Transcript: Lester Erb

Lester Erb, the assistant coach in charge of Wide Receivers and Special Teams, spoke with the media on Monday at Iowa's annual Media Day event. Read what he had to say about James Cleveland, Andy Brodell, kicking, punting and more in this premium transcript.

Q: (A question on the kicking competitions)

Lester Erb: We'll be inexperienced in both those areas, so we're fortunate we have our snappers back. It's going to be an open competition. If you look at the kicking competition, you have Austin Signor and Danny Murray, who competed all during the spring. They're going to compete during summer camp here. Both of them were pretty comparable in the spring. It's something that's not a closed issue at all. Obviously Austin has kicked live, he's kicked in games. He's been successful doing it. Right now, it's an open competition between those two. The punting position, Andy was going as a two year started. Ryan Donahue came in here as a punter. He's had a year under his belt. He hasn't done anything yet. Eric Guthrie's a guy that just came into camp who we'll wait and see. It's going to be open competition.

Q: What kind of potential does Donahue have?

Erb: Ryan, coming out of high school, obviously had an awful lot of accolades. I think the guy who's really improved a lot over the past year, he's got a real strong leg, a good athlete back there. He just needs to be more consistent. Time will tell.

Q: People talk about the wide receiving corp. I'm almost hearing, 'Who can stretch the field?' Two years ago, a guy like Ed Hinkel, almost 12 yards per catch, is that going to be more along the lines of what this group of receivers can do?

Erb: It's funny. I always go back to 2002. We go back to 2002, one of the big question marks coming into the season was the WR corps and what they could do. That may have been our best WR corps ever. Mo Brown, CJ, Ed Hinkel, Clinton Solomon. If you look at this receiving corps, the one we have right now, I think we have guys that kind of do a bit of everything. We've got some speed guys, obviously Andy Brodell proved that he can catch and finish. Dominique, Paul Chaney and Anthony Bowman are accomplished track guys. We've got a good mix in there, we've just got to put them in positions for us.

Q: You talk about Andy coming, and his coming out party in Texas. Yards after the catch is what I'm hearing from you. It doesn't all have to be 80 yards in the air, right?

Erb: If you look at Andy's two long catches in the Alamo Bowl, one was a 5 yard hitch that he turned into a 57 yarder, something like that. Even the pass he caught against Minnesota, he caught that at 18 or 19 yards and then made a guy miss. A lot of times, those big plays happen after you catch the ball and make a guy miss or do some of those things. We have some of the guys.

Q: What was the difference in him, those last two games? Everyone's last memory is the Alamo Bowl and that left quite an impression.

Erb: The biggest thing with Andy, as I mentioned earlier, he was a high school running back. Last year was really only his third year playing WR. He's really improved. He's learning that position all through the year. I really think, at the end of the year, he got a lot more confidence. He was having a bit more success. As you know, if you have confidence in something, you're going to have more success. He's continued to grow. The biggest improvement is just getting those experience.

Q: Was he banged up too at some point?

Erb: He was banged up, but he was on the field playing.

Q: Is it just mental, as much as anything else? Games like those, especially the quality of Texas, that gives you all kinds of confidence.

Erb: No question. Confidence, the attitude you bring, coming out here and playing. Confidence has a big thing to do with it.

Q: Was there ever doubt from him? Everybody had the dropsies in the early going.

Erb: I think that comes with getting more experience. The more experience you get, the more confidence you get.

Q: Talk a little bit about James Cleveland and what he brings to your group.

Erb: Really, it's James' second year on campus right now. Obviously he redshirted for us last year, but James is another big, physical WR that brings some toughness to the position. He had tremendous ball skills and runs great routes. He's a guy that we're excited about. He had a great spring practice for us. We'll wait to see how he does during camp.

Q: Does he remind you of anyone in the past? Maybe Mo Brown?

Erb: He's going to be about Mo's size, eventually. He's not quite there yet. He reminds me a bit of Dominique, if you look at it. He's going to be an exciting player to watch.

Q: Comparing him to Dominique, I remember doing an interview last year, you'd talk about how he'd just run routes without anyone to throw to him, just working out the footwork. Is he a guy in that same mold?

Erb: No question, he enjoys football. He's a Gym Rat. If you throw a ball out there, he's going to go compete. When practice is over, there's a good chance he'll be out catching balls, running routes. He just enjoys being out here. That's really what we're looking for, between him and Dominique, it's contagious, the other guys are doing it too.


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