The Iowa Hawkeyes are installing a new offense. The players say their new OC is ‘intense,’ too

Iowa City, Iowa (AP) Iowa has a reputation for steadiness on its football coaching staff, which makes this spring a little different for the Hawkeyes.

Brian Ferentz, the offensive coordinator and son of coach Kirk Ferentz, was fired during the team’s off week last October, although he finished the season. Tim Lester, the new chief operating officer, was hired in early February.

That means that this spring was spent installing a new offensive to replace one that rated among the poorest in Division I the previous two seasons.

Offensive lineman Nick DeJong described the experience as educational.

“Coaching changes at Iowa are rare,” DeJong added. “This isn’t something we’re used to. But they’ve done an excellent job of blending some of our old terminology with some of the new stuff.”

Iowa must score at least 25 points per game for Brian Ferentz to keep  coaching job |

Iowa finished 10-4 last season, winning the Big Ten West Division. However, the Hawkeyes finished last among 130 teams in overall offense and 129th in scoring offense, averaging 15.4 points per game. Three of their losses were shutouts: the Big Ten championship game against Michigan and the Citrus Bowl versus Tennessee.

Lester spent six seasons as head coach at Western Michigan before becoming an analyst for the NFL’s Green Bay Packers last season. He is expected to reinvigorate the offense, even if it will retain some of the ideas that Kirk Ferentz has implemented since his debut season at Iowa in 1999.
“It’s different terminology, being in a new playbook,” wide receiver Kaleb Brown explained. “But it’s the same kind of concepts.”

The Iowa Hawkeyes are installing a new offense. The players say their new OC  is 'intense,' too | Sports |
Ferentz has long advocated for “complementary football” with offense, defense, and special teams, and he is committed to that vision, even with a new offensive coordinator.

“Yeah, I think (the offense) is going to look different, but I think philosophically we’re in line,” Ferentz went on to say. “Not that it was a condition, but he has been

head coach, and I believe he knows how the three aspects work together. We played good defense here for about 20 years. “That was a building block coming in.” The most difficult aspect of the spring adjustment, according to players, was learning the new offense’s vocabulary.

“There are obvious differences between the schemes,” DeJong stated. “The principles don’t alter much. The Xs and Os, however, alter schematically.

Tight end Addison Ostrenga, who tied for the team lead in receptions with 31 last season, said the offense has more pre-snap movement.

“It’s a big difference hearing the play calls, and then going out and running them,” said Ostrenga.

The implementation of the offense will be a process. Cade McNamara, the No. 1 quarterback on the depth chart, is limited in spring practices as he heals from a knee injury that kept him out most of last season, but he is expected to be fully healthy for summer sessions.

The Iowa Hawkeyes are installing a new offense. The players say their new OC  is 'intense,' too | AP News

Deacon Hill, who started nine games last season and averaged 88.6 passing yards per game while throwing eight interceptions and five touchdowns, has taken the majority of the plays with the No. 1 offense this spring.

“Learning a new offense—I mean, this is my third time doing it,” said Hill, who began his career at Wisconsin. “However, this is the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to study.

At some point, you realize what’s going on and why you’re doing certain things. Obviously, there will be blunders. But it is getting better.” Hill described Lester as a “intense” coach.

“But it’s a good intense,” he explained. “He’s usually quite positive, but if you make a mistake, he won’t be so positive. He will yell at you, just like any other coach. “He knows what he is talking about.”

Lester has had a significant impact on other Hawkeyes.

“I like the way he thinks, and game plans.” Brown said:

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