By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
Don’t tell Iowa State’s senior defensive end Rashawn Parker that his unit needs to get more pressure on opposing quarterbacks. He already knows this. That’s been one of the primary focuses for Iowa State so far in spring football, 2010.
On Tuesday, CycloneFanatic.com caught up with Parker to talk about the progress he is making in rehabbing his injured knee. Get the scoop in this CF Q&A.
How is your leg feeling?
RP: It is feeling really good. For the most part, it is feeling stronger every day. I’m doing rehab five days a week. I’m trying to get back out there to get my feet wet a little bit. I’m getting back into the routine of things. It feels good.
Will you have a bigger leadership role on the team this year?
RP: Yeah I do. I kind of took on that role last year before I got hurt. I am more than ready to continue on that role. I love being around this team and the guys so I don’t think that it will be any problem.
Pass rush is a big key in the offseason for you all this year. There is a big battle going on at that other defensive end position, opposite of you right now. Is it a good competition right now?
RP: Yeah. They guys are working hard right now. They love competing out there. I love watching them. They are getting better every day and they need to keep working. There is no doubt in my mind that they will be ready when we step out at Jack Trice for game one.
Do you feel some pressure to get more pressure on the quarterback this fall?
RP: Not necessarily. Every year, we hear about how we have to get pressure on the quarterback. We know that individually, we have to get better. It starts with ourselves. Each guy, down the line, collectively has to start with ourselves and that will carry onto everybody else.
You guys lost a lot of starters on defense from last year. How is the confidence within the defense in general right now?
RP: There is a lot of confidence. We have a lot of guys who didn’t start but they got some big minutes last year, you know, Knott and Klein. Some of the other guys in the secondary have confidence. There hasn’t been much talk about the guys who we lost. Of course, we miss them. The guys are just focusing on themselves individually, trying to get ready. That will help us out in fall camp.
When are you expected to be completely recovered from your injury?
RP: I won’t be ready to fully go until this summer. Right now, they are kind of taking it easy on me. I’m getting more rehab in. I will be 100 percent this summer.