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Coach Ferentz - 8 8 13

Coach Ferentz - 8 8 13

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Published by Marc Morehouse

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Published by: Marc Morehouse on Aug 08, 2013
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Coach Ferentz - 8 8 13 
  An Interview With:
COACH FERENTZ: Welcome toeverybody. Between Chicago and last week inConnecticut, it seems like this never ends. It's likea caravan right now.But welcome, everybody. Starting out on alittle bit more of a serious note, certainly want toexpress our condolences first and foremost to RonFairchild and his family. Ron as many of you knowwent to school here, played football here, got adegree in physical therapy and was a longtimeequipment manager. I got to know Ron and hisfamily extremely well back in the '80s. Our condolences to Becky and all the relatives. Also sad for anyone who had a chance tomeet Larry Nolan, who passed tragically hereearlier in the month. I only got to meet him acouple times, but his work certainly lived outsidethe arena here and over outside the stadium. Hewas just a great person. That's kind of a toughthing there.It's great to get back on the field for us. Ithink all coaches certainly that's what they enjoythe most, and it's great in that regard. We've hadfour practices now, and probably like most teamsin a America we've got a lot of work to do. Werealize that. I think we've had a positive summer. All the feedback has been good and the summer isall about strength, conditioning, skill work, thingslike that that players do on their own under thesupervision of Chris Doyle and the training staff.They do a great job.Certainly at the end of spring I felt like our team progressed. I thought we were a better teamthan we were back in November and now we'reback to it again and building up to it as we go.Yesterday was our first day with shoulder pads on,so we've had two days of work there, and everystep is a step. We've got a lot of work in front of us. Guys have a great attitude. Our seniors havebeen outstanding, and we've got a big month infront of us so we're here to take on that work after we finish up with today.I'll open it up for questions.
Q. Coach, has there been anymovement at quarterback yet? I know it'searly. (Luke Meredith,
Associated Press) 
COACH FERENTZ: It's early, and reallythere's not -- we have a three-horse race, andwe're going to let them compete.
Q. Have you seen anything this spring,any separation, or what have you seen? (JoshChristensen, KCRG-TV)
COACH FERENTZ: Guys are reallyfeeling their way right now, and that's what you'dexpect. It was like that at the start of spring, aswell, so anytime you jump into a new phase it's justtotally different than what they did in May, Juneand July.So it's going to take some time andhopefully when I meet with you a week fromSaturday we'll know a little bit more about howthings are shaping up at not only that position butall positions.
Q. Who's your No. 1 wide receiver?
COACH FERENTZ: Our No. 1 widereceiver, Kevonte Martin-Manley is our mostexperienced guy certainly outside and then TevaunSmith moves up at the other position. C.J.Fiedorowicz is part of the passing attack, too.Good to have him and Kevonte back. We'll buildfrom there.
Q. I wonder if you could tell us a littlemore about Damond Powell, and given theinexperience at wide receiver is there a chancehe could see the field? (Luke Meredith,
August 8, 2013 
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Coach Ferentz - 8 8 13 
Associated Press) 
COACH FERENTZ: We wouldn't typicallyrecruit a junior college player unless we felt theyhad that opportunity, so that motivated us there. And the challenge is he just got here acouple days ago, a week ago I guess now, and thechallenge is how quickly -- just like first-year players, how quickly can they catch up to thespeed of what we're doing and then also learnwhat we're doing. So it's a challenge. It's certainlyadvantageous to have gone through springpractice. If a guy has done that, that gives him alittle bit more edge. That's really why in the nextthree weeks, we'll know a lot more about that aswe continue to practice, but obviously we've got anopen mind at every position right now.There are certain players you just will notexpect to get beaten out. The three guys we tookto Chicago, if they get beaten out, that would be astory. That would be worth reporting on. It's theother ones that are worth watching right now, andthat's what we're interested to see.
Q. How would you rate your offensiveline, the depth of your offensive line comparedto other years here? (Rick Brown,
Des Moines Register 
COACH FERENTZ: You know, we comeinto this season more experienced than last year for sure. We've got more guys that have startedgames, and with that you could even include NolanMacMillan who hasn't played, hasn't been on thefield significantly recently, but we thought enoughof him in 2010 to put him out there and he playedpretty well. We have the makings to have a goodline, and certainly if we're going to have a goodfootball team, we're going to have to play wellthere. That's just a matter of getting the work doneright now.But I'm optimistic, but we need to continueto develop players and we need our guys that haveplayed to continue to get better. That's critical for them to be any good.
Q. What kind of growth have you seenthere? (Bryce Miller,
Des Moines Register 
COACH FERENTZ: Continued growth.We're still young. Last year we only had twoseniors, this year we have one, so we're young inthat regard. But certainly we're more experiencedthan we were a year ago. Now we need to showthat on the field on a consistent basis. That's thebiggest thing.
Q. What kind of an advantage atquarterback does Jake Rudock have just beingaround the system last year in the way that hewas? (Bryce Miller,
Des Moines Register) 
COACH FERENTZ: He was the No. 2, or at least he got the majority of the No. 2 snaps lastyear, so that gives him a head start certainly, but Idon't think -- I wouldn't call it major. To me it's notlike everybody else is really chasing him. It's notone of those situations. It's like every player needsto take what they do best and use it to their advantage, and Jake does that. He's a smart guyand a good, capable player. That's part of it. But Ireally think the key thing right now for all three of the guys is what they do in these 20-somepractices here before we really get to game week.
Q. What would a Nic Shimonek have todo to enter that and make it a four-horse race?(Scott Dochterman,
Cedar Rapids Gazette) 
COACH FERENTZ: Well, based on thismorning, realistically the other three wouldprobably have to fall off a horse to have thathappen, and I don't mean that as -- we really likeNick, but there's so much going on, and especiallyyou can only imagine the first week. There's notougher place to play mentally than thequarterback position. So he's thinking about waytoo much right now, but that's how it is, and everyplayer has to go through that. Certainly everyquarterback has to go through it.If he ended up being the guy, then wewould have to really alter what we're doing a littlebit and skinny things down.I don't think any of the three have adecided advantage against each other, but they allhave an advantage over him. But all that beingsaid, we really like the way he handles himself.We've been out there four days, and I like the wayhe handles himself, carries himself. He looks like aquarterback. Now he's just got to put thingstogether, and that's a daily basis.
Q. How would you describe the style or the demeanor of your quarterbacks? (BenRosehart, KWQC-TV)
COACH FERENTZ: I'm not great on thatdescription stuff. I think they're all three fairlysimilar in terms of what they do, and I think allthree of them are really capable of throwing thefootball well. They have different personalities likemost people do, and it's not unusual for 
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Coach Ferentz - 8 8 13 
 quarterbacks, but they're all football guys and theywork well. They have a good mentality. They workat it hard. They are good with their teammates.You know, so a little different but notmajorly different, and the big thing is going to behow they perform, see if there's a difference there,and right now at least there hasn't been. But campis a funny thing. It really reveals a lot of things asyou go along typically.
Q. Has Brandon Scherff made it all theway back from his injury? (Tom Gustafson,KDSN-Radio)
COACH FERENTZ: Yes, he is full speed.I think Andrew Donnal is probably a little slower behind him in terms of being fully recovered, butBrandon is 100 percent and ready to go. He had agood spring, but you can tell when players misstime, typically you can. To that point LouisTrinca-Pasat is out right now. He missed all of spring practice. He played a lot last year, played just about every play that counted, but he's feelinghis way right now and he'll be a lot better here in aweek, two weeks or something like that, butBrandon is back and Andrew is doing well. He'sfunctioning fine.
Q. You've got a group of seniorscoming in, but when they came in you werecoming off Orange Bowl and some loftysuccess. Can they still draw from that do youthink? (Andrew Logue,
Des Moines Register) 
COACH FERENTZ: You take good andbad from any experience that you have, and thoseguys have had that exposure, if you will, sohopefully they can share it. But to that point I thinkwe all find out at a really young age, it's more funwhen you win than when you lose, so it's as simpleas that.That's something they can share in their leadership styles, I suppose, but I don't know if it'sa major factor.
Q. Is the attitude always the same thistime of year or do you sense a little somethingdifferent with this team? (Pat Harty,
Iowa City Press-Citizen) 
COACH FERENTZ: You know, everyteam has got some personality, regardless of whatthe season the year before was, because it's anew team. We graduated guys from last year, andyou've got new guys in the front of the room andguys emerge. They change during the course of amonth, let alone ten months or eight months,whatever it may have been, nine months, I guess.So yes, it's always changing. It's a pretty dynamicprocess.But the big thing is since we got going atthe end of November, the attitude has been realpositive. I haven't seen it waver, so that's a reallygood thing.
Q. The receiver position as a whole,Coach, can you talk about the depth you havethere now and how you see that as an area of possible improvement? (Rick Brown,
DeMoines Register 
COACH FERENTZ: We just don't have alot of depth, and we know that coming in. Kevonteis our most experienced guy; certainly JordanCotton has played some and done a nice job onspecial teams, Jordan; Tevaun Smith played lastyear; Jake Hillyer has played a little bit. So youstart with those guys, and then we're just workinghard.But I'd also include our tight ends. I thinkour tight ends, that is a group where we probablyhave as much depth at that position as any. I thinkfor us to be an effective offensive football team,those guys are going to have to be involved, and Iwould say the same thing about our backs. If aguy can help us in the receiving part of it, and MarkWeisman is not terrible, but I don't foresee usputting him out wide, but using him out of thebackfield, no regrets there. But if Damon Bullockcould help us out there, Jordan Canzeri is showingsome things with ball skills that maybe we didn'tanticipate. We'll use everybody we've got just likeyou do every year.
Q. You guys have talked about havingan eight-man rotation on the defensive line.Have you made strides toward that and do youhave an eight in mind? (Marc Morehouse,
Cedar Rapids Gazette) 
COACH FERENTZ: It's the top eight,whoever looks like it here at the end of August.The good news is we have some candidates, andwith all the up-tempo stuff it probably doesn't hurtto have that.When you have more inexperiencedplayers they'll probably play a little bit moreeffectively if we can keep them fresh. They've gotto earn that on the field. Certainly the guys we sawout there in the spring, plus we add Louis into thenext -- I think we have some guys that realistically

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