Bob Davie Talks Hawks

In 2002, ESPN Color Man Bob Davie worked so many Iowa games he probably deserved a Big Ten Championship ring. And over the last three years, few national analysts have watched the Hawks as much as the former Notre Dame head coach. HN.com caught up with Davie to ask his opinions on the current edition of Iowa football. Read Davie's thoughts on the Hawkeye coaching job this season, the team's chances at the Cap 1, Matt Roth, Chad Greenway, Jonathan Babineaux and more in this premium Q&A.

Do you think this Kirk's best coaching job Kirk since he's been in Iowa City?

I think you'd have to say yes. With that said, I think it was the ability to persevere and the resilience.

It's hard to say that it's better than it was those first couple of years after all the negativity that was hanging there until he was able to win and get himself over the hump. Sometimes with so many negative things swirling around, just the ability to build it and be able to culminate in it winning is quite a task.

Several years ago what he did, that's what got him to this position. But probably from an X and O, strategy position this year, it would probably be the best year; just with the number of injuries; the off of the field things; the Norm Parker situation; Kirk Ferentz's father; all of thise things.

And coming off of the Arizona State loss, you had a lot of excuses at that point to where you could have really become an average or below average team. There were a lot of safety nets in place for people to kind of take the easy road to just ride the season out.

It just shows his consistency. Whether it's going good or bad, he hung in there and stuck with his plan.

Another thing, the coaching staff, you've got to really credit them, as Kirk does. With the Norm Parker situation, the defensive guys sticking together and making that a positive thing. Sometimes that's not always positive. Maybe there's one guy that's maybe trying to become the coordinator can upset the chemistry of your staff. It can be afffected.

Same thing on offense. A lot of quarterback coaches or coordinators would be worried about statistics or worried about doing things. It's a very unselfish staff. That's a credit to the head coach.

How much credit do they deserve for straying from their beliefs of running the football first and reworking the offense to fit the healthy personnel?

And I think that's the point I make from a strategy X and O point this year. Obviously, you'd have to say from that standpoint; but from a resiliency standpoint, just to hang in there and go through those negative years and be able to win.

The one consistent is that defense is now built up to where every week it goes out there and makes it hard on the other team to score; and the kicking game, to be able to find another Nate Kaeding, and also the way that they cover kicks.

Is this staff as good as there is in the country?

I think definitely. With that said, I think it's important to say that what I've seen from going around the country that there's a lot of good coaching staffs and a lot of good coaches out there.

But in this profession, it comes down to results. And certainly, based on the results, you can say that this is as good of a coaching staff as there is in the country.

Do you expect to see some of these guys like Matt Roth, Jonathan Babineaux and Chad Greenway playing on Sundays?

(Laughs) You know sometimes people tend to overuse the "Not Talented Iowa Team."

Kirk likes to use that.

(Laughs) Yeah. It's something that works for him.

They're not particularly flashy. But I'll tell you what now, Matt Roth is as good of a college football player as there is in the country. What that means for the NFL, I don't know. But the same way with Greenway, he's a talented guy that can run. And they do a good job of keeping him on the field. Some teams go nickel and bring in the extra DBs. They do a good job of keeping their best players out there.

I think the defensive lineman, 45, Babineaux is really a good player. But probably the biggest difference is that they've improved at corner. It seems like they've been there forever now.

It looks like it could be LSU or Auburn. How does Iowa match up with those teams?

I tell you what, I've learned to not bet against Iowa.

Last year, as much respect as I have for Iowa, when I went and watched Florida practice, and I told Kirk and Norm, when I left Florida's practice I was like, man, this is going to be a challenge now.

From 1 to 75 out there, Florida had some players just across the board. There are just some guys that look a certain way.

But I've learned that I wouldn't bet against Iowa. I don't think it matters who they play. Their defense is going to show up and play. Drew Tate is going to scramble around and make some plays


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