8/24: Kirk on the Side Transcript

Following Friday's press conference, Kirk Ferentz spoke with the media about Dominique Douglas, Anthony Bowman, his punt returners, his starting safeties, a few injury updates, and more. Read what he had to say in this premium transcript.

Q: (A question on the starting safeties)

Kirk Ferentz: If we were going to play tomorrow, we'd probably go with Moylan and Dalton back there, it's a three-horse race right now, Greenwood is still in the mix back there. I think all three of those guys, with Devan being the swing guy. We'll figure it out through the week, but probably all three will play.

Q: A lot of freshmen in the two-deeps right now, how many will play?

Ferentz: I think we're looking at it, with 10-12 in contention that we're thinking about playing. A couple of those guys aren't in the two-deeps per say, but they're in our rotation, which makes them eligible for special teams play as well.

Q: This timeline just amazes me. I can't even imagine.

Ferentz: You're not going to get me going down that road.

Q: Generally, do you think a coach should know if there's stuff going on with his players?

Ferentz: It would be helpful, but it would be better if our players weren't involved in any investigations, that would be my real hope. I have more control over that than the other aspect. I'm hoping that our players will be beyond reproach, that?s what we're going to have to be from now on. That's the challenge. It's a bit like 2002, we've gone through a period here of activity, and we need to answer some questions right now. It's just going to be a challenge for us, to act like a mature football team.

Q: What were your players' reactions, when you told them what had happened?

Ferentz: Which reference?

Q: Sunday night, Monday, about what had happened to Dominique and Anthony?

Ferentz: Everybody was disappointed, everyone involved with the program. Those guys are both popular guys on the football team. Besides being good football players, they're popular guys, and respected. I don't think you'd want to hear that about anybody you know or are close with. I think everybody's disappointed. I think we're all hopeful that what is being presented isn't actually what happened. None of us have any knowledge or have any way to understand that until the whole process goes through. We just have to hope for the best. It's not for us to judge.

Q: Any walk-ons getting scholarships?

Ferentz: That's something I usually don't disclose. We're adding about 4 or 5 this week. Guys that have worked hard.

Q: Knowing that you took Dominique under your wing about the academic thing, you even likened it to yourself back as a student at Connecticut. Do you feel betrayed?

Ferentz: I don't feel betrayed at all. I'm not going to judge, I don?t think any of us can judge until more facts are presented. I'm disappointed. I think that's probably the best word to use, it's disappointing. It's disappointing to think that charges could be levied. All we can do right now is try and be supportive of them, I'm hopeful that both Anthony and Dominique will do a good job with their class work. In a perfect world, you'd like to know sooner rather than later. None of us are in a position to dictate right now. We'll go through the process and deal with the outcome.

Q: Did you consider not playing them in the scrimmage?

Ferentz: Not really. I was very sketchy. All I knew was that they were wanted for questioning. I didn't have any idea there would be charges or anything.

Q: Did you break the news to them, or did they already know?

Ferentz: We waited till they got off the field, done with the autograph thing, then in the locker room we took care of that. To answer your question.

Q: Then they moved out of the hotel?

Ferentz: Yeah, on Monday we did that.

Q: Were they shocked?

Ferentz: I think so, I think they were surprised. That'll all play itself out.

Q: They haven't been talked to previously, by anybody?

Ferentz: Nope.

Q: How close to 100% is Moylan?

Ferentz: We think he's about there now, he's done well, he's pretty caught up. He's doing well, he's competing, doing a nice job.

Q: When you're comparing stories, players vs. police, how do you not take the police?

Ferentz: Two things. I was not aware of the statistics I read this morning. I'm hardly an expert, but I think all of you can think of a very prominent case within the last two years that took place. Everybody tried that one in public, and it altered a lot of lives. I don't think we have any choice but to sit back and let the experts do the work. I'm certainly not an expert in this area.

Q: Did that change the way you looked at these sort of things?

Ferentz: It's like your own kids. You don't come to judgment without research and what have you. This case, I don't know near enough of the facts to really take a side on this. I can't. I know what I want to believe, but I don't have the facts. Until they really come out and get presented, it's hard for anybody to know where to go on this.

Q: When you asked the police, how much can they give?

Ferentz: My sense, in my conversation with the officer, he basically just gave me the basics. He didn't share everything with me. A couple things he did share, he gave me the basics, I guess. I wouldn't expect any more, it wouldn't have been appropriate from my end. The result is that you have a heck of a gap here, we just have to work through it.

Q: Does Signor take the first extra point next week?

Ferentz: If we were playing tomorrow, it would be Austin, but we'll go through the week on that one, too.

Q: Karl Klug.

Ferentz: He's a pleasant surprise, we need to talk about him. He's a bit hurt now too, naturally. It's interesting, he's got a little knack to him, a little wiggle, he's done a good job. As you know, he's kind of like a freshmen in that he had that back injury. He's missed a lot of training in his two years here. We're really excited, he's showing some knack. We kind of hoped, when we recruited him, that he might project in that DL, and he's on the road right now. He's up around 240, he's improved a great deal and seems to have a nice defensive temperament. We're pleased with his progress. He's not there yet, but he's making ground.

Q: Where does Paki O'Meara fall on the depth chart?

Ferentz: We have obviously the two seniors with Albert Young and Damian Sims. After that, Paki's right in the mix with Jayme Murphy and Jevon Pugh is a guy that you'll see on the field. Three guys that are all very close. Paki and Jayme have a bit more experience, Jevon is a little newer. We may have to create some situations for all three guys where they'll be productive. All three guys will be on special teams, I'm sure.

Q: Is Stross healthy?

Ferentz: He's been working his way back. He's had the last couple practices and he seems out of the woods.

Q: Where do you go with the kick returner?

Ferentz: If we were playing tomorrow, it would be Damian and Derrell Johnson-Koulianos. With Brodell back there for punts.

Q: When you were talking about a very visible case, I assume you were talking about Duke.

Ferentz: I just said there was a visible case that all of us were aware of. I'm sure if you went back, there are a lot of cases in history. For us to be judgmental right now, it wouldn't serve any purpose.

Q: When you look at the Facebook photos. I'm sorry to go back to this. You talked about how those photos would be viewed differently in Detroit than they would be in Iowa City, at least perceptually. Do you guys cover that that way?

Ferentz: The bottom, line, we live in Iowa, all of us live in Iowa. We may not be from Iowa, but we live here. It's important, no matter where you live, that you understand where you live and what people appreciate and don't appreciate. I'm not suggesting anybody compromise or change, unless they're doing something wrong. I think people are very respectful of other people's differences as well. In the 80s, we had so many players from the east here that loved it and still live here because of the values of this area, the education, the Midwestern values. I think a big reason those guys loved it here is the quality of life is so good. That all being said, it's like our football team. If we don't play hard, if we don't hustle, I don't think it's "win at all costs." I don't think the fans have ever been that way, but it's hard to respect a team that doesn't play hard or hustle. There's a obligation off the field too, certainly. Nobody wants to spend their hard-earned money to buy tickets and then be disappointed by the way a team acts off the field or how they act on the field. That's a coach's obligation to share those messages.

Q: You mentioned that Rafael was missing.

Ferentz: He's just got a minor foot thing, he's been limping around the last two days. We rested him today, we'll rest him on Sunday, probably. He should be fine. It's been along camp, these guys get the crap beat out of them, linemen especially.

Q: What kind of advice do you give to your players in managing the party/alcohol culture in Iowa City?

Ferentz: It's a concern on any college campus in America. I think everybody knows that. It gets back to education. Where a student athlete is different than the average student, student athletes have a lot at stage. They have expectations that are much higher than the average student. No student is supposed to get arrested, but image is important in athletics, whether you're on scholarship or not. If you're a member of a team, there is an image that goes with that and responsibility that goes with it and it's a part of being on the team. Players need to understand that. It's important, it's something that we've tried to impart to our players and will continue to try to impart on our players in a regular basis.

Q: Do you feel like they're getting the message?

Ferentz: You never feel like you've arrived, because you never do. Again, we've addressed Facebook several times here in the past calendar year, yet we're here discussing it today. It's no different than being a parent. Players never arrive with mastered techniques, as soon as you assume things are copasetic, you're open for a little surprise.

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