Jul 23, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Iowa State Cyclones head coach Paul Rhoads speaks to the media during the Big 12 media days at the Omni Dallas Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Here’s some highlights of Iowa State football head coach Paul Rhoads’ conference at the Big 12 media days on Tuesday.
Rhoads dives in immediately to explain that this team will have the least amount of returning starters, giving them an even steeper hill to climb in a very tough Big 12. But there are no excuses, and he talks about his confidence in Sam Richardson and the depth at running back.
"“We feel we have a returning starter in quarterback Sam Richardson,” Rhoads said. “Our running back position is the deepest it’s ever been and has, what we feel, pretty good quality.”"
The head coach highlights the linebackers and safety positions on defense, which will be the most experienced part of the group heading into the season.
Not only will the Cyclones’ strength of schedule be in the top ten again, but it won’t feel normal in the first part of the season. Thanks to national television, Iowa State has just two games in September and they have two back-to-back Thursday night games. Rhoads weighs in on the positives and negatives.
"“The national exposure without a doubt is fantastic for our university, for recruiting efforts, and so forth,” Rhoads said. “Here in 2013, it’s what it is. There’s some trade in there, and you’ve got to trade the good for the bad, so to speak, but it is going to create challenges.”"
It’s clear that Cyclones fans will have to move on from A.J. Klein and Jake Knott. Despite how much they contributed to the team and helped them succeed as much as they did, Rhoads reminds us they simply aren’t replaceable.You can’t. I mean,
"“[Y]ou don’t replace those guys,” Rhoads said. “You don’t replace them from a leadership position. You don’t replace them from what they’ve meant to our era of Iowa State football. They came in that very first fall, they played right away, and they progressed to be the guys that they were and will be remembered to be.”"
Quotes provided by Big 12 Sports’ transcript.