Media Day: Damian Sims

Damian Sims talks about the various personalities in the Iowa backfield, new ways of getting him and the other athletes on the team the ball, his developing confidence, and more in this premium transcript from Iowa Media Day.

Q: (A question on what the coaches have in store this year)

Damian Sims: Move me around in the slot a lot, whatever the coaches need me to do, I'm willing to do it. I think we're going to have a good year. Whatever challenges they've got for me on offense. They're trying to find ways to get me the ball, I'm all for it.

Q: He also said don't be surprised to see you and Albert in at the same time.

Sims: We've been working on that a lot too. They're just trying to get the athletes the ball, get us the ball more. We've been doing a lot of two-back stuff, me and Albert, me and Shonn, we've been mixing it up, it's looking pretty good.

Q: Talk about what you gained last year, how much it helped confidence wise with the ability to break the long run, how that helped you?

Sims: It definitely helped me to see that I guess I can play on this level. It was more of, like you said, just getting in there. When I was playing my true freshman year, it was mostly returns and stuff like that. Finally getting to play on offense, that felt good. There's nothing like it that you can gain. You can practice all year, but you gain that in-game experience, that helps you a lot.

Q: Albert said the thing he needs to work on is what you have, the ability to break the long run.

Sims: And I need to be more in-between (the tackles). We run similar. Shonn is really the only one who's different from us. Me and Albert pretty much have the same style. If that's what he said, I'm not going to argue with him.

Q: How important do you think pass-catching is going to be for you this year? How would you describe yourself as a receiver?

Sims: I think I catch pretty good. Like I said, the coaches have been trying to get me ways to get me the ball. Whatever they've got lined up, I'm all for it. However I can get on the field, I just want to play.

Q: One of the things you did so well was making the most of your opportunities. Albert would wear them down and you'd have that extra half step. Assuming he's the feature back again is that something you can capitalize on again this season?

Sims: Who knows. Last year was last year. We've been building on what's going on this year. Every year Coach Ferentz always says, 'We've got a different team, everything is different' What I did last year is last year. Hopefully I try and do better, but as a team, hopefully we can achieve better goals that what we had last year.

Q: One of the things that's different this year is no bye week. It really puts pretty on you guys to stay as healthy as possible.

Sims: Coach Doyle, he'll find ways. They know when we're tired and when we're working hard. They'll find ways to get us those breaks, whether it's cutting down practice down a few minutes here and there. Coach is pretty good with that stuff, he'll find ways for us to get our rest.

Q: Last year you got a couple carries here, a couple there, then you'd go and break one for 30, 40, 70 yards. Coming out of each of those runs, was it almost a feeling of 'I told you so'

Sims: Yeah. (Laughs) I mean... That's a tough question. Start over.

Q: How did you feel coming out of those 70 yard runs?

Sims: I felt good. My goal was to help the team in any way I can, but it definitely get my confidence up, gain that in-game experience.

Q: Was that something you felt you were lacking early in the year, switching back between offense and defense?

Sims: Yeah, once they told me I'd be playing just offense, going back to offense, I felt much better and more comfortable. As opposed to when I was on defense, I was always trying to learn. I felt like I was always behind. Coaches got it lined up to try and get all the backs the ball a lot. Me, Albert, Shonn, everybody's been getting a lot of rotation. You never know who you might see in the game.

Q: It's nice to have that kind of depth and versatility back there.

Sims: I think we've got a nice backfield. Me and Albert are similar backs, but Shonn's going to be the thing that just is different. He's fast, one of the fastest guys on the team, he's strong as hell. When they see me and Albert all the time, then they hit Shonn... We've got a good thing going.

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