Posted by: marcmwm | October 7, 2008

Quick press conference notes . . .

— TE Tony Moeaki is doubtful this week. After this week, who knows. It’s a leg strain, likely hamstring. RB Paki O’Meara (knee) is a not sure this week. He hasn’t played since Pittsburgh. LB Bruce Davis is a maybe. He’s a special teams freshman.

— Requests for assistant coaches are to go through Kirk Ferentz from now on. He’s going “to be happy to probably tell you no.” Maybe with an exception, Ferentz said. The coordinators, Ken O’Keefe and Norm Parker, will be available during the bye week, well, it’s realistic that they’ll be available, Ferentz said. Ferentz’s reasoning, “These guys have a lot on their plates, just like our players do. Quite frankly, I don’t think that’s part of their job description. That’s my job to handle the media relations. It’s our players’ job to be at interviews if they don’t have a class conflict. We’ll do our best to suit you there. But, I believe our guys have enough to do, trying to get a gameplan ready, get a team ready and also look after our players. If you want to be mad at somebody, be mad at me on that one.”

Yes, it would be nice to talk to the playcallers and game-day shapers of how Iowa looks on the field, but it’s not happening. Ferentz has been consistent on this from day 1. I don’t like it, but that’s how it is and so any rants on it are like my 8-year-old whining about not being able to stay up. That won’t stop me from asking, but that’s where it is and I’m sure that was Ferentz’s response to the interview requests being mentioned in stories out of East Lansing last weekend. 

— Interesting comments on the range for kicker Trent Mossbrucker. The Hawkeyes passed up field goal opportunities twice in the fourth quarter last week, including the fourth-and-1 stop for a 3-yard loss on MSU’s 21 with 2:10 left. Mossbrucker, by the way, isn’t allowed to speak to the media because he’s a freshman. Again, this has been consistent.

Normally, Mossbrucker’s range is if the ball is inside the 25, Ferentz said. I don’t know if this is a reaction to last week, but Ferentz said Tuesday, “We’ll extend that. . . . I’ve got every confidence in him. I don’t want that to be lost. The decisions made the other day had really nothing to do with him. Maybe a little bit to do with him. But he doesn’t have training wheels on his bike. He’s out there just like all the other guys. I’ve got every confidence that he can handle the situation.”

Iowa passed up two field goal opportunities in the fourth quarter in last week’s 16-13 loss at MSU. On fourth-and-2, QB Ricky Stanzi tried to find WR Derrell Johnson-Koulianos who was tackled for a 3-yard loss. And of course, on fourth-and-inches from MSU’s 21, Greene was dropped for a 3-yard loss. The fields goals in those cases would’ve been, 44 or 45 yards and 38 or 39.

— Seven true freshmen have played. Some more than others. And some are real head scratchers, with WR DeMarco Paine, TE Brad Herman and DB William Lowe. “There is a lot of football ahead of us,” Ferentz said. “As we’ve seen in the past, anything can happen. We’re not banking on a rainy day at all with those guys.” Ferentz believes progress is made even if time of the field isn’t there.

— G Dan Doering (broken wrist), “Working his way back. He’s fine. The other guys are playing pretty good. . . . He’s doing what he can with one hand, basically.”

— Shonn Greene on Sunday’s (the question was brought up that ESPN2 announcers said Greene could get 100 yards on Sundays now, meaning the NFL): “I think it’s in his future, certainly, but we have a lot of water to cover there.” Age? “I’m not worried about that. He’s not on social security yet. Right now, he just needs to worry about each game. . . . We’ll just cross that bridge when we get to it. We’ve been there before with a couple players. I hope he plays well enough where he has a choice. That’d be great.”

Here’s what I wrote on that subject last week:

Iowa has a future NFLer in Greene. When? That’s the next question. Here’s an excerpt from the story I wrote for Saturday’s paper, quoting the NFL Network’s Mike Mayock, the networks main draft guy.

________________________

So there’s no NFL book on Greene, at least not yet, but his size and skill set — 5-foot-11 and 235 pounds with quick feet and good speed — are what a lot of NFL teams covet, Mayock said. Most running backs come in the 5-9, 210-pound range. The 225-pounders-and-up are a scarce commodity.

“If you get a bigger guy who can push the pile and who has quick feet and has demonstrated an ability to carry a heavy load,” Mayock said, “then you have somebody who’s going to catch some attention.”

_____________________________

— On WR/QB Marvin McNutt, “He’s kind of amphibuous, ambiguous . . . whatever. He’s working more at receiver, but we don’t exactly have a third QB in the bullpen right now. He’s doing a little bit of both. I think we’re in transition. We’ll see how it goes. We’re fairly young at that position and I think Marvin has got a lot to offer. If we can find a way for him to help the team, I’d be all for it and I’m sure he’d be all for it.” Ferentz made a joke about McNutt’s legs trying to catch up with the rigors at WR compared to the vacation that QB is.

— 9 sacks vs. Indiana last year: That was Dace Richardson’s last game, maybe ever. He’s been out and has had extensive knee surgery since. He’s trying to rehab for one more season. That was Richardson’s last run. “After that game we made the decision that Dace couldn’t go on. He trying to play left tackle. We had him over there and we moved Calloway over to right tackle. It probably wasn’t fair to him (Calloway) at that point, but we did it. I did it. So anyway, it was after that we reassessed.”

— Ferentz said they trust Stanzi. “Once you give him the keys to the car, you’ve got to trust him to drive it,” he said. “You just hope the driver’s ed course was beneficial.”

— Is Stanzi starting to see and anticipate defenses? “I think so,” Ferentz said. “What he’s doing is reflective of a guy who’s been around three years. He’s seeing things pretty well. You can always improve.”

— Fourth-and-2 pass to DJK for minus-3, DJK was not the first option. “That possession got lost on third down. We missed a makeable play. There wasn’t a lot open on that fourth down.”

— The fourth-and-inches on MSU’s 21, you know, Iowa’s biggest offensive play of the game, “Our execution could’ve been better and I’ll leave it at that.” This was the play where maybe you could make an argument that fullback Wade Leppert ran the wrong way, right, and left Greene, who went left, wide open to a shot from a scraping linebacker. That was exactly what happened, but Ferentz, another consistency, wasn’t about to call out Leppert like that. He doesn’t even like the fact that players’ jersey numbers are now mentioned with penalties. “Our execution could’ve been better.” FB going right? “Our execution could’ve been better. I’m not big getting into details.”

— Quip time: Ferentz was asked if he knew what plays were called during a game. He’s a funny guy.

“Yeah, I hope so. Those are real headphones.”

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Responses

  1. Well, it is nice to see Ferentz taking on extra duties to make up for that giant salary of his. Note to Kirk – it IS part of your assistant’s jobs to explain themselves when called upon. Quit insulting Iowa’s fans and the media!

  2. No, it’s not the assts. jobs to ralk to the press. If you read what he sadi you’d know that.

    This team is young and will be fine. I just hope Shonn stays one more year and don’t know if that happens.

  3. It is or it isn’t, that’s the debate. At some schools it is, at Iowa it isn’t.

    I wish they would. I would like their insights. Do I think we all are entitled to that? No, not at all. But it would be nice.

    It’s Kirk’s call. I don’t agree with it, I have a hard time accepting it, but it’s his decision. I can’t change it, so I don’t dwell a whole lot on it.

  4. What schools allow their OC/DC’s to be int’d?

    Also, how is the chemistry right now? They have to be down but they have to know they can/could be pretty darn good and keep plugging away.

    See you all in Bloomington!

  5. Last week, both MSU OC/DCs talked before Dantonio. Wisconsin’s OC talks, a lot. This week, IU’s assistants were available via cell phone.

    It seems more do than don’t but I don’t have any numbers.

    I think chemistry is good. I went over it pretty well with Mitch King after the game last week. He’s not only plugging, he’s still smiling.

    This team still has a lot of great things in front of it, but it has to start now.

  6. First press conference — Ken O’Keefe or Sarah Palin?

  7. It’s great that a senior like King can stay positive. He and others like him understand that Iowa football will continue after they move on/graduate.
    The winning starts Saturday in Bloomington.


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