I told you Iowa QB James Vandenberg would be asked about mechanics.
He's clearly frustrated. It's almost like Jake Christensen facing the questions he faced in '07, when the passing offense was a non-starter (Christensen's numbers, BTW, were 53.5 percent completions (198 of 370), 2,269 yards, 17 TDs, 6 interceptions, 6.1 yards per attempt, 116.94 pass efficiency and 189.1 yards a game.)
My guess is Vandenberg asks for and is granted a media sabbatical after today.
Iowa QB James Vandenberg had confident words for RB Greg Garmon when he entered the game for injured Mark Weisman in the overtimes last week against Michigan State. Vandenberg bristled at the mechanics question the first time it came up, which didn't make the video. Basically, I asked how his mechanics are evaluated. What gets worked on and what gets looked at?
"I haven't played as well as I could've and I need to play better, I'll be the first one to say that," Vandenberg said. "There are so many things that are so close and that have been so close, those maybe skew things a little bit, but at the same time, I need to play better and we need to do better in the passing game."
How much does everyone else have to do their jobs to make this all work?
"Coach [Greg] Davis always talks about how one guy messes up on defense and it's really easy not to take advantage of it," Vandenberg said. "On offense, if one person messes up a lot of times, it screws the whole play, whether it's a run play, blocking certain guys, a pass play, protection. There are so many things. It's an 11-man game."
One area where you're struggling the most, anything specific?
"I don't think I can put my finger on anything specific," he said.
When you're asked about mechanics, what is the maintenance that goes into that?
Sharp laugh. Voice raises.
"From a personal standpoint, I've been fortunate," he said. "I was coached pretty well when I was young. I'm pretty mechanically sound, I'd say. It comes down to executing, though, I don't think it has anything to do with mechanics. Put it on the guy, make the right read, throw it down field when you're supposed to, dump it down when you're supposed to. I think that goes into the struggles more than the mechanics."
So, you'd say your footwork is where it needs to be . . . last Saturday, you're looking around and there are big guys flying around your feet?
"Obviously, footwork can be better," he said. "Every missed throw is footwork. That definitely can be improved."
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The Eagles fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, the father of Iowa cornerback Greg Castillo, this week. Iowa senior strong safety Tommy Donatell knows that drill. His father, Ed, is the defensive backs coach for the San Francisco 49ers. He's had about a dozen jobs in coaching. Tommy talked about being good at moving.
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