Quarterbacks Talk Open Practice

Jake Christensen and Rick Stanzi both want the same job, but only one of them will be the starter on August 30th against Maine. Saturday's open practice showed that Iowa's offense still has some things to work out before that contest, and we spoke with both players about what needs to be done between now and then...

Q: Jake, what's the mood in the clubhouse so to speak?

Jake Christensen: It's a good mood, I think it all depends. Coach Ferentz is an offensive minded guy; he looks at the offense all of the time. So when we have a bad day, everyone has a bad day. It's kind of when we play well, the team's in a good mood. I think the defense is pretty experienced, especially the front seven, so they are going to get in there sometimes. The offensive line has been pretty consistent, and I don't think this was a proper account of how we have been playing. Things have been up and down, so we need to flatten things out now and be more consistent.

Q: This is the only view will have of the offense, which from the outside looked a little rough today. Was this performance indicative of what you have seen in camp thus far?

Christensen: No, we've look better than this, I think we did some good things today but we also did some things not so good. I think that's how it is every year at this point; we really haven't gotten a solid rotation set. We haven't peaked at where we went be and this was a step backwards. We will come back from it and do better this week.

Q: Based on your experiences the past few years, is this coming week the biggest week of practice for the year?

Christensen: I think the next week is probably the biggest week. I think we are, what, two weeks from the game? So next week is a big week. I mean pretty much we really have to get things going leading up to a game and I think guys just realize it's time to go hard or let's go home. I think we'll have a big week.

Q: Kirk talked about competition all across the team and there are a lot of guys coming in and out. How does that affect the quarterback and how will this offensive line be?.

Christensen: We will be good; we have a least eight guys right now (on the line). You always expect competition. We have been watching hard knocks in camp and we hear the coaches preach about competition; it's at every level. Everyone is competing; we wouldn't expect anything less, which is what you get when you come to a big school.

Q: If the game was tomorrow, who would be the starter?

Christensen: I think it would be me, but I'm biased. What do you want me to say?

Q: How has Shonn looked?

Christensen: I told someone earlier it's the same Shonn we saw two years ago. I think this time he's more experienced.

Q: There are some injuries to the receiving corps, but it sounds like they might be back on the field.

Christensen: It's always good to get some guys in there to get experience, but we expect all of the guys to be back. It's no big deal.

Q: How the team be in two weeks?

Jake Christensen: I think we will be pretty good. We had a bad day today and it's unfortunate because it's the one time the public will be here. We will be a good team, as long as we can sustain drives and be more consistent.

Q: What have you, as a team, been doing better in camp than last year?

Christensen: We've been doing well on third downs, especially against man coverage, things that we want to do better at than last year. We've been doing well, we been making big plays. We just took a step back today, but we'll be back.

Q: Do you understand the coaches perspective of wanting to get two quarterbacks reps, and to also test Rick because he really hasn't been out there in any sort of spotlight?

Christensen: Everyone has to have competition, that's just the way it is. I would like to be taking all of the reps but that is not how it is right now.

Q: Is it difficult to maintain a solid relationship with someone because you want the same job?

Christensen: It's a friendly competition. There are certain times when you're competing against each other where you get into it, but you don't wish bad luck on anyone. It's a healthy competition


Q: If you had to assess how practice has gone thus far, what would you say?

Rick Stanzi: Camp has gone well so far. We still have a lot to improve on obviously, but as a team we've shown some good spots throughout the past few weeks. But as of right now we have a lot of work to do.

Q: The passing game looked rough today, is it hard to get into a flow with so many guys coming in and out?

Stanzi: We're trying some things that are working, like protection schemes and stuff and getting in sync with the line in us making checks and the running backs picking up the blitz, stuff like that. So it's a positive thing. We have a lot to work on like I said earlier, and there were some things we were pleased with but we still have a lot to improve on.

Q: If the team played tomorrow, would you be the starter?

Stanzi: I'm not the one that makes the decision.

Q: Today was a small glimpse for us, but you have been around practice for weeks. Has the offensive line played better and has the offense clicked better than it did today?

Stanzi: Yeah, like I said, we have had some bright spots, but we have to work on our consistency. I think coach touched upon that every day and it's important. It's tough, we know we have a lot going on. It's tough being in camp for three weeks, but we have to work through it and persevere and become a better team.

Q: Have you felt like you've been more a part of things?

Stanzi: Yeah, it's nice just to be out there after coming off my shoulder injury that kind of set me back a week. Just to be out and playing in Kinnick with teammates is nice.

Q: It looked like you guys put in some new wrinkles into the offense, there was some shotgun, some spread looks. Talk about that.

Stanzi: That's not really new stuff. We just haven't used it a lot. I think it's kind of like a ‘see where we are with it' and work it out in practice and see where it goes from there.

Hawkeye Insider Top Stories