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Monday Hash

  • 1. Remember those long, hot, corn-killing days last summer—back when it was possible to generate some optimism about Iowa football? There were a few doomsdayers and a few kool-aid addicts, but the majority of us looked forward to a decent, if not spectacular, season.
    2. Back then, it was hard to imagine a losing season, if for no other reason than the soft schedule. At the same time, it was hard to imagine a blockbuster season. There were just too many open questions about the 2012 Hawks.
    3. Most identified a small, inexperienced D-line as the biggest unknown. In addition, we shared concerns about the absence of dominant linebackers, the youth of the O-line, the absence of a proven running back, and the lack of depth and speed in the receiver corps.
    4. Many assumed that any problems with the O-line would melt away during the season. Things always work out up front. We’re Iowa, for heaven’s sake.
    5. Folks tended to downplay any potential problems with the wide outs—particularly after Keenan Davis was touted as the top returning receiver in the league. Besides, the Hawks wouldn’t rely on the wide outs. Not with the best tight end in the country tearing things up.
    6. Running back: Most breathed easier after Garmon made his peace with the cops in Erie and headed to Iowa City--A real star arriving on I-80.
    7. As for linebacker play—many felt the guys had now paid their dues and had gained the experience and physical maturity to elevate the defense. Besides, a couple of the guys had played hurt in 2011. They just need to be healthy.
    8. I, at least, thought that Iowa would be solid—maybe more than solid—at QB. Based on his 2011 performance, I thought JVB would be in the top tier of QB’s in the conference.
    9. I also thought Iowa would have a very sound defensive secondary.
    10. One of the biggest disappointments on Saturday was the play of the Hawk safeties. Really, some of the worst we’ve seen in 15 years. Nico Law might be a big hitter, but it is clear why the staff has been reluctant to start him. Sleeper looked somnambulant trying to tackle Robinson. An imagined area of strength turned out to be a weakness.
    11. And this wasn’t the only slide across the ledger from plus to minus. For whatever reason JVB took that ride—and CJF, too, though both did better against Michigan than in previous weeks. (What a notion. A little coaching flexibility actually can pay off. Get CJF up, out of traffic and throw to him.)
    12. Sadly, Iowa didn’t turn up aces in many of the pre-season areas of concern. We were right to worry about the D-line, the wide outs and the linebackers. We might have been OK on the O-line, but injuries took the mystery away. Ditto with the running backs—though, interestingly, Garmon wasn’t much of a factor.
    13. Back during baseball season a level of measured optimism about Iowa football seemed reasonable. We had some identifiable strengths. Sure, some areas of concern, too, but some would turn out fine. They’d just have to. The Hawk program had reached a level that would make a sub 500 season unthinkable.
    14. I’ll think back on those sunny days again Friday morning. It’ll be unseasonably warm in Kinnick, but probably not summery.

  • Forgot add #15, look for IA BB for some excitement for IA. It's a good substitute for antacid relief, lol.

  • Silverhawk.........is there any chance that you are Dick Morris?
    He's an excellent prognosticator of future events, too.

    biggrin

    Full disclosure: I picked Iowa with NO LESS than 7 wins in 2012.
    How could they not, with this schedule..........?

    'Texan by birth, Hawkeye by the Grace of God'

  • Ah, yes, the good ole' days of optimism and anticipation. As you said, many of us had significant concerns, but I don't think any knowledgable fan saw this train wreck coming. The complete downfall of the offense was perhaps most disappointing, particularly JVB, but the lack of athleticism on the defensive line likely was more pronounced than anyone thought, and that had a trickle down effect on the defense.

    Sadly, many of the concerns heading into the season were realized, not laid to rest, as we had hoped. I do feel the the OL was making strides before the injuries struck - and I don't just mean Scherff and Donnal. The young guards were nicked up as well. This will be a unit of strength the next two years.

    I don't think Law, or the corners, have been that bad. Miller's play has been much more egregious, with poor angles, lack of instincts and poor tackling. On Saturday, Brian Griese singled out Law on that blown coverage, but if you watch the play, you see that Law was stuck with two receivers and basically had to pick his poison. Not his fault. Miller is in no-man's land near the middle of the field and looked completely out of position, like he was playing a different scheme. It was shortly after this play, that he was pulled in favor of Sleeper. I don't think Griese is as bad as his dad, but his analysis of that play, and a few others, left a lot to be desired. Nevertheless, the safety position has been a real sore spot this season, but in all fairness, no DB is going to be effective if the QB has all day back there, which has often been the case.

  • you need to back up your claims with evidence.

  • With regard to the Safeties, I have to question..........what the heck happened with Donatell?

    Early this season, he a) beat out Nico Law for starting spot, in spite of all the 'experts' who called Nico Law 'the next Bob Sanders' Remember those folks? I do.

    Then b) Tom Donatel proceeds to lead team in interceptions, and all the sudden he's benched and now
    Colin Sleeper plays before him? WTF is going on in the coaching of this defense? We do have a different
    Def Backfield coach than the previous 12 years. I do know that.

    So far, the Defensive coaching changes have not been impressive.

    This post was edited by Skyhawk52 17 months ago

    'Texan by birth, Hawkeye by the Grace of God'

  • I don't remember anyone in the media proclaiming Law was the next Bob Sanders. I know neither Todd B nor I ever said that. It's still early in his career, so it's possible that he'll eventually reach that level, but he obviously hasn't yet.

    Also, regarding Donatell, stats often don't tell the whole story. Sometimes, an interception, fumble recovery, tackle, etc is just the result of luck, a great call by the defensive coordinator, a great play made by a teammate and/or a major mistake by the opponent. It doesn't always mean that the player making that play did anything special. Also, there are typically 60-70 defensive plays in a game. Even if someone makes one or two standout plays in a game, that doesn't mean they necessarily played well for the rest of the game.