Media Day Q&A: Julian Vandervelde

Julian Vandervelde talked about injuries along the line, new teammates, and open competition during his interview in Iowa media day on Monday. Read what he had to say in his premium transcript.

Q: (A question about all the injuries on the offensive line last year.)

Julian Vandervelde: When that sort of thing happens, when you have injuries and things, it's not something you can let weigh you down. It's not something you can use as an excuse. We have enough talented guys that regardless of injury, we have to go out every week and play at 100%.

Q: Is it fair to say that an improved Iowa offense, which ever wants to see, starts with you guys?

Vandervelde: I think so. I think it definitely does. We can't let Jake gets sacked 46 times. We've got to open up holes for the running game. When we feel good, when we're playing really well, it lets everyone else be more comfortable. Jake can sit back in the pocket, pick defenses apart, our running backs have nice big holes they can run through, so I think if we do our job, than the offense will improve.

Q: Welcome back to the media.

Vandervelde: Thank you. I was on hiatus for a while there.

Q: Was it tough, one day being back in the fishbowl, the black hole?

Vandervelde: Now, I really didn't care. It wasn't that big of a deal for me, I thought it was kind of funny.

Q: You seem like you like talking to the media little more than somebody that has around here.

Vandervelde: It's not that, some guys feel like they're going to say something wrong or whatever, but I just come out and say it. Why not?

Q: What do you see as the benefits of having eight or nine, some guys say 10 or 15 guys that can compete for a spot on the line?

Vandervelde: It's a huge advantage, from a competitive standpoint. It got a lot of guys competing for the starting spots. Whenever you've got guys competing against each other, then they're pushing each other to get better. The sheer number of guys we have competing for those spots makes everyone better. They work harder and realize that we've got to do everything right to really get to that point where our top five guys are out there. Regardless of which five guys are out there, we feel real confident with the guys we have.

Q: Iowa has had a reputation for converting linemen and building them up, now you see guys coming in, huge dudes, McMillan and Bulaga, does that push you, knowing that there are physically capable guys coming in?

Vandervelde: It's exciting, I think is what it is. I'm a hawk player, a Hawkeye fan. I want to see us succeed, whether I'm on the field or not. It's really cool to see guys come in with the physical potential right off the bat. It's something we can develop, we can see them grow, push them hard wall were pushing ourselves. It makes for interesting competition and it's really fun stuff to watch in practice.

Q: What were you at when you first came in?

Vandervelde: My first practice I was at 325. I think they had begun to 295 within three weeks.

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