April 12, 2012
- Live Video Stream of Spring Practice (April 14)
- 2012 Spring Camp Central
- 2012 Signing Day Central
- 2011 Insight Bowl Central
- 2011 Fall Camp Central
- America Needs Farmers
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch
- Iowa Football Wallpaper
Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Spring football is the same for University of Iowa offensive coordinator Greg Davis whether he’s in Austin, Texas, or Iowa City, Iowa. It is still about teaching and getting better.
“Spring ball is pretty much the same everywhere,” said Davis at Wednesday’s press conference inside the Hayden Fry Football Complex. “You’re trying to install, get a bunch of reps for young guys and trying to get a bunch of things on film that you can teach from. That’s where most springs are very similar.”
Davis has spent Iowa’s first eight spring practices putting the team’s new offensive attack in place, while finding out where the team’s strength lie.
“Since about the third practice, a part of each practice has been no-huddle, some of that has been extremely fast no huddle. We’re still not greased up and totally comfortable with it, but we’re headed in the right direction with that. We’d like to be at a point when we start next year where we can play a lot of the game in no-huddle, but how much we use it will depend on the opponent.”
UI offensive coordinator Greg Davis
One of those strengths lies at the tight end position where the Hawkeyes have a long standing tradition of producing NFL-caliber tight ends. Davis likes the versatility of the current group, starting with junior C.J. Fiedorowicz.
“I know we have a group of tight ends that are exciting to be around,” said Davis. “This is only 39 springs I have been in, and I have never had a tight end like C.J., with his size, ability to play at the line of scrimmage and also stretch the field.
“Sometimes a guy like that… they’re open when they’re covered. There have been several times this spring where it’s a one-on-one situation, the defensive guy is where he should be, James (Vandenberg) is throwing the ball and it’s a completion, just because of his size and match-ups. There is a term where our tight ends get big in the paint… he knows how to get big in the paint.”
“They’ve all done a good job,” said Davis. “One of the things that we will do as we continue is to try and define their roles a little better, and in some cases expand what we’re asking of them.”
Davis sees the tight end position playing a key part of the Iowa offense, but in a different way than they’ve been used in the past.
“You’ll see the tight ends playing outside sometimes,” he said. “You’re used to seeing them in motion, but there will be motion in wide receiver sets in some situations because they’re tough match-ups. Those guys are talented enough to play both in line, in movement and, in some cases, out wide.”
While assessing the team’s strengths and weaknesses, Davis noted that the Hawkeyes need to improve their overall offensive team speed.
“We need to be faster, we need to be able to stretch the field a little better,” he said. “There is no question about that. At the same time, there are certain things that you can do to help that — bunch receivers, stack receivers — and do some things to gain an advantage.”
In an effort to create mismatches, Iowa has been increasing its preparation of the no-huddle attack to affect the game’s tempo.
“Since about the third practice, a part of each practice has been no-huddle, some of that has been extremely fast no huddle,” said Davis. “We’re still not greased up and totally comfortable with it, but we’re headed in the right direction with that.
“We’d like to be at a point when we start next year where we can play a lot of the game in no-huddle, but how much we use it will depend on the opponent.”
While the fan in him prefers a normal “spring game,” the coach in him says otherwise.
“The coach in me says you only have 15 practices — three of those in shorts — now you’re down to 12. It needs to be a work day. It needs to be a day that you are looking at various things, so you can get some things on film that gives you an opportunity to get better.”
The Hawkeyes will hold their annual Iowa Football Spring Practice, presented by Coke Zero, on Saturday at noon (CT) inside Kinnick Stadium. The session is expected to last approximately two hours and will include a controlled scrimmage near its conclusion.