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MEDIA DAY: Quotes from the Players

August 6, 2010

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Senior QB Ricky Stanzi

On this year’s tough schedule:

“We want to have a good season, but we understand that as far as the schedule goes, we have to win our first game.  Any type of bowl talk is for later on in the season when things start to shake down and you can really see where the rankings are.  But right now, rankings and expectations mean nothing; you just need to worry about the first game on your schedule.” 

On such a powerful and deep backfield:

“They’re very good players.  Everyone has seen them play because they’ve all been on the field before so it’s not hype, you know that they can actually go out there and do their job. Now, it’s just a matter of getting them out there and seeing how well we can work all three of those guys into the system.  It’ll be exciting to see.  Hopefully, we keep everyone healthy because that’d be a great victory there.  This is football and that’s hard to do, but it provides a lot of depth and there are a lot of things we could do with that on offense.” 

On personal improvement this offseason:

“I’ve been working on just understanding the game more.  Understanding what needs to be done.  There are times when you need to push it and times when you don’t.  Differentiating between both of those takes a lot of mental and physical work, but that’s why we’re out here.  We’re out here in camp so we can all do that, figure out a part of the game that we can fix before the season starts then, obviously, we have a lot of time to just focus on football.  Hopefully, we can get all of those things fixed as a team, put it all together and go out there and play well in every single one of our games.” 

On this year’s high expectations:

“The thought process with that is very similar to every year and you’re going to hear the same things from us, ‘It doesn’t mean anything.’  We’ve come off years where there weren’t any expectations and then we’ve come off years where we had high expectations.  I’m sure the bar is set pretty high this year as far as people are concerned and how they think the season should go.  For us it’s getting our work in, understanding what we need to get better at, doing those things like watching film to learn from our mistakes and hopefully gelling as a team where we can go out and play in tough games because that’s going to happen a lot.  If we do those things, I’m sure we’ll be fine.  As far as expectations go, I’m not too worried about it because we have a lot of work that needs to be done.  Our focus is more on what we can do inside these buildings and on the football field.  Whatever those things are, we need to get them fixed before the first game.” 

On being able to play on an experienced offense:

“Since I’ve been here, most the guys that were out here then are still out here.  I guess it’s more of an experience thing from my view point and what I’ve seen.  I can’t speak for the past, but I know the guys we have right now have a lot of experience.  They’re good guys, they’re good football players.  I think they want to get better and now we have the chance to.  We’ll see what we can do with that.  With that experience comes a lot of knowledge about football, but at the same time there’s still a work ethic that has to be in front of it and there has to be something that’s taken from these practices.  Just because we have experience doesn’t mean that we’re going to capitalize on it.  There are still a lot of things that people can get better at.  As far as having experience, we’re excited about that and it’s a great thing, but we need to work at it and we need to get better.” 

Senior OL Julian Vandervelde

On working together as an offensive line:

“We try to spend a lot of time together on the field and a little more time together off the field just building that chemistry that you have to have.  An offensive line has to function as one unit. We cannot be five individual guys so for us the challenge is not so much feeling comfortable with the guys we are next to because we have all known each other for so long but kind of finding the right fit for everyone.  It’s important to get everyone used to the same tempo of the game so we are moving as one unit.”

On being a senior and how to be a leader of the team:

“I guess just looking at the past players that led me and inspired me throughout the years.  When I was a freshman we had great guys like Mike Elgin who is a great technician, and Marshal Yanda, who is in the NFL right now. We have had guys like Seth Olsen who really drove me in my faith and I looked up to him as a mentor. Guys like Rob Bruggeman who have gone through tragedy and come through it. Lots of injuries and have come out on the other side as really great players. When you have a combination of guys with the sort of experiences and skills sets that we have had in our older guys over the last couple years it really makes for a lot of great guys to look back on for how to be a leader for this unit.”

On what’s hard for new guys coming in, such as little details:

“In high school a lot of us are the biggest guys in our league, so for us it’s kind of go out and play the game and it will come to you because you are bigger than everybody. But when you come out here and everyone is the same size you really have to pay attention to the little details. You can’t skip one thing because if you skip something and the guy across the ball from you doesn’t, then you are going to get beat.”

How fast is development going to be when you have a defensive-line with Clayborn and Klug:

“Certainly our development depends on our own attitude and our own effort. We have to be willing to come out here and not just lay down for our defensive line, which is a phenomenal defensive line. It can either be something that helps us or something that hurts us and if we take it upon ourselves, as I believe that we have, to really come out and challenge this defensive line every day and use them as kind of a tool for us to grow and mature as an offensive line that can handle them.” 

Junior WR Marvin McNutt

On the quarterback play on the team:

“Each guy that runs in every day, you see their improvement.  They find each other to see what they can do to get better.  They are always helping each other.  It helps that we have a group of receivers can help them out as well.” 

On Hawkeye fans:

“There is nothing more fun and more exhilarating than playing in front of the fans we have in Iowa City. Every Saturday, even at away games, they are going to be there to support you.  It makes it feel like you are at home even when we are at other places.  With these fans you expect nothing less but the best.  We love our fan support.  Where ever we go we are going to have fans there to support us.  We value our fans.”        


On whether or not the team is concerned about their No. 10 preseason ranking:

“We really do not pay attention to that.  Last year we started out around No. 21 and after the first game we dropped out. We try not to focus on that too much and instead try to focus on our main goals.” 



On getting going and getting practice started:

“It feels good to put the uniform back on again.  There is a special atmosphere around here that we all want to get better every day and we all want to compete every day.” 

Sophomore RB Adam Robinson

On transition from last year preseason to this year

“It has just been like a rollercoaster ride. I really didn’t expect to play last year. I got my opportunity and I just ran with it. I’m just glad that I have a year of experience under my belt and I am definitely excited about the upcoming season.”

On the competition at the running back position

“You’ve just got to stay on top of your game. You have to limit your mistakes and every opportunity you have to take full advantage of it. You know the competition is high and there are a lot of contenders that can contribute this year. It’s going to be a battle this camp.”

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On what’s he’s taken from last year’s experience

“Just preparing for the games and knowing how it works now. I didn’t know that a year ago and I now know that. Preparing for the games is going to be a big thing this year, and just knowing how to handle the pressure, things like that.”

On competing with friends for carries

“Yeah, you know we all know the situation, and we all just take our reps, one rep at a time, and you’ve got to limit your mistakes because that is definitely a big thing the coaches look at.”

On getting in a rhythm

“I think it is different for each ball carrier. The numbers vary. Luckily last year I was able to get into a groove early on in the season and it helped me finish the season strong.”

On the start of camp

“The feeling going into camp is definitely a good one, definitely an electric feeling. Everyone is just revved up and ready to get back into action, improve from last year, get better as a team and come together as a team in camp. Everyone on the outside has big expectations for us and we have big expectations for ourselves. It all starts in camp and we have a lot of work to do before the first game.”

On the tough home schedule

“We do have a tough home schedule. A couple of the opponents from last year, Ohio State, Michigan State and Penn State are all going to be gunning for us. We definitely have to do the majority of our work in camp and when those games come, we have to prepare week to week with a little stronger desire than last year.”

Junior DB Tyler Sash

On the verbal/nonverbal communication with Brett Greenwood

“It is a lot of both I think. During the week it’s a lot of verbal communication and making sure we’re on the same page. You build that trust throughout the week and once we get into the game we’ve repped it a lot, and we know what each other is going to do a lot of the time.”




On seeing yourself as the Edds/Angerer of this team

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“That’s for you guys to come up with, but we’re just going out and we’re going to play the best football each and every week. I know that sounds cliché, but that’s all I’m going to say. I’m not going to be a big quote guy.”


On the depth at cornerback

“There is a lot of depth, Micah Hyde, Jordan Bernstine, Shawn Prater, Greg Castillo, and the list goes on. There is a bunch of guys there that can fill in that role and we’re excited about all of those guys. We have some young guys coming up too, and we’re just excited all across the board.”

On being better than last year’s defense

“We’re going to take it week by week. I would like to be better, obviously that would be the goal is to come out and play the best football each week we can and we will see what happens after that.”

On being able to be in on big plays

“A lot of it is preparation. When you prepare, the opportunity is there for you. So preparation meets opportunity I think a lot of the time. Knowing your keys and knowing your responsibilities and knowing where you’re supposed to be, and if you’re in some of those spots, you might find yourself making some of the big plays.”

 On the big guys up front

“I love those guys. All those guys up front make our lives easier in the back. They get pressure on the quarterback and they’re making plays all over the field. I felt like I didn’t even have to make plays in the Orange Bowl because (Adrian) Clayborn and those guys were out there making all the plays. I just felt like I was out there a lot, but those guys up front are great and they’re going to be better than last year hopefully so we will see what happens. When I am pursuing to the ball, and see all those guys just flying to the ball and it’s nice to see a 300-pound man running a little running back down. When (Adrian) Clayborn ran down (Nic) Grigsby last year against Arizona, I know that’s a big play for this defense. Seeing a guy like that run somebody down like that just shows how we prepare each and every week in that nutshell.”

Senior DL Christian Ballard

On last year’s success carrying over to this season:

“That’s what we hope.  That’s always the goal but as a team and as a defensive line, we know that hard work is going to be the component to being the best.  Without teamwork, without hard work, without each other we’re not going to be really anything.  Coming to camp, when you hear all of those accolades and people saying this and that about us, it really doesn’t even matter because the fact is that we still have tough games ahead of us.  All of those games can be wins or losses.  Just because so-and-so said that, doesn’t mean that we can just go out and win a game or dominate the offensive line.  You can ask the experts who watched us last year and they know that there were a couple games where we didn’t play as well as we could have played and there were a couple games that we didn’t really show up.  We all know that and to be a good defensive line you know to perform every game, every snap, every play and that’s something that we’re looking for this year.”






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On the importance of being about to control the offensive double team:

“It’s just basic defense really.  We just try and take up the offensive line so that the linebackers can make plays, fire around and do all that stuff in the secondary.  We do try to take up a couple of blockers.  Our goal is to stop the run with our front seven.  We don’t like to have our safety come in and stop the run so we do try and emphasize taking up two blockers or playing a two-gap technique, but we can’t just think that we’re going to do it again.  You still have to work on it every day here and going through the season, we have to work on it every day.”

On gaining strength this offseason:

“Yeah, I’ve put on a little bit of strength.  Coach Doyle and the strength and conditioning program is the thing that we do here, it’s one of the best tributes to the program.  That’s always going to be one of the best things we do here.  You’re always going to gain just as long as you follow the program.”

On personal improvements:

“To be honest, I’m just trying to get better.  When you look at a lot of the players that are good then falter off, they kind of get conceited and rely on last year’s statistics, but me as an individual and us as a defense are always kind of up there but we have to know that working hard, practicing hard, listening to coaches, running the defense to the way it’s coached is the only way we’re going to be the best.”

On expectations for this season:

“We have expectations and goals, but you have to take care of the first game.  You can’t win it all without winning the first game, so our focus is on that.  We have a tough schedule, home and away, so we’re going to have to come out and play every single game.”

Senior LB  Jeremiha Hunter

On if he feels added responsibility this season being the only returning starter at linebacker:

“As you get older they (the coaches) expect more from you so you have to be on top of your game in every aspect. Not just on the field but off the field, as well.  As one of the older guys you need step up and set an example for the younger guys.”


On people just now getting to know him as a senior:

“Yeah they are getting to know me now little bit.  When you have players like Pat (Angerer) and A.J. (Edds) that just comes naturally.  I don’t mind being the quiet humble one. That is me anyways.” 


On what he does off the field:

“Family. Family and school. That is it.  I have two little twins, a boy and a girl, Jeremiha Jr. and Azariha. They just turned two (years old) Aug. 1. That is my focus.” 

Senior  DB Brett Greenwood

On being a senior in the program:

“I think it’s up there.  We have a lot of experience and guys that have been out there playing awhile and I think that helps. We are going to have younger guys out there that are going to need to contribute. We will see how it goes.


On how comfortable he feels now compared to freshman year:

“There is a certain amount of comfort level that you have since you have been here for four or five years, but you realize that it takes a lot of preparation to get to the point to be ready on September 4 when we play our first game.  You take your stride and you know when to take your rest once you get on the practice field.”


On being quieter than former leaders and how he leads:

“Yeah I think so. I think for the last two years it’s been the same, being in the back end with the defensive backs, leading them and getting them in the right positions and right checks. This is a defense as a whole, so helping out the linebackers and helping out the D-line.”


On being ranked 10th in the nation and how much attention the team pays to it:

“It’s really not too much. Like Coach Ferentz says, it’s a preseason ranking and it really doesn’t matter. Right now in August it doesn’t matter but it will in November, December and January.  It’s nice, but we really don’t pay much attention to it.


On being the last go round for him:

“It has a little bit. We finish up our summer workouts and think ‘oh that will be the last summer workout I will ever have here. It’s going to be the last go-around for a lot of things here.  You had the summer workouts but you miss them to another degree. “

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