It’s a bye week for Iowa football. And with no opponent to preview for this Saturday, Kirk Ferentz did not meet with the media. Instead, as he does two times during the season, he let his position coaches meet with the media.
Running backs coach Derrick Foster, receivers coach Kelton Copeland, linebackers coach Seth Wallace and defensive line coach Kelvin Bell all answered questions from the media. However, this week, unlike normal, the program did not release full transcripts of the conversations, so this will be a little different. I’ve tried to scour the Iowa Football Live twitter as well as the Twitter pages of the Iowa media, to gather as much insight as I can. Check out the highlights below.
"We are fortunate to get some youth in at linebacker and win games the last two weeks. Dillon Doyle and Jack Campbell have been playing well for us." -- Seth Wallace // #Hawkeyes— IowaFBLive (@IowaFBLive) October 29, 2019
I agree with this. Doyle in particular was a difference maker on Saturday and his strong play has been a big factor in the last two wins. Same with Campbell, honestly.
Let’s talk more defense:
"This (defensive) system is built for consistency and fundamentals. Phil Parker has been here since 1999. We learn something every day in meetings. He knows how to get the most of our guys and our guys thrive on that." Seth Wallace & Kelvin Bell // #Hawkeyes— IowaFBLive (@IowaFBLive) October 29, 2019
I think this is a really interesting quote from a culture perspective. I think it’s safe to say that this is Phil Parker’s most complete defensive unit since taking over as defensive coordinator, and a lot of it has to do with his game planning, as well as the culture he has instilled in the group. Whatever he’s doing, his guys are all bought in, including Seth Wallace and Kelvin Bell. It’s good to see them taking advantage of that wisdom from him, because if I was a rival AD, I’d certainly be eyeing Parker for a promotion after the season, and it’s good that these guys learn as much as they can...
"Tyler Goodson is hungry. He is willing to learn. He responds to coaching and he listens. Tyler loves football, he works hard, and he is humble." -- Derrick Foster // #Hawkeyes— IowaFBLive (@IowaFBLive) October 29, 2019
I think all of us have seen all of those things that Foster describes from Tyler Goodson this season. I adore Mekhi Sargent, but can we make him the No. 1 back already? Besides Brandon Smith, who has made more explosive plays this season? I can’t think of anyone.
Speaking of Smith...
"Brandon Smith shows up with the right intensity and focus every day. He's a great pillar for our offense. He takes great pride in his performance and how he presents himself. He has done a great job to this point." -- Kelton Copeland // #Hawkeyes— IowaFBLive (@IowaFBLive) October 29, 2019
Smith and Goodson have been the two breakout stars of the season in my opinion. It’s rare to see that kind of athleticism in an Iowa wideout, and I hope he becomes the archetype of guys to come.
BUT IS HE HEALTHY? WE NEED ANSWERS KELTON!
"Ihmir Smith-Marsette understands that we need him. He is the heartbeat of our offense. We are leaning on him a lot with Brandon being out and he's doing a great job." -- Kelton Copeland // #Hawkeyes— IowaFBLive (@IowaFBLive) October 29, 2019
I agree with this for the most part. ISM has really stepped it up this year, and Nate Stanley has definitely missed him a few times in critical moments. But as far as the heartbeat of the offense? I’d say that’s Nate Stanley, for better or worse.
And of course, let’s talk Oliver Martin:
Copeland on Oliver Martin: It takes a lot to learn the everyday. It's a process. ... To think that any young man is going to know everything right away, that's unfair. He's been accountable, pleasure to coach. Looking for improvement because there's opportunity.— Marc Morehouse (@marcmorehouse) October 29, 2019
I think this is the answer that we all knew we would get regarding Martin. Is it possible Iowa fans have overhyped him? Yes. Is it possible he’s taking time to learn the system and the playbook, and get faster for next season? Yes. Is it possible that the coaching staff is purposefully keeping him off the field for some reason? Also yes.
And last but not least, at least some answers on the injury front:
Wallace on Kristian Welch being back for Wisconsin: "You would hope so." Said he has been progressing since being injured.— John Bohnenkamp (@johnbohnenkamp) October 29, 2019
Enjoy the bye weekend, everyone. Let’s hope the offense is putting in some extra work.