I've been hard on Greg Davis. The offense has struggled under his control and has lacked an identity. The emergence of Mark Weisman has masked a lot of the problems and has everyone feeling a lot better. But there is still a lot left to be desired.
However, I do really like Greg Davis as a speaker. Kirk Ferentz has let the coordinators talk a little bit more this year and every time Davis gives good insight into what the Iowa offense is trying to do. He's more open about schemes, terminology, etc... And you can really tell he is a coach that loves to teach the game. He talks to reporters like students. So I like that. And I'm starting to think, maybe, just maybe, he knows what he's doing.
Yesterday Phil Parker and Greg Davis held short press conferences in lieu of the typical game week Ferentz presser. Here's the full transcript[pdf] if you care to read it. Marc Morehouse has some videos if that's more your thing.
One comment by Davis really stuck out to me when asked about how he'll use Damon Bullock and Mark Weisman.
For example, if we can put what appears to be a base formation, two backs, a tight end, two wide receivers on the field, with Mark being the fullback, Damon being the tailback, and then the next play the same grouping is out there, perhaps Damon is a wide receiver, using the personnel to best fit the situation is something we're going to have to do.
Yes. YES! Exactly. This is what I have wanted Iowa to do all season. I wrote about it over the summer back when I thought Brad Rogers would be the FB/RB instead of Weisman, but the same idea applies. An except:
Iowa can use its base personnel (2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 FB, and 1 RB) and switch seamlessly between a standard I-formation and 4-wide with C.J. Fiedorowicz and Damien Bullock (assuming he's the RB) splitting out in either slot. That would leave Rogers as the lone back, likely in there to block, but at least enough of a running threat to keep the defense honest.
It actually probably works even better now with Weisman as the FB/RB since he isn't just "enough of a running threat," he is a legitimate running threat.
Davis also talked more about the no-huddle, which I hope doesn't mean more of the 3-wide shotgun garbage that's hasn't worked since the Pitt game last year. But image if he used the no-huddle with the Weisman/Bullock flexible backfield idea. The defense would be forced to adjust to very different formation and plays without substituting. Oh the possibilities.
So with his presser comments, Davis has bought a little more time before I start calling for Brian Ferentz, or somebody else, to take over at OC. There are ideas there that are exciting and smart and in the right direction. Now we just need to see it on the field.