Media Day Q&A: Norm Parker

Iowa's defense took a step backwards in 2006, but they also suffered a slew of injuries to some of their key players. This year's squad returns its entire front four, six of its front seven and on the whole, eight of its eleven starters from a year ago. Will they return to dominance?

Q: Do you like the hot weather for the start of practice?

Norm Parker: Yeah, fat guys really like this kind of weather.

Q: What about the players?

Parker: I am not too sure they are crazy about it either.

Q: The team finished strong against Texas last year. Do you anticipate that mindset carrying over into this year?

Parker: We had a good spring and they have had a good summer, and sort of the same type of attitude. I hope we are getting back to where we are accustomed to being.

Q: You are very veteran along the front line, yet you have some young safeties.

Parker: We have four guys up there that have all played before. We are excited about them, and then I think we have some good young kids behind them, that are going to be able to step in and help us.

Q: One name Kirk has talked about is Adrian Clayborn

Parker: Adrian has been, during the spring and summer, has been outstanding. He has some ability.

Q: Will an improved pass rush help out your inexperience at safety?

Parker: Every one of those guys is a year older, a year stronger and a year smarter. They should be a year better and we should have a better pass rush.

Q: I know that you are not into excuses, but was your defensive line ever 100 percent healthy last year?

Parker: We played a little bit of musical chairs during the year, but that is college football and it could happen again.

Q: In Chicago, a question was brought up about if the game has passed you by. Kirk didn't think so, Joe Paterno gets this question every year. What do you say to that question?

Parker: Has it passed me by? I hope not (laughs). We will find out here pretty soon.

Q: Spread offenses seem to be in vogue now. Are you ever tempted to go to a different defensive formation with regards to overall philosophy?

Parker: When they start spreading the field, you put guys out there, if you just put x's and o's out there, everyone is pretty much the same. You can be 3-4, 4-3 or anything you want to name. When you spread them out, someone has to cover here, someone has to cover there. All of those formations and philosophies are pretty much the same.

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