MEDIA DAY: Ferentz Presser Transcript
COACH FERENTZ: Welcome. It’s certainly good to get started. We got out on the field today. It was good to be moving around and get some tape to coach off of. It’s good to have guys back on campus and welcome to the first-year players.
Just a couple things here. First of all, last year was an enjoyable season for us, a lot of great people, a lot of geat moments, but the bottom line is this one is in the books right now just like any good season or any bad season or anything behind us is in the books. Basically our message to our football team is this is a brand new year. We have a new team, not the same team we had back in the first of January, and we’ll have a lot of new challenges.
That’s kind of where our focus is right now and what’s in front of us. The preseason preparation is the most important thing that we are doing right now or occupying our thoughts.
You probably know our roster better than I do in a lot of ways. Defensively, our focus is on replacing a couple outstanding graduates that we had. Our two inside linebackers, good players, Pat Angerer and A.J. Edds, wereexcellent players, and tremendous leaders, as well. Amari Spievey played corner as well as any player we have had. We have had real key players to work on there. We are veteran up front. A guy like Jeremiha Hunter has had a lot of experience playing linebacker, started two years. We have some older guys who we have great confidence in with Jeff Tarpinian, Troy Johnson and Tyler Nielsen, all fourth-year, fifth-year guys. We feel good about them and are eager to see how things progress there.
Back in the secondary, the same thing. We have a couple veteran players who have played very well. Tyler Sash and Brett Greenwood are back. We were really pleased with Shaun Prater last year as well. We excited about having those guys back. We’ll see what happens there.
Offensively, our biggest losses are up front. Tony Moeaki played tremendous tight end for us the last three or four years. We have lost significant contributions, contributors up front in the interior, not only last year but the last two years. We have to look at it in a two-year block. We lost two NFL-caliber quality players at that position and have a lot of work to do there.
Our skill positions, we probably have as much depth and experience as we’ve had at any time with Ricky Stanzi. Certainly, James Vandenberg got good experience last year. At the running back position, we have Brett Morse back. Three guys who have played at the tailback position all have experience and played their best football at the end of the year. Certainly the receiver position with McNutt and Derrell. Those two guys have played an awful lot of football. Colin Sandeman has played a lot of football and moving inside. Allen Reisner is a guy we have had had a lot of confidence in the last couple of years.
Then moving inside, Julian being a senior. Riley Reiff played extremely well last year. Those two guys obviously have the most experience up front.
Special teams-wise, the good news is there we have a lot of experience back. We thought Ryan Donahue had a tremendous season last year punting, probably as well as anybody in the country. We are certainly counting on him to come back and have a great season.
Andy Schulze is a guy who doesn’t get mentioned much. I hope that’s the same way for the next 12 ball games, that he does a great job with the deep snaps. He’s been doing that for a couple of years. He’sa great team leader and a tremendous guy.
Place kicking competition, we have two guys who are experienced. It’s a competition that’s in a dead heat as far as we are concerned. The return game – we are optimistic right now, probably the most depth we have had, and that ties in with us having a little more depth at the skill position. We have to sort through things during this camp and see what happens early in the season. Hopefully we can say in four or five weeks that we have a lot of depth there. We are eager to see where that shakes out.
A couple roster announcements. Ross Petersen is the only guy that isn’t full speed. He practiced today and will do some limited contact work, only in a very controlled environment. He’ll be able to do pass drills and things like that. We’ll probably hold him back for a week or two until he gets caught up. He had a pec injury. J.D. Griggs has indicated to us he intends on transferring, somewhere closer to home out east, so he’s left the football team. We certainly wish him the best.
As I mentioned the other day, we have two players that are going to serve a one-game suspension. Broderick Binns and Joel Hampton will be suspended for the first ballgame. We are moving on from there.
So that’s it on the roster front. Phil just mentioned Kid’s Day, it will be on the 14th, a week from tomorrow. We certainly encourage anybody to attend that. It’s open to everyone, media, fans, what-have-you, and our players will sign autographs for a half-hour afterwards. Hopefully we’ll have a nice environment and a good day for anybody who wants to come out and take a peek at the team. They are certainly welcome to do that.
Schedule-wise, I’ve heard a couple of years ago about Ohio State and Michigan not being on our schedule. This year, the buzz is that we have some really competitive home games, an attractive home schedule. I think from our vantage point, we expect all of our conference games to be extremely challenging.
My guess is our non-conference games are going to be the same way. We have some games in there that look extremely difficult and challenging, and as we saw a year ago, we had a hard time in our opener. We were fortunate to win that football game. So really, at the end of the day, that’s about as far as we are looking down the road. The most important thing is what we do the next three weeks as we try to pull the team together and see how this thing grows and how things develop over next couple of weeks.
Q. Where is Jewel Hampton at?
COACH FERENTZ: First of all, he was fully healthy back in the spring and we didn’t let him do any contact, full contact drills but he could have. He was cleared for that. I really think he’s very similar to the other two guys. He’s played a year. Difference is he’s had a buffer year in between. Injuries are part of the game, unfortunately A.J. Edds went unscathed four years and then got caught in that trap the other day. But it’s part of the game and if you play the game, you have to handle it physically, and more importantly, mentally. I think he’s doing fine and I think he’s eager to get in the mix.
The nice thing about it, again, I thought all three of those guys really improved in their time of play, the years they played and I think they all did some real good things, particularly in November in the Bowl games. I hope we have all three of those guys out there full speed. They are all different packages but they are all good packages. I think he’s doing fine.
Q. Do you think this is your most talented returning team or most experienced?
COACH FERENTZ: In certain areas, yes, in other areas, no. It’s a puzzle to put together. Clearly we have probably more experience and depth than we’ve had — I have not gone back and looked at every preseason roster but at least at the receiver position, for instance, in the defensive line, I can’t imagine we have been more veteran in those groups than we are right now.
But, then you counter that with the areas where we lost, and our losses weren’t significant. They weren’t that numerous, if you will, but you don’t just replace a guy like Pat Angerer. Pat did so much for us, not only on the field but in other areas. He was just such a strong team leader.
But that’s the fun part about all of this. If you look back a couple of years ago, we lost two veteran defensive ends, Clayborn and Ballard, and last year Pat Angerer. I was really concerned about losing a guy like Matt Kroul and King, and boom, Karl Klug emerges and Broderick Binns is probably part of that equation, as well.
That’s the neat thing about college football, How we put that part of the puzzle together is really going to be the key to how the season goes. We have got a peek at it in the spring but right now a lot of that hard work is being done.
And same thing with the offensive line. You can sit around and talk about how the guys have trained, what they’ve done. That’s important, but the most important thing is what they can do out there on the field and how quickly they can move along. I’m not concerned about anything but I’m anxious to see how things go. Just eager as I think everybody is.
Q. Defensive-line wise —
COACH FERENTZ: Coaching-wise, I think we have been really fortunate. Ron Aiken did just a stellar job and that’s why he’s coaching with the Cardinals. He had more than one other opportunity prior to that. He had several injuries from the NFL. Those guys are not stupid and they scout coaches as well as they scout players.
And Ron just never felt comfortable. I think he really enjoyed it here. I know he did. His family did and that was important to him. He had a comfort level with Ken that he probably didn’t have with some other people because he and Ken had worked together at Vanderbilt.
So I guess what I’m saying is we just had a tremendous line coach there, and when Ron left, the next question is, what do we do. We are so impressed with the work that Rick Kaczinski had done on the offensive side of the ball. He’s a great assistant, older and had good professional maturity. Rick works extremely hard at his craft. So we were really impressed with the person, impressed with what he stood for and how he coached, and gave him a chance to grow a little bit professionally. He’s done a wonderful job. He got with some people, Ron included, help school him and I think he’s done a wonderful job.
I guess what I’m saying is we have been really fortunate. We have had excellent coaching at that position. I feel the same way about all our staff. You hate to lose good people and that’s a part of life. That was a growth thing for Ron and his family and it’s worked out beautifully and it’s been a great thing for Rick, too. So it’s kind of like graduation of a player sometimes. It can be a real good story.
Q. Can you talk about the ascension of Micah Hyde. He stepped into a Bowl game and now he’s ahead of Bernstein.
COACH FERENTZ: He’s just done a nice job and we had a good feeling about him when we recruited him. Phil Parker was the primary recruiter, not only in terms of geographic area, but position, as well. We like everything about him. We were not sure what he was as far as corner, safety. We were pretty sure he could be a safety. We didn’t know if he could be a corner and he’s one of those guys that’s really coachable and really competitive and gives himself a real good chance on the field through his preparation to be in the right place.
With every opportunity, he’s taken it and run with it, including spring practice. But that was a year-long progression. We liked what we saw, liked his maturity level. He loves being out there. He’s a good team member, and credit to him on that.
Now it’s his job to keep improving. It was good competition for that position. None of the positions are locked down yet, although, Clayborn and Stanzi, they might be tough to beat out but we will let it — it’s their job to play better, too. We are a new team but we need those guys to play better because Angerer and Edds, those guys are not around and they are not coming back, either. So we need everybody growing.
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Q. What do you do in the next three weeks to identify your Top-5 and get them in the right position?
COACH FERENTZ: We just keep practicing. That’s all you can do. We have obviously been anticipating this. We have been working three years, maybe four, going into four with a couple of them. Zusevics and Gettis are both going into their fourth years but that’s what these guys have been preparing for. Karl Klug had been preparing during his career and got his opportunity last year. He took it and ran with it. Karl really had not played much prior to last season.
So that’s what college football is all about. It’s an ongoing process and when guys get their opportunities and when they surface, it comes at different times. That’s what makes it interesting. Those guys have worked hard and based on what we saw in the spring, we are optimistic about where we are at the this given point. But, that being said, we have a lot of improvement to make this month, and the good news is we can. And then if we are doing things right, we should make a lot of improvement during the season.
But it starts with being healthy. We have to stay healthy and nobody controls that. The second part is guys have to keep their foot on the gas and I think we will do that.
Q. Will it be a rotation at running back?
COACH FERENTZ: Yeah, if all three of them are healthy. We have not really talked about that or had that discussion. I’m sure everybody has thought about it a little bit. But A, I hope we get there, and B, yeah, there will be plenty of carries, and if we have a Shonn Greene story emerge during the course of the year or next year or any year, that guy will get more carries than the other. Right now I would handicap it as a pretty even race and just see how things go.
Q. Talk about Adrian Clayborn.
COACH FERENTZ: He’s one of the top players in the country, and any time you lose a great player, it affects you, certainly. So you know, with him being there, that makes us a better football team, again, not only in terms of his production, but our best players have all pretty much had a good common denominator. They have all been good guys to be around and made everybody else a lot better and that’s what great players do in my opinion. Adrian is in that category, he makes everybody around him, both sides of the football and he does good things away from the building. You know, that’s pretty powerful stuff.
Having him out there, it’s a great thing, and probably a comparison I would give you it’s like Robert Gallery coming back for that ’03 season. He could have bypassed it and been just fine but he probably had some private goals in mind, and he never put the team, you know, behind his private goals. The team was always first. He had a great impact on our team and it’s probably a pretty good comparison between the two guys.
Q. So did that decision take you by surprise at all?
COACH FERENTZ: It was a lot quicker and easier than I thought. Really wasn’t a discussion which was fine with me, and it was kind of the same way with Robert Gallery. Gallery’s only question to me was, “Are you staying?” I said, I’m staying, are you staying?’ He said, “Well, I’m staying,” and that was it. Those kind of discussions are good. Clark’s was pretty good and Bulaga’s was pretty good the other direction.
Young people, they make up their minds — you give them some information but they make up their minds. Happens in recruiting a lot, too. They pretty much make up their minds. I think players have to go with their heart and it’s the right thing to do, whatever direction they choose.
Q. You’ve had some pretty crazy quarterback depth charts through the years, some guys hurt, some guys out. Do you feel like where you’re at is where you want to be?
COACH FERENTZ: I wish everybody was a year younger, but have same experience, but it doesn’t work that way. We are excited about Stanzi, all of the things I just said about Adrian, I quote about Ricky. He’s worked so hard, and he’s been so strong as a team leader beyond playing.
Only thing I worry about him sometimes is trying to do too much, trying to put more on his plate than he needs to, and that’s good. I would rather try to govern a guy than encourage him.
So, you know, same thing. We are really excited for him coming back for his fifth year, not that we planned it that way but the experience James Vandenberggot was tremendous. It would have been nicer to get him in as the year went along so he had a good opportunity and really had to go out there when it counted. I think the whole world saw what we have been seeing with him. I think he’s got a great future and John Wienke probably improved as much as anybody in our football team in spring practice.
I’ve said this before, the group as a group just gets along really well. They are football guys, they are positive. They pull for each other and they help each other, and adding A.J. Derby, ditto, there, he’s been the same kind of personality since he joined our team. It’s a good group of football guys, and that’s fun.
Q. This is not your first rodeo when it comes to expectation being this high. What have you taken from when you have been picked high in the past and how do you apply it to real off-season expectations?
COACH FERENTZ: I know it’s not the same maybe but it’s kind of the same as a year ago, in my mind, at least, we came out of Tampa, I think internally, we all felt pretty good about our football team. I keep looking over here, we all felt pretty good about the football team, and I think externally, maybe the barometer was not quite as high, but you know, I think everybody is feeling pretty good out there, at least when I make my tour around the state and what-have-you, a lot of the excitement and-what-have-you from a year ago, and I think it’s very similar.
The bottom line, like I said earlier, it’s a new team and this is a new season and we are going to have a lot of new challenges. None of us can predict what’s going to happen. You never know what the course of action is going to be and all we can do is try to do the best with the things that we control. It’s really the same message — I visited the team last night. And we have had it both ways. We had really probably okay expectations in ’02 and ended up having a very good football team. We had high expectations going into the ’06 season and that was the most miserable half of a year that I’ve ever gone through, just didn’t go the way we wanted it to, and you know, two years ago coming off a no-Bowl season, I think expectations were, you know, they were okay. I thought we had a heck of a football team that year.
Moral of the story is expectations have nothing to do with how the season is going to turn out and the things that we have to do, that’s really going to be the most important thing, and then all of that being said, we don’t know what’s going to happen out here or on the road in those 12 ballgames.
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Q. The kicking situation — could we see both of those guys?
COACH FERENTZ: In a perfect world, somebody will emerge during the next three weeks, but if not, if we have to play volleyball during the season, we’ll do that. I would rather not. But it would be nice to just kinds of figure out what we are doing, where it’s going, but based on spring, it’s hard to say. Nobody really grabbed the job, and that’s what we need. Hope we see both guys grab it and that would be great. They are both capable. That’s the good news.
Q. Talking about the expectations, how much of handling those expectations depends on the guys who are on the coaching staff?
COACH FERENTZ: That’s a key component. The good news there is we have a big senior class, one of the biggest if not the biggest we have had, and a really strong senior class. That’s the good news.
The other part of the equation is we have a significant amount the guys on the roster who have not really done any of the heavy lifting. I would like to think the guys that were out on the field last year, in some of those games that were tough, which is probably about, what, 11 of them, something like that, maybe all 12, seem like 12, those guys understand a little bit better, and unless they start thinking about something that’s like way out there, you know, I think they got an idea, but some of the guys that haven’t been there yet, but think they have.
And you know, like it was really nice to be in Miami, and we stayed at a nice place and all that, and everybody treated us way nicer than anybody deserves to get treated but for guys that have not been out there getting banged around, that ain’t the real world. You know, some of these other guys understand a little bit more, I think what it takes to get there.
That to me is the biggest fear, the guys that really haven’t, you know, been out there getting knocked around a little bit. So it will be continual. We will just keep talking about. But yeah, the older guys setting the tempo really helps.
Q. Is there at least some satisfaction that if you’re able to have the success that you had last year, that you’re much of less of a chance to end up like 2004 — less of a chance of that happening?
COACH FERENTZ: I’ve really never given it much thought and I’m sure there’s a science to it. The only thing I’ve learned, you know, it’s football, but really — if you do whatever you do well, you know, usually — not always, bad things happen to good people, too. But usually when you do well, sooner or later it shows.
We had a prospect on campus today with his dad and they were up here from Florida visiting. Only reason I’m bringing this up, he coached Brad Banks in an All-Star Game. We had no hype for Brad Banks his senior year, especially after our third or fourth game, whatever game that was out there, I don’t think there was any campaign for a Heisman, yet the guy ends up second, because he really emerged and played well.
And the team did the same thing. I know we were not ranked high that year going into it, so you know, if you do well, you get there, and it’s kind of like the BCS debate and all that stuff. If you want to be in the BCS Championship Game, odds are if you go undefeated — I know it’s not true with that one year, but there’s an exception to the rule, but it’s awfully hard to do that.
So I guess my point is, you know, we need to do well, that’s what we need to do and worry about what’s out there and not what’s in the papers right now or what people decided based on theory and all that kind of stuff.
Q. Do you feel that you have the pieces in place for a BCS championship team?
COACH FERENTZ: That is so far down the road. Like I said, we struggled to beat UNI in our home opener, and they outplayed us and I just hope we are ready to go against Eastern Illinois and all that stuff takes care of itself. It’s hard getting there. I think we have all seen that.
Q. Do you think some of the struggles the program went through in 2006-2007 may have shaped the mentality of your leadership, that they had to go through those tough times and use that as inspiration?
COACH FERENTZ: You know, it happens — I think it happens almost in every program. I think I’m correct in saying that. If you look around, even the quote, unquote, historically, most teams have had dips throughout the last 20 years. And the only good thing I can say about it is 6-6 is our lowest dip and at least you can maybe — not say live with it but it could have been worse.
But the bottom line is just the way we were playing there. That six-week stretch, and you know, it obviously started before that week and took a while to get it straightened out maybe. But we just hit a stretch there where we didn’t play — the way we played during that six weeks, we didn’t deserve to win, it’s pure and simple and we didn’t win because of that, and that’s kind of the moral of the story.
So the objective is just to not get in that place again and that’s my job, and I let things slip there a little bit.
Q. Do you think players that have been down, that have that experience — that maybe that’s helped them?
COACH FERENTZ: Most of our guys, you know, most of them were not here then and most of them can’t remember that, but we do talk about it every now and then. I bring it up just as a teaching example. That’s one nice thing about being somewhere for a while, you can talk about Iowa history, as opposed to that team over here. We do that with other teams.
But we talk about what’s happened in our program historically, good and bad, and that’s life. You try to learn from your experiences, but the ones that happened in Kinnick or in stadiums that we go to every year, so at least I think we can maybe try to make a connection with the players that way.
Q. What’s the chemistry on the secondary with Brett Greenwood and Tyler Sash and how much do you think their play helps the defense?
COACH FERENTZ: I keep harping on losing Angerer and Edds, but we have got two guys back there that are really veteran guys. You know, those are critical — I think it’s good for any defense to be strong up the middle, certainly. And safety play is really important in most team’s defense, certainly is in our scheme.
So to have those guys with their experience level now, it’s really a benefit and they both think right and have great attitudes and they are just smart football players, as well as being talented. It’s a real advantage for us, and you know, we are thrilled, just talked about having Adrian and Ricky back, same way there, those are two guys that really know how to operate.
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Q. Your relationship with Derrell Johnson-Koulianos through the years has been maybe what’s called —
COACH FERENTZ: Did you read that on the Internet — I think we get along fine, I don’t know. He may tell you otherwise. You’ll get a chance to ask him today.
Q. How do the accomplishments that he’s had throughout his career, going into his senior year — on the depth chart?
COACH FERENTZ: Everything gets decided out there on the field and from my vantage point this ought to be his best year just like Clayborn, Stanzi, we are counting on that and that’s part of the obligation of being a senior.
There’s a lot of criteria that gets evaluated as a coach, but being a coach, also, is kind of like being a parent. You know, you get mad at your kids and your kids get mad at you — you know, if you’re being a parent, and that’s just kind of how it goes. I had my expectations and I guess I’m the dad in this one. I might say, right now, at least, he’s in my house, so my say goes. That’s the way it goes. As soon as he moves out of the house, next January, he can Twitter away, you know, and I bet he will. I bet he will. (Laughter) I might even have somebody print it. Can you print that stuff out or do you have to — I’ll have LeVar show me on his phone or wherever the hell you get Twitters.
COACH FERENTZ: He has an opportunity, he really does. I know he’s worked hard this summer. He’s got his focus where I think it should be, and hopefully he’s in agreement with me that it ought to be there, hope he sees it the same way. I think he did and I think he understands what’s at stake for him, and the opportunities that he has.
It’s like every senior, seniors ought to really be looking for to their senior year. It should be the most fun one you have and the most enjoyable one, because you know a lot more than you did three years before or four years before. I think he’s excited about that, and we are going to — we are really eager to see him out there and he had a good day out there and hopefully it will continue.
Q. A lot of receivers at Iowa, guys that are at the top of the charts — where does Derrell fit at this point?
COACH FERENTZ: I’ll answer that one in January. But it’s a start-to-finish race, and how you finish is every bit as important as how you start, sometimes more important. His statistics already are very impressive, and selfishly, I’m hoping he adds to that. That would be great.
Q. A lot of your fans are probably just going to assume that the offensive line will be fine because it usually is. Are you confident that by the time the season rolls around that the offensive line is going to be where you want it to be?
COACH FERENTZ: I think we’ll be okay, in September. I think we’ll be okay, again, if everybody stays healthy. We had a lot of injury problems in that group last year and I thought it showed. We were not exactly just clipping right along. Part of the problem that first game, it wasn’t like we just had control of the line, on either side, really. You know, so we won’t be as good as we need to be probably in September. We won’t be good enough — but other teams have those same issues, too, so that’s part of college football. But the real thing is we have to move forward the next four weeks and we have to keep our foot on the gas the rest of the way. The good news is there’s a lot of potential there for improvement.
The two guys I mentioned earlier just have not played a lot of football but they are good football players. Gettis played last year and I thought he played really well against Arizona, probably his most recent appearance, or latest appearance in the season. Just a matter of just keep pushing things along. I think it will be okay, be as long as we can keep guys out there working and getting better.
Q. James Morris so far, probably just this morning, but what do you see from him this year?
COACH FERENTZ: Yeah, he looked good, in one day, he certainly looked good. You know, the thing about him, he’s a very mature guy, not only physically but also mentally. You know, most of you guys have seen him interviewed in high school, you know, from high school events, he just handles himself really well, pretty much in every situation he’s been in and I’ve known him a long, long time. I’ve known his family a long time so I’ve seen him through the years, too. He’s an impressive young guy and he’s got a good head on his shoulders and he works hard. It’s realistic to think he could be in our mix this year, especially being as veteran as we are at this position.
I’ll know a lot more when we talk in September, I guess, September or whatever it would be, the end of August, that game week, I’ll know a little bit more about our first-year guys. We have got a very open mind about letting guys help our football team. If a guy can help us this year and they want to help us this year, we are going to try to utilize that.
Q. Is there any one position that’s the key to the success of this team?
COACH FERENTZ: I think they are all going to be important, but certainly, again, the front, getting our front where we want it, up front on offense. Again, because of the two-year graduations that we have had, that would probably be the place I would start as much as any.
And the place kicking situation, again. The way we performed in the spring, we don’t play in the spring so it doesn’t count, given our history of close games, that’s going to be important.
So I’m confident we are going to get there with that group, as well, but I’ll feel better after I see a little demonstrated consistency. That’s what we are looking for.
Q. What do you think about fan support this year?
COACH FERENTZ: I think it’s fantastic and we are all extremely appreciative. Two things on that, first of all, we don’t take that for granted, especially in this day and age and the economy and all of the things going on. I relay that to our players, too. Just that people have a lot of choices, and there are a lot of things they can do, you know, things they need to do and football probably isn’t at the top of the list.
So we are appreciative of the fact that we have tremendous fans. And I’m not tremendously surprised — only in the first thing I always think about when I go back to my first experience here in eight one was the fan support that we enjoyed, it absolutely blew me away.
You know, when I got picked up for my interview, Barry Alvarez was driving me down from the airport and told me that they were sold out at that time and that was June of 1981, sold out for the season ahead and I’m looking at him like, okay, what are you talking about, because they had had at that point 19 straight losing seasons. I thought that sounded like recruiting talk and it wasn’t like I had to get recruited, so I just thought that was unusual and then coming out the tunnel for the first time in ’81. That’s one of the things that makes Iowa so unique, but again we appreciate it and don’t take it for granted.
Q. Teams that have maybe not gotten to that elite level, what characteristics put it over the top compared to the second group, maybe couldn’t get to the championship or fell a bit short?
COACH FERENTZ: You never win a championship, no team does, I don’t think, in team sports without great leadership. That’s first and foremost, and you have to have some great stories along the way and we have talked about that in general but certainly it is true if you are going to win a championship season.
You go back to ’02, we had an early season loss that could have been devastating psychologically because it wasn’t like we were the monsters of the midway at that point in the development, that’s for sure. But the team worked through that, and you know, we survived a real tough game down at Miami. That’s a Kodak Moment going back to Brad Banks, I forget who he hit down the middle, I think it was Dallas, but a huge play. We had a lot of huge plays and were lucky to get out of there. And the Purdue game; talking about UNI, the Purdue game is probably in that category. You could argue at the end of the game that we got outplayed most ways, but we were able to survive those things.
And a lot of people forget about the Indiana game in ’02. That wasn’t exactly a far call — only 100-yard rusher against us that season and the other thing, I think Grant picked three off in their end zone or red zone at least for us to get out of there.
So you’re going to have games like that during the course of the season, you’re going to have things that are going to happen. In ’04, we go down and just totally don’t show up at Arizona State, and then comeback and lose our second game in a row and then we run off a string of whatever it was, seven in a row I guess.
There’s nothing easy about it and just how you can handle those degree of difficulties. We had a shot in ’05. I know ’05 is commonly considered just a lousy, disappointing year by some folks, but we were two plays away from being champs that year. So you know, it’s just a matter of how you handle those kinds of situations.
Last year, we were not good enough to win in October or November or whatever that was. We didn’t get it done the next week, either. That’s kind of the challenge. But boy, just to get into that — when you’re fighting for that kind of a season, that’s a good thing, and then how do you handle all those different things that can pop up. Those are things that have happened. Who knows what’s going to happen this year, next year, whatever.
Q. You said earlier that Ricky Stanzi and Adrian Clayborn will need to pick up the slack this season. In what areas?
COACH FERENTZ: I don’t think I said they need to pick up slack. I don’t think I said — maybe I did. Did I say that? Anybody got that on tape? No, they just — we are counting on all of our seniors, and those two guys are pretty prominent guys, Klug, too, and Morse, right down the list. We count on those guys to play their best football.
Pat Angerer really played well two years ago but he really became a really strong leader I thought through the off-season, and you know, we have seen that — Adrian and Ricky were good leaders last year, too, but this is their senior year. They ought to be at the top of the class and they will be they want to be, but to have a good football team, your older guys that have played, they have got to accept that and they have got to embrace it, and that’s part of the expectation level. Starts with doing their job first and then taking another step if they can and those guys are capable, certainly.
Q. Talking about your receivers — and Coach Erik Campbell?
COACH FERENTZ: I think Erik’s been great. It’s a little bit like last year Binn’s emerged so we moved Ballard in, and when Carl Jackson retired a couple years ago, we lost I think one of Iowa’s all-time great coaches. Lester Erb unselfishly moved to the backfield position. I’ve read a lot about the work that Erik has done and it’s been magnificent. He’s a terrific football coach, a great receiver coach. What I haven’t read about, is Lester moved the running back, Shonn Greene emerges and wins a Doak Walker Award and last year we play the two guys that one guy was a safety in the spring and the other was on a school bus as Norm would say the year before. I think Lester has done a wonderful job with the backs. He’s a wonderful special teams coach.
I’m the one who always stands up here on Tuesdays and Saturdays, but those guys are the guys that do the work. I’m so fortunate, I work with tremendous people, we have a great coaching staff. Just like in recruiting, you bring people in, you wonder how they are going to impact the team. One of the best things I can say about Erik Campbell, on his second day of work, it was like he had been here ten years. He fit right in with the staff, the community, everybody that I talked to that has worked with Erik is just extremely positive about him, away from football, as well as in the football realm and you know, how lucky are we.
So we have got a great group of guys working on the staff, and that’s the best part of my job, that, and the players that we get to work with. So it’s kind of that. We’ll see you out there. Thank you.