Prior to taking the stage, Paul Rhoads was asked by FOX's Erin Hartigan about recruiting. Rhoads said that the hardest thing is to actually get players to come to Ames for a visit, but when they can get them there Iowa State actually does a good job of getting commitments -- even moreso when they can get the parent to visit as well.
In his opening remarks, Rhoads was all about chemistry and experience. He noted that the team has 24 returning players who have started games for the Cyclones. He also made special mention of Mitchell Myers, the Iowa State defensive lineman who will complete chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkin's Lymphoma next week.
Ben Kercheval addressed Iowa State's problems with run defense. Rhoads indicated that new additions from the junior college ranks will help with that issue in 2015.
Rhoads was asked what the staff was doing to reduce injuries. He says they're doing everything they can in terms of conditioning and reducing contact in practice, but noted it's really all down to luck.
Asked about the running game and Mark Mangino's impact, he placed direct responsibility on the playmakers in the backfield, saying they need to be able to hit the holes created for them.
Rhoads was asked why Iowa State fans should be optimistic this year. He thinks the fanbase is realistic about what's transpired in the last few years due to injuries.
The quarterback competition came up next. Rhoads is pleased to actually have a redshirt senior in Sam Richardson, and nodded to Grant Robach as a solid backup.
Berry Tramel asked about the geography and weather in Ames, and whether the colder temperatures impedes Iowa State's progress offensively. Rattling off the fact that the average temperature at kickoff during his tenure at home games has been 62 degrees, Rhoads agreed that it causes a problem, and that at one time he might have agreed that there were things they just couldn't do. But a big offensive game on an icy field disabused him of that notion.
Asked about renovations to Jack Trice Stadium (the south end zone is being enclosed) and the impact on recruiting, Rhoads gave credit to Jamie Pollard. He said that this project was probably the one thing the fanbase wanted more than anything else.
Michael Warren, redshirt freshman running back, was the topic of the final question. Rhoads forsees a pretty stiff competition at running back.