By Stephen McDonald
With all the change that has come to the Iowa football program this year, the overwhelming message from the team and coaches at media day was that nothing has really changed. According to coach Ferentz the keys to the season are going to be “improvement” and “developing consistency.” Which he also mentioned, “can be said for any team and organization.”
However, Ferentz did say that he expects to see “as many, if not more true freshmen than last year” and a depth chart that “you can throw out the window by mid-season.”
One thing Ferentz would not give a definitive answer on was the opening at running back position, routinely dodging the question and saying that the field is wide open.
On what to expect from the offense this season as a whole, new Offensive Coordinator Greg Davis gave some insight: “We have to be balanced, hopefully 50/50” and that “James [Vandenberg] has a lot of similarities to Colt [McCoy].” If fans have been hoping to see the same explosive offenses on the field that we saw at Texas under Davis, the question of talent still remains an issue and when asked if Iowa had the adequate talent for his offense Davis responded “that remains to be seen.”
As for who will be the Hawkeyes’ starting running back, Davis said that if play started today Damon Bullock would be the starter, but also said that, “It would not surprise me to go into the opening part of the season [with running back] by committee.” Adding, “I would be comfortable handing it to a true freshmen, I gave the position to Jamal Charles and Cedric Benson at Texas.”
Defensively, continuing the theme of new dogs and old tricks, Phil Parker stressed “I think we are gonna stick with the same formula, look at the percentages… we are going to be very similar to what we have been.”
When asked how he felt about becoming the new Defensive Coordinator Phil replied, “It just kind of happened and I have the utmost respect for coach Ferentz.”
With another Ferentz on the Staff in Brian (Son of Kirk) as the tight end coach, center James Ferentz (also son of Kirk) gave some insight into what it’s like taking orders from his brother: “not much has changed, he just has a title now.” James Ferentz had to say that “The terminology will change… but the scheme will stay the same.”
Until the start of the season, that’s all anyone can really expect: the names have changed, but the scheme looks the same.
Quarterback James Vandenberg said, “I think its going to be a lot of things fans don’t notice: new terminology, different route combinations. I think we all realize that the personality of coach Davis is a lot different and we are kind of feeding off that energy.”
When asked if he would like to try running a different style of offense, maybe an Oregon or West Virginia style, Vandenberg responded with “Absolutely not, those guys are so much bigger and faster than me that I would be a punter if I was playin in those offenses. I got recruited by Nebraska, good thing I didn’t go there.”
Obviously, the burning question of the day was at the running back position to which Vandenberg is not afraid of it at all. When asked how much it affects the team, he responded: “It’s nothing… who ever they put in there is going to be coached up that I am not worried about it.”
Featured image courtesy of times republican.com
Photos in post credit to Stephen McDonald, KRUI Sports