IOWA CITY, Iowa – Phil Parker met with the media on Wednesday to discuss the Iowa defense, which entered this week’s bye week ranked third in the Big Ten in scoring defense and fourth in total defense.
Iowa is also 3-0 for the third consecutive season, and for the ninth time in 21 seasons under head coach Kirk Ferentz.
Parker is pleased with his defense for the most part, but says there is plenty of room for improvement.
Iowa has only allowed 31 points in the first three games, but also gave up more than 400 yards against Iowa State.
Parker had high praise for junior defensive end A.J. Epenesa, who led the Big Ten with 10.5 sacks as a reserve last season. Epenesa only hs one sack and one tackle for loss in three games as a starter this season, but he also leads Iowa with five quarterback hurries.
Parker updated the situation with regard to injuries and he talked about what he feels are the worst visitor’s locker rooms in the Big Ten.
Parker was an All-Big Ten defensive back for Michigan State in the 1980s, so he is very familiar with all of the visitor's locker rooms as a current coach, and as a former player.
Parker also talked about the competition at free safety where sophomore walk-on Jack Koerner has started the last two games for the injured Kaevon Merriweather and performed well. Merriweather is expected to return soon, so there should be a hotly contested battle for playing time at free safey.
Parker was part of Kirk Ferentz’s original staff at Iowa, and has served as defensive coordinator since 2012, while also coaching the defensive backs.
All three of Iowa's coordinators ,met with the media on Wednesday, while Kirk Ferentz and players were not made available to the media.
Here are multiple videos from Parker's press conference on Wednesday: