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1. On to Cincinnati
— If you follow the NFL closely, you're probably aware of Bill Belichick's dismissive nature with media and press conferences. Here's a wonderful example of that from the Patriots' pre-Cincinnati Bengals news conference.
Q: Your team has been successful for so long. How difficult is it to adjust to the adversity of Monday night's game and get back on track? This team and organization hasn't had these sort of issues in the past.
BB: We're on to Cincinnati.
Q: You mentioned Tom Brady's age at the draft –
BB: We're on to Cincinnati.
Q: Do you think having a 37-year old –
BB: We're on to Cincinnati. It's nothing about the past, nothing about the future. Right now we're preparing for Cincinnati.
Q: Do you think the talent you have here is good?
BB: We're getting ready for Cincinnati.
Q: Do you think you've done enough to help Tom Brady?
BB: We're getting ready for Cincinnati. That's what we're doing.
OK, I can see Belichick's point here. These are questions about Tom Brady. I would probably dismiss them, too.
I think we kind of got Belichick'd today. And, really, what other voice would you want from your head coach?
Sure, I'd love it if we were taking on the inside and given a complete tour of all the foibles from Minnesota. I think I've got a good handle on those, but, sure, you always want to examine.
It seems like the outside, media included, is looking for some act of contrition from Kirk Ferentz. It's never coming. It didn't today and it's never coming. Would you really want one? Seriously? You want a coach to wave the white flag?
Don't get me wrong, it'd make for great theater from my end. I'm not sure that's what you guy really want from your head coach or your players.
2. Team meeting time
— The defense had a all-defense meeting Monday. It didn't sound like there was a lot of preaching. The player just watched Illinois film and tried to get on the same page.
The defense needed that out of Minnesota.
3. Jet sweep blues
— The play consistently beat the Hawkeyes. They didn't see it coming. It was the product of Jerry Kill and staff having two weeks to prepare.
Ferentz was asked about Iowa facing four teams coming off a bye week. He didn't cry about it. Sure, it's a factor, but the schedule is what the schedule is.
4. My weekly dumb question with Jake Rudock
— I asked about last week's interception. I asked how much he hated that throw. He, calmy, said I don't like any of my interceptions. Touche, sir, touche. I wouldn't read anything more into that than dumb question. At least, I didn't. Jake is an intense competitor. Watch how he speaks. I really can't convey it with words.
In the world he lives in, you don't survive if you don't hate losing and almost take it personally.
5. Watch the Ray Hamilton interview
— He's a senior tight end. His football biological clock is ticking away. Just three weeks left as a Hawkeye. He's trying to find the right note to hit. He's also being very smart about what he says and how he says it. Smart kid, a lot going on there.
6. Spearman returns
— Ferentz said on the Big Ten teleconference that the race at weakside linebacker was really close between Reggie Spearman and Josey Jewell. Jewell suffered a broken hand before the opener and sat out a couple of weeks, opening the door to Spearman, who is coming off a two-game suspension after an OWI arrest the Oct. 25 weekend (Iowa's second bye week).
Jewell will start and Spearman will work in.
7. Listen to the Bo Bower interview
— There will be a podcast later today with all interviews from Tuesday. Freshman LB Bo Bower had some interesting stuff to say about learning on the job and how his football IQ has grown in these 10 weeks.
— Not schematic, but personnel. I admit, I've been looking at a few positions and wondering if they were going to come. I don't see any happening, not in week 10. You guys can guess at which positions.
One of them isn't running back. I have been wondering about usage, a sort of counterpunch for when Mark Weisman is stopped. We've seen Akrum Wadley. I wonder if there's more to Wadley. He cant' fumble, though.
9. Speaking of Iowa RB
— Roll call of running backs in the Big Ten West: Melvin Gordon, Ameer Abdullah, David Cobb, Josh Ferguson, Justin Jackson and Mark Weisman.
Is this going to be a running back's division? I think it is. Look at how these teams are traditionally built. Minnesota's Jerry Kill is working toward having a physical team. Purdue's Darrell Hazell has moved the Boilermakers that direction.
If you're going to live in the West, you're going to need a star-caliber running back. You just are. Yes, Iowa can still have a say against the West's best RBs (Abdullah, Gordon), but Iowa hasn't settled on one back this year and it's showing.
10. Getting in guys' grills
— Senior safety John Lowdermilk had words with teammates on the field last week. He said he shouldn't have done that, but he also said that he didn't apologize, that players know where they stand with him.
Fact is, it's football and sometimes yelling happens. It's where you go with it, especially in a program like Iowa's. There aren't a lot of shoulders to cry on. That's probably true for 99 percent of teams, at least the good ones.
On to Champaign.
— Injury news. LB Travis Perry is out with an ankle injury for at least four weeks. Really short answer on inconsistency. Getting beaten on the perimeter of the defense. On specific defensive techniques.
'It's not a video game.'
Where's the teams' focus?
— Ferentz said the door isn't shut on recruiting another punter. Didn't say scholarship, but did say recruiting. It's just been a bad injury season for RB Jordan Canzeri.
At 2:06 is Ferentz's answer on playing four teams coming off bye weeks.
Expect a huge amount of blitzes from Illinois.
Run defense against jet sweep.
— The film and evaluation of the Minnesota game. They didn't just burn it and move on. Consistency came up again. 'There are no magic answers.'
On Illinois receivers Allison and Dudek.
Seniors and veteran players and their say in this.
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