Embattled Iowa Offensive Coordinator Brian Ferentz, in charge of major college football’s least effective offense, says he would never surrender. He hasn’t considered stepping down.

Ferentz also defended his decision to stay with quarterback Spencer Petras, despite Petras ranking dead last among quarterbacks who have taken 200 or more snaps. Back-up Alex Padilla is 3-0 as a starter (against Big Ten competition), but hasn’t played this season. Padilla is also more mobile, and Iowa’s offensive line has struggled to protect the immobile Petras.

Iowa is 3-3 on the season overall, but the defense has held five of its six opponents to 10 points or fewer. In the past calendar year, Iowa has scored seven points or fewer six times.

Hawkeyes have a bye week before playing at Ohio State. That won’t be easy.

Here’s everything Brian Ferentz said Wednesday, courtesy of ASAP Sports.

BRIAN FERENTZ: Thank you, guys, for being here. I appreciate, as always, the opportunity to meet with you guys in person, for the first time since camp.

I just want to start with some general thoughts. I think, obviously right now we’re all disappointed and frustrated by our performance offensively on Saturdays, but I’m proud of the preparation and the effort the guys have put in on a weekly basis, seven days a week. The effort and the preparation has been excellent.

The reality is right now the production certainly hasn’t been what we expected, and it’s not meeting our level of expectation, most importantly.

I felt like we had seen consistent improvement going into the Illinois week, but unfortunately, I think we took a step back that night over in Champaign.

The positive is we’ve got an opportunity to come back to work this week. Guys have come in with an eye on the future, the eyes on the horizon, and really a renewed focus on improving. I think for us right now it’s very important that we’re worried about improving and executing at all 11 spots. We all have ownership in this right now.

Making the makeables, doing our job. Just the simple basics.

Then, I think we all understand and need to understand that we need to take advantage of the opportunities that are in front of us. We have six football games remaining in the season, and the reality is we all need to do better, and the good news is we’re committed to doing that moving forward here.

I would like to open up to questions, and who wants to start?

Q. I could recite the stats and the rankings, but you probably already know them, and it doesn’t really matter anyway. Is there a clear source of where the offensive issues start? Is it positional? Is it schematic? Is it you? Is it the play-calling? Is it your father? Is there one area you think you’re looking at saying this is where the root of all this is?

BRIAN FERENTZ: I think, unfortunately, we don’t have a root cause. I think we have to look at everything. The reality is, as I just said, we all have ownership in it.

As simple as it sounds, the basic are the basics. If you just think about offensive football our job is to possess, advance, and score the football.

You have to start by possessing the football, so you look at turnovers to start. Certainly in the first two weeks those were huge problems in those games, right? We turned the ball over four times in two games. Every single one of those turnovers either took points off the board for us or put points on the board for our opponents.

I felt like we had addressed that, and I’ve seen marked improvement in that regard. The next thing you look at offensively is first down production. Are you staying on schedule? Are you staying ahead of the chains in those manageable situations? Are you being efficient on first down?

Right now the reality is not consistently, which then leads to critical downs. So now you’re going to need to stay on the field on third down or fourth down. Not doing that as well as we need to do and as consistently as we can.

Then on top of it, right, that’s going to limit your ability to move the ball down the field. Are you creating those red zone possessions? When you are, are you scoring touchdowns? Are you scoring points? That hasn’t been consistent enough.

If you are not doing any of those things, then you better be banking on explosive plays. At times that’s gotten us out of trouble. We’ve hit some big plays that have gotten us out of bad situations, but that’s not the kind of world you want to be living in on a consistent basis.

I look at all 11 spots. I look at the coaching. I look at the scheme. I look at everything, and I say we have to do better in all regards. How do we put our players in better positions to be successful in those opportunities, right?

How do we execute better when we have those opportunities, and how do we make the makeable plays at the end of the day?

Q. You had nine months to try to improve this offense after not so good numbers last year. Why do you think it’s since then regressed for all the ways that you have just pointed out?

BRIAN FERENTZ: Sure. The hard part is, like I just told Scott, it’s very difficult to pinpoint one issue. When we’ve been good in certain places, we haven’t executed in other places. The reality of offensive football is it takes 11 guys. It takes 11 guys, and then it’s more than that if you include the play caller, right?

We all have a hand in it. The clear explanation or clear issue, clear root, I wish I could give you one. The reality is we’ve got a lot of issues that we’re working to address right now, and it starts up front, continues outside.

Really the tight end position I feel like the production has been good there. It’s hard to point the finger at those guys.

There’s plenty of examples where we can block better, we can run routes better, we can catch the ball better. Okay, we can run the football better at the running back position or we can throw the ball better at the quarterback position.

It’s a culmination of all 11 things that lead to some of those issues. That’s what we’re working hard to address.

Q. For you guys it’s always started up front. What do you see from your offensive line not getting the push that they normally would and the issue for pass protection?

BRIAN FERENTZ: Sure. Well, I think the other night is a good example, right? So there’s different kinds of games you can be in. We knew what kind of game it was going to be on Saturday night. Part of the reason I have a lot of respect for what they do there, they’re going to play in an eight-man front regardless of what they’re doing behind it.

What they’re doing is they’re going to line up and say, hey, listen, we’re going to play one-on-one at every single spot across the board here. If somebody wins for us, we’re going to be in good shape.

If somebody loses, it’s not going to be so good. You look at the game a year ago. I felt like we were able to run the ball pretty effectively against Illinois last year in Kinnick. We were winning some of those one-on-one battles.

The other night we knew there were going to be man blocks, and at the end of the day we just weren’t able to win enough to get anything going.

You think about push, and that’s true to some extent, but at the end of the day if you are not going to be able to win the one-on-one battles, it’s going to be a problem.

Same thing in pass protection the other night. The same issues that the front creates in the run game, it creates in pass protection where you know it’s going to be five-on-five for the majority of the night.

Maybe not true against a four-down front or some other teams, but the problem is real simply we’ve got some guys playing right now that simply haven’t developed to the level that they probably need to be out there, whether it’s injury issues, whether it’s missed time, and it really doesn’t matter.

The reality is what we have to be doing right now is pushing those guys forward as quickly as we can trying to get them the tools they need to be successful and get them out there.

I think I would be remiss to say in fairness to some of those players, I’ve seen improvement. I’ve seen marked improvement with some guys. I think a lot of guys are making strides.

Didn’t show up consistently enough the other night, but I’m excited to see how they continue to progress.

Q. I wanted to ask about three plays from the other night. One by one or give them —

BRIAN FERENTZ: Let’s go one by one.

Q. The one Arland was in the backfield and there was a shovel pass. Was that the quarterback’s read there, or was that always going to be a shovel?

BRIAN FERENTZ: It’s a read play, so there is an option there to hand the ball off. We chose to shovel, and obviously, it didn’t end the way we wanted.

We would have liked to score a touchdown, but the good news is we maintained possession of the ball.

Q. Then there was a pass to Gavin up the right sideline. Didn’t look like he was looking for the ball. Was that supposed to go to him or Nico who was underneath and wide open?

BRIAN FERENTZ: Can you give me the question one more time?

Q. You were backed up. It was early.

BRIAN FERENTZ: It was the second possession.

Q. It was like a wheel route up the side, and it looked like Gavin wasn’t looking for it. Nico was wide open underneath. Curious, was that always supposed to go to Gavin?

BRIAN FERENTZ: Any time we run a pass play, right, if we free release the back, which we did on that play, there’s five guys in a route. There are five viable options in the route. Everyone is live. We were going to highlight or lowlight things based on the coverage we’re getting.

There are scenarios where that ball would go to Gavin. Certainly didn’t feel like that was the scenario we wanted to go to Gavin, but the reality is we still had a play that was makeable, and we didn’t make it.

Q. The last one was delay of game towards the end? Obviously, that turned into a punt and their winning points as a result. The play looked like it was in on time. What happened there that caused —

BRIAN FERENTZ: The play was definitely in on time, but what happened there was we were in the end zone. Their band was there. There was a little bit more noise than I thought maybe existed at the time looking back at it.

I didn’t probably give a good play call considering the amount of noise because we had to shift on the play, right? We had a short motion with the back. It was actually the same play we had called earlier in the game.

It was Gavin. Gavin was the back. He was starting to the field motioning into the boundary and then we were snapping the ball with him on the move. I think the motion probably cost us the penalty just getting that lined up.

I would take accountability for that and say what I wish I would have done in retrospect, we can run the same play with him in the backfield without the short motion. That’s what I should have done to put the players in a better position to be able to get that play off on time.

Q. That caused the more conservative call, I guess, on third and long and the delay? It was a hand-off —

BRIAN FERENTZ: Here’s the reality. We went from a position where I believe we were on the 4 1/2, 5-yard-line. I felt like that was a play that we were going to get the ball off on the plant or at worse on the hitch. It was going to come out pretty quick, and it has a good build-in hot in case they want to pressure it.

From the two, just was really concerned that something bad could happen that would lose us the football game right there, so it definitely changes your mentality. There’s no question.

Q. How do you evaluate yourself as a play caller?

BRIAN FERENTZ: How do I evaluate myself as a play caller? It’s pretty simple. Are we doing the three things that I mentioned at the beginning. Are we possessing, advancing, and scoring the football?

I don’t think we’re doing any of those things very consistently right now, so how I would evaluate myself is I need to improve. I need to work on ways to get better. How do I help the guys do those things? How do I put us in positions to be successful and to advance the football without taking unnecessary risk, and then certainly we get down in the low red area, we need to score. We need to score touchdowns. We’re looking to score touchdowns. Certainly field goals are preferable to the alternative, but touchdowns are the goal.

My evaluation, I need to do better. How do I find ways to make us more successful and improve as we move into the next six games?

Q. When you evaluate quarterback Spencer Petras, nobody else has taken a snap. You have talked and Kirk has talked about a lot of confidence in Alex Padilla. Yet, when the offense continues to struggle week after week after week, why not make the change just to make a change, just to change something up?

BRIAN FERENTZ: I don’t disagree with the philosophy of changing for change’s sake. I think it has been effective for people. I think it exists in the world. It’s like any philosophy. You can point to times it’s successful. You can point to times it’s not successful.

Just like sticking with somebody, right? That’s going to cut both ways at some point as well. It’s not a philosophy that we adhere to.

Since I’ve been a part of this program — so I have 16 years in this program as player or a coach. You know, our philosophy is we begin the season. We’re in it together at that point. We can get to the end of the season and worry about making changes for change’s sake, and we’ve done that from time to time. I think back to 2014, the 2014 season, got to the end of that season, and certainly made a change.

But right now the best way I can describe the quarterback position is this: It’s like any position on our football team. We’re evaluating everybody all the time on everything. The quarterback position is very simple. Who can do the job the absolute best?

What are we looking at? We’re looking at metrics. Not just games. Practice. You’re talking about decisions, reads, timing, location, all those things. The good news with the quarterback position it’s very tangible. There’s not a lot of gray area when you are grading those factors.

So the reality is we do like Alex. We would feel comfortable with Alex in the game. We feel like he is a good player, but the reason that Spencer is our quarterback is we feel like he gives us the best chance to win.

Q. Earlier in the season you said right after South Dakota State that you thought Spencer had adequate time to throw and the execution wasn’t there. Do you still believe that’s been the case through now six weeks, or is it a different story now?

BRIAN FERENTZ: Like which game specifically, though?

Q. Just over the course of these six weeks.

BRIAN FERENTZ: No, that’s not always true. Just like it wasn’t always true in the South Dakota State game. I thought with the exception of two plays in that game that he had adequate time to throw. I think we could point to plays in any of the other five games where maybe he didn’t have the time, but that’s the reality of playing the position.

You are going to have some of those instances. Now, you look at the other night. I would say there’s probably four examples where he is just certainly not going to have time to get the ball off.

Unfortunately, one of them was on our last non-desperation type play. We’ve got an in-cut breaking open at about the 40. Is he going to get in field goal range? He is going to be pretty darn close.

Unfortunately, that’s one of those plays where you don’t even get a chance. You couldn’t have thrown that on the plant if he wanted to, and that’s a hitch and throw.

There’s opportunities in the game to overcome some things with timing. There’s other times when there’s not.

I don’t know if that answers your question well enough, but it’s yes and no. You look at other times. I think one of the hardest things to evaluate as a quarterback, what is the affect of what each play is having on you as the game goes on, right? There’s a cumulative effect that comes from being under duress or being hit. And, unfortunately, it is going to manifest itself from time to time when you would prefer it doesn’t.

Q. Brian, with this being the bye week, what specifically is going to happen in terms of taking that first step to kind of get back on track to meet your expectations with the offense?

BRIAN FERENTZ: That’s a good question. I know you can’t do anything without taking a step, right? It doesn’t matter how small it is. I look at this, and I say, OK, what can we do better right now? What can we fix right now?

Well, I can tell you this, we need to do a better job of eliminating negative plays. Whether they’re sacks or lost yardage on rushing plays, you have to eliminate negative plays.

Right along with negative plays are penalties. We’ve done a pretty good job through the first four weeks as far as penalties and being penalized. Not the case the last two weeks. We’ve racked up all kinds of penalties in the last two weeks and all in fairly critical situations, whether it affected field position, whether it affected down in distance.

We’re at a first in 25, that’s difficult to overcome. If you are third and goal on the 6 or 7, wherever we were on that first series — I think we were third and goal on the 6, left hash. You have a legitimate chance to go to the end zone, and there’s a lot of good plays from the 6.

From the 11 not so much, right? It changes your thought process. It goes back to your question, Chad, about being on third down on your own 4 versus your own 2 or your own 5 or 2 1/2.

The penalties are right there with that. Then in my mind it’s just making the makeables. I think that’s different for every position.

Going back to the one-on-one battles, Tom, on your question, the reality of football is it’s a competitive endeavor. You’re not going to win every one-on-one battle. That’s just not the way it’s going to work.

But when you are giving up unforced errors or in the wrong place and you cut somebody loose, that’s a problem. That’s a makeable as an offensive lineman or a running back or a tight end in protection or in the run game. Dropping balls, that’s a makeable. Overthrows, under throws, missing open guys, makeable.

When you look at the makeables, if you’re not making those makeables, then you’re going to have a hard time sustaining any success. I look at that and say, what can we do right now to address those things?

It’s not glamorous. My answer is we need to do better. We need to do better in practice. We need to have more focus. We need to have more attention to detail.

We need to have more sense of urgency about making sure that those things that are going to set us back aren’t happening on Saturdays.

Q. Quarterback Joe Labas in the spring and throughout fall camp, it was about getting him up to speed with the quarterbacks in the room. How would you assess his progress through six weeks, and has he made steps to close the gap on Spencer and Alex?

BRIAN FERENTZ: Joe continues to do a good job, but the simple answer to that is he has not yet closed the gap on those two guys, but doesn’t discourage you from continuing to work with him, right, and hope that you get there.

Q. News flash here: People watching the Hawkeyes want more changes to be made. I’m sure that doesn’t surprise you. What change —

BRIAN FERENTZ: You ask in such a somber — I don’t mean to laugh. You’ve got to let some of that off your shoulders. Just ask the question.

Q. What tangible change could you point to coming out of the bye week that might be different about this offense going forward?

BRIAN FERENTZ: I think we’ll have to wait and see. I don’t know how exciting that is as an answer. That’s not going to take any weight off your shoulders.

But the question is fair, right? Let me try to give you a fair answer. Look, if the run game is not effective, if we are not being able to move the ball on early downs with the run game, can we find a way to do it with the passing game?

Or are there ways to manufacture yards on early downs whether it’s quick game, whether it’s emptying the formation out, whatever it is? Can we create more space and then put the ball in space? Can we do that?

Are we asking the proper things in the run game out of the right guys? Can we do a better job of having certain backs run certain plays? Are we asking the guys up front to do things that they cannot do? I don’t know.

We have to look at that right now. That’s what we’re in the process of doing. Can we find better ways to create some of that success on early downs.

And then changes as far as third down, you know, I would point back to the Illinois game. We came out with some different looks on third down. We played a little more empty. We tried to open the field up a little bit more. We certainly tried to feature Sam a little bit more, which there’s some danger in that too. You don’t want to become too one-dimensional, which we got pretty darn close the other night. He had, like, 16 targets. He may quit at some point here and protest. Kind of running the wheels off of him.

Are we going to put guys in a better position to become successful? Can we put the ball in the perimeter more, however that is going to be, whether it’s bubbles, jet motions, fly motions, things of that nature?

I don’t have great answers right now. We’re in the process of going through those things, but the reality is, yeah, we have to look at doing things differently and changing some things moving forward here.

Are we going to be five-wide in the wildcat and things like that? I don’t think that’s the answer. If it was, I can assure you that’s what we would be working on doing. The reality is we’re trying to win football games, and we’re invested in this. This is very important to us.

What can we do to get better? That’s a question in our minds at every moment of every day, and that’s not unique to the bye week, right? These are things that you are trying to adjust and change week to week during the season in the midst of it.

Q. Jacob Bostick and Diante Vines got in uniform. Diante came out of uniform before the game. What could they add and to the offense moving forward? Because it seems like they’ll be back from Ohio State, I think, and what’s the status of Keagan Johnson and his return?

BRIAN FERENTZ: I’ll start with Jake Bostick. Obviously, he is a young guy, but he continues to show improvement. He has had to battle some injuries here. I’m not confident that he will play against Ohio State, so I don’t want to get anybody excited about that prematurely. Still battling through some of those things.

Diante, I don’t want to make that proclamation. I’ll leave that to the head coach next week, but we are confident that we’re going to get him back as we move forward here. Hopefully it’s Ohio State. I thought we were close last week, but there’s just obviously you’re always going to defer to the medical staff. The player safety would be the number one concern.

We are really excited about him because he is a guy that had flashed in camp. He is a guy that really before he had the injury, really thought he had done some nice things in the red zone. He has some speed that is impressive on the outside for a bigger guy.

He is not real lengthy, but he has some size to him. He can run and use his body. Really his ball skills impressed us since he has been here, but unfortunately, he has battled a lot of injuries. Camp was really the first time that he was able to kind of push it forward and get going. Really excited about that.

Hopefully we can incorporate him moving forward here and can just give us, number one, some presence outside, and then maybe we can continue to build depth.

Then with Keagan still continuing to battle some of the injuries, some of the soft tissue stuff, I would defer to the head coach just about his availability.

Q. When you look at the Big Ten, things have changed quite a bit where you have seen two assistant coaches fired this week, you’ve seen two head coaches fired, including one that was quite a shocker, or at least to me. Have you had any concern about your position and based on the success or lack thereof of the offense, and have you considered stepping down because of that lack of success?

BRIAN FERENTZ: Okay, so I will start, number one, with the last part of the question. In my opinion it doesn’t make it right. There’s two options in life in any situation. You can surrender, and if you surrender, then I think the results are pretty much guaranteed. Or you can dig in, you can continue to fight, and you can try to improve and do things better.

I will always choose option A. Done it in my personal life. Done it in my professional life. I wouldn’t be able to go home and look my children in the eye if I wasn’t an option B person. I think I said option A. I started with option surrender, right? That’s not me. Let me be crystal clear about that. That’s number one.

Number two, to the other question, you know, look, in this business we all signed up for this. This is a results-driven business. It has been since the minute I entered it. None of this is a new phenomenon.

Things that go on outside of this program never surprise nor shock me. Ever. Because this is the world we live in. This is the life we chose. You have to get results. Otherwise, they will move on to people who will. That’s the way it is.

You add on to it my emotional ties to this place. I already referenced it, player or coach, 16 years here. Was born in a hospital across the street, spent my entire childhood wanting to run out in that Swarm and got to do it and now got to coach here. I love this place. There is a responsibility and a privilege that comes with being a coach here or being a player here. I feet that deeply.

There’s another layer for me. My father is the head coach. I’ve been answering questions about nepotism my entire adult life. None of that is new to me either.

I would flip it and say if you think that I don’t feel an added responsibility or added pressure to perform well for my father, you are crazy. Of course, I feel that. I’m a human being.

But at the end of the day, what you can’t let happen is worrying about anything that’s not going to help you do your job.

I learned that very early in my career: Keep your eyes on the road. Keep your eyes where they need to be. Keep your feet where you are and worry about doing your job as well as you possibly can regardless of circumstance, regardless of what’s going on around you. Keep your focus there. Pour your effort into that. Whatever happens, happens. Do the best you can where you are at with what you got, and you won’t have any regrets.

That’s what I was taught at an early age. I continue to live by that. So I don’t worry about what’s going on other places.

Quite frankly, I don’t worry about what’s going on for my job status or anything like that. My focus is on the staff, the players, and doing my duty to the best of my ability to help them be successful.

Q. Along those lines, do you think that in terms of your job evaluation that that’s been influenced by the fact that the head coach is your father?

BRIAN FERENTZ: You would have to ask the head coach. I don’t think anything. That would be a question for him. I don’t want to speak for anyone else.

Q. I wanted to ask about the quarterback. What would be the downside of — I know we’ve talked about this. What’s the downside of going with Alex? You still have Spencer on the team. What would be the downside of giving him a shot?

BRIAN FERENTZ: The downside of —

Q. Making a change at quarterback.

BRIAN FERENTZ: What would be the upside?

Q. Making a change. I’m just asking.

BRIAN FERENTZ: I’m not trying to be coy. What I’m saying is — I think I addressed that, Scott, when you asked the question — what’s the downside? I’m not interested in making a change for change’s sake. What I’m looking at is I’m saying what’s the upside?

I don’t know. There’s unknown there. I know what Spencer has done. I know what Spencer can do, and I know what he does every day. That’s the evaluation piece that we were talking about. That’s what the decision is made on.

I do understand the question. I don’t want you to think I’m being flippant, but does that answer it?

Q. Eh, yeah.

BRIAN FERENTZ: Sort of? Kind of? Not satisfactorily?

Q. I’m thinking back to our last Zoom talking about the mobility aspect. It seems like a more mobile option with the line troubles you’re having. It would be a benefit to me, but maybe you can tell me.

BRIAN FERENTZ: I understand that question. Let me explain it this way. The passing game is a system, and the system is built on timing and location in the zone coverage world or if we’re dealing with man-to-man coverage, matchup leverage throws.

For example, in the game Saturday night we didn’t see a lot of zone coverage. There’s not probably great examples of that. There’s two. I’ll give you a couple.

In the two-minute drives, we started with quick game through a hitch route out to Nico at No. 2. We throw the hitch route out there. Ball was on time. It’s right decisions. Everything we talked about. The guy that could take it away was pretty darn close. Okay? It was pretty darn close. We come back to that play and throw it to the sit route twice later.

Now you’re beating that defender, you’re playing the game, timing and location. That’s one way to play.

The other way to play is matchup leverage. Plenty of those throws in the game, right? There’s a couple where it’s uncontested. There’s just a guy running wide open because the man cover guy falls down, or whatever it is.

But you even think about the second play of that two-minute drive at the end of the first half, we throw a circus route to Sam into the boundary. It’s man-to-man. It’s tight coverage. The defender is low and inside; the ball is high and away. That would be matchup leverage. Throwing where the defender is not, where only our guy can make a play on the ball.

In either case it’s still built on timing. The mobility aspect, certainly understand the question; but the reality is the majority of the passing game, it needs to happen on a timeline, and the minute that timeline is compromised, now all bets are off. Now it’s backyard football.

There’s nothing wrong with that from time to time. A good example of that would be the scramble where Spencer got hit on the third and two or whatever it was. You’re off your clock. You’ve got to go.

It’s also a good picture of improvement. We had the same situation against Rutgers. Similar play. Not the exact same play. Similar play. You’re not there. You’re off your clock. He ended up eating it on the 7-yard line end of the first half when we got down there.

You are looking at those things and saying that’s improvement. That’s what you like. That’s what you are looking for. But if that answers your question, I don’t know that the mobility — just having a guy running around, I’m not sure that’s going to solve any of our issues. You’re not going to be any more open just because a guy is running around.

Q. A finite amount of time in the bye week and the rest of the season to make improvements. How much of an improvement do you think is feasible for this offense?

BRIAN FERENTZ: We need to make any improvement. I’m not worried about how much is feasible. I’m worried about how much can we make? We need to be striving to make as much as we possibly can.

Going back to the first three points of the press conference: possess, advance, and score the football. How do we do those things better? How can we get them better? Any improvement is better than no improvement, but then let’s start building on that and let’s see how much we can make.

What I don’t want to do is say finite amount, how much, I don’t know. How much can we make? That’s how much we need to make. Whatever we’re capable of making in a short amount of time, let’s work on that; then understand that’s going to have to continue week to week.

Q. It looked like your running backs, Leshon Williams and Kaleb Johnson have made a lot of progress. Those two, how much do you think you can lean on them, and how much in concert can they grow with the offensive line to maybe give you a good punch the rest —

BRIAN FERENTZ: Hopefully a whole lot. We feel like Kaleb took a step forward in that Nevada game. That was his game to figure out, hey, I can do this. He did some good things there. Then he continued to build on those.

Especially the next week at Rutgers, I thought both those guys ran the ball extremely well. Especially between the tackles.

How much more progress can they make? Shoot, I think everybody can make more progress. Right now Leshon is probably a little bit more consistent than Kaleb because he has played more. He has been in the program longer.

You can trust him to do just about everything we do at a higher level than Kaleb because this is all still pretty new to him. I expect him to continue to close that gap, but also expect Leshon to improve.

And you can never have too many good football players. The better those guys are running the ball, the better we’re going to play. There’s no question.

Q. Schematically, how much can you change here in the bye week without overloading guys with information?

BRIAN FERENTZ: I don’t want to say this in a way that — how do I say this properly?

The scheme — you have a vast amount of scheme. It’s not that you are just going to overhaul the scheme. It’s what are you working to feature?

The playbook is expansive. Everyone’s is. There’s only so many ways to play offensive football. How much can you change? You’re really not changing anything. How much can you focus on different things? Plenty. You can do that.

At the end of the day a lot of our issues when we’re talking about making makeables, we just need to do that. Let’s start there.

Q. So you mean by that more execution is the problem more than schematics?

BRIAN FERENTZ: I think we need to execute a lot better, yes. Did I answer that question?

Q. Yeah.

Thank you, guys.

Photo: AP