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Well it has been pretty slow in here and the weather to me feels more like football weather than spring which got me thinking (Oh and I am bored as hell too) I am going to list out in my opinion the reasons I think we are on the right track, I know there are negatives and a lot to be proven but hear me out and please share your thoughts on how you feel. I am going to do this in a few parts so hopefully you guys will read it all, I don't want it too long and have yall skip over it.
1st topic Coaching
Starting with coaching, I will start at the top with the Captain, We all know he can find find diamonds in the rough and does a hell of a job developing players, but my beef with him and it has been for years is his lack of "getting with the now" (and clock management but that is another story) Well it appears to me he is stepping back some and with all the new additions to the staff and the youth he has added, maybe just maybe he is giving up his old ways giving more control to the asst. coaches and at least trying to become more updated. This one I am leaving up in the air but signs do point to it.
As for the rest, not to have this post too long, I really think he added a good mixture of experience and youth the the staff, and I am very excited about White (and finally having a man named S.T coordinator) he is younger, has NFL experience, is active on twitter and full of p&v, along with Brian, Woods,Johnson and Hernandez we have great youth to be able to relate to the kids and help recruiting. And now with the addition of Reid (who I have heard nothing but great things about) Phil can co coach and get back to helping with what he was the best at, defensive backs. I really like Kennedy as well from the things he has been saying and his approach to coming in, I think he will be a great addition. And of course Coach Doyle is the man nothing to say there and old reliable Reese.
Greg Davis.......... mama always said if I don't have nice things to say don't say them at all, so I will word it this way, the offense sucked last year and it is always easy to blame the O.C, I can say a lot of different things but instead I am going to see what our O looks like this year and get back to this at a later date.
Gold medals aren't really made of gold. They're made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.
I agree there is reason for optimism within the program. If anything, it can't be much worse than last season, so it almost has to be an upward trend.
Time will tell with the additions of the new coaches. There will be an adjustment period, both for the coaches and players, so the impact could be felt more gradually over the next few seasons. Also, the delay in establishing recruiting responsibilities could hurt us, at least initially, but I think in the end we will be better off moving forward with more energized feet on the ground.
I have a feeling the players will be approaching this season with a bit of a collective chip on their shoulders and a "bounce back" mentality. The hard thing is that we will probably have a better team, but not necessarily a better record due to the tougher schedule. Obviously, the key will be whether or not a QB steps up, and whether or not play in the trenches improves, on both sides of the ball. I expect it will, but will it be enough of an improvement? It is absolutely imperative that the 3rd-down defense improves. I haven't seen the actual numbers, but our 3rd and 5 or greater defense percentage had to be close to the worst in Div 1 last season.
As for Ferentz, I wouldn't count on any major changes to his philosophy, but I wouldn't be surprised one bit if we see a lot more quick-hitting passes to a wider array of players, and, on defense, don't be surprised to see a little more aggressive play calling. I get the feeling he personally is becoming disenchanted with the "bend but don't break" style - it can still work, but certain styles of offenses (think NW and Penn St.) eat that kind of defense alive with high percentage passes and prolonged drives. I'm expecting that we will see a little more actual game-planning for teams, as opposed to force-fitting the same defense to every offense.
2nd part The Team, I will go with O first and see how long winded I get before deciding if I split it into 3 parts
Q.B, This is a huge question mark going into this season but I am cautiously optimistic someone will break through and that someone is going to be good. Jake and C.J both had excellent high school careers (not real sure about Cody) and I can't really say much about any of them having never seen them play in a game but going off the tapes and from what I have heard I think C.J is going to be a very good quarter back will eventually win the spot and start for us for for at minimum 3 years. Throw in Nic and I really have high hopes for the position for years to come.
Backs, I am super excited about our stable of backs from top to bottom, Weisman is a beast, Bullock is going to be all over the place, Canzari can be our speedster, Malloy I am really looking forward to seeing hat he can do, Hill...meh whatever we shall see, and bringing in Daniels and the rest I am super jacked up to see what these kids can do. Fullback however....your guess is as good as mine.
Tight ends, I don't really have to go too deep into this we all know it is usually are strong point, even though it has been don a few years C.Fed is going to blow it up this year just watch and Hamilton will be right beside him doing the same. then ya got Duzey and HKC then on top of that, Ike and Jon coming in and e look solid as ever.
Other than needing a true L.T to emerge e have got more talent in our depth charts than I can remember for awhile, Ward,Blythe,Walsh,Donnal all 4 stars, Scherff, SImmons, Boffeli,VanSLoten,Keppy, Sealby etc. There are a ton of guys to be very excited about. Goebel is going to be a stud mark my word and then Welsh (not going into Ross yet) All we need is 1 guy to emerge and the line to gel and I personally think we COULD not saying it will happen but the potential is there for one of the better lines in the B1G and the better part, they are all relatively young.
W.R, After years of I am finally very excited about our w.r corp, it may not be super great this year but hen the incoming class gets a year under their belt, I think we could end of with one of our better groups in memory. I see Smith and Powell lighting it up, KMM is the man he just needs to refocus, Cotton has the speed just needs to get better at routes, then you have Wilson and Hillyer who have great potential as well as Halluska. And as far as incoming kids you all know ho I feel about Jones and Willies is right there with him as far as I am concerned, and then the others (so many I can't even roll off the top of my head) Plus quality walk ons like Keane. I am just so excited I could
I am going too long but as you can see we do have a ton of talent on the Offensive side of the ball we just need a few things to fall into place and watch out.
I agree 100% we probably won't see major changes but ANYTHING moving us forward in terms of the direction of college football is a plus. And that is why I said I will wait and see, because the tools are there to do it now but it is yet to be determined. All I know and hopefully he is realizing it, is the same ole same ole isn't working anymore. Just have to remember if you do what you always did you will always get what you always got. Times are changing and I am not saying he can't win with his style but it just leaves so little room for error.
I think KF saw what changes were needed and made them. He was no happier about 4-8 than the fans were. Heads rolled and new blood and talent were brought in. Most of the changes are ones we will never see, but there will be lots of them.
I am optimistic. I am moving my prediction for next year up to 5-7.
I will be excited if they actually implement this Weisman and Bullock on the field at the same time talk.
think the key is how well the new meshes with the old to survive this year.
Big-time recruiting effort this coming year needs some sense of optimism to materialize.
Keeping the faith through what I believe will be an even more difficult season will pay dividends down the road.
This thing turns the corner in the second half of 2014.
Ok now lastly Defense
Obviously I, you and everyone in the football world knows WE NEED A D END TO EMERGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Probably neeed Alvis there, I think Ott has great potential as well as McMinn, Spears I hope can emerge as well as Meier but Meier is pretty undersized, I may be forgetting some but I think we are going to have to rely on our interior line and FINALLY having some great guys and a lot of them to boot. It almost makes me giddy thinking about ho good the interior line can be. I mean if you follow recruiting who isn't excited with these names Copper, Jaleel, Faith LTP I think is going to just keep getting better, I hope Davis can finally emerge as a solid player, if he does that could be a hell of a talented rotation and a nightmare for match ups. Gressel and Bazata will r.s but I expect big things out of both of them in the future. And this is also a super young group that is only going to keep getting better.
Linebackers, Ok we all know of the 3 starters but lets look past that, Alston is a beast and personally I think he is better then Morris and hasn't been utilized enough, hopefully that will change, and here is a name I think everyone needs to get used to, Laron Taylor, I think tis kid is going to be a superstar and I hope he gets a lot of p.t this year, I also think Collins is going to be very good as well, I am also half expecting Kenny and Spearman to see the field this year, and both of them I believe are going to be great players as well.
D Backs...H O L Y we have so many good corners I don't even know what to say, I think the only person set is the "old man" of the group Lowry but from there it is going to be a dog fight and a good one at that, you have Lomax, Draper, Buford, Fleming,Campbell and now Mabin, I don't know who is going to emerge but whoever it is, is going to be great because that is some stiff competition and it is nice knowing when we go into a nickel or dime that there isn't going to be much of a drop off in talent when they hit the field. Safety is a bit of a toss up to me but I think it ill sort itself out and by the end of the year be a very strong position for us as well, I will assume Miller will have his spot locked but after that it is a bit open, I still believe Law is going to be great but Lile is going to be pushing hard for p.t and Gair as well. And as far as incoming kids, I think we have very solid players in Warfield(which gives safety more depth) and to add to an already stacked corner position, Rucker and King all of which I old not be a but surprised to see them on the field come this fall.
As far as special teams I think we are locked at kicker and hopefully Cornbreath becomes the kicker he can be, as far as returners we have some great firepower potentially if along with Cotton use Fleming or Campbell or Canzeri.
So all in all when I look up and down the roster I think we have a lot to be excited about in the coming years, if we can solidify defensive ends and the safety position it could be a very very very good defense. Well thanks for reading if you took the time.,
Good stuff - and great optimism - based on what seems to be a bunch of young and talented and hopefully hungry players. Can't wait to see how they perform - in fact trying to stomach watching the O$U spring game now (I do feel cheap/dirty). I agree and think that the new coaching will be a positive - although time management/decision making and OC still are huge issues and until proven corrected on field and with success - I will not a believer.
One other key issue ---- being a Bear fan for many years proves one thing to me over and over - the team has to have a QB - a good one talent-wise - but just as important - a great leader as well. I'm not sure which of these young QBs will step up - but they have a heck of an opportunity to lead the team to a bunch of wins over the next few years - hopefully they finally fill the trophy case back up - as that's the most glaring/hurtful part of being average over the past few years - when the team can't even find ways to beat ISU, Minney, Connie and Neb.
I am also looking forward to a Riverside Bratwurst with kraut and mustard on Melrose!
Good write up Brad. Heres mine:
Comparing to the rest of the B1G
QB- Bad. Rare a 1st year guy will light it up.
RB- Average. Weisman, Bullock are serviceable, but not world beaters.
WR- Below average. KMM and then a bunch of young guys who looked good on film. Yawn.
TE- Average. For all the star power we havent got any production. Good blockers.
OL- Great. Deep and talented. Team strong point.
DL- Below average. LTP coming off injury. Carl Davis? Havent seen it. Cooper etc will have to at least eat up blockers.
LB- Good. Morris is still a liability at times. Injuries blah blah blah he isnt what I was hoping. Good LB speed.
Secondary- Average. Some flashes but safety play is poor.
ST Play- Below average. Not much for returns and give up returns. No blocked kicks.
Coaching Strategy- Average
Overall talent is a .500 B1G team. Lack of aggressive play calling and clock management make us a below .500 B1G team.
This post was edited by KFSuperStar 12 months ago
I don't think we will light the world on fire this year but I do think there is a lot of potential for next year and beyond. But it is very important the "small" pieces fall into place or nothing will change.
With brad55 posts, my optimism rises.
I have gone from predicting 4-8, to 5-7, and now moving it to 6-6. One more post from him and I will need to decide if they can win their bowl game or not.
brad- what bowl you see them going to this year?
GO HAWKS!! Have fun in Des Moines today. Maybe we will get a glimpse of some rising stars and a re-formulated offense.
Lol so long as they go to a bowl I don't care, for recruiting purposes it is very important they show improvement. Kids need to see they are headed back in the right direction, if they can do that and the fact we have a great start to this years class maybe the ball can keep rolling with some bigger prospects. I think they can do it, I just wish we had last years schedule this year.
Upvotes for all too, thank you for reading and joining in the convo. Hopefully more people will join in with their thoughts.
Completely agree all around with this. Possibly the only good thing about going 4-8 is that a 6-6 or 7-5 season in 2013 will show recruits that things are moving in the right direction once again, whereas before last season, a 6-6 or 7-5 season would be a disappointment.
Sometimes you got to hit rock bottom before you can rise from the ashes like a Phoenix,
Very true. This is a huge season for this program. It's very important to show that 2012 was an anomaly, and that the Hawkeyes will be back.
QB - ?
RB - loaded
TE - loaded
OL - loaded
WR - ?
DT - loaded
DE - ???
LB - iffy
DB - ?
SPTs - B+
Coaches - ?
Negatives: Safeties are a concern as well a corners, Miller sucked and Law wasn't the next coming of Chirst the message boards appointed him out to be. Replacing Hyde with Lowery, from inidications of last year there will be a drop off. DE is a mess and Alvis didnt impress me last year, really need three guys here and right now we have a half of one. Linebackers play with zero consistency. QB has zero experience. Our senior WRs are Don 'drop the ball' Shumpert and Jordan 'call the 9 route' Cotton.
Positives: Lots of different type of talent at the RB position especially with incoming freshmen in consideration. We have a stellar starting Oline. Unique skill set and deep TE group. A promising return game on SPTs. Probably the second best DT group I've ever seen with LTP, Cooper, Davis, Jaleel, and Faith.
Will the coaches open up the playbook and run plays past the markers this year? Did KF finally buy a wristwatch? Are we ever going to evolve and blitz? Will favoritism come up again this year?
Looking at next years schedule we shouldn't lose a non conference game. So that's 4 wins. Purdue and Minny are another two winnable & must win games so that's 6 wins total so far. MSU loses two studs on defense and was questionable last year, Wisconsin is going through a coaching overhaul, and jNW loses Danny boy so maybe we upset one of them to get to 7 wins. If we claim 3 of the four rivalry trophies and make it to a bowl game, Id call it a good year.
Prediction: As is right now, 6 wins with one rivalry trophy.
Seeing alot of tweets saying Ekakitie at DE. Having Him and either Davis or Jaleel in with Cooper is a LOT of beef lol. Not sure how the pass rush would be, but i'd hate to try and run at that
If you don't like my opinion, at least you can enjoy the view
That's a pretty good assessment, at this time, fuisu.
If we stay healthy, I'm going to pick north of your win prediction......but not going to make my
final prognostications, until late August.
'Texan by birth, Hawkeye by the Grace of God'
That's interesting about Faith playing defensive end. Coming out of high school, I didn't think he was explosive enough to excel at defensive end in the B1G. I wonder if he's playing there right now out of necessity or if the coaches really think that's his best position. I'm sure we'll have a much better idea this fall.
Too bad Iowa starts out with Northern Illinois
I would never downvote you but you are downvoted in my mind
Northern Illinois is going to be our roughest OOC game this year.
It's hard to see Faith at DE in Iowa's scheme. The footage I saw did not portray him as an edge-rusher type at all, but rather more somebody who holds the point of attack well, and has a little burst in short spaces. In the 4-3 zone scheme Iowa runs, it's imperative to generate pass rush from the front four. If not, there is a domino effect where the scheme falls apart, something we saw all too much of last season.
If KF and Parker are thinking about transitioning to a 3-4 2-gap scheme, then Ekakitie would be well suited for end. I doubt this is the case, but ironically, it would solve the issue of having limited athleticism at DE on the roster, while also allowing the team to play another LB, which is a position of strength. Once again, I doubt that is the plan, but when you look at the current roster, we are deep in both tackles and LBs, so that kind of change would maximize the available talent. Then again, it's possible that several of the players have transformed, and we may be surprised.
I should also point out that along with Ekakitie, Cooper and Hardy also have the right style for a 5-technique in a 3-4, at least at the college level. They each would be considered a little small for that role in the NFL. If the OLB moves up and plays with his hand in the dirt at the 5 on passing downs, each of those guys has the skill set to move in to the 3-technique as well.
Todd, I believe I recall you played some DE. Any thoughts on the possibilities with the way the current roster looks?
This post was edited by DieHardHawk 12 months ago
Heck if they know we aren't going to sack the QB either way we might as well stop the run.
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