IOWA CITY — There aren’t a lot of Xs to put with the Os just yet.
With staff positions now filled, Iowa football coaches sat down late last week and tossed around a few ideas.
Part of it entails a review of what worked and what didn’t during the Hawkeyes’ 8-5 season last fall. Part entails plans for the future, just what Iowa is capable of given the talent it will put on the field next fall and what wrinkles new offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz plans to install.
The discussions will ultimately shape just what the Hawkeye offense will look like moving forward.
“Finest morning I’ve had in a long time just talking ball and just bouncing ideas off each other,’’ new Iowa receivers coach Kelton Copeland said last week. “We’re not even close to even talking about or addressing where we’re going with the pass game or anything else right now. We’re all just getting on the same page.’’
Similar discussions are taking place among Iowa’s defensive coaches, something that takes place during the offseason on a regular basis within the Hawkeye program.
“It’s just good to get everybody on board right now,’’ Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “We can get moving on football here a little bit and start pushing in that direction. The passing game, that’s on the board right now being chalked up a little bit. That’s where we’re at on that whole thing.’’
Ferentz said with three new offensive staff members, including quarterbacks coach Ken O’Keefe and line coach Tim Polasek, everything is pretty much an open book at this point.
“The defense is a little further along in their offseason study, but that is all part of the fun right now,’’ Ferentz said.
In the same way offseason strength and conditioning work lays the foundation for the upcoming season for players, the offseason study by coaches creates a roadmap of sorts as well as the program prepares for the return of players to the practice field.
Copeland and Polasek arrive with their own ideas and both emphasized last week that Iowa players will take the field this spring with a clean slate.
“The biggest thing moving forward when I walk into that room is going to be how can we help Iowa be better?’’ Copeland said. “How can we help each other be better? How can we get on the same page and work toward one goal? That’s all that matters.’’
Polasek said schematics of what Iowa does may change slightly, but the ultimate end game remains unchanged although he hopes the Hawkeyes can get there with uncommon finishes in their approach.
“It really comes down to hitting people, moving the point of attack. We definitely want to displace the line of scrimmage. Whether it’s inside zone or outside zone, a little bit of pin and pull and some power is neither here nor there,’’ Polasek said.
“I’m well aware and I’ve really been impressed about how Iowa stays true to who they are in the run game and how they are able to remain super productive most days.’’