Some quick notes:
Greg Davis said he was hopeful that RB Damon Bullock would be back for Michigan State. He also said Ferentz would reveal on Tuesday what Bullock’s status is exactly.
And, yes, the Vandenberg numbers aren’t where any of them thought they would be. He’s pretty much doing what he’s coached to do. Davis has no problem with his progressions and doesn’t believe he’s “locking on” receivers.
Everybody on the same page, he said.
It’ll be “hot hand” at RB when Bullock comes back. Garmon is explosive, just staying with hot hand, who’s been pretty good, too.
Davis would like more speed. Playing “faster” now.
Would love to have gotten Rudock in the game before B1G. Will still look for the opportunity.
Davis said everyone in the passing game takes a written quiz every week. They all get A’s. The next step is taking that to the field.
He also talked about JVG’s progressions and what he’s seeing at the LOS.
Spread teams score a lot of points. Iowa won’t be going to the spread. (The deeper reason here, which Davis didn’t get into, is what can Iowa’s recruiting sustain? Can it sustain a spread? Probably not. Would Ferentz go to a spread if he thought it was sustainable with personnel? Probably not.)
Next step for O is beating blitzes.
Phil Parker seems satisfied with the D. Not that it’s arrived, but satisfied with the progress.
He talked about spread offenses and how successful defense is defined in the Big 12 (three stops a game). He also talked about what a Weisman can do to a defense.
Iowa hasn’t run as much press coverage because it leaves the CB open to the fade and a pass interference or a completion.
A lot of what Iowa does on D is built into down-and-distance, not so much what the offense presents. Takes the thinking out of it. Parker was very revealing here in that he believes simplicity is the quickest way to ferocity.
He also talked about some of the trading of athletes between the offense and defense. He said he’ll probably have to give someone up for the offense sending over true freshman Reese Fleming last week. Fleming was recruited as a corner and then moved to WR in the summer. He’s now back at corner.
Parker said he’s not afraid to rip off a redshirt whenever necessary. He said he’s got a lot of names on the list, but he wouldn’t reveal any.
I asked about Christian Kirksey’s natural position. It didn’t sound as though the linebacker tinkering was over.
Parker did say that BJ Lowery would practice today. The junior corner missed last week with a foot/ankle injury.
Statement, talked about consistency and “getting on the same page.” Yes, the stats aren’t what any of them thought they’d be, especially after five weeks. He talked about WR Keenan Davis’ blocking, Jordan Cotton’s rise to the “sub-B position,” Kevonte Martin-Manley’s strengths. Also, talked about how the miscommunication in the passing game has hampered the progress.
Flea flicker and no huddle (that picayune has seemed to lost steam). He also talked about the prospect of getting Weisman and Bullock on the field at the same time, but how the “hot hand” ultimately dictates who gets the ball. Passing game needs more live reps. Asked about comfort level with speed, “Always want more, playing faster now.” How the tight ends are coming along.
Getting Jake Rudock into the game. I asked about sight adjustments. This is where he talked about QB/WR taking written tests and the A’s and now getting those brains onto the field. Duzey. How can Iowa’s offense use an RB with 7.0 ypc (Weisman)? What Vandenberg is looking at presnap. Starts with protections and then he’s eliminating things from there. Davis doesn’t believe Vandenberg is “locking on” targets. Like to be better. Like to have more TD passes, of which Vandenberg called out of one to a TD run last week.
How much leeway the QB is given. On to the O-line, where there were three new starters this season. Bullock’s return for MSU? Hopeful. What does he do this week? Quality control. Coaches have been into MSU since Sunday. The players won’t see a gameplan until Thursday. The spread question was asked, specifically where all the points in CFB are coming from, and, no, Iowa won’t be going to a spread. Asked about Greg Garmon and Tevaun Smith, true frosh. And then taking advantage of opportunities, beating blitzes, playing off the running game with Weisman.
Statement. Asked about the D-line rotation (a pleasant surprise that is a product of an even talent level among the eight who rotate). Asked if he was happy with the pressure Iowa has put on QBs. Doesn’t want to give up an explosive play. He said you give up a big play and 95 percent of the time, it’s points. I asked about the starts of games. He liked the attitude and energy last week, need that every week. No change in strategy. James Morris? Playing at a very high level, coach on the field. Hitchens? Likes that he’s getting to the ball. Asked the same spread/points/production question that Greg Davis was asked. In the last 10 years, Parker believes Iowa has done well against spreads, as in keeping those offenses under their scoring average.
Having a Weisman on your side. I asked if he’s playing as much press coverage as he thought he would be in the spring. No, they’re not. Doesn’t want to give up the fade or get the PI call. I asked about Steve Bigach. More of a leader than we think. He also was asked about nickel and dime coverage, something Iowa used for a handful of plays last week.
Blitzing. Iowa has historically done it about 17 percent of the time and has kept that going. Won’t sign off on giving something up in the secondary. Asked about Hyde. Asked about his personal learning curve as a D-coordinator. I asked if he calls the stunts on the DL. This lead to a pretty interesting answer about things that are built into the Iowa defense and how Iowa has and will keep it simple, allowing players to play and not overthink it, at least on D.
I asked about safeties. Reese Fleming’s move comes up here. I also asked if anymore true frosh are coming and he said there are quite a few he’d like to use, but wouldn’t say who. (Might’ve been bluffing. I think this is it.) Point, Parker won’t be afraid to use players who he thinks will help them win. I asked about Christian Kirksey. His versatility gives them options and it sounded like those are being explored at least somewhat. Watch and tell me what you think.