Q: (A question on the outlook for the season)
Carl Jackson: The guys have been working really hard ever since we got back from the New Year. I'm pretty excited. You've got veteran players, so you become a little more excited. I'm looking forward to it.
Q: What about the young guys, can they make a dent?
Jackson: Right now, with Albert and Damian being our starters, Jevon Pugh obviously is a young man that we're going to give a good looksy. We're excited about him and what he's capable of doing.
Q: With Albert and Damian, where do they rank as your tandem running backs in the 100 years or so that you've been here?
Jackson: (laughs) I haven't really given it a lot of thought but those are excellent football players. We've had some good backs, Fred Russell, Jermelle Lewis, guys like that. I like both of them, what they do, I like their attitude, their work ethic. I'm excited about them.
Q: A healthy Albert, where could he rank?
Jackson: Like I said, it's hard to compare those guys. Albert can do it all. He can run, he can catch, he'll block, he's tough. I think he ranks up there pretty high.
Q: Having that experience in the backfield, how does that help a young QB.
Jackson: I hope we don't have to ask him to win games for us. If he can manage the offense, we don't turn the ball over, we'll have a good offense.
Q: Does the line seem confident enough to get holes for these guys to run through?
Jackson: It's early right now, but I think we have people in place that can man those positions, just getting the right 5 together and getting them molded into an offensive unit. We've obviously got some players that we think can play.
Q: What sense do you get from Albert coming into this season, coming off the injury?
Jackson: I think he's pretty anxious to get going. Last year, he was disappointed in his season, he missed a game or two. I think last year, we played Damian more than we'd played him the previous year. Albert had some good games. He was never quite 100%, but I thought he played well.
Q: What makes them an effective 1-2 punch?
Jackson: Both are veteran players. Both have the ability to make you miss, both can catch the ball out of the backfield, both are smart. I'm just excited about both of them. I think either one of them can step in and play at any time.
Q: Who is the #3?
Jackson: Right now, that's kind of up in the air a little bit. We'll have a number 3 coming out of camp, for sure. Right now, it's up in the air. We've got Dana brown, Paki O'Meara, Jayme Murphy is here. Of course we have a freshman named Jevon Pugh. Out of those guys, we'll come up with a third back.
Q: Do you feel comfortable with the fullbacks catching the ball out of the backfield?
Jackson: I do. Tom Busch has worked extremely hard on his pass-catching. He's a tremendous blocker, he's a tough guy. He probably catches balls every day after practice. Jordan Mclaughlin is a very talented guy. You probably know him from wrestling fame, but he can catch the ball real well. Then we have another young man named Eddie Williams, then we have Brett Morse. Brett came over from LB and did a good job this spring. We've got some people in this group who are pretty good players.
Q: You talk about the 1-2 punch of Damian and Albert in the backfield. Do you anticipate a similar balance to last year? You used Damian more because of the injury. Do you expect that balance to continue?
Jackson: I do. I feel very confident in both of those guys. They complement each other very well. If we can help both health and fresh, it's going to make us a better football team.
Q: Anything the offense that puts both on the field at the same time?
Jackson: That could happen. Today was our first practice. That could very well happen. A lot of workouts to go before the first game.
Carl Jackson spoke with the media on Monday at Iowa's annual Media Day event. Read what he had to say about Iowa's backfield in this premium transcript.
Carl Jackson spoke with the media on Monday.