Brian Ferentz: No radical changes to Iowa run game

Chad Leistikow

IOWA CITY, Ia. – Too much is being made about Iowa's run-game coordinator, said the guy who holds that new title.

It wasn't his idea. And, Brian Ferentz said Wednesday, it's more "clerical" than anything.

"If you walk down that hallway in there, which none of you are invited to do … there's nine full-time assistants on our staff," the fourth-year Hawkeye assistant said in his first session with the news media since head coach Kirk Ferentz announced his son's run-game post a few months ago. "There's five that carry some type of coordinator title. So if more than half of your assistants are coordinators, my question would be, what is really in a title?"

When the role was initially announced, fans wondered whether he would handle some gameday play-calling. Nope — that's still fourth-year offensive coordinator Greg Davis' job, the head coach said a month ago.

Brian Ferentz not only dismissed the title as no big deal, he did the same to the notion that there would be sweeping changes to a rushing attack that averaged 4.1 yards a carry last season, 10th in the Big Ten Conference.

"The people who taught me anything that I know about football were essentially the architects of this run game anyway," said Ferentz, who played here from 2002-05. "So I wouldn't see any changes there."

As running backs coach Chris White said last week, the main point of the run-game coordinator is to create a singular voice in meeting rooms when it comes to how the offensive line, backs and tight ends work together.

Ferentz's other title is offensive line coach, and that's the area where he had more to say Wednesday.

Success is measured by wins, Ferentz said, not statistics. Last year's 7-6 record was a disappointment to everyone within the program.

What specifically hurt were the three home losses by a combined eight points to Iowa State, Wisconsin and Nebraska.

"When we have a good football team, when we have a healthy program, we don't lose close ballgames — we win close ballgames," Ferentz said. "So when you look at the games we lost and you look at the ways we lost those games, I don't think you have to look too much further than that.

"We didn't get the things done that we needed to do. We did not establish the run consistently enough. We didn't protect the passer well enough."

And it's Ferentz's job to fix those areas — as his titles suggest.

"Whether it's in the run game or protection or any of those things," Ferentz said, "when you look at the bottom line from last year, we didn't perform to the standard that we set around here and the expectations that we have."