June 25, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa football team hasn't even run half of the 2013 race, but UI head coach Kirk Ferentz likes the early happenings taking place inside the Hayden Fry Football Complex.
"Every challenge that has been in front of them, they've handled it really well," Ferentz said Tuesday while meeting with reporters inside the Iowa Football Indoor Practice Facility. "This is a critical stage what they do in the summer months.
"If we're not doing what we should be in the summer that will show in August and if we don't maximize August, it's not fair for us to think we'll do a better job in those circumstances that are controllable and uncontrollable. For us to do that, it requires a great preseason, which requires a great summer, and you have to have a great spring."
Coming off a 4-8 season in 2012, Ferentz has seen positive attitudes and actions from the Hawkeye student-athletes. That started immediately following the team's season-ending loss to Nebraska on Black Friday.
"All three are working hard right now to do what they can to enhance their opportunities or chances to compete well. It will get decided during the course of camp, and my guess is the picture will become clearer as we go along."
UI head coach Kirk Ferentz on the quarterback race
"What I have witnessed has been good, but equally important is what I don't witness," he said. "What goes on behind the scenes. Actions have a way of giving you an indication of if people are thinking right or not, and so far so good."
Ferentz doesn't put much stock in preseason expectations, whether his team is being tabbed at the top or bottom of the Big Ten standings.
"It really doesn't matter how you go into a season, whether you're expected to do a lot or expected to do little," he said. "It doesn't have anything to do with what the season is going to be. It's like losing a game. You can sit around and mope and believe what everybody is saying about you or you can go back to work, and that's usually more productive.
"Let's focus on the things that are correctable. That's what you want to focus on. Going back to work and doing what you can to ensure that those things are done better next year."
"All three are working hard right now to do what they can to enhance their opportunities or chances to compete well," he said. "It will get decided during the course of camp, and my guess is the picture will become clearer as we go along."
After playing through injury-after-injury in the offensive backfield in 2012, Ferentz says the running back depth this season should be an asset. Along with Mark Weisman, Damon Bullock and the return of Jordan Canzeri, the Hawkeyes also will have a healthy Barkley Hill and Michael Malloy added to the fold, along with three incoming running back recruits.
"We have an opportunity to have a little more depth and that will be a real help to us," he said. "That was something that made it a challenge last year."
Iowa Football Notes