Extra Points: Simplicity on offense paying off early in spring ball

By Chris Williams, PublisherFollow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMWilliams  

AMES — When Paul Rhoads promoted Courtney Messingham to the offensive coordinator position after Tom Herman left for Ohio State, the word "simplify" got tossed around quite about regarding Iowa State’s offense.

Sometimes less is more.

Through Iowa State’s first seven spring practices, the offense seems to be responding to this theory.

During Iowa State’s first full scrimmage of the spring on Saturday, Paul Rhoads stood where he always does, right behind the quarterbacks to get a read on the offense’s rhythm.

"I think there was good speed intensity today. You can’t have that unless you understand what you’re doing," said Rhoads. "We started the scrimmage with long field situations and they were able to progress it down the field.When you get some drives like that you sense the defense is potentially defeated just because of the rhythm of the game. For 11 guys to move to the next play and do that down the field, you have to be on the same page and you have to be able to understand what you’re doing. After only seven practices, I think that is a testament that that is getting done.”


One of the men competing for the starting quarterback position noticed a difference in the scrimmage.

“We didn’t run a lot of different looks today and we were successful on the offensive side," said sophomore Jared Barnett. "I feel like that helped. It allowed guys to just let loose and not think so much.”

Rhoads said that through seven practices, all three Iowa State quarterbacks are completing over 60 percent of their passes in all charted drills.

“You can see that they understand things a lot more than they did last year," said former quarterback/senior wide receiver Jerome Tiller. "It’s slowed down for them. It’s not as quick. I can see that from my standpoint and knowing an offense, I can see what they are looking at.”


I asked Jared Barnett where his game has grown the most from this time last year compared to the present day. Here’s his answer…

“I think in my leadership abilities with the team and just making sure that the guys know I am ready to go, ready to play and have them follow me down the field."

Barnett on all of the new and young wide receivers on the roster…

“I think that they are a lot more athletic than what we’ve had in the past. They are really good at where you can put the ball anywhere in the area and they will go up and get it. They will get the DB off of them, make a great move and be able to break a tackle and go for six. They are all really good at play making.”

Jerome Tiller on his switch from quarterback to wide receiver…

“Catching the ball and throwing it are two different things. Throwing it is pretty easy. Catching it is a little different story. You always have to look the ball in.”

“Knowing what they are looking for and things like that is to my benefit. What helps me is that I’m able to tell everybody else what they are doing on the field. If they have a question on where to line up, I know what to do.”