ORLANDO, FLORIDA: With the announcement on Saturday that LSU head coach Nick Saban had accepted the heading coaching position with the Miami Dolphins, one had to expect that Iowa's players and coaches would be asked some questions about how that might impact the Capital One Bowl on Saturday.
When you saw what Nick Saban just went through, do you think about how your father has fielded interest from NFL teams, and do you think that might affect LSU in this game?
"He's (Kirk) never really gone through a long interview process or set a date to make a decision. I don't think we can really relate to what those guys (LSU players) have gone through."
"Obviously, coach Saban has had a lot of success and I don't think he would've done anything to endanger their chances or preparation. We're certainly not changing our outlook on the game because of what happened there. I'm privy to some family information sometimes, but luckily as a team we've never been in a situation where he's (Kirk) seriously considered another opportunity. We're pretty lucky in that regard. I hope we'd handle it well if it did happen, and I'm sure they're handling it well. He (Saban) obviously made the trip. I think those guys are probably motivated."
If your father was offered $5 million and had total football control, which is what it sounds like Nick Saban has with Miami, your father would have to take that, right?
"I don't know that I'd say that. I think he's comfortable where he's at right now. If he heeded my advice for a career decision, I think he's a little smarter than that."
What is the common denominator in coaching at the college and pro levels?
"The football part to me, good coaching is good coaching. I think that's true high school, college or pros. In college recruiting is a big part of what we do. Also, supervision of our players on campus is a big part of what we do, too. We're responsible more for than what they do on the football field."
"You move into the pro level and it's different. You're not a babysitter anymore. And then, how you put your team together is extremely important. Free agency and the cap has really changed the complexion of pro football. Since 1993, the change has been dramatic. My first day on the job, I ran into Russ Grimm and he gave me good advice. He said what they experienced in Washington will never happen again. I said, what are you talking about? He said, eight, 10 years of guys being together, like the old Vikings, those days are gone.
"Now, it's a real art to put teams together. And then it's maybe more of an art to keep a team together; I think that's probably the biggest change Nick is in for."
On players being good on and off the field at both levels
"If you factor in the salary cap, investing in good-character people. And that's the same in college recruiting; you want to be around good people. It's especially true in the NFL now because you're married. Once you pay that money and you commit yourself to a contract, you're married. If you're married to a guy with a lot of variables, it's a rocky road. It could hit you in the pocketbook and it could show up on the field. That's where he's (Saban) heading. That's a little different geography than we're facing in college athletics.
Do you expect an LSU team in a state of flux?
"I think that's wishful thinking. It wouldn't bother me at all (if that were the case). But my sense is that they've gone along business as usual. Nick's name has been out there for awhile. They're probably semi-prepared for this. I don't mean that in a disrespectful way. My guess is that they're going to enjoy this week and prepare well. That's what we're expecting. "
On the Akron Beacon Journal, putting Kirk's name in the Cleveland Brown's mix with his friend Phil Savage as General Manager
"That's been about a month, hasn't it? That's old news."
"I got a call the day Butch (Davis) resigned (from a reporter who covers the Browns). I think I'm on speed dial. We're trying to get ready for a ballgame and we're moving on to the next page."