Vikings QB Sage Rosenfels addresses Brett Favre speculation

June 25, 2009
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sage Rosenfels works with young football players at Tim Dwight Football Camp at Iowa City High on Thursday, June 25, 2009, in Iowa City.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sage Rosenfels works with young football players at Tim Dwight Football Camp at Iowa City High on Thursday, June 25, 2009, in Iowa City.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sage Rosenfels almost seems resigned that his team eventually will sign longtime quarterback Brett Favre.

“Well, it hasn’t happened yet, so I don’t know how I’m going to feel at the time,” Rosenfels said Thursday morning at the annual Tim Dwight Football Camp at Iowa City High.

There’s nothing I can do about it. (The Favre speculation is) not helping me get better for the season, so it’s something I try not to pay attention to. It’s not going to help me throw any touchdown passes this year, by me reading the paper every day or being on the Internet every day. I’m just focused on getting myself ready the best I can for the season.”

Minnesota traded a fourth-round pick to Houston this year for Rosenfels, who was expected to compete with Tarvaris Jackson for the Vikings’ starting quarterback position. Speculation has swirled this offseason that Minnesota will sign Favre, which would shift Rosenfels back to reserve status.

 “Tavaris and I — as of right now — are competing for the starting job, and I’m excited for that,” Rosenfels said. “Obviously, I feel like I’m capable of meeting that challenge.”

Rosenfels, a Maquoketa native and former Iowa State quarterback, said Vikings coaches briefly addressed the Favre rumors with the team’s quarterbacks this offseason.

“Just a small discussion that Coach (Brad) Childress discussed with all four quarterbacks,” Rosenfels said. ” But it lasted about a minute and nothing significant.

“There’s only so many things I can control, and I can’t control what coaches and GMs are always doing. All I can really control is how I perform when I’m out there, and how the group around me performs when they’re out there. So that’s my focus is and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Rosenfels, who’s entering his ninth NFL season, has started five games in each of the last two seasons for Houston. Last year he threw for 1,431 yards, six touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He lost two fumbles as well. In 2007, he played in nine games throwing for 1,684 yards, 15 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He has started 12 games in his career and thrown for 4,156 yards, 30 touchdowns and 29 interceptions. The Vikings are his fourth NFL team.

Rosenfels often travels between Minneapolis and Houston, where he’s selling his home, and Iowa. It’s kept him busy this offsesason.

“I’ve been back and forth to Iowa a lot and flying back to Houston to see my family a lot,” he said. “It doesn’t give you much time to sit around and mess around online all afternoon. That’s actually a good thing. Keeping busy has been a good thing for me.”

 


Olsen, Brodell look for an NFL shot

April 24, 2009
Iowa offensive lineman Seth Olsen talks to reporters during Iowa's annual football media day, Aug. 4, 2008, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Iowa offensive lineman Seth Olsen talks to reporters during Iowa's annual football media day, Aug. 4, 2008, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

IOWA CITY — Dan Shonka describes former Iowa guard Seth Olsen as a finished product.

That doesn’t mean Olsen, 23, is ready to pound the likes of NFL defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth anytime soon. But Olsen can step into just about any offensive scheme and understand what the offensive line coach is talking about.

“Olsen can put his hat on you,” said Shonka, general manager and national scout for Ourlads Scouting Services, LLC. “He can block in the zone-blocking scheme, he can run his feet into you, he’s smart, he’s aggressive, he does a lot of good things.”

“We like him, he’s liked by a lot of offensive line coaches. He’s definitely a guy with ability to block in zone schemes, he’s valued for that and his understanding of zone blocking schemes.”

Shonka ranks Olsen (6 feet, 4 1/2 inches, 306 pounds) as the 11th-best guard in this draft. Shonka said has got “pretty good first-step quickness” but “he could use a little more body strength.” Shonka projects Olsen as a fifth-round pick going to Indianapolis.

Olsen was voted a first-team all-Big Ten offensive lineman by both the league’s coaches and media outlets. He was named to four different All-American squads, including first-team by Rivals.com.

Former Iowa wide receiver Andy Brodell (6-3, 200) also is vying to make an NFL club. Shonka said Brodell reminds him of former Iowa receiver Kevin Kasper, who covered and returned kicks for several different NFL teams.

“If (Brodell) could go down and make tackles on special teams, coverage teams and be your fourth or fifth receiver, he’ll have a shot at making a ballclub,” Shonka said. “A lot of times you can’t find that third, fourth or fifth receiver that can make a tackle on a special team.”

Brodell’s top performance came in the 2006 Alamo Bowl, where he caught six passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns. But in 2007, he suffered a torn hamstring against Wisconsin and missed the final eight games.

Brodell totaled 961 yards last year. He caught 36 passes for 533 yards and four touchdowns. He was named the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week after an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown clinched Iowa’s 17-5 win against Iowa State.


Brands talks Sanderson, Iowa State vacancy; Lickliter talks potential recruits

April 22, 2009

Iowa wrestling coach Tom Brands met with reporters for a few minutes before the annual Linn County I-Club banquet Wednesday night. He admitted he knew more about the vacant Iowa State opening than he would tell reporters, but he talked about the impact of former Iowa State Coach Cael Sanderson taking over at Penn State.

 “He’s doing what he feels he needs to do to win championships for his family,” Brands said. “Whether it makes sense to other people, it doesn’t matter. He’s making the call, and Penn State is certainly a program to be worthy of pursuing. No doubt.Here’s the video:

“Specifically Penn State, the last time it was open was 11 years ago. They (jobs) don’t come around very often. He looked at it, analyzed it and made the call. I’m speaking for him.”

Brands said he won’t change his approach of facing Penn State just because of Sanderson.

 “I think the challenge is always great,” Brands said. “(Sanderson) certainly boosts their program, but we have to get ready for them just the same. Now they’ve got a new coach at Penn State, and we’ll be prepared like we always are for everything.”

There have been no discussions, but count on the Iowa-Penn State dual in Iowa City next winter costing fans a few more bucks as the school’s designated premium wrestling meet.

 

Iowa Coach Todd Lickliter left the event early to attend an open gym on the final night he could see prospects. Iowa officially signed Vincennes junior-college forward Devon Archie on Wednesday and can offer up to three more scholarships for the fall, but only “if it’s the right guy,” Lickliter said.

“We’ve looked at both the post players, and we’ve also looked at combo guard-perimeters and somebody that can complement,” Lickliter said. “I really believe we have positions filled right now. But we need is some added depth. And I’m not talking about added depth as far as positions and how many minutes you play or if you start or whatever. I’m talking about matching skills.

“We’ve got skills that complement one another, and we could use another guy that could fit in well. We’ve seen a few, and we’re comfortable with more than one guy that I’ve seen. It’s still a process, and we just have to make sure that it’s the right move.”

Lickliter said the school has no visits scheduled with potential recruits. He’d like to add walk-on players this fall as well. Iowa now has added four new scholarship players to this fall’s team.


Iowa FB revenue comparisons with Iowa State, Notre Dame, Big Ten

March 1, 2009

Iowa ranks fifth among Big Ten schools in football revenue for the 2008 fiscal year (July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008), according to figures supplied to the U.S. Department of Education.

These numbers differ slightly from those submitted to the NCAA, but most of the intangibles are the same. This list also includes football expenses for 2008 as well as recruiting expenses for men’s sports. The Education Department doesn’t supply specific recruiting expenses, but a good rule of thumb is that football recruiting expenses take up between 40 and 55 percent of all men’s recruiting expenses (except Notre Dame, which is much higher).

I also supplied a list of 10 other colleges to compare expenses from Big Ten schools with those of similar conferences and Notre Dame.

Ohio State
FB Revenue — $65,162,179
FB Expenses — $33,063,248
Men’s recruiting expenses — $794,284
 
Michigan
FB Revenue — $57,463,603
FB Expenses — $16,785,667
Men’s recruiting expenses — $929,383
 
Penn State
FB Revenue — $53,766,038
FB Expenses — $16,537,705
Men’s recruiting expenses — $534,741 
 
Michigan State
FB Revenue — $43,826,312
FB Expenses — $17,910,444
Men’s recruiting expenses — $744,715
 
Iowa
FB Revenue — $37,998,729
FB Expenses — $26,166,182
Men’s recruiting expenses — $637,685 
 
Wisconsin
FB Revenue — $37,733,698
FB Expenses — $22,979,031
Men’s recruiting expenses — $452,958
 
Illinois
FB Revenue — $25,370,427
FB Expenses — $12,210,666
Men’s recruiting expenses — $862,681
 
Minnesota
FB Revenue — $24,275,876
FB Expenses — $9,306,397
Men’s recruiting expenses — $866,117
 
Indiana
FB Revenue — $21,774,074
FB Expenses — $12,493,144
Men’s recruiting expenses — $633,002
 
Purdue
FB Revenue — $21,641,794
FB Expenses — $14,501,436
Men’s recruiting expenses — $810,016 
 
Northwestern
FB Revenue — $21,080,405
FB Expenses — $12,113,946
Men’s recruiting expenses — $482,588
 
OTHERS
 
Georgia
FB Revenue — $67,053,051
FB Expenses — $19,073,103
Men’s recruiting expenses — $858,183
 
Notre Dame
FB Revenue — $59,774,851
FB Expenses — $16,589,924
Men’s recruiting expenses — $1,793,517
 
Alabama
FB Revenue — $57,370,617
FB Expenses — $16,154,793
Men’s recruiting expenses — $654,253 
 
Nebraska
FB Revenue — $49,076,861
FB Expenses — $18,797,860
Men’s recruiting expenses — $755,993
 
Washington 
FB Revenue — $37,092,611
FB Expenses — $17,202,549
Men’s recruiting expenses — $529,929 
 
Virginia
FB Revenue — $30,297,214
FB Expenses — $18,010,178
Men’s recruiting expenses — $569,738
 
Georgia Tech
FB Revenue — $29,353,239
FB Expenses — $14,199,958
Men’s recruiting expenses — $1,040,710
 
West Virginia
FB Revenue — $27,552,053
FB Expenses — $17,778,686
Men’s recruiting expenses — $1,066,916
 
Oregon
FB Revenue — $24,493,155
FB Expenses — $16,293,303
Men’s recruiting expenses — $903,462

Iowa State

FB Revenue — $17,404,826
FB Expenses — $9,833,299
Men’s recruiting expenses — $882,283

Ferentz said WHAT about Iowa State?

September 12, 2008

Friday morning. Sheraton Hotel. Kirk Ferentz and 400 Hawkeyes drinking 90-proof Hawkeye kool-aid with no chaser.

And Kirk Ferentz said the 13-point spread favoring Iowa is ridiculous. “They’re delusional and don’t understand the series.”

Ferentz gave credit to Iowa State Coach Gene Chizik and the Cyclones and didn’t say anything inflamatory.

“Iowa State is a much-improved team from a year ago. They look better physically and are certainly more comfortable in the second year under Coach Chizik. Offensively they’re playing with 2 quarterbacks, and they rotate them in. They’re both good throwers, accurate throwers, but they bring that extra dimension of being excellent runners.

“Defensively, they’re very aggressive. I think probably one of the biggest things is that they’ve improved in special teams. A big part of their team is very opportunistic.

“We have to raise our level of play. We know that.

As for news, linebacker Jeff Tarpinian (hamstring) and tight end Mike Sabers (bad ankle sprain) won’t play, Ferentz said. Tight end Tony Moeaki (broken left foot) will play in a limited role. Moeaki hasn’t played since Iowa’s fourth game last year.

Other Ferentz quips:

“I don’t know what caused the separation of the series back in 1934 but I think absolutely tremendous that it started back up,” Ferentz said. “I know one thing for sure is that it’s been competitive the last nine or 10 years.”

“I’m not close to a lot of people in the media, and that might not be a surprise to you,” Ferentz said. “Just about everybody in the media has been fantastic save for one or two.”

“We’re very pleased with the start of the season,” Ferentz said. “There are lot of positives and the most obvious is that the players are showing up at the stadium ready to go.”

“I’m happy to report that his record is better than mine,” Ferentz said about Rabbi Portman giving an invocation during big games.

Bob Brooks was the emcee and received a standing ovation. “Save that for the head coach,” Brooksie said.

“I have a long lineage of trying to figure out that the Cedar Rapids Gazette is not an afternoon paper,” Brooksie said when explaining he wasn’t a morning person.

When I-Club President Gary Upchurch said he paid $48 for a student season-ticket, Brooksie retorted, “Do you know what I paid in 1939? I paid a quarter … That was for the season.”

Brooksie talked about Ferentz’s weekly press conference and Ferentz’s way of saying little.

“He’s making progress,” Brooksie recalled when Ferentz is asked about a player.  “I don’t know whether that’s academic progress or progress.

“You ask about a game situation, and you get a sometimes yes, sometimes no.”

Brooksie said the real information comes from the post-press conference press conference. “When he pressured up against the wall and press from all corners of the state figures he he’s going to have a special moment, Kirk I admire you for that. I’ll guarantee it Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes would never never done it.”

Brooksie talked about the Iowa-Iowa State series restarting in 1977. By restarting the series after 44 years, “Iowa became more of a Hawkeye state,” he said.


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