Who knows Cyclone football? Not many people more than former Iowa State quarterback Bret Meyer. After starting at Iowa State for four straight years, Meyer now lives and works in Des Moines and is a passionate follower of Cyclone football. Meyer has teamed up with CycloneFanatic.com to take part in a weekly interview that will allow fans to read his take on the happenings in Iowa State football.
Here’s this week’s insert.
CF: What have been your initial impressions of Jerome Tiller so far this season? BM: I remember how difficult my first road game was back in 2004 at Kinnick Stadium. Double the crowd noise, insert an elite defense, lose the Big 12’s leading rusher and you have what Jerome was facing on the road in Lincoln. That being said, I thought he did a masterful job of protecting the ball, while executing coach Herman’s game plan. He has the size and arm strength to be a great player at this level. Couple that with the poise he showed in Lincoln, and the sky is the limit for the young freshmen. His biggest challenge will be recognizing that this is Austen’s team, continue to improve, and be ready to be a Big 12 starting quarterback in 2011. (I’d talk about the A&M game, but the worst television contract in all of sports kept me from watching.)
CF: What does a quarterback learn the most between his freshman and sophomore seasons?. BM: For me, the biggest improvement going into the 2005 season was my ability to recognize defensive schemes. You can’t teach experience and the skill set you have is what allowed you to be a division one athlete in the first place. Learning how to improve the teachable aspects of the position (playbook, footwork, timing, defensive schemes, etc.) is essential in the development of a young quarterback. CF: How good is this year’s offensive line? BM: I believe that the o-line is the strongest part of our football team. Great offensive lines have size, experience, and flexibility. From left to right you have experienced, physical football players that understand how to work together. As a team we average almost five yards per rush attempt and have protected the quarterback well all year. Reggie Stephens is a draftable prospect, capable of playing either guard spot or center. K.O. has NFL size and athleticism and two more years to develop. Ben Laamak is an experienced lineman who can play all five positions. Add coach Bleil to the equation and its no surprise why our offensive line is among the best in the Big 12.
CF: When you watch Austen Arnaud play, what part of his game impresses you the most? BM: Austen has been through more in four years of college than most players in the NFL experience throughout their entire football careers. I have been impressed with his leadership, resilience, and ability to transition and be effective each offensive systems he’s played. Learning a new offense is an extremely difficult thing to do. Three in four years is nearly impossible. I’m excited to see what Austen can do moving forward in coach Herman’s offense. CF: After looking at the remaining three games, can Iowa State realistically still win the Big 12 North? BM: Anything can happen. I remember the bus ride down to Kansas my sophomore year. It was the Friday after Thanksgiving and we needed a Nebraska win at Colorado and a victory against Kansas to win the North. The game was on during the trip, and no matter how hard we tried, it was impossible not to scoreboard watch. Nebraska had struggled late in the year and most expected Colorado to win easily. I remember checking the score on my cell about every five minuets. I’m going to throw this computer through the window and break something if I continue on with the rest of the story. We all know what happened, and yes its something that bothers me EVERY SINGLE DAY! Moral of the story, take it one game at a time, control what you can control, and things will fall into place. Go Cyclones!