OL Concern

Auger

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Last year I got some inside information that the OL would be solid. I was fooled. This year I received similar information and was fooled again. Shame on me. I know the coaches say everything looks great in practice but it should be time they start questioning they're approach to practice and what is their measuring stick for success?

I have written several times over the years that the OL is regressing under Brian. Yes Iowa still produces occasional studs but as a unit they have really fallen off from where it's been in KF's first 10-12 years as coach. The OL regressing at Iowa is unforgivable due to it being the safety valve when the skill talent is less. If the OL falls apart as well, well you get what we have now for an offense.

Through two games I have seen the same mistakes from last year. Picking and reading the wrong zone blocks has been a big one. Both games this year we have had several 5 v 5 or 5 v 6 battles. In football you are taught to block the 4-5 biggest threats to the QB which even means doubling 1 guy instead of blocking 2 when 1 can't get to the QB in under 3 secs or is deemed to be a rusher outside the zone of play. This year we have seen Iowa not double the biggest threats as well as double lesser threats while not picking up bigger threats. Their reads are terrible.

Defenses have Iowa scouted well. Both games I have seen the defense shade a guy 3ft off the d-line and between the C and OG. 50% of the time the C and OG block/double the baited Dlinemen and let the blitzer in free. Same is happening on running plays. Doesn't help when D's are holding 8-9 defenders inside the box because we have no downfield offense.


The biggest concern to me is guys aren't developing. 3rd year and older guys like Plumb, DeJong and Richman haven't improved much if any. We also haven't seen much out of several 3rd year + guys in the two deeps. Colby who looked great for a TrFR last year is off to a slow start and has really struggled at times. We haven't seen that step forward from him yet. Philbin and Morgan were Iowa's best two OL coaches under KF. They didn't just build elite talent they built solid units. Since 2011 the OL hasn't been above average unless they had 2 or more NFL talents on the line. The fundamentals haven't been as sharp to mask weaknesses. Something needs to change because the OL at Iowa is unrecognizable.
 

pistachio1999

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Kirk knows since this is his area of expertise. He will never come out and say we had more than a few misses on kids here. Being the guru though you would expect very few misses on talent evaluation. This is a head scratcher. Then the experiment we have at Center right now. This one is not going anywhere close to well as compared to when they moved Linderbaum.
 

desihawk

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Kirk knows since this is his area of expertise. He will never come out and say we had more than a few misses on kids here. Being the guru though you would expect very few misses on talent evaluation. This is a head scratcher. Then the experiment we have at Center right now. This one is not going anywhere close to well as compared to when they moved Linderbaum.
it’s not a talent issue, they no longer seem to have a good ol teacher (like reese) in the school
 

Auger

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Kirk knows since this is his area of expertise. He will never come out and say we had more than a few misses on kids here. Being the guru though you would expect very few misses on talent evaluation. This is a head scratcher. Then the experiment we have at Center right now. This one is not going anywhere close to well as compared to when they moved Linderbaum.
Is it really his area of expertise though? His OL's were really good and at their best when Philbin and Morgan were running the units. Since then it's been a mixed bag and ultra reliant on stars carrying the load. The narrative could also be Ferentz has a great mind for building great defenses. However the two Parkers rightfully get credited for Iowa's history there. Maybe KF just benefits when he has really good coordinators. I think KF knows how to get an ultra talented kid to reach his ceiling on the OL. However I'm not so sure he is the best at teaching fundamentals to an entire unit. Philbin and Morgan were great at that.
 

EpenesaEpenesa

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Kirk knows since this is his area of expertise. He will never come out and say we had more than a few misses on kids here. Being the guru though you would expect very few misses on talent evaluation. This is a head scratcher. Then the experiment we have at Center right now. This one is not going anywhere close to well as compared to when they moved Linderbaum.

Linderbaum was a freak athlete and it worked. With that said, it's not ideal bringing a kid from the Dline over and starting him at center the following year. Where is the depth? Where is the development on the oline to have another kid ready step in? Its like they were caught with their pants down on Tyler going to the NFL
 

squeezebox

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Linderbaum was a freak athlete and it worked. With that said, it's not ideal bringing a kid from the Dline over and starting him at center the following year. Where is the depth? Where is the development on the oline to have another kid ready step in? Its like they were caught with their pants down on Tyler going to the NFL
I'm assuming that Britt was suppose to be the C, and that's no excuse for how shitty the Oline is.
 

MitchLL

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Linderbaum was a freak athlete and it worked. With that said, it's not ideal bringing a kid from the Dline over and starting him at center the following year. Where is the depth? Where is the development on the oline to have another kid ready step in? Its like they were caught with their pants down on Tyler going to the NFL
It shows just how bad recruiting and development is on the OLine.

They found lightening in a bottle with Linderbaum. Extremely unlikely that happens 2X.
 

HawkOn15

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Is it really his area of expertise though? His OL's were really good and at their best when Philbin and Morgan were running the units. Since then it's been a mixed bag and ultra reliant on stars carrying the load. The narrative could also be Ferentz has a great mind for building great defenses. However the two Parkers rightfully get credited for Iowa's history there. Maybe KF just benefits when he has really good coordinators. I think KF knows how to get an ultra talented kid to reach his ceiling on the OL. However I'm not so sure he is the best at teaching fundamentals to an entire unit. Philbin and Morgan were great at that.
 

SDHawkDoc

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As OP notes, I continued to see glowing reviews on here as to the improvements that would be coming in the o-line. The question I always had was, "Based on what?". Apparently the same wishful thinking and "they look good in practice" that we've heard repeatedly about qb1.
I've always been skeptical of the "looks good in practice" line. There seems to be abundant evidence that when it comes to Iowa there's good reason for that. Frankly, when I hear "looks good in practice" anymore I essentially toss it out.
 

Qued18

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How are they grading out? I know it doesn’t look good, but would like to see what the experts grade them at.
 

jonesy5960

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it’s not a talent issue, they no longer seem to have a good ol teacher (like reese) in the school
But how do you know it's not a talent issue if they never play up to that perceived talent level? Isn't it more likely that, given the lack of performance in general, that it's a lack of talent AND development?

Funny how we don't seem to see these recurring issues on the defensive side of the ball. We are regularly beating out our peers for defensive talent but you rarely see that on the offensive side (stars aside) particularly at the skill positions.
 
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Dargo

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As OP notes, I continued to see glowing reviews on here as to the improvements that would be coming in the o-line. The question I always had was, "Based on what?". Apparently the same wishful thinking and "they look good in practice" that we've heard repeatedly about qb1.
I've always been skeptical of the "looks good in practice" line. There seems to be abundant evidence that when it comes to Iowa there's good reason for that. Frankly, when I hear "looks good in practice" anymore I essentially toss it out.
People assume because they’re a year older they will be better. Obviously that’s not true.
 

SDHawkDoc

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Just as with the qb position recruiting and talent evaluation, there are somewhat similar questions with o-line. As jonesy and Dargo point out, the assumptions that the talent level is there or that they will be improved simply by being in the program longer is not necessarily playing out that way.
With the o-line up to this year is that there has been at least one individual standout per season recently with Wirfs then Lindebaum. However, the supporting cast has otherwise not performed great. This year there doesn't appear to be that individual high level performer.
 

HawkOn15

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Funny since Philbin developed Gallery, Nelson and Steinbach. Just so happened to be Iowa's greatest OL ever. I personally know one of those guys and know how highly those three speak of Philbin.
That person who tweeted that has worked with Philbin, has a relationship with him, and trains several guys on the Cowboys OL. Kirk has always been the one constant with the OL and played a big part in the three guys you listed development.
 

HawkLogic

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it’s not a talent issue, they no longer seem to have a good ol teacher (like reese) in the school

Disagree---it is mostly a talent issue. There is night and day difference in atheticism between having Wirfs and Jackson as the two OTs vs having Pumb and Richman.

As far as OL talent, you know that BF/KF have approved every scholarship offer/acceptance on the OL. KF personally recruited Britt, who's been so-so at guard.

The OL coaches at Iowa are BF and KF. BF former OL player, former OL position coach, current OC. KF former longtime OL coach and the guy that setup the zone blocking scheme at Iowa and has set the blueprint for what type of offensive linemen they recruit.

Day to day, sure there is a OL position coach, but to be sure the OL is heavily monitored by BF/KF.
If current coach wasn't doing what he was told to do, he'd be out. If anything, my take is BF/KF have double downed on their overseeing every aspect of the offense because of last year's woes. The resut is we are getting exacty what KF/BF thought would work.
 
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Auger

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That person who tweeted that has worked with Philbin, has a relationship with him, and trains several guys on the Cowboys OL. Kirk has always been the one constant with the OL and played a big part in the three guys you listed development.
Like I said I know one of those three guys. Known him my entire life. I know what Philbin did to those three linemen. I know all three are quick to note Philbin for their development. I know Philbin not KF worked with them 1 on 1 every day in practice and in the film room. I know he was there everyday while they went from 220-240lb kids up to 290-300lb studs. I am going to take the word from the players that played for him.

Also from 2000-2011 Iowa had good to great OL's. They were fundamentally sound. Philbin and Morgan were the OL coaches during this time. Since then Iowa has had some studs but they haven't been as fundamentally sound as since. KF has been there the entire time yet the line has regressed.

Further I would say what Duke is talking about is KF and Philbin have different philosophies for offense. While Philbin was here Iowa did have a slightly different approach to the offense. I will also go back to saying Gallery, Steinbach and Nelson were a part of the greatest OL in KF's tenure. They did develop under Philbin. Philbin has also carved out a pretty solid career in the NFL and has a good reputation in the NFL amongst the coaching ranks.
 

HawkOn15

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Like I said I know one of those three guys. Known him my entire life. I know what Philbin did to those three linemen. I know all three are quick to note Philbin for their development. I know Philbin not KF worked with them 1 on 1 every day in practice and in the film room. I know he was there everyday while they went from 220-240lb kids up to 290-300lb studs. I am going to take the word from the players that played for him.

Also from 2000-2011 Iowa had good to great OL's. They were fundamentally sound. Philbin and Morgan were the OL coaches during this time. Since then Iowa has had some studs but they haven't been as fundamentally sound as since. KF has been there the entire time yet the line has regressed.

Further I would say what Duke is talking about is KF and Philbin have different philosophies for offense. While Philbin was here Iowa didn't have a different approach to the offense. I will also go back to saying Gallery, Steinbach and Nelson were apart of the greatest OL in KF's tenure. They did develop under Philbin.
Duke is specifically talking about OL techniques. Duke has no opinions of offensive philosophies he only cares about OL play. Which he is paid to consult by many NFL organizations. Morgan had plenty of bad OLs and Brian was a very good OL coach.
 

Bulldogs1974

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The oline while not great so far is hancuffed to an OC that allows the defense to dictate everything and put pressure on with 0 consequences.
 

HawkRCID

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I don’t think the oline has been great….but they’re also playing with a completely one dimensional QB under center (maybe 0 dimensional?)

When the pass game is a zero threat, any competent Defensive coordinator is going to stack the box and run blitz into oblivion. One dimensional teams don’t survive.
So I think it’s a bit unfair to criticize the line and running backs when we have such a liability at the most important position on the team.

They have given the QB decent time to throw, and their have been open targets…but our QB can’t put it in the right area code…
 
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Auger

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Duke is specifically talking about OL techniques. Duke has no opinions of offensive philosophies he only cares about OL play. Which he is paid to consult by many NFL organizations. Morgan had plenty of bad OLs and Brian was a very good OL coach.
I don't really care what Duke has to say. Gallery, Steinbach and Nelson have spoken very highly of Philbin and their development under him. I will take the word of the players that were there over some dude that wasn't.
 

HawkOn15

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I don't really care what Duke has to say. Gallery, Steinbach and Nelson have spoken very highly of Philbin and their development under him. I will take the word of the players that were there over some dude that wasn't.
Ok that’s fine that was 20 years ago. I’ll listen to the guy who knows Kirk and Joe and has views on how they are currently developing fundamentals.
 

Auger

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Ok that’s fine that was 20 years ago. I’ll listen to the guy who knows Kirk and Joe and has views on how they are currently developing fundamentals.
Well if you're going off of current I wouldn't rate KF to highly.
 
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HawkOn15

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Well if you're going off of current I wouldn't rate KF to highly.
Philbin has been worse with what has happened to the cowboys and colts OL under his watch. KF has also dealt with more injuries.
 

Auger

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Philbin has been worse with what has happened to the cowboys and colts OL under his watch. KF has also dealt with more injuries.
I don't give a crap about Philbin right now. He was OL coach at Iowa over 20 years ago. He developed a great OL at Iowa in college and then left. Thats the end of it. The Iowa OL in recent years has been bad. These last two real bad. Development has been terrible. We aren't seeing the progression we typically see and far too many guys are flops or they show little to no progress despite starting multiple seasons. There are reoccurring problems we are seeing today that we didnt see 10-20 years ago.
 
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HawkOn15

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I don't give a crap about Philbin right now. He was OL coach at Iowa over 20 years ago. He developed a great OL at Iowa in college and then left. Thats the end of it. The Iowa OL in recent years has been bad. These last two real bad. Development has been terrible. We aren't seeing the progression we typically see and far too many guys are flops or they show little to no progress despite starting multiple seasons. There are reoccurring problems we are seeing today that we didnt see 10-20 years ago.
You didn’t see issues in the OL in the 2000s?
 

pistachio1999

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it’s not a talent issue, they no longer seem to have a good ol teacher (like reese) in the school
Reese hasn't been teaching OL for a long time.

How do you teach a kid not to get his ass knocked backwards right off the line. Some of those instances are so bad its pathetic.

He needs to hit up Marshal Yanda to come in and teach technique and how to handle certain type of rushers. He went against the best in the NFL. So much knowledge to share.
 
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Buckwatcher

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The OL is a huge part of the problem. Looking at the roster there aren't very many older guys there and those guys aren't great. How does Iowa miss at OL? How bad was the recruiting of OL coaches. There is some talent there with the younger guys but they are young and still learning, so there is hope.

Lack of recruiting and/or missing on recruits is the biggest factor.
Plumb is ho hum
Dejong (walk on) not good
Britt (injured all the time)
Endres Never made a depth chart
Fagan has never impressed me
 

Hawk_4shur

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Last year I got some inside information that the OL would be solid. I was fooled. This year I received similar information and was fooled again. Shame on me. I know the coaches say everything looks great in practice but it should be time they start questioning they're approach to practice and what is their measuring stick for success?

I have written several times over the years that the OL is regressing under Brian. Yes Iowa still produces occasional studs but as a unit they have really fallen off from where it's been in KF's first 10-12 years as coach. The OL regressing at Iowa is unforgivable due to it being the safety valve when the skill talent is less. If the OL falls apart as well, well you get what we have now for an offense.

Through two games I have seen the same mistakes from last year. Picking and reading the wrong zone blocks has been a big one. Both games this year we have had several 5 v 5 or 5 v 6 battles. In football you are taught to block the 4-5 biggest threats to the QB which even means doubling 1 guy instead of blocking 2 when 1 can't get to the QB in under 3 secs or is deemed to be a rusher outside the zone of play. This year we have seen Iowa not double the biggest threats as well as double lesser threats while not picking up bigger threats. Their reads are terrible.

Defenses have Iowa scouted well. Both games I have seen the defense shade a guy 3ft off the d-line and between the C and OG. 50% of the time the C and OG block/double the baited Dlinemen and let the blitzer in free. Same is happening on running plays. Doesn't help when D's are holding 8-9 defenders inside the box because we have no downfield offense.


The biggest concern to me is guys aren't developing. 3rd year and older guys like Plumb, DeJong and Richman haven't improved much if any. We also haven't seen much out of several 3rd year + guys in the two deeps. Colby who looked great for a TrFR last year is off to a slow start and has really struggled at times. We haven't seen that step forward from him yet. Philbin and Morgan were Iowa's best two OL coaches under KF. They didn't just build elite talent they built solid units. Since 2011 the OL hasn't been above average unless they had 2 or more NFL talents on the line. The fundamentals haven't been as sharp to mask weaknesses. Something needs to change because the OL at Iowa is unrecognizable.
You seem to have decent knowledge of OL play. Got a couple of questions for you.

Is zone blocking that much different from man blocking (or whatever you call it)? With so much player movement today along the DL, you basically aren't sure who you are going to be blocking when you break the huddle anyway, right? And how common is zone blocking in CF?

Also, I've been wondering about OL splits. Iowa seems to use fairly tight splits compared to others, but that might just be my imagination. Wider splits provide different blocking angles and correspondingly bigger gaps in the DL. OL's that don't have a man up might have a better opportunity to get to the LB's. Wide splits seem to me to be more tactical vs narrow splits being more about power. Thoughts?
 

Titanhawk2

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Last year I got some inside information that the OL would be solid. I was fooled. This year I received similar information and was fooled again. Shame on me. I know the coaches say everything looks great in practice but it should be time they start questioning they're approach to practice and what is their measuring stick for success?

I have written several times over the years that the OL is regressing under Brian. Yes Iowa still produces occasional studs but as a unit they have really fallen off from where it's been in KF's first 10-12 years as coach. The OL regressing at Iowa is unforgivable due to it being the safety valve when the skill talent is less. If the OL falls apart as well, well you get what we have now for an offense.

Through two games I have seen the same mistakes from last year. Picking and reading the wrong zone blocks has been a big one. Both games this year we have had several 5 v 5 or 5 v 6 battles. In football you are taught to block the 4-5 biggest threats to the QB which even means doubling 1 guy instead of blocking 2 when 1 can't get to the QB in under 3 secs or is deemed to be a rusher outside the zone of play. This year we have seen Iowa not double the biggest threats as well as double lesser threats while not picking up bigger threats. Their reads are terrible.

Defenses have Iowa scouted well. Both games I have seen the defense shade a guy 3ft off the d-line and between the C and OG. 50% of the time the C and OG block/double the baited Dlinemen and let the blitzer in free. Same is happening on running plays. Doesn't help when D's are holding 8-9 defenders inside the box because we have no downfield offense.


The biggest concern to me is guys aren't developing. 3rd year and older guys like Plumb, DeJong and Richman haven't improved much if any. We also haven't seen much out of several 3rd year + guys in the two deeps. Colby who looked great for a TrFR last year is off to a slow start and has really struggled at times. We haven't seen that step forward from him yet. Philbin and Morgan were Iowa's best two OL coaches under KF. They didn't just build elite talent they built solid units. Since 2011 the OL hasn't been above average unless they had 2 or more NFL talents on the line. The fundamentals haven't been as sharp to mask weaknesses. Something needs to change because the OL at Iowa is unrecognizable.
OL hasn't been "under Brian" since 2016
 
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pistachio1999

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You seem to have decent knowledge of OL play. Got a couple of questions for you.

Is zone blocking that much different from man blocking (or whatever you call it)? With so much player movement today along the DL, you basically aren't sure who you are going to be blocking when you break the huddle anyway, right? And how common is zone blocking in CF?

Also, I've been wondering about OL splits. Iowa seems to use fairly tight splits compared to others, but that might just be my imagination. Wider splits provide different blocking angles and correspondingly bigger gaps in the DL. OL's that don't have a man up might have a better opportunity to get to the LB's. Wide splits seem to me to be more tactical vs narrow splits being more about power. Thoughts?
That Josh Perry (former Ohio State LB) on BTN talked about Iowa's zone blocking. Said when he played against them in 2013 it was like a well oiled machine and was tough to defend.