Ask Matt Bowen

I can't wait for my first trip to Dallas to play the Cowboys. I'm really starting to get a feel for what this rivalry means to the fans. It's talked about a lot more than any other game.

From: Jim
Matt, I used to go to the Iowa Games with your uncle Doug Fink, his wife Rose, and her dad Dick Morck. I still stay in contact with Rose & Doug, and see Dick occasionally. . . I have been a fan of yours since your days at Iowa and still have alot of good memories of how you treated my boys and I and our family. My question, is do you still stay in touch with any of the ex-Hawkeye players or coaches now that you're established in the NFL?

A: It's good to hear from you. I stay in touch with my whole senior class. They're some of my best friends. I was just with Joe Slattery and Bart Palmer and Jeff Kramer, who has season tickets for the Cowboys. I get to see those guys all the time.

From: Jim
Q: What have you learned during your time in the league that's helped you go from being a special teams player to being a role player to being an every-down player.

A: Preparation. When you get older you see things better and understand the pro game better. It's all a comfort level. Once you feel comfortable, you can play better.

From: CK
Q: Matt, you're looking good so far. I like your speed and your upside. One thing I did notice though is that you seem to tackle high quite often. Is that something you have always done or is that something you are looking to improve upon?

A: If you want to come coach me up, come apply for a job... Just kidding. I'm a tall player. I'm 6-foot-2 and when you're running full speed sometimes that's just how it works out.

From: Unnamed
Q: I don't really have a question for you. I just wanted to say that as a former Hawkeye, I'm proud of you, Ladell and Zeron. You guys suffered through our down years at Iowa but never gave up. Keep your head up and remember: if you can tackle Antwan Randle El (and I saw you in person do it at Kinnick when no other IA defender could that year), you can tackle anyone in the NFL.

A: Thanks a lot.

From: Marc
Q: Where are the bigs hits that you had in preseason?

A: If you go for a big hit every time you miss a lot of tackles. Big hits just happen. The ball has to be thrown your way, the receiver has to be turning around the other way. If you try to force them, like anything, you'll be a less talented player. The opportunity for a huge hit happens maybe one out of five games.

From: Colin
Q: I'm coming over from Northern Ireland to see the Redskins play the Eagles in December and I was wondering what the chances would be to meet you.

A: Are you male or female? Just kidding. We come out of the south entrance tunnel after games. That's a good place to try and meet up with a player.

From: Unnamed
Q: Do you feel that that the team's performance lately has been based upon poor play calling? In your opinion, what will it take to get the team playing up to their level of talent

A: It's not play calling. The coaches don't play. We need better tackling, better fundamentals and to be mentally tough for four quarters.

From: Sean
Q: Has tackling become a lost skill?

A: Almost. But the players on offense have gotten better. They get paid, too, and they're phenomenal athletes, too. But tackling is just fundamental.


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