Iowa State closed out this week of fall camp with a scrimmage on Friday night. Afterwards, Matt Campbell, Tom Manning and Jon Heacock all met with the media to give their impressions of the scrimmage and fall camp.
Here are notes from Friday’s media session:
*** First of all, Campbell said that Iowa State finished the scrimmage without any injuries.
*** Campbell said both sides of the ball did positive things during the scrimmage and that the staff was trying to get a better look at some of the less-proven players.
“I thought on both sides of the ball there was a lot of production,” Campbell said. “I’ll be honest with you, a lot of reps to those guys that we were trying to find out about to be honest with you. Where do they sit in a pecking order? What’s the depth chart look like? A lot of special teams, live special teams reps. You know, we got a lot out of today. I thought both sides really showed up in some great situational work and both sides of the ball did some great things in some drive it work so, really, I’m happy with what we got out of today.”
*** The staff will most likely put together an updated depth chart over the weekend and Friday’s scrimmage will play a big role in how those decisions are made.
“I still think there’s some movement that could happen within this next week in terms of depth chart” Campbell said. “I think we’ve got a really good idea of where we’re at and I think this will really help us tonight evaluating this video.”
*** Campbell listed a handful of players that stuck out to him this week including wide receiver Dondre Daley, true freshmen running backs David Montgomery and Kene Nwangwu, safety Evrett Edwards, defensive end Mitchell Meyers, linebacker Willie Harvey, defensive tackles Vernell Trent and Demond Tucker and true freshman receiver Deshaunte Jones.
*** Campbell was asked if, Meyers, a cancer-survivor, would play in the first game against UNI and he had a pretty simple answer.
“Oh yeah,” Campbell said. “He may start.”
Campbell had more good stuff to say about Meyers that I’m planning to put in a bigger story this weekend.
*** Campbell noted that the team is as close to 100 percent health-wise as they will ever be. UNI prep is scheduled to begin sometime in the middle of next week.
*** Heacock said the pass rush has been inconsistent during fall camp, but he was impressed with their efforts in the scrimmage.
“I thought we got some pressure with some guys with some movement up front,” Heacock said. “Usually, if you’re getting off the field on third down those guys have got to be doing something so I thought our pressure up front was good.”
*** Heacock noted that the defense is about where he expected them to be at this point in camp.
“I think I have a little better handle tonight after watching all of this, because it was some different situations,” Heacock said. “I think we’re, what, 17 practices in and 15 from spring, I think that’s where we are. Obviously, as a coach, I wish were practicing like it was our 75th practice, it’s not, so we still have work to do. We’re not where we need to be, by any means, but we are improving and every day I just have to go in and stop myself, realize where we are, everything’s new, keep working, keep going forward, get two percent better every day and I think our guys are willing to do that and we are doing that.”
*** Manning said the offense was able to be successful in multiple ways during the scrimmage.
“I think we were excited about the amount of explosive plays,” Manning said. “I think with our two group there we were able to move the football down. Function as an offense, protect the ball and, you know, we were able to get some scores down there. We scored from kind of far out then we were able to be successful in the red zone. Obviously, I think we’ve got to do a better job in some two-minute situations with our first group but, overall, we were really pleased with the way we came out of camp.”
*** Manning said a lot of fall camp has been about finding what is going to work for them as a football team.
“We know some of the guys that are going to be able to make plays,” Manning said. “We wanted to find who’s the next guy. We also wanted to find what formations suit us well. What ways can we put different players in different positions and, also, what do we do well. What do throw, what kind of balls do we throw well. What kind of runs do we have that match our players. I think that was the biggest part that we were looking for in camp. Obviously, you always want to be as multiple as you can, but I think the one thing that we try to do a great job of is finding what each player does particularly well and how can we match that into the scheme and the framework of our offense.”
*** Manning commented on how Deshaunte Jones could be used in the offense.
“I think he’s provided us some flexibility with some of our inside receivers,” Manning said. “You know, he can move around pretty well. He’s carried the ball out of the backfield, you know, he’s done a lot of different things.”
*** Manning also noted that he’s been impressed by Julian Good-Jones since he moved from center to tackle after Jake Campos’ injury.
“He’s such an intriguing guy because he can do so many different things and he can give that flexibility,” Manning said. “I think he’s a very good football player and, you know, obviously, he’s going to have the opportunity to continue to compete at that spot, but I’m very impressed with him. Very, very impressed.”