Spring Football: Paschal, Mattison & Chandler

Talking Iowa spring football with Marcus Pachal, Bryan Mattison and Scott Chandler

Q: Do you think we will see a ‘closer to 100 percent' version of Marcus Paschal this year?

Marcus Paschal: Yes, you are going to see a big difference come this season. Last year, I was like eight months out of surgery to start the season. Things will get better as time goes on.

Q: Are you close to that yet?

Paschal: Yes, I do. I feel 360 from last year. I fell 100 percent more comfortable out there.

Q: How hard is it from a mental standpoint to be out there knowing that you are not 100 percent?

Paschal: The big thing about these type of injuries is mental. You might be physically able to do it, but in your mind, you think about getting hurt again. That is the thing that has made me ready to play at a better speed now because I have in my mind I can do it, and its not a big thing about getting reinjured.

Q: Do you think we would have seen Godfrey make the move to cornerback had you not gotten injured against LSU in the bowl game?

Paschal: I don't know. We might have seen that earlier. Coach is always thinking of something back there in the offices.

Q: How do you think the two new faces (Charles Godfrey and Adam Shada) will fare at cornerback next year?

Paschal: I think we will do pretty good. I wouldn't say two new faces. Shada was out there last year and started a bit. I think we will be OK. We have a lot of athleticism on the corners and we will be able to cope with it.

Q: You were teaching some of the younger players during Saturday's practice. Is that something the coaches want you to do, or something you do on your own?

Paschal: That is just Iowa football. It's always the next man in. You never know what game someone might go out and the next person has to step in. We are trying to get to the younger guys, because you never know if your next play is your last play and you want the team to be successful, so you have to help them.

Q: You were able to get a good view of the linebackers this spring. What did you think and how do you think those guys will be next year?

Paschal: I think we will do real good this year. We have more experience on the defensive line out there, so they will do real good this year.

Q: How much help will that defensive line be to you guys in the secondary?

Paschal: (Big Smile) Yeah, I think that will help a lot. Maybe I might get my hands on a few more balls back there.


Q: There was a quote you gave last year after the Illinois game last year, where you said that it was the first time you had fun. After that, during the regular season, you allowed less than 100 yards per game on the ground as a defense. What clicked?

Bryan Mattison: I don't know how to explain it. When you get towards the end of the game, you don't want to say you had the game won, you just started letting loose and having more fun. It was that way this spring. You don't want to mess up, but you play loose and hard, giving your all and not being so tense. When we lost those first few games, that is hard to take. You are a young guy trying to not let the team down and then you realize that we are out there playing as hard as we can. I don't know, it just started getting fun.

Q: Did things seem like playing in mud to maybe dropping some of those mental shackles?

Mattison: I don't know what it was. It was definitely something.

Q: Talk about this spring compared to last spring; do you feel the momentum you gained last year, you guys started bullying people around. Iowa fans like seeing their defense be the Bullies of the Big Ten. Do you feel like you can carry that forward?

Mattison: I don't know about that. I think we made some strides this spring. I think as a whole, the defense, we did a lot better. The best part about it all is that there is so much room for improvement. It's nice knowing that we can get better. None of us are satisfied. It should be fun getting after it this year and trying to get better for fall camp.


Q: You are a lot bigger now

Scott Chandler: Yeah, I have put on some weight. I have put on about 10 pounds. I am at 258 right now.

Q: When does the whittling down begin, where you focus on three or four primary receivers and one or two tight ends?

Chandler: Towards the end of (fall) camp. All summer, the guys will be competing and making plays. That gives you credibility amongst your teammates. That is a big thing out there, too. If your teammates know that you can make plays, and the quarterback, you will get the ball. Guys will compete all summer and we go into camp and that gets down to the coaches decisions. That is where it all happens.

Q: How good can this team be?

Chandler: I think we have a lot of talent and potential, but potential never won a game or a championship. We need to work hard as a team and come together a little more. We still have a lot of work to do and we are not there yet.

Q: There are a lot of weapons on offense.

Chandler: Yeah, I think we have a lot of talent.

Q: Do you think you will feature both you and Tony (Moeaki)more this year, at same time?

Chandler: Tony is a real good talent. He is young and still learning a lot. You can see him get better every day. He is a guy that can do both blocking and catching the ball. I think with him, it adds another dimension to the offense and another weapon out there. It's hard to guard two tight ends with the linebackers. Sometimes teams have one linebacker that can cover well, but not two. I am not sure how we will use it.

Q: Do you think that think next November, people won't have to write you in on the All Conference ballot? How did you feel about leading Big Ten tight ends in catches and yards and be left off of the ballot?

Chandler: We don't worry about that; we worry about wins. If you win, that stuff takes care of itself. I think that is the way we go into it as a team.

Q: You didn't feel slighted?

Chandler: No. You take it as motivation. You turn it into hard work and use it to get better.

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