April 19, 2009
- 2009 Spring Camp Central
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- Outback Bowl Central
- Iowa and the Big Ten Network
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — “It’s hard to sit out,” University of Iowa junior Brett Greenwood said after watching his teammates complete the third and final spring scrimmage Saturday inside the Kenyon Practice Facility.
“It’s a little frustrating at times,” echoed senior A.J. Edds.
Greenwood and Edds have a lot in common. Both are crucial components to what could be another outstanding Hawkeye defensive unit in 2009. Greenwood plays free safety and Edds is an outside linebacker. Both were also held out of contact this spring as they recuperate from injuries.
“If anything (being held out of spring contact) developed my knowledge of the defense in general because you have to take a step back and see the whole picture more so than you would if you were on the field,” Edds said. “It also gave me an opportunity to coach-up some of the younger guys playing linebacker — guys who weren’t real sure what they were doing. I made myself available and we got some things figured out.”
Edds was named honorable mention all-Big Ten by league coaches and media after a 2008 season where he finished sixth on the team with 59 tackles (18 solo, 41 assists). Edds compiled 4 ½ tackles for loss, four pass breakups, two sacks and an interception with a return of 38 yards. He was also named academic all-Big Ten and earned a coach’s defensive appreciation award.
Edds said his shoulder — injured last fall during a season when Iowa won nine of 13 games and won the Outback Bowl — is healthy and feeling fine. Still, he missed getting physical during spring drills.
“You always want to be out there competing and playing with your teammates, so it’s hard to sit out. I tried to focus on growing mentally this spring and picking up little things that I hadn’t seen in the game so far. I also wanted to help the younger guys who haven’t been in there before.”
UI junior free safety
“You want to get out there and be part of it,” he said. “It’s tremendously motivating. You get so anxious to do something. If we had a few more weeks of spring ball I’d probably be out there mixing it up a little bit. You might think it’s nice to have a break, but after a couple days I wanted to get back out there and get back into it.”
Greenwood shared many of those sentiments. He, too, was named honorable mention all-Big Ten by the media and third team by Phil Steele’s College Football. Greenwood received a team defensive Win During the Week award.
“You always want to be out there competing and playing with your teammates, so it’s hard to sit out,” Greenwood said. “I tried to focus on growing mentally this spring and picking up little things that I hadn’t seen in the game so far. I also wanted to help the younger guys who haven’t been in there before.”
Last season Greenwood recorded 68 tackles — tying him with Amari Spievey as the leader in the Hawkeye secondary. Greenwood had 30 solo and 38 assisted stops along with six pass breakups and two interceptions.
Both Edds and Greenwood understand that Iowa’s defense has potential to be among the premiere units in the nation. They also understand that there is plenty of work ahead.
“I’m excited, but we still have a long way to go as you saw (at Saturday’s scrimmage),” Greenwood said. “We made a lot of mistakes, but it will be an exciting fall for the defense.”
The Hawkeyes open the regular season Saturday, Sept. 5, against Northern Iowa inside Kinnick Stadium. The conference opener is Sept. 26 at Penn State.