Reese Morgan, in his appearance and demeanor, suggests a very well organized man. As he delivered his report of the status of Iowa Football we find that he represents one cog of a very well oiled, fine tuned machine of a staff.
"Kirk Ferentz had a game plan for the bowl game. He had been working on one for three years. After Coach Ferentz's first season, where he went 1-10, he checked with other head coaches around the country on how they prepared for bowl games. He did more research after his second season, with a 3-8 record", said Morgan. "Therefore, when we qualified for a bowl game this year, Coach Ferentz already had a plan ready to implement", added Morgan. After all, he had worked on it for three years. That is preparation!
"The first five days were spent with the two deeps, getting them ready. The middle five days were spent working exclusively with the younger players. Many of them, like Blake Larsen and Andy Thorn, made huge improvement. This helps prepare them for spring ball and ultimately to help them to be in a position to contribute next season. The last five days were spent preparing the two deeps for Texas Tech, fine tuning the game plan", said Morgan.
Texas Tech didn't know what hit them!
"Defensive Coordinator Norm Parker had a great game plan to disrupt their receivers on their timing patterns. Texas Tech couldn't or didn't adjust their offense to what we were doing. Norm is a master at stopping the spread offense.
The New England Patriots used a similar defense to defeat the St. Louis Rams in the Super Bowl", added Morgan.
When asked about the effect of Iowa football switching to Nike, Morgan said "The association with Nike will help in recruiting, in fact, it already has." The prospects want to wear the swoosh! A contract should be announced shortly that may be more far reaching.
On Iowa's defensive back coach, Morgan said "Phil Parker, is not impressive physically. Yet he was All Big Ten three straight years playing for Norm Parker at Michigan State. He is very intense and transfers that to his players."
The addition Of Darrell Wilson to the defensive staff is one that Morgan likes. "Kirk Ferentz has known Darrell for 25 years, since they were students at the University of Connecticut. Darrell is the kind of man that demands respect and that you are proud to be associated with. He coached for a long time at Camden, New Jersey, Woodrow T. Wilson high school, where he won many honors. He will recruit New Jersey and probably Eastern Pennsylvania and Florida."
Chris Doyle also commands much respect from Morgan. "Our weight and conditioning program is outstanding. Coach Doyle is field performance driven as opposed to setting lifting records. Everything he does is to prepare the player to succeed on the field."
After a related question later, Reese talked about true freshman Mike Follett. "He came to us at 208 pounds last summer. Now he weighs 234 pounds and looks skinny! He is a pleasant surprise at outside linebacker" said Morgan.
Although he wouldn't comment on position changes he did say that TE Tony Jackson was a "physical specimen."
"Last year our average loss was by 5.4 points. Our Defense was #2 in the Big Ten, while our offense led the conference in scoring and first down efficiency. Although we aren't there yet, we are close to where we want to be.
One area for improvement next year is turnover margin, where the Hawks were 8th in the Big Ten" added Morgan. (Editor's Note) As a reader of Phil Steele's Pre- Season College Football magazine, turnover margins usually vary greatly from year to year. The charts in his magazine indicate, as Hayden Fry would say, "The sun don't shine on the same dogs's rump every day!" Therefore, look for the Hawks to have a much more positive turnover margin next year.
"Kirk Ferentz is a detail man in every way. Coach Ferentz sits in on all the offensive units' meetings each week. In addition, he chairs the academic meeting, which lasts for at least an hour every week. If he were here tonight, he would be the last one to leave. That's the kind of man he is" concluded Morgan.
It was a very informative night at the Marriott as Coach Reese Morgan delivered a fine presentation. He is a good representative of the University of Iowa and will help us this next season as we go "OVER THE TOP!"
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