Coles on Fire. Kirk Ferentz, Greg Davis and Phil Parker met with the media Monday. Here's what we learned (videos courtesy of Hawkeye Report if you want to watch it).
- Friday's much-touted closed scrimmage resulted in some depth chart movement. Somewhat surprisingly, senior Cole Fisher has overtaken Bo Bower at weakside linebacker. Left tackle remains an open question, with listed starter Boone Myers splitting time with Cole Croston and right tackle Ike Boettger. "[Myers] has done a lot of good things...it didn't show up that Saturday," Ferentz said of his besieged left tackle. Likewise, offensive guard is open, with returning starters Sean Welsh and Jordan Walsh under pressure from Eric Simmons and (possibly) freshman James Daniels.
- Daniels and Iowa's three freshman wide receivers (Jerminic Smith, Emmanuel Ogwo and Adrian Falconer) have a chance to avoid a redshirt and play, with safety Michael Ojemudia and linebacker recruits potentially in the mix, mostly on special teams.
- Running back might be a two-headed monster after all. Ferentz said they were "really pleased" with both LeShun Daniels and Jordan Canzeri. Sophomore (and recently converted wide receiver) Derrick Mitchell might well be the third-string halfback at the moment.
- There are SO MANY Ferentz moments in this: A reference to the 1978 Notre Dame-Pitt game while discussing the third quarterback, a shout out to former Mizzou head coach Woody Widenhofer, who had proposed a preseason game in the 1980s, and an explanation of why he finally OK'd alternate uniforms for this season: "It's a new era, a new millennium." And yes, this stuff generally drives us insane, but the Kirk Ferentz PR offensive this August has been remarkably effective. He actually said, "if everyone's happy, I'm happy." HE WAS SMILING. HE SEEMS ALMOST PLEASANT.
- Defensive depth is "the best we've had for a while." The secondary in particular, with eight players who can legitimately contribute, looks strong.
- Parker sounds confident in linebacker when compared to last year, but he points out that they have likely picked up on tendencies in Iowa's offense over the course of the last three weeks and everything can change when they face new opponents.
- Ferentz said a preseason game would be "terrific." Here was the face Parker made when he was asked the same question (Note: The questioner, Marc Morehouse, was in the tan jacket to the left of the picture).
What we couldn't see in the shot is Phil Parker making a wanking gesture while sarcastically saying, "Yeah, Morehouse. Great fucking idea."
- Friday night's performance was "much more efficient" than during Kids' Day, which is good.
- Wide receiver Riley McCarron (EDIT: or maybe Matt VandeBerg, which makes even less sense) is nicknamed "Meerkat," and the nickname is prominent enough that the offensive coordinator is dropping it during press conferences like everyone already knows it. Either I've missed this completely over the last few years or Davis is posting at Hawkeye Lounge under the name GettinHorizontal69.
- Davis was far less noncommittal (more committal?) about Boone Myers at left tackle. He has Croston as the backup at both tackle positions.
- The second question was about fullbacks, because Iowa is gonna Iowa.
About those jerseys. I'm not sure what to make of the "unveiling" video for Iowa's blackout jerseys, to be used against Minnesota.
The team's reaction was less "OH SHIT THOSE ARE AWESOME" and more "This Porky's movie you can't stop talking about is pretty funny, Coach, but it feels sort of dated." And this is why that's a bit disconcerting: The last time Iowa did alternates, they looked less like a Nike creation than something the players' moms designed and sewed themselves. Plus, Ferentz has said that the alternates for 2015 were created by some youngsters within Iowa's football organization, which is still probably better than letting Adidas do it.
Iowa is officially unveiling the uniforms Friday. Stay tuned.
Fran McCaffery talked briefly with the press at the Chris Street memorial golf tournament Monday. The Cliff Notes: Isiah Moss is enrolled and ready for this season, Junior college transfer Dale Jones is the real deal, and walk-on Nicholas Baer is going to get some minutes at center.
ESPN's Mitch Sherman says Iowa's best-case scenario includes a loss at Northwestern (huh?) and worst-case scenario has the Hawkeyes finishing 4-8 (yeah).
America Needs Mullets.