Iowa Spring Practice: Quick Thoughts

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I had a great time at the spring practice today. The weather was beautiful, the Hawkeyes looked pretty good, the atmosphere in Kinnick was nice. It was kind of a long day though and getting home after 9:00 PM is not conducive to writing long analytical posts. So for tonight, just some quick thoughts on the good and the bad. Then tomorrow and maybe spilling into the work week I have some stats and a ton of pictures.

Concerns

I'll start of with the bad news...luckily there is not too much.
  • First, about the only healthy running back, Brad Rogers, was injured shortly into the timed scrimmage portion of practice. It didn't look too serious, but with 4 running backs already out, it is not a good thing. Plus you never want to see injuries.
  • I hope this doesn't turn into a problem like a couple of years ago, but there were a ton of problems with the exchange between the center and QB. I counted 6 fumbled snaps and one was returned by the defense for a TD. I didn't see Stanzi mishandled any though.
  • There were a handful of dropped passes today, or at least ones that I think the receivers could have caught. For the most part the starters were catching the ball well and it was just some of the backups with the drops, though Sandeman had one that I can remember.
  • Kicking consistency could be a problem again. Murray looked horrible pushing most of his kicks to the left. By my count he was just 2/6 on the day. Mossbrucker looked better making 5/5 for 40 yards out, but missed his only attempt during the scrimmage portion of practice.
  • DJK was spotted doing some push-ups. I didn't him doing anything wrong, but he must have made some coach mad.

The Good

  • The Hawkeyes ran about 10 plays of blitz pickup and the offense did an excellent job against the extra rushers. The line and running backs did well blocking and the QBs all made excellent decisions with the ball. Stanzi was 4/5 during the blitz pickups and his only miss was a drop. He also had a beautiful 30 yarder to DJK down the side line. Vandenberg also looked good during this portion completing 2 and throwing the ball away another time instead of taking a sack.
  • Don Nordmann was a pleasant surprise. He'll probably be th e 5th receiver this year, but could push Sandeman and Davis for time. He had a couple of nice grabs today.
  • This is absolutely no surprise, but the defensive line looked really good. In the drills, Clayborn was blowing by anyone who was trying to block him (Reiff, Herman, etc...). During the situational scrimmage both Klug and Ballard had sacks.
  • Stanzi's decision making was very good today. I already mentioned the blitz pick up part. In addition though, I notice him checking down to underneath routes a lot and didn't see him throw into double coverage once. His only throw down the field was to DJK who had good position on Prater.
  • Donahue had a good day today. During warm ups he was hitting a lot of nice balls, then during scrimmage both of his punts were over 50 yards.

Okay, I'm tired. Again, check back tomorrow for much more. For now, here's the a video from the Big Ten Network.
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