Here’s video from Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz’s news conference on Wednesday.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz addressed injured running back Jordan Canzeri, who had ACL surgery on Wednesday. They’re not turning the page to 2013 with Canzeri. If he’s healthy in five or six months, he might play. They will let his healing be the guide.
Maybe the most interesting bit here is when he discusses incoming freshmen and their eligibility. They never really know when they find out for sure. It could be May or it could be September if the Clearinghouse (and I know it’s not the Clearinghouse anymore but can’t remember what it’s called now) gets involved.
COACH FERENTZ: Welcome to everybody. Give you a quick update. We finished our fifth practice on Saturday. That puts us a third of the way through. So far really pleased with the attitude of the players. They’ve been very attentive, I think they’re learning well. Certainly got a lot to work on, especially on the offensive said of the football. I think their attitude has been good, they’ve really learned well.
We’re making progress. We got a long road in front of us obviously. The good news is we’re not playing anybody this spring so it was something we’ve expected. Been pleased with the progress there.
Really the only negative at this point is obviously Jordan Canzeri, he was MRI’ed after his injury. It was a non‑contact injury. Got an MRI late in the week. It confirmed an ACL situation. So that’s going to be repaired this afternoon. Certainly we’re hopeful that goes real well. We’ll take it day to day as he starts his rehab work and all that type of thing.
His family will be here with him today. We’ll get through that and then start working on the road back from that point.
Then the last thing, Erik Campbell and Reese Morgan will visit with you today. We finished up I believe with Lester last week. Those three groups are probably the groups that have the most work to do right now in terms of our lack of experience, what have you. I think all three groups have done a really good job so far. The backs had a better day Saturday. Certainly Erik has been working hard with the receivers. He’s a veteran receiver coach. Those guys are making progress.
Reese obviously has flipped over to the defensive line. Excellent teacher. Has those guys moving around pretty good this spring, too.
Again, representative of our team, we got a lot of work to do, but we’ll get there. A matter of time, a lot of hard work.
With that I’ll throw it out to any questions.
Q. Timetable on Jordan?
COACH FERENTZ: We’ll play it by ear. Typically it’s five to six months for a guy to get cleared medically. It’s a matter of what they can do physically, they’re out of harm’s way from a medical standpoint, then they have to try to regain, get back to old form.
But he was doing well. That probably puts us around the start of September I would anticipate when he gets cleared, somewhere in that ballpark, give or take a couple weeks. Just a matter of how quickly he can get back.
We won’t go in with a set plan, just see how he goes. Most important is his welfare.
Q. Does everybody just move up?
COACH FERENTZ: Yeah, it’s pretty simple. We don’t have a lot of options right now. It’s a pretty clean group out there. You have Damon out there, then De’Andre, certainly the new guy out there, too. De’Andre has been working there, picking things up. Did a double take, whatever day that was, when Jordan got hurt, I guess it was Thursday. Those guys are doing good. I thought they improved on Saturday.
Q. How do you balance that need for some contact in camp?
COACH FERENTZ: Yeah, it’s hard to practice football sitting in a chair. If we could, it would be a lot easier. The meetings are valuable, but you have to go out and work. We’ve always tried to be very, very careful about how much ‘live contact’ we have, how much live tackling we do. We’ll continue to be cautious there. At some point guys have to be tackled, too. Conversely defensive players have to tackle.
We’ve got a plan that’s mapped out for the spring, X amount of situations that we’ll put them in. We’ll kind of stick to that plan and go from there.
Q. How did the injury happen?
COACH FERENTZ: Making a plant, a cut. He was injured. Maybe it’s ironic. It’s interesting. Most of these injuries tend to be non‑contact. You look at Don (indiscernible), defensive end, pretty rugged position, he gets hurt on a punt return running down the field.
Just one of those things not much you can do about it. It’s part of football, unfortunately.
Q. Do you ever shake your head sometimes, one position, so much attrition?
COACH FERENTZ: I shook my head when Sam got hurt back in October of 2000. I did shake my head going home like, What’s going on here?
It’s football. We had a run of bad luck back then. It was 2000, I guess, bad fortune. I don’t know about bad luck, but bad fortune at that position. Ended up being the strength of our team two years later. Those things come and go, there’s ebb and flow.
If nobody ever got hurt, football would be the greatest game in the world. That’s really the biggest downside to football.
Q. How is installation going? Is that what you’re calling it?
COACH FERENTZ: It is every spring. This has got a new twist to it, more so again offensively. We’re doing some things a little differently on defense, but it’s not a major difference, whereas offense it’s a whole new deal, starting with the terminology, just the way we name things, call things.
So, yeah, there’s been a lot of learning going on. I think the players knew that going in. I think that coupled with the fact that we’re a pretty inexperienced, young football team has raised or heightened their awareness or eagerness to learn. I think overall the concentration has been really good. Not that I really knew what to expect totally, but I think the guys, it’s been a pretty seamless transition for them.
Q. How has that installation changed at all regarding Jordan’s injury?
COACH FERENTZ: We’re going straight ahead. We’re just a little thinner than we were last week.
Q. I think the true freshmen were going to play. Now they’re definitely going to play. Is that accurate?
COACH FERENTZ: Yeah, I think we’re in a position. Basically going back two weeks ago, we really didn’t have anybody proven, experienced at that position. We’ll give everybody an opportunity now that we’re one man down, more so than two weeks ago. It just opens up opportunities for other players.
If there’s good news in it we’ve had a lot of success playing young players at that position. Lester has done a good job with that. We’ll allow those guys to really show what they can do, so…
We’ll come out of spring ball with an idea of where we’re at, a better gauge on where we’re at than certainly we had back at the end of December. Not that that won’t change, too. But basically any first‑year guy that proves that he can help our team, we’ll give him that opportunity.
Q. ACL time arc, it started out as a year. You’re talking five or six months?
COACH FERENTZ: Way back when, too, with my recollection in the ’80s, it wasn’t a sure thing. Nothing is sure in medicine when it comes to the body. It just seemed like a lot of guys didn’t come back the way they left. The one thing that’s changed I think with just the advances made in medical procedure, typically guys come back stronger now. I keep thinking about a guy like Chad Greenway, when he got injured, unfortunately had the same injury his first year in the NFL, as well. But most of those guys will tell you they come back stronger. The repaired knee is usually stronger than the non‑repaired one. There’s a phase that they get cleared medically, then it takes some time after that to really look like they did before they got injured.
But the good news is most guys have come back in great, great shape.
COACH FERENTZ: So far it’s been great. I expect it to get better. Ron Aiken was a veteran line coach. When he left, we transitioned Rick from a grad assistant position on the offensive side of the ball. He was working with Reese to the defensive line. Our thinking was he was a good coach. We felt like he was a good coach. He didn’t have the résumé Ron had or Reese had, but he was a good coach. I think he proved to be a good coach.
I think the big difference here is if you look at the depth and the broadness of Reese’s résumé, starting with what he did as a high school coach, you talk about teaching in its purest form, if you’re not a good teacher, you’re not going to be a good high school coach. Reese demonstrated that. He’s done that with every opportunity he’s had professionally.
I look at him as being much more prepared than Rick was for this challenge. He’s done a great job. He’s already gotten some top people in the field. I know he’ll continue to do that. That’s what all coaches do typically as they move along.
Q. Has Brian helped out with the tight ends?
COACH FERENTZ: A little bit. He’s got things to say, ideas to share, what have you. Dave is really doing a nice job. We expected that, too. Dan Clark did the same thing a couple years ago. Dan had been with us a couple years, another outstanding coach in my mind. Brian is helping out, Greg is helping out. But Dave is doing a really nice job with those guys.
Q. When do you know if all freshmen have qualified? Is that more in May?
COACH FERENTZ: Sometimes we know in September (laughter). Things drag. Bureaucracy, procedures to work through.
As far as we know right now, everything is in good shape. Hopefully no excitement there.
Q. You don’t really have much of a choice at running back, but to have freshmen play, if you had your option, would you sort of redshirt people immediately?
COACH FERENTZ: I think the nature of sports right now, some freshmen running around last Monday night that looked pretty good. They don’t look like freshmen. Things have changed. Things have changed in college sports, not just football, but college sports in general.
I think one thing we’re seeing, it’s probably true in all sports, kids are a little bit more worldly now than they used to be. They come in a little bit better prepared in some instances. I think still in football, if you stay on the perimeter, it’s a little bit easier to make that transition. Guys that are away from the football, a little tougher typical with linemen, Bulaga was the exception there. Just depends on the individual.
Running back, it’s realistic to think a guy can come in here and do a good job. Both young men we recruited, Greg and Barkley, are guys that demonstrated in high school throughout their careers they have that potential.
We’ll give them every opportunity to learn and show that they can play and we’ll keep our fingers crossed. I think in our case right now it’s realistic that both those guys plus the guys we have on our roster will play next year.
Q. Is Barkley scheduled to play in the All‑Star Game?
COACH FERENTZ: I think he is.
Q. Would you discourage that?
COACH FERENTZ: No. We’ve had a lot of guys play in that game. I think it’s a great experience. Two sons play in it. I think it’s just a fantastic opportunity. As a parent, it’s a wonderful thing. I’m going back to the time in the ’80s, every young guy we’ve ever had in our program that played in that had a great experience. A lot of those guys have gone on and had great careers, too. There’s so many good things good about it even outside of the football aspect of it even.
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