Ferentz: Focus as Much on Iowa as Michigan

In the third and final installment of Kirk Ferentz's Iowa press conference quotes, he talks about being on the receiving end of tough losses, the mindset of Drew Tate, a new face we might see on special teams, and final react from the ASU game.

Q: You had quarterbacks in Chuck Long and Chuck Hartlieb that put together passing performances like what we saw out of Andrew Walter. How did it feel to be on the other side of that?

It's fun if you are on the right side of that. The credit goes to them. They had a great plan, and boy did they execute it well. That is where it starts. We said going in that he was a dangerous quarterback, and he proved that. That is what he looked like in 2002. If they can execute at that level, things look good for them. Hopefully we won't see that this week, but Henne can throw it too, but we will see another quarterback in Purdue's Kyle Orton that is a veteran quarterback who has an arm. Those kinds of things can happen if you are not at your very, very best.

Q: Do you want to try and get more pressure on a quarterback than you did against Walter?

We really didn't the other night. One of our plans was to make him move his feet, at least a little bit. It's not about sacks or hits, but make the guy aware of the rush and not get too comfortable back there. We could not do that consistently the other day. Their linemen did a good job when it was just the five of them and a back, and a couple of times they went seven man protection. They gave him a chance to keep his feet clean and throw the football. That makes it difficult if you can't distrupt them a little bit.

Q: Do the Michigan receivers look better than last year to you?

Was there one game that Edwards didn't start against us? I think that was the case, but boy he came alive. Breaston might be more dangerous than any of them, so pick your poison. Then they have a tight end who is very good in the pass game, too. They have them all back.

Q: Are you concerned with your pass defense?

You have to be concerned. You just played a team that picked us apart, and now we are playing a team that is very capable of that. With all due respect to everyone else, I think that this is the best receiving corps that we will see this year. And you have a quarterback who can throw it, and they have linemen. It's not like they are trying to piece things together up front, so it is a concern.

Q: Will there be any personnel changes on defense?

I don't see any major changes, personnel wise, including special teams. We just need to play better; that is where we are at.

Q: Did you make any changes on special teams last week?

Chad was one of note, and we put him on the kickoff team. You probably didn't notice that, because how many times did we kick off? (Laughs) We adjusted some others, but we got him involved. We saw some improvement on special teams, so that was one positive. That, and we landed safely on Sunday morning (laughs).

Q: Do you alter your routine this week due to getting back from Tempe so late (or early)

We backed things up a little bit and shortened the day. The biggest thing was for them to get a good night's sleep on Sunday night, Monday night and hopefully all week, because that can have a residual effect if we are not careful.

Q: Did you see any cracks in Michigan from watching their tape against San Diego State, and does that make you feel any better about this game?

I am not worried about things other than their talent and that they have a great football team. I am more concerned about where we are going, what we are doing and how we are performing. I think that is the biggest thing. If we do our part, it ought to be a really good Big Ten football game, that is our goal right now. I would be surprised if they are not ready to play and play well.

Q: What is the status of Brian Ferentz? Will he play this week?

We will see. He worked last week, and did fairly well. He is probably in the same category as Jason (Manson) maybe. We will see how the week goes and maybe he can help us out a bit. At least he is getting into the flow of things right now, so that has been positive for him.

Q: Walner Belleus looked good on his return. Will he be used more in that area this week?

We will take a peak at that one. He did a great job. Ed is doing a nice job back there, also

Q: Is your lack of a running game your primary concern on offense?

We really haven't distinguished ourselves in any area. If you have a solid and established line, that helps you. We are playing a young quarterback and a young line that has been playing musical chairs at best right now. We will continue to work on that and see if we can't settle in somewhere here.

Q: Drew Tate has had a lot of success in his career, in high school and up until Saturday, he might never have faced a loss like that. Where is he at?

All of us have been on the short end of things. There are very few situations that you have never been beat up a bit. It doesn't happen in the NFL, and it would be rare that it doesn't happen to you at some point in college. That being said, he has been knocked down before, and he will get back up. Drew is a real competitive guy. When you lose and you perform poorly, as all of us did, starting with me, it better hurt you.


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