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KIRK SPEAKS: Northwestern

Old man yells at cloud


We’ve reached the implosion portion of the 2022 Iowa Football season. The tide is turning. Outside mentions of the program are being published by the day, lambasting Iowa, its putrid offense, and the rampant nepotism running amok in the program courtesy of Kirk and Brian Ferentz.

It’s safe to say that we have reached and now surpassed the fervor around the program not seen since the 2014 season. Up next for the Hawkeyes is the potential to (somewhat) right the ship against an awful Northwestern team coming to Kinnick for homecoming. But can they actually do it?

Let’s see what Kirk Ferentz thinks. Buckle up y’all, it’s a doozy. Full transcript here, comments below.

Let’s start with this from the opening statement:

KIRK FERENTZ: The quarterback situation, we haven’t made a decision yet I’m not sure when we will. We’ll let both guys working with the 1s rotating them in and out and playing that out and making a decision here during the week, kind of going from there.

Oh great, no decision, no timetable for a decision, and both quarterbacks working with the ones. What could go wrong with that?

Q. As you’re evaluating quarterbacks how much do you factor the results in Saturday in Columbus versus this week in practice versus what you’ve seen cumulative before?

COACH FERENTZ: Really wasn’t much good Saturday, in general. Didn’t matter who was in there. So that’s part-everything is part of the evaluation to answer your question, what we saw in practice, things we saw on Saturday and the past. Keep pushing forward. It’s not like we have a scientific formula. We’ll see how the week plays out.

Oh, we’re well aware you don’t have a scientific formula, thanks.

Q. With your decision, do you anticipate whichever direction you go that that person will be in there, not necessarily looking over their shoulder, or do you think there will be some sort of rotation or something?

COACH FERENTZ: We’re not planning on rotation at this point. But anything’s possible. Not going to rule it out. But preferably wouldn’t want to do that. And whoever starts hopefully not looking over their shoulder. We also have to get it going offensively and show some production, too. So hopefully whoever is in there can help us do that. That’s the team goal.

And there’s I guess a balancing act that goes on with it because you don’t want to make a decision based on one play. Something like that. We’ll kind of see. Make a decision and ride with it for a little bit.

Sure sounds a lot like we’ll be seeing Spencer Petras out there again for most - if not all - of the reps. And listen, we all realize that quarterback is only one of many, many problems with this offense. Padilla is not going to turn us into title contenders. But this just seems like we’re unnecessarily turning quarterback into a clusterfuck situation.

Q. Going back to the game on Saturday, you said judging Alex’s performance was tough considering the circumstances. His last appearances were similar, the championship second half deficit, does that make it more difficult to evaluate how much much progress he’s made out there?

COACH FERENTZ: I said the same thing about Spencer too. It’s complicated. And when you evaluate any player, there’s pretty much a lot of circumstances and things around what their responsibility is that factor into things ...

But basically everything affects everything. For quarterback play, it’s really complex. So it’s not a simple equation.

Let’s quickly set the record straight here: Alex Padilla (again, he’s not the magic solution) is being continually put into impossible situations with the intention for him to fail and for Kirk to inevitably say ‘I told you so’ and it really, really sucks. I feel for the guy and will not be surprised at all to not have him on the roster next season.

Q. At this stage how often do your 1’s go against your 1’s?


That explains a lot.

Q. How hard does it make you to evaluate?

COACH FERENTZ: We still have good players, we’ll go 1’s against 2’s and let the guys compete really hard and we did some of that this morning and tomorrow again. You can evaluate players. Even against air, sometimes, it can be telling. Not that it’s competitive. Just how guys operate and how they do things.


Q. Arland says he feels like we’re letting the defense down in some ways, what do you do as a head coach to keep those guys motivated?

COACH FERENTZ: Couple things. Football is a dynamic thing. You never know how things are going to go, how a game’s going to shake out. It could be week-to-week. It could be season to season ... And ‘04 is an easy one to pick. We weren’t going to run the ball well, not good up front. Lost a lot of running backs due to injuries. That wasn’t going to happen. That wasn’t realistic, but everybody was cognizant of that.

Nobody complained about it, everybody it’s the way it is and let’s find a way to be successful ...

The better everybody understands that, the better off we’ll be. No sense worrying too much about what’s the terrain look like right now. Hey, that’s what it is. How do we come out successful as a result of that?

And if guys on the team understand that concept, then I don’t think you have issues with the teamwork part, as long as everybody’s doing what they’re supposed to do, making the contribution they’re supposed to make and putting the effort and commitment in that’s part of being on a team.

The thing is though, that the offense ISN’T making the contribution they’re supposed to make. Sorry defense. The better you understand that, the better off we’ll be. But we’ll still lose games, because we can’t score. There HAS to be locker room tension simmering.

Q. Do you think it’s sustainable to have the defense and special teams at the level they’ve been while the offense has been at the level it’s been?

COACH FERENTZ: It hasn’t worked the last couple of weeks, no. So obviously we want to change that formula. Get offense in a place we can be successful and we’ve done that in the past.

I don’t think that’s possible, but ok, let’s tout the past. I DON’T KNOW IF YOU KNOW THIS, BUT THEY WON 10 GAMES LAST YEAR!!!

Q. With the way the offense is right now, do you sense any difficulty coaching the guys in terms of keeping the frustration level down and keeping their confidence up as you continue to go through the final five games?

COACH FERENTZ: It’s hard to have confidence if you aren’t seeing results. We went through that in 2000. 1999, 2000. At some point you have to show that you’re gaining traction. Gaining traction is really an important thing. There’s no way to predict when that’s going to happen. There’s no guarantee it is going to happen either.

That’s the other part of that equation. But you just keep working at it. There’s nothing magic about it. You just keep working at it methodically, trying to get a little bit better and hope at some point things gel a little bit and something starts to take off. And that’s the race we’re running, to Chad’s point and to your point.

And if you’re not practicing well, if you’re not doing things well, then that is frustrating. I think we’re trying to get there.

So he dodges the question at hand about the coaching aspect to reveal that they’re not practicing well? Is that what I’m reading here?

Let’s hit on this quickly:

Q. Do you have an update on Keagan Johnson by chance?

COACH FERENTZ: Yes. He’s still working to get back.

Q. Does the fact that you’re getting close to the last four games, does that play in how quickly to kind of get him back?

COACH FERENTZ: His health will dictate when he gets back. He’s been trying. He’s working hard. He’s been trying. He hasn’t been a go.

Well that won’t help offensive production.

We’re gonna end with the Old Man Yells at Cloud moment that you’ve definitely seen on Twitter. I have some thoughts.

Q. Talked to you last Saturday, turnaround would be more player-led on the leadership of the team to kind of galvanize the group. How have you seen that manifest itself in the days following and how it’s trickled down to the younger players?

COACH FERENTZ: I complimented the guys on Sunday because during the questioning, in some cases interrogation, on Saturday that I experienced and the one good thing about that it dawned on me coming home. I said as bad as today was, it could have been worse because I could have been that guy. I could have been that guy. Had his job and had to act like he did.

Ummm, what? Let’s see this in video form, and then let’s do some film breakdown:

First: BIG Lucille Bluth energy here from Kirk:

Second: Excuse me? Kirk’s total douchebag move here is in response to this great (and true) column by Ohio State beat writer Doug Lesmerises of, who showed up to Kirk’s postgame press conference and asked tough questions. And out of the blue, Kirk says that. Go back and watch it again. Listen to the inflection of his voice and look at the smirk on his face. This man thinks he’s being hilarious and there’ laughter in the room. This was a reporter doing his job, asking completely valid questions, and writing things that literally everyone in the country is writing, and you just decide to randomly take a shot at him. I hope that makes you sleep better tonight, Kirk.

He then goes on to say this:

KIRK FERENTZ: Yeah, it could be a hell of a lot worse. All things aren’t that bad. But one thing I did on Sunday was compliment our players, the way they handled it. It’s not easy to stand up to tough questions after a loss like we did. Our guys handled it with class. Stand up for each other. It’s worth complimenting our guys. I think it’s genuine, it’s who they are. And my experience, and we’ve been through two-loss streaks or three-loss streaks the last four years. We’ve experienced either two or three in all four of the seasons.

‘It’s not easy to stand up to tough questions after a loss’ and here I am, three days later, whining for no reason whatsoever about the tough questions I was asked. Who does he think is sympathizing with him on that answer? You can see him literally sniff and shudder at the thought of...”acting like that guy did” AKA holding people accountable.

Also, lol at him talking about two and three game losing streaks in the last four seasons as if that’s an accomplishment.

We’re watching the Kirk Ferentz era go down in flames one week at a time.