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Media Day 2010 Thoughts

August 6, 2010

Written by Jon Miller

Hawkeye Nation

Here are some rambling thoughts from this year’s Media Day…

It was the 11th straight year I have been there for Iowa football media day. That took me aback, because I never really thought about it last year. There are folks that have been there for far more than that, such as Bob Brooks. I am guessing he has been to more than 60! John Campbell has been coming to them since 1979, so that’s a good stretch, too.

-Kirk Ferentz was the usual Kirk; downplaying expectations, talking about taking things one day at a time and getting better each day. When I was younger, that ‘get better each day’ stuff flew in one ear and out the other. But the fact of the matter is it’s very true. If you don’t improve today, tomorrow is going to smack you in the mouth in this sport, or in life. If you take care of today, the now, which is all you can really take care of, tomorrow has a way of taking care of itself. This is pretty much the Iowa way.

-There were more media people covering Iowa media day today than I can ever remember. Most of these folks won’t make it to any of the weekly pressers, but Iowa has always been generous in allowing any media outlet in the state to cover this event that wants to. Heck, they let me cover it 11 years ago, so there is a case in point.

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-CJ Fiedorowicz is a HOUSE! He’s huge, listed at 6-7, 250. I remember seeing Tony Moeaki walking to Kid’s Day at Kinnick his freshman year, and being blown away by his size. CJ was more impressive. However, I don’t expect him to be the blocker Moeaki was right out of the box, as CJ played mostly outside last year. He told me he took all but about 10 reps at receiver, so he will have a steep blocking learning curve. I suspect he will play as a true freshman, but I wouldn’t want to hazard a guess as to how long it will take for him to be trusted in blocking situations. Perhaps I will be surprised here, but few freshmen come in ready to block the way Moeaki did. He’ll likely get bigger and stronger at Iowa, which will be something to see. It almost makes you wonder how he could stay at tight end, as he could put on another 50 pounds and be a block out left tackle some day, physically.

-DJK is highly entertaining. He was holding court on Friday, as only he can. He is the most engaging student athlete I have ever covered. He is honest, direct, playful and has a lot of fun with this stuff. I think people can take him the wrong way, too. He is funny and likes to joke around, but some folks can’t tell when he is being serious or when he is joking. In the video I shot of him (that will be on the site later), he was serious and joking in the same answer, but you could tell it. Some folks can’t, and that is to his and our detriment, because I suspect that is one of the reasons why he isn’t made available to the media on Tuesdays. If you took some of his answers out of context, it could make him come off in a fashion that he is not. It’s too bad, because he is refreshing and magnetically charismatic. I hope he lives up to the gifts he has this year, all year long. If he does, he will be the most dynamic offensive player at Iowa in nearly 15 years, since Tim Dwight was in an Iowa uniform.

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-Going back to the physical prowess angle, it was amazing to see the work these Iowa players have put in during the offseason. Marvin McNutt is stacked, as is Keenan Davis. This could be a very dangerous receiving corps this year. DJK said they are going to ‘get fancy’ this year on offense. We’ll see about that, but this team isn’t messing around in the weight room; it’s all work.

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-Finally, I parked in the old hospital lot across from Kinnick, on the roof…so I was able to get a good look at the press box and the side of Kinnick. That is a look that never gets old…also walked around the north end and was able to peer in through the fence where the motorcycle parking area is…again, that never gets old and always feels like the first time I saw that. I am always taken back to being a young teenager and waiting around that area after games to get autographs, to hanging out with Ronnie Harmon’s dad and him introducing me to Ronnie and Kevin. Good memories…it’s almost like walking past ghosts in time of yourself in another era.

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