Q: Mechanically, where did you need to improve during the off-season, and have you?
Kyle Schlicher: I have improved, I think my biggest area during the off-season was just getting a consistent leg swing, a consistent height, basically the same things I did last year, but just a little step higher. What I worked on this summer specifically was ball contact with my foot. Just like swinging a golf club, you just hear that nice pretty swing every time, you can hear it click off your golf club. That's something I looked for this whole summer and I did get a little better in it. As long as I'm kicking, it'll be something I'll always be working on.
Q: With the emphasis they place on special teams at Iowa, it must make you feel extra important. You're more than just a kicker, you're more than an occasional onside kick.
Schlicher: Exactly. That's something that I thought about when I was being recruited by Iowa. Iowa was really the only school that showed so much interest in special teams. Not only field goals but it's every aspect of special teams, mainly punting because that's a little more difficult to perfect than field goal kicking. It's definitely a very nice feeling knowing that they're always concerned, not in a bad way, but concerned that you'll be there perform and that kind of drives me to be there.
Q: Not that we overlook the non-conference schedule but the Big Ten season opener at Ohio State, the first time you run up on the ball you're going to be looking at Teddy Ginn down at the other end of the field. What's going to be going through your mind?
Schlicher: Well. (Laughs). Before I kick that, I'll be thinking about the wind. I don't know any of the returns, I don't study them, my goal, my instructions are if it's a good returner, to get it away from the returner. The ultimate goal is to put it in the end zone so they can't return it, hang it up high there so the kickoff team has enough time to get down there and tackle the guy before he can get a run. I guess the only thing I'll be thinking about at Ohio State is just breaking Nugent's record. (laughs)
Q: That a boy, good positive thinking. Here you are, you've had a solid year under your belt, a lot of experience, how are you feeling confidence wise versus this point last year? Any difference really or a little bit better off?
Schlicher: Last year I was a little bit shaky come into the first game off of camp. I remember coming out of camp I was very confident with how I was doing, how we were as a field goal unit, how we were as a team. I think all that confidence together with everybody being so confident, everyone giving their full potential with everything, made me have confidence in myself and my field goal team. The team just made me perform at the level I did last year. I am a lot more comfortable as a field goal unit and as a team. I think all those young guys that stepped up last year, Sam (Brownlee), all those guys just from having that one year under their belt has grown with us throughout the summer. We know what to expect now, how games work, the pace of them, stuff like that. Definitely, there's a lot more confidence.
Q: Is it nice not having to answer the questions about whether you can fill Nate Kaeding shoes because you might have had the confidence last year, but we as the media might have doubted you?
Schlicher: It is, but then again, I said this earlier to another interview, there will always be a big shadow cast upon me even though he's not here. Nate's someone who I really looked up to, still do, and now that he's in that next level, the NFL, to me he will always be that much better than me. He's older, and he is that much better than me and that will always give me something to work for.