work on their areas they need to work on.

Q: Is their punting game different from last year?

Yeah, they have gotten rid of that…what do you call it, the rugby punt formation? Minnesota uses that with great success. I think that was brought on by their injury situation a year ago, but they have gone back to a more conventional punting style, and their guy is doing a good job. I think he is averaging about 41-yards per punt, so it looks like they have improved in that area, for sure.

Q: Are you going to change anything to try and get your running game headed in the right direction? What are the problems there?

It is tied into a lot of things, but we are not going to change an awful lot, I don't think that is a possibility, so we are just going to try to do what we do a lot better and keep working at it.

Q: Champ played some tailback against ASU. Is that going to continue?

He played some one back. With our injury situation, we made that move after the opening ball game when Marcus went down, so we have put him back there. He is a guy that we are comfortable with in a one back situation. He has some running skills and also can pick up the blitz. We will continue to use him.

Q: What makes Chad Greenway a special player?

It starts with his attitude and effort. He is a high-energy player. He is a charismatic player, if you will. He enjoys the game and plays it for all the right reasons in every phase he is involved in. He helped our special teams out last week; we inserted him in a couple of other areas and gave us a jump there. On top of that, he is a very good athlete. He is a big and physical guy that can run. He has a lot going for him. Right now, he just needs to learn through time, make sure that he is in the right position on every play.

Q: He also plays with a reckless style and has ability to back that up.

You get those guys every now and then. We had one in Bob Sanders and I think Chad is that kind of guy that can give you that kind of spark, as will Matt Roth up front. Those guys are very unique, no question.

Q: Will (Iowa Defensive Coordinator) Norm Parker be back this week?

We are hoping so. That is one of his goals, to go to the ball game. He spent some time here Sunday, but we have to be very careful in how quickly we do that. He has been on the shelf here for quite a while, so his stamina is not that good. Like anyone who has spent a lot of time confined to a chair or a bed, you lose a lot of energy, so we have to be careful about how much time he spends in the building.

Q: Is Jermelle Lewis attacking the holes as aggressively as you would like?

From the sideline no, but if you look at the tape, you can see what he was seeing and we have not given him a lot of clean openings to have a chance to get up in there. We need to get that cleaned up a little bit so that he can get his foot down and go.

Q: He showed some frustration on Saturday…KIRK: What time was that? (laughs)…Question: throwing his helmet on sidelines. Does that upset you?

Everybody was frustrated. When you get spanked like we did, if you feel OK about that, it's probably time to get out. If a running back doesn't have the opportunities that he is looking for, he is probably going to be upset. Everybody else felt that way too. It doesn't bother me. I would rather our guys not throw helmets, as that does not solve the problem, but what we need to do right now is channel our energies to a productive resolution. I think we all know what the problems are, so it's time to try and fix them. But that is natural. It does not bother me.

Q: Are you worried about any of your players giving up a little bit after a loss like that?

If that happens, then you don't have a team. It probably means that you lack character and you don't have a team. I don't anticipate that happening. I don't know that we have had that situation in five-plus years. If it does happen, needless to say, I won't be real pleased with it.

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