Ferentz Q&A: Final Comments on Spring Ball

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz spoke with the media for the final time on Saturday at the conclusion of Iowa's 15th spring practice. We won't hear from Ferentz again in a general press conference setting until late July at the Big Ten media day event. Read what Ferentz had to say in this transcript, that covers the battle at quarterback, general thoughts on the team and more...

Kirk Ferentz Opening Statement

All in all, a decent day of work. I think this spring, we made progress. As you saw today, a lot of areas that we will have to improve in, which we knew coming into it. This was a good phase for us and the team improve and will this summer.

Q: The quarterback position is the most visible, how did they do today?

Kirk Ferentz: You know, today, OK. Today is a slice of the whole spring. Some hot and cold, some good and bad. I thought in certain situations we did some things better than we had this spring. Some of that was big plays on third down.

Q: Did anyone stand out above the other?

Ferentz: Not really, I don't think so. At all positions, that is one of them. Our kicking game, the big thing is consistency. Our team has potential, but no where need to be.

Q: For the fans, this will be the last snapshot until the fall. Should people place weight on what they saw today?

Ferentz: I would hope not, because its one day out of 15. As coaches, we try to evaluate the collective package. A big part of it was having had opportunities to see guys from start to finish. Some guys have made good strides, some treaded water, some lost some ground. Ultimately, what will count is August when we get back together. Midway through that, we will have to make decisions and settle into a lineup to improve consistency. It's hard to do that rotating.

Q: Are you still expecting the injured players to be available this summer and the fall?

Ferentz: Yeah, we are. That is one positive today. We had a few guys get nicked up, but coming out of the spring, I hope I am not premature in saying this, but there were no surgical issues. The injuries we have had have been bumps and bruises with the surgeries taking place prior to spring practice and everyone should be ready to go come the fall.

Q: How open is the QB race from here until August?

Ferentz: I think what you saw today, Marvin has the furthest amount of ground to cover. He is trying to learn what he is doing. Rick and Jake have competed and we will let that process continue and we will see what jumps Marvin can make by August. We will let them all compete and go from there.

Q: Did Rick Stanzi take some steps this fall?

Ferentz: I think he has helped his cause. If you talk about any of the guys, consistency is the big thing. The guys around them have been in and out and that affects things. We will try to be fair about it and we will keep it open and let the guys compete

Q: So is Jake not the #1?

Ferentz: No, he is #1. Again, outside of King and Kroul right now, I am not sure anyone is in ink at the 1. We need to get better.

Q: Injuries affected your play on offense last year as you said numerous times, your ability to fairly evaluate the quarterback play. You had more of that this spring; does that get frustrating

Ferentz: It's part of football. It would be more concerning if some of the guys have been out, this is four week, that would have been four weeks in the season. We are only talking 15 days…only, it could be worse is my point there. Hopefully we get everyone healthy over the summer and with the exception of Dace, we will not know about him until summer is half way over. Everyone else is scheduled back and it will be important to keep guys healthy in the fall if we are going to be successful.

Q: Is the Defense further along?

Ferentz: That is typical in the spring. We let them do a couple of things, not an awful lot, and that makes it more challenging for the offense. It's about expected. Those guys are doing some good things.

Q: Why did you hold out King and Kroul from the scrimmage?

Ferentz: Once we got into the team part, there is not a lot we need to know about them right now. And we want to learn more about the other guys with the one's. It's interesting how you plug one or two guys in, their play is different than with the second unit. I will be curious to see the films for those guys. Looking down the road, that will be a position where we will have to have some guys ready, because King and Kroul are gone a year from now.

Q: Talk about Paki O'Meara's progress.

Ferentz: He is doing a good job. Paki has done a good job. He is attentive, he learns well, he has had a good solid spring. He is a young player, and hasn't played an awful lot. He has a lot of room to improve, too.

Q: Did anyone distance themselves at Middle Linebacker today or is it still close?

Ferentz: I would have to see the tape, but it's pretty good competition, like a lot of spots. We will let them continue to compete and see what happens, but we are pleased with both guys.

Q: Did AJ Edds make progress?

Ferentz: He is only going to be a second year starter but you feel like he has been here longer. He has improved in all areas of his game. He is a little behind King and Kroul, but in that same category

Q: Were you pleased with how the team played today?

Ferentz: Yes and no, I don't get too excited about spring practice from an individual standpoint. The frustrating spring is that you never have consistency or meshing you would like to have and there are reasons for that. You can't get too excited about that, you need to focus on the individuals. But we have had a good spring. But the most important thing now is this summer and august.

Q: It looks like your are more athletic along the front line than in recent years. Do you see it that way?

Ferentz: I think we have the potential certainly, and that was without King and Kroul who have been practicing well. I think it's fair to say that both Ballard and Clayborn gave us some energy last year. They were young and fresh. I think they gave us juice in there, now the question is how will they do playing 60 snaps a game. That is a different chore. I am pleased with the way they are coming along and the young guys behind them across the board. Hopefully a good opportunity to play six or eight on the front.

Q: Did the crummy spring weather affect your preparation, take away any snaps from practice the last three weeks?

Ferentz: Just on Thursday, we got chased off by the thunder and lighting and we lucked out. I missed the earthquake. I think we may have missed eight or ten minutes.

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