IOWA CITY, Iowa – In his first press conference since January’s bowl game, Phil Parker didn’t have an deep answer for what happened to his defense. The coordinator was direct and to the point.
"Obviously, we didn’t show up," he said.
Tennessee shredded the Hawkeye defense in a 45-28 mauling. The Vols rumbled for 283 yards on the ground.
"I think obviously we’re prepared, and there’s times when we’re in position to make plays and we didn’t make it. And then just tumbled there," Parker said.
Parker feels good about progress made by his unit this spring. They’ll wrap up the session Saturday in the spring game at Kinnick Stadium.
"I think guys are more involved. I think the players are more involved and in tune to what they have to do. I don’t think you change the way you coach. I’m not going to change the way I did it, my approach. You always look the a your scheme. Is your scheme good? What’s the breakdown? There are some things we’ve got to fix," he said.
Parker said he’s pleased with the advancements made by his young linebackers – Bo Bower, Josey Jewell and Ben Niemann. The second level took it’s lumps a year ago.
"It really comes down to basics. Football is a simple game. You have to make sure you get lined up, you get a good stance, your linemen, your keys. And you go through your read progression. The most important thing to me is effort to the ball," he said.
Here’s what else we learned Wednesday from Parker’s Press Conference:
-Parker said that if Iowa played a game tomorrow, Miles Taylor would start at strong safety. He added that Brandon Snyder is close on his heels and there’s a long way to go. He also mentioned Anthony Gair as being in the mix.
-Maurice Fleming has lifted his game, Parker said. He, along with starters Desmond King and Greg Mabin, sit well ahead of the other cornerbacks.
-Free Safety Jordan Lomax is the unquestioned leader of the back seven, Parker said.