The best way to start your day is right here at Landof10.com as we prepare you for everything you need to know about Iowa sports. We’ll share our Hawkeyes Wake-Up Call here with you at 8:30 a.m (ET) Monday through Friday.
So let’s get to it. Here is your Wake-Up Call for Friday, Oct. 28.
Defending the defense
It’s easy to read the lengthy answer Iowa defensive coordinator Phil Parker gave about rules changes impacting football as a coach and former player being out of touch and yearning for the glory days.
But that would be too dismissive of what Parker said. Yes, he gave the headline worthy quote of football turning into flag football. Just focusing on that overshadows the detailed thought that is in the answer.
Parker was Michigan State’s version of Jack Tatum in the 1980s. He was a hard-hitting safety. Physical football is his thing. The overarching point from his comments centered on the notion that you can never take away all the physicality and potential danger from the sport.
“The game is a violent game,” Parker said. “We all know it before we get here. As soon as we walk on and get into the field, everybody knows that we’re playing tackle football.”
He also lamented how the changes are taking away some of the fear and trepidation pass catchers have.
“We’re allowing receivers down field to catch balls, uncontested, getting hit,” Parker said. “If you blow on them, touch them, you’re going to get a flag. Anything that you do to anybody. You have to be aware, you have to be alert.”
It can be hard to play defense with the modern rules, especially when trying to stop the passing game. The advantage has shifted to the offense. He believes the defensive players are backing off of big hits now, something that never used to happen. (You can debate if that’s good or bad.)
He also mentioned how players are being told to tackle, bringing up the idea that avoiding hits to the upper body could lead to knee or leg injuries.
Parker said he understands the player safety concerns with the sport. His argument focuses in on the inherent dangers in the game.
This was an off the cuff remark, but it was a thought-out one. You can tell this isn’t Parker’s first time chatting on the subject. He had some interesting thoughts, but The Wake-Up Call wonders if he went overboard saying “as soon as you tell me there’s a defenseless player on the field, how come he doesn’t know that we’re playing the game of football?”
That’s not really an argument made in the player safety discussion. People are well aware how dangerous the sport is. No one says the players don’t realize the immediate dangers.
He also tried comparing the player safety discussion to crossing a street in Chicago during rush-hour traffic, saying it’s dangerous to cross the road and people know to be alert.
Here’s the funny thing: When it comes to crossing the street, there are safety measures in place. Pedestrian crosswalks are tied into stop lights to ensure people can cross without harm. Player safety measures in football are trying to ensure the same thing.
Football is changing. The more research and information that comes out, the more it will happen. But one thing will remain the same: The essence of the game Parker loves is still going to be there.
Overpaid or underpaid?
Rivals.com’s Mike Farrell took a look at if the highest paid coaches in the country are overpaid or underpaid. Of course, he chimed in on Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz.
It’s no surprise Farrell said Ferentz was overpaid. It seems to be the national consensus. The Wake-Up Call believes all FBS head coaches are overpaid, but it also believes in letting the market dictate pay. If a football coach can convince a university to pay him $4 million (or more) good for him, and, most importantly, his agent.
Farrell also brought up the no-visits policy and decommitted recruit Eno Benjamin. He believes it’s a going to harm a program like Iowa in the long term. In case you missed it, The Wake-Up Call touched on it earlier this week.
Finally getting his due
Iowa redshirt freshman defensive end Anthony Nelson was named one of the five most underrated players in the Big Ten by Pro Football Focus on Thursday.
Nelson is tied for the team lead with five tackles for loss and four sacks. It’s surprising that PFF rates him the second-best edge defender and second-best edge rusher on pass plays this season.
This is just further proof that Nelson is putting together one of the best seasons for an Iowa defender and that he could be the next great Hawkeyes defensive end.
- Catching up with former Iowa quarterback Chuck Long.
- Why isn’t lowa linebacker Anthony Mends playing?
- Which presidential candidate did Ferentz donate money to?