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UNIVERSITY OF IOWA FOOTBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE
November 10, 2020
Iowa City, Iowa, USA
KIRK FERENTZ: Good afternoon, everybody. Appreciate you being on here. Talk a little bit about last Saturday's game and then move on to Friday night for our next opponent. First of all, very pleased with our effort, team effort. It was a good team win for us. Want to start out by congratulating Charlie Jones. He did a great job. Great to see him recognized by the Big Ten as special teams Player of the Week. And Taylor, he did a great job too. So special teams was certainly a big part of the victory.
Overall the team really prepared well last week. They were focused and they carried it over to Saturday, which is always a good combination if we can do that, and we played good team football throughout the entire 60 minutes, which was good to see. Something we haven't done a great job over the full extent of the game. So a lot of good things out there. We played fairly clean, protected the football a little bit better, good complementary football. We did a good job in the red zone and came out with touchdowns instead of field goals. So that was an improvement certainly. And as I mentioned, the special teams I thought were pretty good overall.
All that being said, we saw plenty of things on Sunday that we can improve upon and need to work on, and for us to have a good season that's going to have to continue. It's got to continue each and every week just like every team in the conference. So you can see the work that's ahead for our football team. And now we have to get ready for a good Minnesota football team as well.
Our captains are the same captains this week: Chauncey Golston, Nick Niemann, Tyler Linderbaum, Mekhi Sargent, and Keith Duncan. We will get two guys back. Austin Schulte is starting to work back. I don't know how much he'll play but he'll be available to play at least on Friday and he's a good veteran leader for us. And then Jack Campbell, a little younger player, he hasn't been able to play yet this year, but we'll return. We'll be careful how much we work him and play him but it will be good to get him back in the rotation at least at linebacker. So happy about that.
This is a short week. Last week was a little bit distorted with Tuesday being off but this one is a short week calendar-wise. So we got to turn the page quickly after watching the tape on Sunday and get right on Minnesota.
Floyd was in the weight room so I think that was a good reminder just that this is a rivalry game. Every game is important. Every win means a lot but it's just a reminder that this one typically is very hard fought and nobody owns the trophy. You get to keep it for a year, or this time maybe less than a year, a day less, but nonetheless it's a one-year rental, so it's up for grabs again Friday. We're going to have to work hard to get it and that, especially when you consider what we're playing Minnesota. They're a little bit like us. They had a tough loss a couple weeks ago, ball off the goal post. Kept them from being, at least extending the game. And then last week they really looked good. They played a great game at Illinois.
They're a team that we're familiar with and I'm sure they're familiar with us. Their staff is well established. They do a great job coaching their players. They're a very veteran team offensively and very explosive team offensively, and they're good at every position, big and physical up front, including their tight ends. Their quarterback has just done a great job the last couple years. He's just an outstanding performer and just an impressive player. They're strong at running back and their running back was the Big Ten player offensive Player of the Week this past week, so that doesn't come as a surprise and they have got an outstanding group of receivers and Number 0 is as good as we'll see, maybe as good as anybody in the country. So they're very, very talented offensively, very experienced.
Defensively, they had some losses there. They had a lot of veteran players last year, but they have got some guys back that are still playing extremely well and they have got a bunch of guys that are really playing hard, giving great effort like we saw from them last year as well. And the same thing about their special teams. They had some rotation with the specialists, but their core guys are just really working hard. That's representative of their football team. They had a tremendous year last year. Took everything for us to get the victory in last year's contest and I'm sure this will be very much the same. It will go right down to the wire and we're going to need to have, finish off this week and have a great week of preparation.
Q. I know you said that special teams played a big role last week. How important and how big a difference maker has it been for you guys this season and how important is special teams all the time every year?
KIRK FERENTZ: Well 22 years ago that was one the building blocks we tried to build the program on because we felt like it was the first area that maybe we would have a chance to get decent at, so we started there. And if you look at any of our good teams we have played well on special teams. I think it's important for any football team, certainly for us it's historically, it's an area we have to try to excel in. And one thing about it, it's a great opportunity for players that maybe aren't starters or maybe aren't that experienced to get in and really do a good job. We're seeing a lot of that already, think about a guy Terry Roberts, first guy that comes to mind. He's not a starter for us on defense, but he's really playing great on special teams and just doing more than his share to be a good football player. A guy like Nick Anderson, go right down the list, we've got a lot of guys that are doing a good job and have really bought into it and it's a good opportunity for them to go out and contribute to our team's success. So I think our players buy into it, but there's still things we can get better at, some things that we're pleased about but still room to improve for sure.
Q. Last weekend against Michigan State you featured quite a mix of shotgun and center running plays with your running back, primarily Tyler Goodson. What are some of the advantages of kind of going back and forth? And when did the, kind of the shift go where you wanted to go maybe not quite 50/50 but a lion's share of your snaps to have, out of the shotgun and the running game?
KIRK FERENTZ: I think over the years we have probably thrown more from the shotgun, so you want to try to keep balance as much as possible, not only run/pass but run pass out of formations or out of alignments and, because defensive people, at least typically, they're chartaholics. They chart everything. So it just kind of makes sense. And those are the kind of things you noodle around during the course of the off-season, and then obviously, it continues in-season as well, and ultimately just kind of week-to-week, it depends on what you think gives you a chance to move the ball and score points. Sometimes you're right. Sometimes you're not. That's what you're trying to do on a weekly basis.
Q. How dangerous is a team like Minnesota who has a ton of potential, but they have kind of underachieved in many people's minds in their first two games but seemingly put it together a little bit more last week?
KIRK FERENTZ: Those would be somebody else's words, not mine. I don't know what my expectations were for Minnesota, other than seeing a tough competitive football team, and that's what we see on film. They're capable of scoring 50 points pretty much on anybody. We saw them do that last year and most of the players are here from last year, and they have been clipping right along offensively this year as well.
They have big play explosive capability on any play anywhere on the field. That's the first thing to worry about. And then secondly, they know who they are. They have got an identity in all three phases; a very clear identity, in my opinion, and I really respect that. And then most importantly their players buy into that identity and they play hard and they play hard within the system. So they're sure like a lot like us.
When they graduate guys or have guys go to the NFL, you have got younger players that have to take over and there's growth that goes on. There's improvement that goes on during the course of the year. Teams actually do get better. Most teams do and most players do, if they're working hard. So it's a process. There's a process to all this and I wouldn't even want to predict, it would be 3-0 on Friday night or it could be 43-42, one of those things. So you just, but my guess is it will be close and it will be hard fought for whoever wins.
Q. You knew that these Fridays games were coming. They're becoming a lot more popular. As you move forward, are you starting to get used to them or are you still more on the lines of you would rather have them traditional week, game on Saturday?
KIRK FERENTZ: Well when we were talking about playing after Thanksgiving or Christmas, it's not like we would be playing every night of the week. So I am happy we're not doing that because that really is disruptive. I don't know how you know what day is which actually. But football teams tend to get into a rhythm, if you will. There's a pattern to what we do in-season, out of season, all that, so. But nothing's been in sync this year since March.
So it's a perfect year to have more Friday nights or more unusual weeks. This would be, in a four-week block we'll have three weeks that are really kind of irregular, if you will. So it's been a year of adjustment, a year of just trying to do what you think is best at that given moment, that given day. And I'm okay on Friday nights. It's not that big a deal. But if it comes that way, that's what it is. And TV's going to enter and continue to enter more and more into our discussions how we do things. So it's probably fair to say we could play more Friday nights.
My biggest reservation or objection to Friday nights is just interfering with high school football. I think that's a paramount issue. It's an adjustment we can make. But when you start influencing high school football, I think in a normal year that's probably not what we're looking to do all the time.
Q. It's probably not a coincidence that Spencer's first two career touchdowns have gone to Brandon Smith on those red zone plays. What have you noticed the most about Brandon in his growth in his four years? What's impressed you the most about what he's been able to do?
KIRK FERENTZ: He's an extremely raw prospect, in my opinion, when we recruited him, which is probably part of the reason he left Mississippi to come here. And so he was a guy that we thought had great potential. He's great young man, great family, and an athletic family. But, they're good people. He's a great young guy. And we thought he had a chance to really grow into a Big Ten, outstanding Big Ten player, and I think that's what he's done really, the biggest impediment in his career so far was that injury last year that set him back for a couple weeks, a couple games.
With each phase of his career, each month of his career, he's been showing improvement and we're excited for the fact that he's with us here for the next six games. We're going to enjoy him while he's here and just look forward to him continuing to play really good football for us and hopefully leading us to some good things.
Q. Mark Kallenberger has gone from left side of the line to the right side, from guard to tackle. Can you give us a little bit of appreciation for how, the difficulty of that and how he, how you feel he's been able to handle that?
KIRK FERENTZ: Yeah, it's kind of representative of the way the things have been the last two years. We have had a lot of movement with our offensive line. So that's continued. I thought he did a really nice job the other day stepping in and he's, some guys have that ability, some don't. We've moved him around basically everywhere but center. It doesn't seem to affect him an awful lot. I thought he did a good job last week of getting ready, took advantage of every day in practice, and went out and played a good game, and we look forward for more of the same this week as well.
But all that being said, he could still end up playing some guard for us or even left tackle, whatever. Hopefully not. Hopefully we just get through the game with the five guys playing. But that's a real credit to him. And we just talked about Brandon. It's kind of the same story. Mark came in and worked hard and with each year he's grown, and finished up last year playing in the bowl game, did a nice job at left guard for us. So we came into this year with high hopes that hopefully his best football was in front of him and this year and next year would be really good years for him.
Q. It was before the 2018 season that you made LeVar exclusively special teams coordinator. No other, took the position thing away. How have you seen that, him really dive into that role because your special teams obviously are thriving right now? And is this kind of what you envisioned when you made that change?
KIRK FERENTZ: Tthat's what we were hoping for and the key point was the expansion of the staff when the NCAA switched the rules. So it allowed us to have another coach, full-time coach involved. And after thinking about it and looking at it, it just seemed to make perfect sense.
Typically, not everybody, but typically a lot of schools have the special teams split up a little bit. You might have had a coordinator but one guy might have had one segment, another guy another segment. And there's probably a reason in pro football why they do it the way they do it, and that's what it seemed like to me. So with the expansion of the staff that, first of all, seemed like a good fit.
I would also share my history in college football is that over time that group gets neglected a little bit, the quote-unquote specialist, the guys that are specialists, the snappers, kickers, punters. They kind of float a little bit and don't have that constant guidance like the rest of the players on your team, so that made sense. And I think that's made a huge difference, quite frankly. LeVar's had a tremendous impact on those guys just from the psychological and mental standpoint. They're being coached daily by a coach, their coach. I think that's been good. And that coach's focus is on that, as well as the supporting cast.
LeVar was excited about it when he started and he's done a wonderful job and we were really lucky to have Kevin Spencer join us as a consultant. Kevin was a guy I worked with a hundred years ago and, I don't know how old Kevin is, early 60's, but anyway he's the youngest 62 year-old-guy I've ever been around. He was a great mentor to LeVar; was able to help him with organizational things. Here's what you need to be doing, and then was a great resource for him and continues to be, more by phone now obviously. Kevin's out in San Diego. But to have those kind of resources, somebody to give you a little bit of guidance and, Hey, have you ever thought about this, thought about that? So just it fell into place for us, and three games into it, at least, it's paying off for us.
Q. I can't imagine that there would be a more difficult challenge for a brand new middle linebacker than facing this team with their quarterback and the way he can kind of run the RPO game. Of course that running back has been tremendous and of course Rashod Bateman. Is this the type of game where you kind of throw Jack in, in just minimal amounts and leave, kind of the way it's been played the last few weeks or do you try to get him on the field as much as you can?
KIRK FERENTZ: We had a bad possession last week, but overall we played better defense. And so it was great getting Seth back. And the number one issue at linebacker the first couple weeks was just our depth or lack thereof. We were really thin, having guys out. So to add another quality player into the mix, at least it gives us a little bit of chance to rotate players. And Jack Campbell just got cleared Sunday, so he's hardly in condition to go out and play 60 snaps, 70 snaps. He might be able to do it Friday and then we may lose him for the rest of the year, so it doesn't make sense. We'll rotate him in. But's really good football player and we have total confidence he'll do a good job when he's in there. But I think what we'll do is rotate and split the reps and try to keep our guys fresh, and they're going to need to be fresh because they're up against a big challenge this week for sure.
Q. LeVar went to Australia to recruit Tory Taylor, right? Can you detail what that recruitment was like, how much time he had to spend just to make that trip and how you got interested in him, et cetera, how the deal was finished.
KIRK FERENTZ: Yeah, as I mentioned, this whole thing has changed so much. And we played on the 27th last year so we got to watch a lot of bowl games. I'm pretty sure it was Dusty Dvoracek was doing the call at the Outback Bowl, don't quote me, but I remember him throwing out a stat that, like, I thought 40-plus percent of the punters in Division I football are from Australia. So that really impacted me, like, just where this was all going. And if you're raising a boy and you want him to be an athlete, teach him how to punt when he's young. They play forever, first of all. It's a safe position. And then just they're really hard to find.
So we started getting involved with the pipelines over there a little bit and it's very well organized. LeVar's kind of jumped into it and started doing the recruiting. And for me, the party was pretty much over by the time LeVar went over. It was more to just consummate the marriage. But Tory had decided he was going to come here and was excited about that opportunity. And then LeVar just kind of went over and met his family, that type of deal. But that was a journey. It's a journey over. It's a journey back. It sounds like a great place to visit, but boy it takes you forever to get there and get back.
But I'm so glad it has all worked out because not only is Tory playing really well on the field, but he's a tremendous young guy. He's has a good demeanor, good personality. And I know he's anxious to get his family over here at some point. It was tough for him to get here because of quarantines, et cetera, and it's probably going to be that way for awhile for everybody. So I don't know when his family's going to get here but I'm sure he's eager. But we're really thrilled he's here with us right now.
Q. Thinking back to your 22 years, can you think back to maybe one team that you really, your special teams were so paramount to your success? Obviously we're not crowning anything here after three games, but it sure looks like you got a good across the board special teams group.
KIRK FERENTZ: Yeah, I would like to see our kick return get the ball past the 25, first of all, before we start having celebrations. That would be nice. I don't know if we've made it past the 20 yet. So we still have some work to do. We did miss a field goal the other day, so it's not all perfect at this stage. But I think if you look at any of our teams that, you guys judge things a little differently than I do, but you guys would consider our really good teams, most of them were pretty good on special teams. The '02 group comes to mind. They had guys like Dallas Clark, Chad Greenway running down there, Bob Sanders. You got to try to block him.
The '04 team for sure. The special teams were just a major factor. And so for us to have a high level football team, usually it means we got to be doing pretty well on special teams. Not always but usually.
Q. How important was last week's win and the way, the decisive way you won it? Did you sense any problems keeping guys, especially the young guys, believing in where this team was headed after the two tough losses?
KIRK FERENTZ: After one tough loss, you worry. In fact, after a win you worry because with all due respect, I'm not sure, especially younger players, in fact, I think a lot of people are guilty of this. They don't realize how hard it is to win a college football game, especially in conference play. There's nothing easy about it. It may turn out easy, but rarely is it easy. So there's a real appreciation gap, I guess would be the word I would or phrase I would use. And a lot of players are guilty of that. They don't really respect what it takes to win a game. They don't always respect the fact that any opponent that we play is usually pretty competitive and pretty tough and they want to win too. So it all starts with an appreciation for what it takes to win a game, just one game. And then to put them back-to-back and back-to-back, that's a whole different challenge. So that's always important, whether you win, lose, or whatever, lose two, and we had lost two at that point, to your point. So yeah, I'm always concerned about that.
Then the other part, yeah, it was great to win and the way we won was fantastic, but the biggest thing, we needed to play well. We needed to play well for sixty minutes and it wasn't perfect. We had some flaws. I just mentioned a couple of them, but there were more than that. But at least we acted like a football team for sixty straight minutes start to finish. The bench was good. We just conducted ourselves like a winning team. And if you do that then you might have a chance to win. But boy it's hard to win when you're not doing that and we have left the door open a couple times this year. You don't get them back. You don't get them back. That's the other lesson everybody learns fast.
Q. You talked about Friday night games impacting high school football and this is kind of a curiosity on my part. At state semifinals in here Iowa this week, you have a couple of commits playing. I know you have recruiting staff. But in a traditional year, are you able to watch those high school playoff games/do you watch those high school playoff games at all?
KIRK FERENTZ: In a normal year, you're allowed one exposure. You can go to a game. Or one, one evaluation quote-unquote an evaluation for a prospect. So it would have been difficult obviously this week even if we were playing Saturday unless it was Saturday night. If we play a night game the next night then our guys are out watching games typically. But I think it's important for our staff to be around our players when we're at the hotel. I just think that's important. And so, but I do remember seeing Pat Angerer, like the last 10 minutes of his championship game, from the hotel. It was on TV. I remember watching him make every tackle, it seemed like. And I felt like this guy might be a good player. And then he came here and really struggled for about two years and then the rest is history after that. But yeah, so it would be nice to go, but we're not going to be doing it this Friday, that's for sure.
Q. Wanted to ask you about Tyler Linderbaum. He made the transition last year. He looked well beyond being a freshman out there, and this year some of the touchdown blocks that he was making were pretty impressive, at least in my eyes. In what ways has he made those strides from being a pretty good player last year to where he is now, which is maybe one of the better ones in the country?
KIRK FERENTZ: If we had three of him or five of him they would all be starting. He's just a really good football player. He's really good on defense as well. That's something I felt guilty moving him over to offense but not too guilty because we thought he had a chance to become a really good center for us, and the adeptness he showed making that move, it was really a pretty seamless transition, which is kind of amazing in itself. He played good football last year and he's playing at a really high level right now. Again, that's what you hope is going to happen with anybody. You hope they're going to improve and take whatever experience they get and learn from that and become better each and every time out there. He's just got a great attitude. He loves football, he loves his teammates, and he works at it. He really studies things. He and Petras are in constant communication, so that's a big thing too, that combo. He's just a really good football player. And we have had a few of them come through here and he's certainly in that category. He's just a really good football player and a total football player.
Q. We talked last week, you talked last week about these transfers are occurring in-season instead of the post-spring, like usual. So number one, do you think McKinney's departure is related to Charlie Jones' emergence? And also number two, do you have time to have kind of exit meetings with these guys here in-season, because I know it's a complicated time?
KIRK FERENTZ: Yes and yes. I think Daraun was hoping to get more playing time and he feels like he's a really good returner and he's got the potential to be one. We're just a little bit full right now with Smith-Marsette and Charlie back there. I think that we just felt like those are our two best guys. And Daraun's a good defensive back too. He had a good future there, but we have a few other guys that are ahead of him right now. So not always, but a lot of times it's based on what they see in front of them and what they think the path to the field is. I don't want to speak for them, but that seems to be a common theme. I'm going over 22 years here now. And yeah, we have had time. We visited with Daraun and had a short conversation with him, as I do with the other guys, and they'll have more on campus with other folks too. I just wish him well. It just, my biggest question for anybody that's going to leave the program is have you really thought about it and who have you visited with, that type of thing. You don't want them to make an emotional decision. You hope they're going to stay because they can't graduate and they can't have a great career here if they're not here. But if their heart's not in it, it just doesn't make sense to stay, so I understand that side of the coin as well.
Q. I'm going to try and combine a few things here. Just minutes ago the 50th college football game of the season was postponed or cancelled. Yesterday, we got the release that 30 Iowa athletic department student athletes and/or staff members were positive in the November 2 to 8 time frame. How have you guys been doing as a football team? Have you contributed to that figure of 30? Have you, what are you doing to dodge these raindrops?
KIRK FERENTZ: Gary actually called me last week to talk about the spike on campus. And so I hit that immediately the next morning with our guys. We don't talk about it everyday, but just about everyday I just keep mentioning to them that it's very real, if you're paying attention at all, nationally and there's more news last 24 hours nationally about college football teams and pro teams and high school teams, I mean it's everywhere. So the message is, now until January, we all just have to be as vigilant as possible and do all we can. But all that being said there's no guarantees. My sense is our contributions have been very minimal and I'm really happy to say that -- I don't want to talk about it because I don't want to jinx us. But I think a big part of it, especially for college students, is they really have to kind of live like hermits, they're on line with their classes. And I don't know how they feel, but I know how I feel, the safest part of my day is being in this building because we're testing daily, so at least, if something is an issue, then we get it detected and at least you feel like you're in a place where it's pretty safe. So I guess they're probably living like a lot of us. We come from home to here and then go home. And that's kind of what we do. And I think that's my sense of our players right now too. I will share this with you, when the season got dropped on August 11, our guard was dropped, I can tell you that, and our numbers did go up. We added to the statistics. So there's a direct correlation, in my opinion, I'm not a scientist, but there's a direct correlation to just how careful you are and just how mindful you are. And basically for our guys my message is, we all said we wanted to play and we do want to play, so what are we doing to help it? And let's understand there's nothing guaranteed, but at least let's try to do our part so we can all continue forward together as a team. And January's January, we'll worry about it then. Maybe we'll have a vaccine, who knows. But our mindset right now is really on this next six weeks plus.
Q. Your long-term success, the stability you had there undoubtedly has helped create the culture that has given you success year after year after year that a lot of coaches would be jealous of. But my question is, what is the summer's offseason stuff, the racial bias inquiry and all that, what has that told you about maybe the need to keep the culture evolving, I suppose, as the rest of society does?
KIRK FERENTZ: That's an age-old lesson. We have had to re-evaluate our program, we do it annually, but there have been some big, big jumps at certain times. I go back to 2015 where we made some dramatic changes to our program, the way we practice, etcetera. So it doesn't happen every year where things are dramatically different, but the bottom line is you do something 22 years, life comes at you, life is not static, life doesn't stay the same. Real life doesn't and certainly a life in athletics, because they go hand in hand. So it has been an opportunity for all of to us learn. I think going back to June, late March, or May actually, and I think that's really when things began internally, some very candid conversations, some very honest conversations and I think very productive conversations. You would have to ask our players how they feel, but I think we made a lot of progress, had some real good dialogue. It was raw, it was painful at times, but I think good things have come from it, and that's good, but now what really counts is what we do moving forward. And that's -- it's like playing football, I mean, we had a good game Saturday, it really doesn't help us this week. So we have to move on and we have to keep doing the things that we think are right and I think that's kind of what's going on. So I'm really proud of our players, I'm proud of our staff, we have good people in this building and when it got a little noisy right at the beginning that was one thing I shared with our staff in a text is that we have good people in this building, be it players, coaching staff, support staff, we'll get this right, we'll figure it out and I think that's the path that we're on. So time will tell. It's like anything in life, time will tell. Thatâ€™s real life, you just keep looking, but the key thing is there was good dialogue and people listened. Everybody listened, conversed and we came up with what we thought were good solutions, good alternatives to what we may have been doing. I take it, are you from Minnesota?
KIRK FERENTZ: You know, I wanted to mention one thing, because I missed this a couple weeks ago, but I got somebody from Minneapolis media. I got to meet Sid Hartman in 1984. The first time I met him I was up watching the Vikings and Les Steckel had just become the head coach. And I was there for their spring, the May training period. And I got to meet Sid Hartman and I met him in the airport. I think it was Arizona Super Bowl, the Patriots and Giants, it was at an airport coming home. And he knew me, came up andâ€¦ what a treasure, just what a treasure. So, to his family, I just want to express my sympathies. He's a unique person, really unbelievable guy.
Q. He wrote a column that ran the day he died. No one like him.
KIRK FERENTZ: Well if I meet you individually some time I'm going to tell you a very funny story about 1984. I was a young, naive college guy, right? And you remember -- oh, you're young probably too. Curtis Ross was an offensive lineman and they had a priceless exchange. Just priceless. I mean, I was like, oh, okay, that's pretty good. So I'll tell you the story if I ever meet you one-on-one. It's not appropriate for public consumption -- it was entertaining though.
Q. I wanted to dovetail about the transfers. Is this kind of the first wave of the free agency period that we're going to see in college sports and how do you get guys to stay patient when they have got that out there now where they can transfer without having to sit?
KIRK FERENTZ: It's one more challenge and basketball coaches have been doing it forever, God bless those guys. I look at those guys and I just marvel. But it's just kind of part of the deal and in college basketball, at least an outsider looking in. I haven't had any conversations with Fran about it, but the numbers are there, right? I think you guys know that better than I do. So like a lot of things that have, I don't want to say been problematic to basketball, college basketball, but challenging to college basketball, I think we're seeing that trickle into college football. But I have to say this too, ultimately if a player doesn't want to be at a school for whatever reason, it's probably better that they go find a place they are more comfortable. It's no different than would you want an employee working in your building, whatever business you may have, where they're there only because they have to be there. It's just not a good situation for anybody. So I don't know where that line is. There have been a million discussions and I won't be on the next million of them, but only because I choose not to, I just stay out of that because it's a tough one. It's not good for somebody not to have their heart into it. The flip side is, what we do is tough, it's demanding, I doubt many freshmen go to college and say â€˜Boy that was easy, it was an easy first year academically, football-wise, all that stuff.â€™ Not many of them say, â€˜Boy, that was a breeze.â€™ Some do, but not many. So there's something to working through things too and being patient and seeing where the journey takes you. So I don't know where the balance is on that whole thing and that's why I'm staying out of the discussion. I got plenty of other things to keep me busy right now, so that's where my attention is. We'll do our best to get ready for this one, it's going to be a tough challenge up there in Minneapolis and we're getting ready to go.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports