Iowa Football

Iowa football mailbag: When in doubt, rush the bleepin' field

You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take; Phil Parker is a fairly solid 'no' on being head coach

A line of Iowa Hawkeyes players parade Floyd of Rosedale through the crowd as they celebrate their Big Ten Conference football win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa, on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. Iowa won 23-19. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
A line of Iowa Hawkeyes players parade Floyd of Rosedale through the crowd as they celebrate their Big Ten Conference football win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa, on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. Iowa won 23-19. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

Welcome to the #oniowapod mailbag. Questions this week range from Nate Stanley to Phil Parker to Tyler Goodson to rushing the field.

 

It’s a great call, Kent. Makes perfect sense. Defensive coordinator Phil Parker is in his 21st year on Iowa’s staff, all of which have been as secondary coach or defensive coordinator. Before Iowa, he spent 11 seasons at Toledo coaching the secondary.

I think this says it all for Parker. He’s not a “suit” guy. And, no, I’m not saying being a head coach is a lot of time in a suit. I’ve always had the feeling that Parker is “hands on” and “all in” with his players. His resume says position coach/coordinator and, frankly, I think he’s happy doing just that.

This is from 2018:

“I think being the head coach, you become more a manager than actually coaching the game of football, so that’s something when it comes to it. If somebody gave me an opportunity, I’d take a swing at it, but I think you lose touch sometimes with the individual player at times. It’s hard because all the other things that go on with media, alumni, and stuff. Obviously you guys know Kirk, he gets dragged a lot of different ways, and sometimes I wonder how he does it.”

So, not totally fired up for the shot, but not a definitive “no.” And, Kent, this does leave the door just a little bit ajar for the scenario you laid out.

I do like the idea of a defensive coach as head coach at Iowa.

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Maybe money would be the one thing that would pull Parker, 56, to a head coaching gig. He’s produced top 25 defenses since 2013, his second year as DC. That’s got to be worth $2 million to someone.

 

Did you drop your iPod in the ’90s and just now find it?

 

Nate Stanley’s Iowa career has been a success. Let’s tally: He’s won three Cy-Hawks (I believe the last Iowa QB to win four was Matt Sherman from 1994-97). Stanley has won three Floyd of Rosedales (again Sherman had four; Drew Tate only had two). I guess we have to count the Heroes Trophy with Nebraska. C.J. Beathard won two, Stanley will be shooting for his third (it’s probably safe to say no Iowa QB has beaten Nebraska four times).

Stanley also has steered the Hawkeyes to two bowl victories — Pinstripe in 2017 and the Outback last year.

That’s 10 trophies with two more still out there.

I believe Stanley will be missed. Who doesn’t like winning trophies? Yes, there has been plenty to get aggravated over. Quarterback tends to be that sort of lightning rod. You’re lying to yourself if you think this wasn’t an important and historic career. I’m not even going to get into the numbers. He has a lot and probably will end up second to one of the Chucks in whatever.

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Oh, Iowa Sports Guy, I want to do this. I sooooo want to do this.

But only a little.

What we know: 1) Spencer Petras won the No. 2 spot over Peyton Mansell and Alex Padilla and held it the entire season. As far as we know. Now, who knows what’s actually being said in the QB room, but that’s how it’s played out so far. Probably more telling for Mansell than Padilla, who’s just getting started as a true freshman.

That, in and of itself, makes this Petras’ job to lose. He’s won something, the No. 2 QB job. Meanwhile, Deuce Hogan still is a senior at Faith Christian in Grapevine, Texas. It’s hard to show the Iowa staff something from Texas.

I think Petras can do this. I love everything about Hogan, consummate leader and 6-4 with arm talent. And KF seemed to really like Padilla coming out of spring. I think Padilla did some things that put him in a good spot for the future.

Can’t call it, not even close. It didn’t seem healthy when the Jake Rudock-C.J. Beathard competition finally crested at the end of 2014. This is a chance to do a QB competition right, meaning trying to maintain a healthy depth chart while installing a starter you’re confident in.

I’m sure this isn’t as tricky and political as it sounds (kidding, I’m sure it’s exactly as tricky and political as it sounds).

 

Maybe. It did feel like the staff reached the conclusion just a few weeks ago that it might be OK to run Stanley. He’s probably quicker than he is fast, but he’s not a deceptive runner. What would’ve made some sense to me is QB power. Stanley is a big rig at 240-plus, so why not? Make it controlled and as safe as you can. Don’t leave him one-on-one or too exposed.

Maybe there would’ve been something in QB power, but probably not long term for the read option, which, until Iowa has a QB who can rush for maybe 40 yards in a game, is a “look” more than a “play” for this offense.

Why play with a read-option look? It freezes the defense and wins you a step.

Because sacks are counted against a QB’s rushing yardage, Stanley has minus-131 career rushing yards going into Saturday’s game. I do think he can do more, but he is a prostyle QB who admits he’s not going to make people miss.

But hey, let’s give the kid some notice for unfurling the joke about his mom teaching him the move he put on a Minnesota defender last week when he rushed for 8 yards and converted a third-and-2.

It did go over most everyone’s head. He actually had to say it’s a joke. I hope he got a laugh out of that.

 

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Love this question, but small sample size makes it tricky. I don’t know why, but I remember Tavian Banks as bigger. Maybe not. It’s been awhile.

I’m stuck on Akrum Wadley. Goodson is about the same size, but that’s not it. What Ferentz said about “making something out of nothing” this week, that’s what I see. I saw an outside zone or slant play work for the first time in this offense for a long time. Goodson can get that corner. He has those kinds of wheels. And then the making defenders miss. The 10-yard TD last week clinched the Wadley comparison for me. How many times did we see Wadley make unblocked defenders miss? Last week wasn’t so much a breakthrough at the line of scrimmage, it was a running back who could make defenders miss. That’s what’s been missing.

Of course, recency effect is in full force here.

 

Bingo. I do think it varies. I thought the O-line had more to do with it in 2017. Wadley rushed for 1,109 yards, but the offense was held to less than 2,000, which is the number I think it needs to be at (nice and round and healthy).

In 2018, I thought it was running back. It was Toren Young getting his first shot. It was Mekhi Sargent getting his first time in Power Five. It was Ivory Kelly-Martin getting his first real look. Lots of newness and it showed.

Goodson has a long way to go before I can drop “gotta see it on a consistent basis,” but that performance last week and what Ferentz said about making something out of nothing, you should be excited.

Appreciate your questions this season, Jonny.

 

The difference was a 20-6 lead.

When I pick Iowa to win, I usually go with two scores, like 27-17, because I know a certain amount of “milking” is going to happen.

I think last week was a classic milker (yes, I also just like writing “milker”). Iowa was aggressive building a lead and then it didn’t have to be aggressive and could let the defense be aggressive for the milking of the lead.

Yes, it left the door open for Minnesota to make a move and actually win the game at the end. You should hate that part of it, the white knuckles and the sweating, but it worked.

Minnesota also held a three-minute advantage in time of possession in the second half. The Gophers put together drives of 12, nine and six plays. They had to, they had to get out of their comfort zone because they were behind.

I’m all for allowing this defense to work for you. It’s a historically good Iowa defense. I’m good with milking (if I would’ve said this to my grandparents when I was a kid, I actually would’ve ended up milking cows).

 

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Agree, Jeff. I tried to pair the PAT run at Wisconsin with the first-down run vs. the Gophers, but the question didn’t gain much traction. Still, totally noted and it at least allowed me a way to use the joke he made about his mom teaching him that move.

Excuse me, I’m having a quiet chuckle fit. Sometimes, those are the best laughs.

Totally with you on the field rush, Jeff. Great, you hate joy and you’re an @#$&&*$. Noted.

When in doubt, rush the damn field. You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.

Comments: (319) 398-8256; marc.morehouse@thegazette.com

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