Hawks Talk: Cronin, Tate

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz announced that starting center Mike Elgin will miss Saturday's game at Minnesota with an injured ankle. Junior Ben Cronin will step in and work with quarterback Drew Tate after finishing up last week's win against Purdue: " It's something that you prepare for week in and week out," Cronin said. "You just have to prepare for it like it could happen at any time."

BEN CRONIN

To be plugged in at center and do the things you had to do, it came pretty natural didn't it?

It's something that you prepare for week in and week out. You just have to prepare for it like it could happen at any time. Everything worked out. Now, we move onto Minnesota. That's our focus.

When you have an quarterback that might go anywhere back there, that too makes it a little difficult?

Drew is amazing what he does. He has so much confidence. We have so much confidence in him back there. It's a great opportunity.

You guys know who the leader is out there, don't you?

Definitely Tate is. He's in control of everything out there. We listen to him and put all of our faith in him right now.

Do you feel comfortable with him in terms of quarterback-center exchanges and things like that?

Oh yeah. Throughout he year, multiple guys get to work with him at center. All of the centers get some time with him. Throughout practice, we're all snapping the ball to different quarterbacks. Everyone is comfortable with everyone out there.

Any concerns this weekend being in the dome, a louder environment, possibly?

No. I don't think so. We've had a lot of loud games in the past. We'll prepare for it just like anything else. We'll just have to get ready and understand the environment there. But we're just going to try and play football.

Is this your best position? You've been all over the offensive line.

You know, anywhere I can help out. I just appreciate the opportunity. I'll just try to do my best. That's all I can say.

Was it tough waiting to be the next man in?

Like I said, it's a great opportunity. We've got to get Mike healthy, and get him back in there. But it was good to get a few snaps in. It was fun.

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DREW TATE

Can you talk about Ben being in there at center this week?

Ben got in there and did a great job on snaps in shotgun. When I was underneath, they were good. I don't know how is blocking was. But I think he did good. He was a little nervous getting in, but he calmed down pretty quick.

Did you calm him down?

I talked to him when we had that timeout. He was just a little nervous. You could tell. He was talking and asking questions and stuff. After the first couple of snaps, he was fine.

When you're bobbing and weaving back there, you also have a problem with the people protecting you because they have to know where you are.

It's pretty hard for them. Sometimes I'll run into them, bump into them. But they do a good job finding out where I'm running and trying to block somebody.

Have you ever played football indoors before?

I played in the Astrodome in Houston.

Are you worried about he noise factor in there at all?

Nah. We've played in some pretty loud places. We've got ways to use our hands and things like that.

Have people talked to you about the history of the Iowa-Minnesota rivalry?

Yeah. They said that it was pretty special. It's a big thing for people here and there.

From Arizona State to now, how much have you improved?

I've improved a lot just by playing more; having a chance to get out there and see things and practice a lot more and watch a lot more film than I had before.

Your decision to wear a visor, where did that come from?

Ah, it was just something that we had to do. I'm not supposed to say, I don't think.

You're not supposed to say why you went to a visor?

Yeah.

Coach mentioned gouging as a reason?

It might have been. I don't know. (laughs)

Did it affect you in any way?

Nah. It was clear. There were a couple of scratches on it, but it was fine.


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