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Kirk Speaks: Social Distancing Edition

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Feed your kids veggies

Michigan State v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

Even though the football season is delayed, our good pal Kirk Ferentz held a socially-distant teleconference Wednesday afternoon to talk about what measures he and his coaches and his players are taking in these high pressure days.

My takeaway: if Iowa doesn’t get back on the practice field kinda soon, the Hawkeyes could be in trouble.

Of course, every school in the country is behind the exact same eight ball here, but this observation from Kirk really stuck with me:

We are a developmental outfit, I have said that forever; I think most teams are. All those exposures in practice and all those repetitions players get during the course spring is an important time. It’s a time of growth and opportunity, just like bowl preparation.

One thing did give me hope, however. Likely QB of the future Spencer Petras is actually in Iowa City, working out any way he can. Both his parents are in the medical field, and apparently they felt it’d be better for him to spend this time in Iowa City, away from hard-hit California.

And as long as Petras gets to work with Ken O’Keefe, I’m cool with that.

In terms of communicating with his players, Kirk and his staff are doing the same damn thing as all of us at our home offices.

I don’t think I ever heard of Zoom until three weeks ago, it’s about all you hear about now. We are utilizing it as a staff, we meet periodically as a coaching staff and support staff together.

Right now the rule says we can have two hours a week with them. I think we can spend those hours better served (than talking about football). I’d rather have guys staying in touch with each other, and working through their academic stuff. Hopefully we’ll have time to talk about football whenever it’s time. Whatever we do now wouldn’t substitute for what we’re missing. If the guys can stay in good shape, if they want to work on their individual skills, that’s great, but to think we’re going to move forward as a team, I’m not that worried about it.

I hope they have a strong password when using Zoom!

If we were to have season, methinks it would likely be abbreviated. And if that’s the case, the captain thinks he could get his team game-ready in four weeks time.

Bare bones minimum we would want the strength and conditioning staff to have four weeks to work with the team before we think about practicing aggressively. That would be bare bones after talking with (strength and conditioning coach) Chris (Doyle) about that topic. That’s about as close as you can cut it.

The strength coaches have reached out to every individual to see what means are available to them. We tried to come up with tailor-made programs for everybody. We received feedback on how they are eating and how they are sleeping; it’s interesting, we were hearing feedback from everybody and one observation was that they are not seeing as many vegetables as they see when they’re on campus. If we made any successful strides, at least we have educated our guys on having maybe a better balanced diet than they were used to at home.

I’m more cautious than I am optimistic about such a timeline, but we’ll see.

Again, I know every team in the country would be working with the same set of guidelines, but it’s easy to see how shortened practice time would give bluebloods an advantage.

And finally, let’s all take Kirk’s advice here.

The biggest thing is you watch Dr. Fauci, Dr. Burke [Birx, probably]… when you see people like that are working around the clock. That is their lives and they are experts. To me, when they talk, we need to listen. They can say it better… social distancing, keeping hands clean, and trying to be as smart as we can and not doing anything to accelerate the pace. Listen to the people who know, the people who are entrenched. In this case, we’re talking about a topic that is far more serious than football. Let’s all do our part to get to a better place, sooner rather than later.

The Rest

  • I freakin’ love seeing that Kirk is still in touch with players who are 10+ years out of the program.
  • I think we’re going to start seeing more and more of this across the landscape.
  • Casey Kreiter signed a deal with the Giants.
  • BONUS: Very Important Content below