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Point/counterpoint: Should Erik Campbell be named Iowa's offensive coordinator?

BY DI STAFF | FEBRUARY 07, 2012 7:20 AM

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Yes

Current Iowa wide receivers coach Erik Campbell is the best man for the team's newly vacant offensive coordinator position.

Campbell has never been an offensive coordinator, but he has plenty of experience coaching on that side of the ball. He was an assistant head coach to Lloyd Carr at Michigan from 2003-07, and coached such All-Americans as Braylon Edwards and David Terrell. Campbell — who was an assistant for Carr's entire tenure, including for Michigan's 1997 national championship team — also acted as coach for the Wolverines' punt returners, and guided 1997 Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson.

Campbell has coached Iowa's receivers since leaving Michigan after Carr's departure in 2007, and also directed the Hawkeye tight ends in his first two years on staff.

He was a big part of Marvin McNutt's development into the Big Ten's top receiver and coached Derrell Johnson-Koulianos into the Iowa record book. NFL tight ends Tony Moeaki and Brandon Myers also played under Campbell.

Iowa's offense will not dramatically change, regardless of the hiring. The Hawkeyes won't instill a Mike Leach-esque offense, and so the best course of action is to promote an experienced assistant who can give the offense the tweaks it needs.

By hiring Campbell to be the new Iowa offensive coordinator, the Hawkeyes would lock up a sought-after assistant and allow him to mold Carr's tutelage with Kirk Ferentz's knowledge to form an effective offensive strategy for the Black and Gold.

— by Ryan Murphy

No

Erik Campbell is a hell of a coach, which is why Marvin McNutt and Derrell Johnson-Koulianos have had record-setting seasons of late.

And that's also why he should stay where he is — as Iowa's wide receiver guru.

It has become something of a tradition for the Hawkeyes to have turbulent off-seasons. Players have left the program for various reasons, and several coaches followed suit this year. The ship has righted itself every season, but Kirk Ferentz is once again in a precarious spot.

And because the recently departed Ken O'Keefe was often criticized — rightly or wrongly, you decide — for his conservative, sometimes predictable play-calling, why not take the opportunity to plug some new aspects into the offense?

The changes don't need to be major. Ferentz is never going to allow one of his teams to run the Wildcat, for example — mostly because it doesn't work anymore but also because Ferentz likes to keep things simple. Going for the occasional fourth-down conversion and running the traditional wide receiver end-around once a game was about as fancy as anyone will ever see him.

But a largely inexperienced offense is set to take the field (Iowa lost its main wide receiver, its running game, and the majority of the line), and the Hawkeyes face a schedule where the only potential gimme is Central Michigan at home on Sept. 22. Running the same old stuff isn't going to cut it, and an outsider could mold what he wants to do into Ferentz's idea of football.

That way, Campbell can stick with his specialty instead of trying to spread himself over all aspects of the offense.

Besides, the receiving corps needs his full attention; Keenan Davis and Kevonte Martin-Manley got some quality playing time last season, but both have flaws and it's going to take a lot of work to turn them into the type of wideout Iowa fans have become accustomed to seeing in recent years.

— by Seth Roberts


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