Iowa Hawkeyes

Kirk Ferentz shakes up Iowa’s coaching staff

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A month ago, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz promised he would reevaluate the Hawkeyes program and possibly make changes in hopes of improving upon last year’s 7-6 campaign.

The coach’s first offseason move was placing sophomore quarterback C.J. Beathard over junior Jake Rudock on the team’s depth chart.

Ferentz made his second move Thursday.

The school announced multiple changes to the team’s coaching staff. Assistant coaches LeVar Woods, Seth Wallace and Brian Ferentz will have different responsibilities next season.

Woods will take over tight ends after serving as the team’s linebackers coach. Wallace, who is also the program’s recruiting coordinator, switched from being a defensive line assistant to taking over the cornerbacks. And Brian Ferentz will remain the offensive line coach, but he’ll also contribute as the team’s run game coordinator.

“I believe these adjustments in coaching responsibilities will add to our efficiency and productivity as a staff,” Ferentz said in a statement.  “We have an outstanding group of teachers and we look forward to the challenge of building a strong 2015 Hawkeye football team.”

Instead of bringing in new blood, Kirk Ferentz decided changes within the current staff was a more pertinent course of action. He previously experienced positive results after making a similar move.

If the goal for Iowa is to improve, these types of move are easily acceptable. If the ultimate goal is to challenge for the Big Ten West title each year, these changes come across as nothing more than a temporary band-aid.

Iowa WR breaks Odell Beckham’s Guinness world record

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Iowa’s Tevaun Smith didn’t just one-up New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. a day after he set a world record. The junior from Toronto, Canada easily surpassed Beckham’s mark and caught nearly as many one-handed passes in a minute than he did all season.

Beckham originally set the record Thursday by making 33 catches without a drop in 60 seconds. Smith, who caught 43 passes for 596 yards last season, decided he was up to the task with 41 one-handed snags.

The Iowa Hawkeyes athletic department recorded the record-breaking event, via ESPN:

After being challenged, Beckham will surely attempt to break the new record.

“The type of person I am, I love breaking records, no matter what it is,” Beckham said Thursday in an interview with CBS New York. “I look forward to breaking and going above and beyond what somebody else has done.”

Kirk Ferentz wants to make changes at Iowa without making changes

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Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz is almost ready to consider making changes within the program he’s led since 1999.

Ferentz met with the media Wednesday. Like any good politician, the coach discussed change, but he didn’t actually offer any legitimate solutions that would improve the program after an underwhelming 7-6 campaign.

“Football-wise we’ve got to look at everything,” Ferentz said, via The Gazette. “Maybe not what we’re doing, but how we’re teaching it, making sure we’re getting it taught and executed the way we need to if we’re expecting to be successful against good competition.

“The big thing is before we change anything, we want to make sure we’re making the right changes. There’s no sense to change things just to change things. There are some things that are going to look different. I don’t how dramatic they’ll be, but they’ll look different here.”

Got it.

Iowa’s coaching staff likes the way everything currently is. The group of coaches just need to find a better way to do what they were already doing.

Makes sense…I guess.

Something certainly needs to be done to infuse some excitement into the program. Since the Hawkeyes finished 11-2 overall with an Orange Bowl victory and Top 10 ranking in 2009, the program owns a 34-30 overall record.

The only legitimate change the program experienced since an embarrassing 45-28 loss in the TaxSlayer Bowl to the Tennessee Volunteers was a shift within the quarterback depth chart.

C.J. Beathard replaced Jake Rudock as the team’s starting quarterback as the Hawkeyes prepare for spring practices. However, the change may not be permanent.

“I think it’s very, very close between the two of them,” Ferentz explained. “At this scheduled point, I think we’re all in agreement that the thing that gives us, at this point, what we believe gives us the best chance is to move forward right now is to give C.J. a chance to be the starting quarterback.”

What Ferentz’s press conference essentially boiled down to was a coach that felt the need to address growing displeasure in the program after 16 seasons at the helm.

“He felt, and I certainly supported it, that between now and signing day is too big of a chasm,” Iowa athletic director Gary Barta said. “People have shared rumors with me. Kirk’s out, I’m out, we’re both out. He’s the new AD, etc., etc. Just to talk about all that’s out there. To hear directly from our head coach, here’s where we think it went sideways in ’14 and here are our plans for ’15. I know he didn’t lay out every particular plan, that will come later.”

Iowa’s problem is that Ferentz is essentially locked into a nearly unbreakable contract until it ends in 2020.

Some type of change is eventually coming. Hopefully, it proves to be enough to put the program back on the right track.

C.J. Beathard sits atop Iowa Hawkeyes’ depth chart as starting QB

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It’s now official.

Iowa Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz released the team’s depth chart as the program prepares for the offseason. Jake Rudock, a two-year starter, wasn’t listed as QB1. Sophomore C.J. Beathard was.

After the Hawkeyes’ 45-28 loss to the Tennessee Volunteers in the Taxslayer Bowl, Ferentz wasn’t prepared to talk about a change at quarterback. After further review, the coaching staff came to the obvious conclusion.

“After spending several days as a staff evaluating our 2014 season and our returning roster, we have established a two-deep depth chart that will serve as a starting point when the team returns to campus,” Ferentz said in a statement, via the Cedar Rapids Gazette. “As always, this is only a starting point and we anticipate and expect healthy competition at all positions between now and September as we prepare for the 2015 season.”

The progression was only natural after Rudock struggled throughout the season and Beathard played more snaps during the bowl game.

The soon-to-be junior signal-caller played in eight games this season. Beathard completed 56.4 percent of his passes for 645 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions. However, the underclassman provides an added dimension to the offense since he’s a better overall athlete than Rudock. Beathard ran for 10 less yards than Rudock on 39 fewer carries.

Questions at this point will revolve around whether the soon-to-be senior will eventually transfer or compete during the spring to retake his starting spot.

Ferentz will meet with the media Wednesday to discuss the depth chart and the current state of the program.

Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz considers change at QB prior to bowl game

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As the Iowa Hawkeyes prepare for this year’s TaxSlayer Bowl, head coach Kirk Ferentz used it as an opportunity to create competition at multiple positions. Quarterback wasn’t excluded.

“We sit here at 7-5 right now, Ferentz told 247Sports.com’s Andrew Kulha Monday. “I can’t imagine there’s too much that we won’t evaluate or too much that’s not open for grabs. And it’s been that way all season. It will be that way certainly over the next month,” Ferentz said. “Everybody has to earn their spot in their position, their playing time, and I don’t see that changing. But the thing that has changed now we’ve got three plus weeks and a lot more practices than you would have in a game week to make some evaluations.”

Ferentz is apparently leaning toward starting sophomore C.J. Beathard over junior Jake Rudock at quarterback, according to 1490 KXLQ’s Marty Tirrell:

If Ferentz already decided to start Beathard, he isn’t revealing his decision.

Rudock’s struggles in the Hawkeyes’ 37-34 overtime loss to the Nebraska Cornhuskers opened the door for Beathard to potentially start. Rudock was 19-of 38 passing for 230 yards, a touchdown and an opening-drive interception.

Both quarterbacks received plenty of time behind center this season. Rudock was the primary starter and played in 11 games, while Beathard was used in eight games with one start in a 24-10 victory over the Purdue Boilermakers.

If Beathard eventually wins the job for the bowl game, he’ll enter spring practice as the favorite to be named Iowa’s starting quarterback next season.