Media Day: The Big Themes

Media Day offers many a look, question and some silliness.  It’s just what these things are.  Media Day also finds about 15 or more variations of the following answer: we’ll know more in a few weeks.

Such was the case this year, but there was also some meat on the bone.

This little ditty was one of the ‘bigger’ media day revelations in a long time, which is not to say it was a revelation.  After all, Iowa went no huddle for the entire spring game.  That being said, Iowa ran an offense in the spring of 1999 that looked little like what they wound up going with in the fall and what has been the staple of Iowa’s offense for the past decade and a half.  So I was a wee bit skeptical.  However after this mention from Greg Davis, I am starting to believe we’ll see a lot of no huddle this year.

By the way, don’t get no huddle confused with automatically being uptempo.  I would look for Iowa to change some speeds…fastballs and change ups.  Using the no huddle limits what type of substitutions a defense can make and may force them to stay in base formations more often than they would like.  I don’t expect the Hawks to necessarily be a no-huddle, uptempo team at the same time and the first three and out that uses a minute of actual time, expect a change up pace the next series.

You can watch a video of Coach Davis and hear him talk about this at this link.

TAKING SHOTS:  More with Greg Davis in this Marc Morehouse item.  And yes, this needs to be the Fall of Davis, as the Iowa offense has to rebound from its pathetic showing one year ago.  Morehouse had an amazing stat that Iowa was 118h in the nation last year in plays of 10-yards or more with 132.  While I might have guessed Iowa was in the bottom 10, seeing them near the bottom of the bottom for real stirs up bad memories of an offense that will only be memorable for how bad it was.

This line from Davis really stands out:

“We’ve made a big to-do of it in these four practices.  We’ve to take more shots. We have got to put the ball down the field more often. . . . We’ve made a conscious effort from spring to this point in camp of understanding that we’ve got to force the defense back and take more shots.” 

HALLELUJAH!

Then again, this time one year ago Davis was gushing about what he had at tight end in CJ Fiedorowicz and CJ was a missing man until very late in the year.

I said this all of last year: Iowa isn’t taking deep shots, so the defense isn’t playing them straight up.  This winter, I often wrote that if Iowa doesn’t take some deep shots in games this year, the offense has no chance.  It looks like we’ll see more of that and that is a very good thing.

Add to this that Kirk Ferentz keeps saying that Davis is going to be a better Iowa OC this year and that he is more comfortable with the players and the players are more comfortable with Davis’ terminology, you have the makings for a better offense. Then again, Bettendorf might have the makings of a better offense than Iowa showed last year.

There was some consternation on Thursday morning (including from yours truly) about why Iowa ticket manager Pam Finke didn’t release season ticket sales info when asked, when normally Iowa is all to eager to volunteer it. My guess is Gary Barta wanted to talk about this at media day.  Given that Iowa has sold 59,000 season tickets, which is the same they sold in 2010 by the way, it’s not a bad haul.  There are going to be some empties for the two scrub home games, but most of the others will approach a sellout and if the weather is nice, Kinnick will be banged out.

Color me not surprised.  Canzeri in the slot has been a long time coming and it’s great to hear that a player with his abilities will get a chance to see more touches as Mark Weisman will likely get more than his fair share at running back.  Perhaps you see Damon Bullock in some slot, but I think he and Weisman make a good tandem.  I wouldn’t feel comfortable with either one of those two being the featured back but I think they could work well together.  I also think it would be wise for Iowa to use Weisman out of single back formations where you have at least four passing targets going out for patterns..preferable sets where four players are wider than the tackle box, to empty things out for Weisman.  Please, no running into stacked boxes this year.

This is just astonishing and reminds me of how great it is that Brooksie is still around and how much I miss my friend Jim Zabel.  This is the time of year where Jim and I would talk on the phone a few times a week.  He was excited as a school boy when the calendar gave way to August, because his beloved Iowa Hawkeyes were back in the limelight and each new year had the promise of being that year the Hawkeyes made it back to Pasadena and Jim said he was going.  Jim passed away in May and Iowa football seasons won’t be the same without him, at least not to me and I am guessing some of you, too.

THE LINKS

Kirk Ferentz Transcript
Media Day Running Blog & Tweetcap
Bryce Miller: QB battle is close, but there’s a slight favorite for now | Hawk Central
Hawkeyes determined to right the ship | Hawk Central
Iowa defense in a race to erase unsightly numbers | Hawk Central
Media Day notes: Is there really a fourth quarterback contender? | Hawk Central
Hawkeyes have wealth at tight end | Hawk Central
Hawkeye star makes tough choice on Yom Kippur game vs. ISU | Hawk Central
Photos: Football Media Day 2013 | Hawk Central
Videos: Iowa football media day sights and sounds | Hawk Central
Scout.com: Photo Gallery: Coaches
Scout.com: Prime Cuts: Iowa QBs
Scout.com: Photo Gallery: Players I
Scout.com: Prime Cuts: Greg Davis
Scout.com: Prime Cuts: EJ on Recruiting
Scout.com: Photo Gallery: Players II
The Organic Artichoke from Nashville | TheGazette
Reshuffle brings jack-of-all-trades Reid to Iowa | TheGazette
Some of the nuts and bolts of the QB race | TheGazette
Hawkeyes have defensive holes to fill as well : Iowa Hawkeyes Football
Hawkeye quarterbacks seek a degree of separation : Hawkmania.com: Iowa Hawkeyes coverage from the Quad-City Times

  • iowaninarizona

    Hey JM,
    Interesting stuff. I have to say that the coaches are not making themselves look too clever with their golly-gee comments: Golly-gee, we better throw the ball down the field this year. Golly-gee, who knew Canzeri could catch a thrown football… C’mon. Last year was an embarrassment to everyone associated with Iowa football, and there are no valid reasons for it. They could have fired the entire coaching staff, let the players coach themselves, and it’s pretty hard to imagine how that would have yielded a worse result than 2012 turned out to be…and it would have saved north of $4 million.

    Iowa has enough talent to win 8 or 9 games this year and to be both a productive and entertaining offense. It’s ALL on the coaches. EVERYTHING. Iowa fans are ready to get back behind this football team. I only hope the coaches give us that opportunity by using the talented players they have in some intelligent and creative fashion.

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