Aside from the penalties, Iowa is coming off probably its best win of the year against Purdue. And you can tell Kirk was feeling particularly good judging from lots of his comments in yesterday’s presser. He was aloof and one could interpret some of the things he said as being a smartass, but I just think he was humoring himself in an exercise he generally dreads partaking in, so let’s get to it.
As you may have heard, Dallas Clark was named to the ANF Ring of Honor yesterday. Danny is going to elaborate on that a little more in his piece this afternoon, But here’s what Kirk had to say on the matter.
Good afternoon. I want to start out by congratulating Dallas Clark on his recognition. So well-deserved. I was just back there negotiating to see if we can get a couple snaps out of him this weekend. I think that might go detected.
The ANF, the whole concept has been such a great partnership with the University, so we're certainly thrilled about that, and you think about the Wall of Honor and the kind of people that are up on there already, going back to Casey Wiegmann, Jared DeVries, guys like Bruce Nelson, Robert Gallery, that is really elite company, and certainly Dallas is one of the most exceptional, not only players that we've ever had through this program, but I think one of the most exceptional people.
I'm happy for him. He's had a busy year in Kinnick already with the concert, and now this, so congratulations, Dallas. Really happy for you there.
And here is this week’s injury report, straight from the horse’s mouth:
We came out of the game with some guys injured, and a lot of it is going to be day-by-day. We'll see how it goes during the course of the week. Really nobody ruled out yet, but we'll have to wait and see how the guys look that way.
Now this next question is just baffling to me:
Q. One of the guys in here we haven't talked about a lot this season is Desmond King. From your vantage point what kind of senior year is he having?
KIRK FERENTZ: I think really good. One thing I think that's noteworthy, again, and I mention it every time we talk about him, if he's missed something since January, any kind of practice workout, I can't remember what it would be. You know, he's a durable player. Most of the really great players -- there's a guy standing over there, great players that have been played here, that's one trait, you have to be durable. I think that's a real key to greatness.
He's playing well on defense. He's really doing a good job, and then he's doing an extraordinary job on special teams.
It was great for him to get his hands on the ball the other day, and that return that he made fit right in with the returns that he's been doing in the special teams phase, as well. So awfully impressed.
I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve read a lot about Desmond King. You know, the reigning All-American and Jim Thorpe award-winner. I know for a fact a lot of digital ink has been spilled over him. I’m not sure who asked that question, but maybe he or she just doesn’t read as much as I do about one of the better football players to ever wear an Iowa jersey.
Anyway, I think we can all agree Desmond is having an outstanding year, and it’s frightening to think how this defense might look if he wasn’t on the field. And that pick-six against Purdue was spiritual.
Here’s a good one.
Q. A little offbeat here, but I don't think I've asked you about this yet. You guys have deferred when you've won the toss I think four times this year maybe.
KIRK FERENTZ: Yeah.
Q. Where did that philosophy change come from?
KIRK FERENTZ: It took a long time to get there, but yeah, that's exactly right. It's just one of those things that we talked about out of season, and it was one of the things on our list. Some younger, smarter guys on the staff and some guys maybe my age, too, that were smarter, also. Just having conversation, we thought it might be something that was worth giving it a try, too, and we were painfully close to aborting the mission here a couple weeks ago, but we're staying with it, so we'll see what happens this week.
I haven’t really noticed this phenomenon, but I’ve always been a fan of kicking off when I win the toss in NCAA ‘13, so I can’t argue with Kirk here.
Q. The depth charts, is this an antiquated thing? I know Harbaugh is pretty much done with them, and we've seen depth charts and on Saturday it's a completely different story.
KIRK FERENTZ: You know, I think everybody does them. Most everybody does them, out East everybody does them, but that's changed a little bit. You put them out there. Part of it's projection, part of it's just what you've been doing, and that's what it is. I'm not smart enough to know -- none of our guys are ruled out yet, so health-wise you hope we get guys back and what have you, but I don't know.
Yeah, maybe they are antiquated, I don't know. As coaches we're going to look at the film and see who finished up the game and kind of go from there. So yeah. No real strong opinion. Pretty good chance Beathard will be the quarterback, I can give you that one, LeShun. Those four guys I mentioned will all be starting. We'll try to start our best guys as long as they're healthy and ready to go.
Depth charts are kind of meaningless, we’ve always known that.
And some more injury speak. This is a little disheartening, to say the least.
Q. You said earlier it would be kind of unrealistic maybe to expect George to play.
KIRK FERENTZ: I'll tone that down a little bit. I don't want to be Dr. Doom here. I think he's got a chance. There was concerned on Saturday there might be a fracture. That was word given to me during the game. They did, whatever they call it, a fluoro or something like that, kind of a half-baked X-ray. I mean, it's an X-ray but it's not like going over to the hospital.
That was good, and since that time he's had MRI X-rays and the specialists have looked at it and said everything is good, so it depends on what he can do, how he can progress in the next couple days' time, and we're not going to rule him out. But it's probably a longshot. Right now we've got to prepare -- anytime a guy gets hurt, you've got to prepare like he's not going to be there, but if he can play, we'll play him. We've done that before. That's not unheard of, if he can play. He's got to be able to play effectively.
I don’t think Kittle’s impact on this offense can be overstated, and his absence would really limit what Iowa can do when it has the ball. Peter Pekar showed us a lot of good things against the Boilers, but being able to have two capable tight ends on the field at the same time is often when this offense works.
Q. Falconer played I think for the first time Saturday. Did you ever consider redshirting him?
KIRK FERENTZ: No.
*Snickers to himself, grabs water bottle.*
Q. With Dallas being here, how much do you let him in the locker room to talk to the guys because obviously he's busy but what can you draw from him to teach to the guys or show to the guys?
KIRK FERENTZ: Right now is probably not the best time to do it because our guys have already come and gone, but Dallas -- and I'm not letting the cat out of the bag. He lives in Iowa now, so he's down here. I don't want to say frequently, but he's around, and he was around during camp because he was here the entire week of the concert. He's on vacation, and he's in there 7 a.m. We're out practicing, he's out there. Summertime he's working out in the weight room at 6:30 a.m. on his day off. That's kind of how he's wired. So he's been around our players, they know him, and he's talked to them at camp. When guys come through, not just Dallas but former players come through, we invite them to talk to our players any time.
It's kind of the concept of the honorary captain. The more our players can learn about the tradition, the fabric, the people that have played here and come through these halls, it's so valuable. It means a lot to everybody.
I think we’ve always known former players make themselves pretty available to current ones. I’m not sure if it’s a Hallmark of the Iowa program, but it seems to me that guys don’t normally leave the program and become ghosts. I’m not sure if there’s another school out there where the alumni show more school pride. To me it’s what makes part of Iowa, Iowa.
And one more to close ‘er out.
Q. With recruiting today, how difficult is it to -- I don't know if enforce is the right word, the no visit after you commit rule that you guys have?
KIRK FERENTZ: I don't think you can enforce it. You can have policies. It's kind of like some of the things in our building, I tease our coaches sometimes, there's policies and then there's rules. Policies are policies. You can break policies. There's no penalty. But rules are rules. The rules don't forbid that, so there's no -- but we can have policies.
Reminds me of….