NW Pregame: DJK Q&A

DJK is pleased with the progress he has made from last season through the first four games of this year. He talks about that, his motivation for blocking for Shonn Greene and the ongoing quarterback rotation in Iowa City...

Q: Well, it's another new week and another new quarterback with Rick leading the way.

Derrell Johnson-Koulianos: He will have his shot again to start a game. Hopefully he will come out and play his best game and we can get a ‘W' out of it. It's important after a very, very disappointing loss.

Q: Coach said the passing game needs improvement. How much of that is on the shoulders of the receivers?

Johnson-Koulianos: For me, it's all on our shoulders to get open as quickly as we can and give the quarterbacks a target. If we are not getting off the ball and not getting open, it will end the attack. For me, its all on our shoulders.

Q: How do you feel you are doing in that department (getting separation)?

Johnson-Koulianos: For the most part, I feel like I am doing a great job of getting open. I feel like after a week's preparation and film study I know what the defenses are going to do, I feel I have more of a handle on that than last year.

Q: If you are saying you are open, are the quarterback's missing you?

Johnson-Koulianos: No, they are not missing us. There are times in a game where I feel like I have been open, there are times when not so much. But for the most part, I think I have been.

Q: Is the quarterback situation getting old? We are getting tired of asking about it.

Johnson-Koulianos: It's starting to become a drag. We are in a transition right now, trying to figure out who will be leading us throughout the Big Ten season. Hopefully we can figure that out this week.

Q: What does Rick bring to this thing?

Johnson-Koulianos: With every game, he has more experience. He will be put into more game situations where he has to convert third downs, and dealing with the crowd noise and things he hasn't seen so far this season. This will be a pivotal game for him to make a statement, can he lead us to win some games in the Big Ten?

Q: How more important are games now that conference play will begin?

Johnson-Koulianos: This is huge; Big Ten is the most important to us. This is week one. What we have done so far is behind us. Big Ten play is probably the most important to all of the guys on the team, I know it is for me. More motivation to do well in the conference.

Q: Is it nice to open Big Ten play at Kinnick? It's the first time that has happened in like five or six years.

Johnson-Koulianos: I wasn't aware of that. That is huge. Kinnick, I was talking to Tony Moeaki or Jake last week about the atmosphere at Kinnick. We were like we can't wait to get back in there. It is a different feeling playing in front of the home crowd, especially Kinnick. We have the best 11th man in the Big Ten.

Q: What is it like for you to be out there on the field with Shonn Greene? Does he give you more motivation when he runs like he does?

Johnson-Koulianos: Absolutely. For the most part, I feel like I have been a lot more motivated to block down field, because you never know which play he will bust one out. Once he gets to that second level, I don't think there is anyone in the country that can take him down by themselves. We try to keep guys off of him and I am doing my best at that.

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