Post-ISU: Kirk on the Side

Kirk Ferentz spoke with the media on Saturday after his team beat the Cyclones. Read what he had to say after his main press conference about injuries, the quarterback situation, next week's game and more in this premium transcript.

Q: Was it a chop block? Theirs was.

Kirk Ferentz: He said he didn’t, but it doesn’t matter what he says.

Q: Is this an emphasis?

Ferentz: It’s a rule. What they called on Brandon was a high/low. If in fact that’s what happened, it is a penalty. Brandon didn’t think he did, but a lot of times players don’t. They had two in one game.

Q: A little blood in the celebration.

Ferentz: It bumped up against somebody.

Q: Longer cleats or anything?

Ferentz: We didn’t make a big deal of it, we just talked about ball security, mentioned that last night, trying to keep our feet underneath us, which is easier said than done. All these guys have played in rain during high school, no big deal. We practice in the rain, it’s not a huge thing.

Q: Is the relief pitcher situation desirable?

Ferentz: I’m not even thinking about it. That’s an honest answer.

Q: You were saying Shonn was your most important recruit. Is today what you were talking about?

Ferentz: It’s hard to recruit a guy that’s in his 20s. We don’t recruit many juco players. Guys like him are usually taken, if they’re in their 20s. It’s great to see him working as hard as he is, he’s really working hard. He couldn’t have done this two weeks ago. It’s a tribute to the way he’s training, the way he’s trying to get back, I think he’s getting close.

Q: Moeaki’s not hurt again, is he?

Ferentz: He got dinged, but I think he’ll be fine. That was not a great way to welcome him back into the lineup.

Q: You don’t want to stand next to him on the sideline…

Ferentz: I know. Geez.

Q: You played LB in college, how much fun do you think it would be to tackle Shonn?

Ferentz: I probably couldn’t have caught him, first of all, but it’s not fun. I can assure you, when I was playing, we never faced anything like him, at UCONN. It was like division 2 back them.

Q: You said on Tuesday you hadn’t talked to Jake. Did you get a chance to talk to him?

Ferentz: We had a brief talk Tuesday afternoon. He dropped in on the way to practice and meetings. It was a 3-minute deal, everything was great, he went out and practiced. I’m not smart enough to have a long conference with a guy.

Q: Did you have a feeling Jake would play today?

Ferentz: We played the situation. I thought he had his best week of practice. When guys practice well, when the team practices well, you don’t worry quite as much. The fact that I think he’s been playing better, that he’s had a great week of practice told me he was ready to go. If we had to use him, we’re going to use him.

Q: Almost a sense of relief to him?

Ferentz: I can’t answer that. I don't think so, but I can’t answer that. Not from my vantage point, but I’m not an expert.

Q: Can you give a quick critique on Stanzi’s last throw?

Ferentz: That wasn’t great, that concerned me a little bit. I think it was a case of him trying to force some things a little bit, that happens. You press hard, there’s no position harder to play than quarterback. Anybody that covers football knows that. Those are things he’ll work through.

Q: What were you able to get out of Stanzi’s performance in terms of what you wanted to assess that you didn’t see before?

Ferentz: Just that it’s a big game, first and foremost. It was a tough game because of the opposite and the gameplan. We knew that would be a challenge. They made it difficult on us in a lot of ways. I think, to me, from what I could tell, his head was where it should be. He was seeing things how he should have saw them, but didn’t always have the ball right where he wanted it. He did a lot of good things, he’ll grow from that.

Q: Angerer started today. More speed?

Ferentz: Yeah. A little bit. You saw both play today, you’ll probably see that all season long. We’re happy with both guys. They both have strengths and weaknesses. I think there’s a place for both of them to play, they both do some good things for us, too. Pat’s a guy who’s improved his game starting in the spring. We’ve seen him mount a climb, that’s great.

Q: Was Jacody the only one with connections to Ike?

Ferentz: Yes and no. I haven’t had a chance to ask him, but his mom has moved. He’s got people there, it’s a tough situation.

Q: Is Iowa’s special teams “back”?

Ferentz: We’ll know in a while. There are positive signs, I’ll say that. That’s a positive, a big positive. My response is that Ryan hit his ugliest one when needed it, but then he rebounded. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll be a fine performer for us this year.

Q: Is Murray your long guy?

Ferentz: Yeah. The other guys are doing a good job, I’m happy with the way that’s going.

Q: Are you ready to go on the road?

Ferentz: We’ll find out, that’s the next challenge. We’ll find out this week.

Q: How about going home, for you?

Ferentz: Basically all it means is that I need more tickets. Rita has a lot more this week, because I don’t talk to anybody about tickets, it drives me crazy. It’ll be a bad week for her.

Q: Any idea how many you need?

Ferentz: You’d have to ask her. They all call her, they know not to call me. I have a few things straightened out in our office, a few that work right.

Q: Would you imagine you’d be using this many people in critical spots on defense?

Ferentz: Not a month ago, but maybe a couple weeks ago. After a couple weeks of camp. We saw some things we liked, and thought we had the potential for a lot of guys to be involved. The question is now how fast we can grow. We’re hardly there, we’re hardly there. We’ve got some guys to work with, that we’re thrilled about, that’s a positive.

Q: What’d you learn about your defensive make up today?

Ferentz: Our whole team responded to tough situations, we were in a bunch of them today. It seemed like we had about 50 of them. For the most part, I think we really handled a tough circumstance well. That’s really good, that’s something we can build on, hopefully. Again, we all know the next 9 weeks, 9 games, 10 weeks, a lot more of those situations are going to come up, every week. This was a good thing today.

Q: Is the safety an easy call for you? A horrible call for Vegas.

Ferentz: That’s somebody else’s problem. That’s the furthest thing from my mind. We were just trying to get the win and do it in the smartest possible fashion.

Q: Did you notice Mitch go over for the trophy?

Ferentz: That was a little premature. I don’t think he was trying to show anybody up, I think he thought the clock was winding.

Q: McNutt took some passes.

Ferentz: We started fooling around with him on Sunday at that position. I’m not sure if we have it in ink yet, but I think he did some good things. The way we look at it, we’ve been happy with him at QB, but we have two guys we feel pretty good about. I’ve said this before, he’s one of the most exceptional guys on our team, I think he has a tremendous attitude, great work ethic, and if we can find a way for him to make contributions other than just signaling plays in, that’s a great deal. I think he’s enthused about it. We’ll have a bit of an experiment to see how it goes.

Q: Who’s the #3 QB?

Ferentz: Marvin, I guess. He can still take a snap.

Q: Would you dress the two freshmen, then?

Ferentz: They dressed today, we haven’t even thought about next week. Marvin would be the guy, we’ll go with him.

Q: When will you start to process quarterback, when does that happen?

Ferentz: Tomorrow, we’ll get through the film, look at it, see if I have an answer on Tuesday for you. I’m not trying to be coy, I just really feel good about both guys. I think we’re in a healthy situation there, I really do.

Q: Will going on the road be a factor?

Ferentz: Yes and no. Right now it’s not huge in my mind.

Q: You got emotional talking about Andy, was it because of his rehab last year and things?

Ferentz: It’s Andy or any player. The two hardest things on any coach’s plate are discipline issues and injury issues. When guys are injured, we throw injuries around, we have to, that’s part of the job, teams have to go on. It just impacts a young person’s life so significantly, when you talk about upper classmen, it even compounds that. When you see guys that have invested so much, worked so hard to get to the field, then have that taken away from them by an injury, nobody’s fault, it’s just the nature of the game. I guess I know the price all these guys have to pay to get back. The unsung work that our trainers do, you wouldn’t imagine the hours they spend. It all starts with the player having the desire to get back out and perform. That’s part of being a team-oriented guy. I think Andy fits that bill, Pat Angerer, not many guys get out of the game clean. That’s a real hard price that’s paid. You just feel good when a guy has a big moment. Nobody’s worked harder than Andy.

Q: Did you have a feeling he was going to bust one pretty soon?

Ferentz: He’s looked good. I’m not sure we’ve seen him at his full speed yet. Today the field was soggy, I’m not sure if that’s where he was at, but it was fast enough, obviously. If we can get him back to where he was at the end of that 06 season, we saw him run pretty fast against great competition. He’s a first rounder, and he pulled away from the guy. I think this gives him some encouragement.

Q: How’d you come out, injury-wise?

Ferentz: From what I know, nothing major. We had a couple guys get dinged, Tony being one, obviously, a couple DL got banged around a little bit. Everyone else is bumps and bruises. 3 weeks, we’re doing pretty well.

Q: Greenwood just cramp up?

Ferentz: He had a finger dislocation, they pulled that when Diauntae went in. Some cramping, yeah. It was a hot, humid day.

Q: Where’s Dan?

Ferentz: He’s working back. The challenge now is pass protection, for him. That’s the biggest challenge. The good news is that he made progress this week. We’re getting him back in the fold here.

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