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MEDIA DAY: O'Keefe and Parker

August 6, 2010

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Offensive Coordinator Ken O’Keefe

On importance of offensive line play

“How the offensive line comes together and how they play really drives our success. We like to run the football. Because of our pro-style attack, we need to have a pocket and those guys are instrumental in doing that, and in doing the things that allow you to be successful in the ground and air game. Finding the right five, and even six or eight guys up front is a challenging task every preseason. It’s a little more important this year after graduating four guys with experience last year.”

On the trio at running back

“We’re going to wait and see how the whole thing plays out. Obviously, the three of them each can’t get 20 carries a game, but it is a good problem to have. They all have different styles, but they also can run, obviously, and can catch as well as protect on blitzes. They do run a little different: Jewel [Hampton] might have the fastest feet out of them if you are watching drills. [Adam] Robinson is also very deceptive. He doesn’t look fast, but he can, and has, finished plays for us and is also deceptively strong. He does things you don’t expect. [Brandon] Wegher likes to get running downhill, there’s no doubt on that, and then he does have the finishing speed. As a whole, we are excited about what we have there (at RB).”

On experience and leadership from quarterback Ricky Stanzi

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“Rick [Stanzi] is not afraid to compete. He has the mode we want him to be in. He has to keep going as hard as he can, and also be smarter in some situations. We trust in him. He has been a starter for a long time and we really believe in him, which is a byproduct of his leadership on and off the field.”

Defensive Coordinator Norm Parker

On retirement rumors and health issues

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“I’d feel good if I could get this cast off my foot. I don’t have any intentions of retiring or any of that stuff. I heard that was a roar (retirement rumors), but there was no truth to that. Probably the only two ways I’ll leave is if they carry me out or Kirk [Ferentz] will fire me; one of the two.”

On potential at the defensive line

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“We’re looking at [Adrian] Clayborn, [Karl] Klug, [Christian] Ballard and [Broderick] Binns again. Let’s work on ‘the less you say, the less you have to take back’ attitude (towards hype). I think they have a chance to be real good, but that is up to them. We’ll see how they progress. I think certainly they shown that they all are capable.”

On filling holes at the linebacking position

“[Jeff] Tarpinian is getting more comfortable there (at MLB). Pat [Angerer] was a good player, no question about it, and Tarpinian has done a real good job studying Pat on film. Then with [Tyler] Nielson, I think it took a little while for him to realize ‘hey, I can do this’, and now that he does we expect him to blossom and take off. [Jeremiha] Hunter has played a lot of football and can lead that group and guys like Tarpinian and Nielson that don’t have that game action experience yet.”

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