John Bohnenkamp, sports editor for The Hawk Eye.
BamaBob talking College Football.
Bob Ryan from SportsSpotlight, the Boston Globe and ESPN and Teddy Greenstein from the Chicago Tribune.
Zubin Mehenti from ESPN.
Ian Casselberry from Awful Announcing on MLB and Bob Ryan from SportsSpotlight.com, the Boston Globe and ESPN.
Marc Morehouse from the Cedar Rapids Gazette.
Ken Miller from Chicago wrapping up Big Ten Media Days and previewing Cubs/Sox at Wrigley.
David Kaplan from Comcast Chicago on the Cubs and Scott Dochterman from the Cedar Rapids Gazette.
Matthew Rudy, Golf Digest senior writer.
Big Ten media days wrapped up on Tuesday from Chicago. Kirk Ferentz spoke to the assembled media along with quarterback CJ Beathard, cornerback Desmond King and linebacker Josey Jewell. Breaking news doesn’t always come up big from media days. Alas, we have found plenty of nuggets to take away as the Hawkeyes get ready for August camp.
Ferentz contract extension
Kirk Ferentz’s current contract runs through the 2020 season. It is standard practice that coaches have 4 years remaining on their contract for recruiting purposes and the ability to sell recruits that you will be the head coach at the institution for the duration of their time on campus. Iowa athletic director was in Chicago as well and talked about an extension and the possibility of a “retirement contract.”
You can read this a number of ways. Iowa could just add to the current contract that he has a continual 1 year roll over extension that keeps 4-5 years always on the contract. Ferentz has worked hard to increase the pay of his assistant coaches and it is a near certainty that will be a part of the contract negotiations. Neal Cornrich, the agent to Ferentz, has done a great job of making great deals. Expect plenty of back and forth before we hear of an extension before the first game of the season.
CJ Beathard’s Health
A season ago, CJ Beathard put up incredible numbers when you consider the pain that he was playing through. Off season sports hernia surgery lead to many questions about how ready Beathard would be for his senior season along with the various aliments that limited him last year. “I’m excited to see what I can do. I know I can do things with my feet…more scrambling and getting out of the pocket that I wasn’t able to do last season,” Beathard said.
Last season Beathard threw for 2809 yards, hitting 61.6% of his passes along with 17 touchdowns against 5 interceptions while rushing for 237 yards and 6 touchdowns. You saw his mobility before the injuries cropped up, including a couple of big scrambles against Iowa State. A healthy CJ Beathard increases the options for the Hawkeyes offensively.
Josey Jewell makes the trip
Iowa linebacker Josey Jewell became the first non-senior to make their way to Chicago for media days in the Kirk Ferentz era. Jewell was named a team captain a season ago and listening to people inside the program talk about him, you can see what kind of leader that he is. Kirk Ferentz called it a no-brainer for the staff to extend the invitation to him to go to Chicago.
The question remains if this will be the final year in Iowa City for the Decorah native. Last season Jewell had 126 tackles including 7.5 for a loss, 4 interceptions and 2.5 sacks. His NFL prospects might not be a sure fire 1st rounder, as middle linebacker isn’t a spot that is a big need position at the next level. One thing we do know, it looks like his slip and slide days are over. The coaches weren’t too pleased seeing this:
Iowa has had big expectations throughout the Ferentz era from the fan base and a couple of times the national media agreed. Iowa was preseason #11 in 2005 after 3 consecutive top 8 finishes nationally and returned Drew Tate, Chad Greenway, Abdul Hodge and a host of others. The team lost early to Iowa State 23-3 and finished the year 7-5. In 2010, Iowa brought back senior quarterback Ricky Stanzi and a huge number of starters on both sides of the ball after winning the Orange Bowl. The Hawkeyes proceded to go from preseason #9 to unranked and 8-5, with a disastrous loss to Minnesota to conclude the year.
The Hawkeyes will be in the preseason top 25 this year, but this doesn’t appear to be a team to rest of the laurels of a 12-0 regular season. Kirk Ferentz has preached that they were 12-2, not 12-0. The losses to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship game and the Rose Bowl to Stanford still linger. Iowa said all the right things going into 2005 and 2010 as well. Finding ways to win the tight games will always be at the forefront for Iowa. The margin of error is so thin for this program. Can you catch the breaks that Iowa got a season ago two years in a row? It’s a big question for Iowa.