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Football

Monday Musings: An equally important question

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Iowa State quarterback competitions are like reality television shows. Some folks out there (myself included) find them entertaining. Others, do not. Love or hate either topic, neither is going anywhere.

When it comes down to Iowa State’s quarterback competition heading into the 2014 season, Sam Richardson is likely going to be the guy. We have known this for about a week. However, I can honestly sit here today and write that I believe Iowa State can win with Grant Rohach too. I can also write that Iowa State’s non-quarterback skill positions on offense are as loaded as I have seen in the Paul Rhoads era.

E.J. Bibbs is likely the Big 12’s top tight end. I think Iowa State has four above average Big 12 wide receivers. If healthy, Aaron Wimberly and DeVondrick Nealy are both solid Big 12 running backs. 

I know that Iowa State’s offensive line has experience. Size certainly isn’t a problem. I’m still not sold though. With this group, I need to see progress. I need to see it protect the quarterback. I need to see it open up running lanes. I need to see it stay healthy. 

It is like winning a game of H-O-R-S-E. This group needs to prove it.

Quarterbacks have rightfully been written about at length during fall camp but if the boys up front don’t improve drastically compared to a year ago, it simply won’t matter who is taking snaps for Iowa State.

Paul Rhoads will reveal his quarterback decision today at noon (Rob Gray will have complete coverage) and with that, multiple questions will be asked regarding the most important position on the field. That’s all fine and dandy, but perhaps somebody should ask about the men protecting the Richardson/Rohach duo too.

I truly believe that come January, the offensive line will be the story of the season. If they improve considerably compared to last year’s group that was young and injury prone, Iowa State just might surprise some people and go bowling. If they don’t, then the Cyclones will once again be home for the Holidays.

More football 

Just a couple of rumblings I heard over the last couple of days…

— There is a decent chance that one of Iowa State’s true freshmen running backs will play this season. Word is that both Mike Warren and Martinez Syria had outstanding camps.

— I found Mark Mangino’s comments about redshirt freshman tight end Alex Leslie to be intriguing on Saturday. Mangino, who coaches tight ends in addition to being the offensive coordinators, raved about the rookie and confidently said that he would see the field in 2014. In my mind, that is better news for 2015 and beyond than it is the time being. Leslie is a 6-foot-4, 244-pound target and is a strong candidate to replace Bibbs as Iowa State’s starter at the position next season.

enCYCLONEpedia teams up with CF

If you can’t tell, I’m beyond excited about the content we are going to offer up to you (for free, of course) this season at CycloneFanatic.com.

We have added Rob Gray as a full-time senior writer. Because of the high demand for more podcasting, we will attempt to quench your thirsts with that medium this fall and beyond.

Today, we are proud to announce that Kirk Haaland from enCYCLONEpedia will be teaming up with us here on CF too.

Personally, I have a lot of respect for Kirk. When I first took over CF back in the fall of 2009, we began exchanging emails about his aspirations to do more writing about Iowa State athletics.

Kirk is a grinder. I love that characteristic in any human being.

What I love most about Kirk’s work is that he sees things differently than most. Yes, he is a “stat guy,” but is also so much more. Kirk watches games just like you and me but interprets happenings within specific games differently. 

You will love his insight into the Cyclones this season. That is a promise.

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