A week ago, I posted my opinion about media days, in that it's primarily for the people out of state, or those who don't follow the program closely in the off-season. For those of us that do follow closely during the off-season, particularly if we live in-state, we do not learn much.
2009's version of Media Days was not a whole lot different in that regard although some of the comments by Austen Arnaud and Nate Frere were interesting.
From The Des Moines Register:
Austen Arnaud on coaching changes:
"You hear about guys walking around like they were on egg shells, but right now Coach Rhoads will be in the locker room, hanging out, just chillin'. That's the cool thing about him. He's down for us, and we're down for him."
Nate Frere opened up more on the topic:
"Coach Rhoads is a people person, just like Dan McCarney was. You can tell he cares - he puts the effort forward to get to know you and your family."
"We kind of got burned on the last deal. When (Chizik) says that he's staying for sure, and then you find out through the media that he took another trip to see another school about another job, and then having to hear about it through the media that he accepted it, and then he calls a team meeting after the fact."
Obviously the main thing to take away is that the players feared Chizik, and are more comfortable around Rhoads. My own opinion regarding football coaching is that this is both a good thing and a bad thing. Often times with this style of coaching, the players love you and will listen to what you say right away, but then that distinction between coach and player gets a little bit blurred. Often times later on, the discipline wanes because the players don't fear the coach. In my opinion, that was a big reason why McCarney was asked to leave.
I think with football, a player needs to fear the coach a little bit. There needs to be a mutual respect without a doubt, but the player also needs to stay sharp, disciplined, and fear the coach because you respect him so much. At the same time, if you only fear the players, they will eventually lose respect for you, and that is not good either. Only time will tell Rhoads' can balance these contrasting styles.
This upcoming season, the players are going to play with a chip on their shoulder. It's clear they want to prove a lot of people wrong, and that they are still hurt by Chizik leaving the program. Combined with Rhoads' likeability, there are going to be a lot of recharged players. I just hope in the future years, Rhoads will be able to sustain this attitude and continue to motivate his players.
Here's what else we "learned" from Media Day:
- We are in better shape now than we were in 1995 when Rhoads came on as an assistant
- Coach Rhoads believe you have to love Iowa State to do a good job here and he loves Iowa State
- The new offense isn't going to be 100% passing, as we play games in weather that is condusive to running the ball
- Players will have to be in good physical and mental condition to run the no-huddle offense
- The AP doesn't think we have any All-Big 12 Caliber Players
- The AP thinks we will finish last in the Big 12 North
If anything above is new to you, then you learned something from Media Day!
Overall, the Cyclones' visit was short as they arrived late to Dallas due to the weather, and I believe they left early to catch the returning flight the same day back to Ames.
If you are looking to read specific quotes or find more details, check out The Big 12 Site, or www.cyclones.com.
Practice starts a week from tomorrow on August 5th. We're almost a month away from our first game as well. Although Media Days are not as exciting as the media often proclaims them to be, I will admit that it is fun and exciting to know that football season is right around the corner!