Point/Counterpoint: Should Greg Davis return as Iowa's offensive coordinator?

BY DI STAFF | NOVEMBER 29, 2012 6:30 AM

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I might be the only one arguing for this, but Greg Davis should be kept as Iowa’s offensive coordinator next season.

It’s a little ridiculous to expect an offense to learn and execute (there’s that word again) a completely different offense in just a year. All of Iowa’s main contributors committed to Iowa when Ken O’Keefe was coaching the offense for the Hawkeyes. They don’t exactly fit Davis’ offensive style. How can you realistically expect James Vandenberg to change after four years learning O’Keefe’s system?

Davis likes playing with quick routes and using the tight end. It still baffles me why it took so long for tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz to be utilized, but he showed signs of what Davis wants to do in the last month of the season, netting 21 of his 45 catches in the month of November. This trend will continue next year if Davis is still on staff.

Another returning player flourished under Davis. Kevonte Martin-Manley led the team in receptions with 52 and gained 571 yards. He’ll have two more years to learn Davis’s system and be productive.

In addition, Davis leaving would waste away a year of learning the Iowa offense for Jake Rudock and Cody Sokol, the two quarterbacks expected to compete for the starting job for 2013.

Davis is also a valuable asset recruiting. He’s said all along that he wants Iowa to get faster. In order to do that, he has to stick around to recruit players that will fit his system. His deep-rooted connections with the state of Texas, a recruiting hotbed with its high-school football, will hopefully bring higher caliber offensive players to Iowa City.

Every coach is allowed some growing pains, right? Kirk Ferentz went 4-19 in his first two seasons. Two seasons later, he put Iowa in a BCS bowl. Just give Davis some time, and the Hawkeyes will be flying high in no time.

— by Kevin Glueck


You can’t say they didn’t warn us.

Within the day — maybe even the hour — of Greg Davis’ hiring as Iowa’s offensive coordinator, numerous Texas fans and residents alike warned Iowa fans about the conservative nature of Iowa’s newest coach.

He was initially well received — a new coach, some fans thought, would bring a much-needed change from the predictable play calling of Ken O’Keefe.

But Davis’ offense itself, the plays called, and the execution of those plays was exceptionally bad all season. The 4-8 record should speak for itself; Davis should not return next season as Iowa’s offensive coordinator. If the record isn’t enough, Iowa’s offense was ranked 102nd nationally in passing yards this season and 114th in points scored. Nothing of Davis’ worked well, yet Kirk Ferentz called him a “tremendous” football coach in Wednesday’s year-end press conference.

It never seemed as though the Davis offense clicked with this year’s squad. The Hawkeyes played sloppy, predictable football all season. If Mark Weisman wasn’t running to the left, Vandenberg was throwing towards the right sideline, where the pass would often result in a drop or a catch for a 3-yard gain on third down. The team hardly ever threw the ball over the middle of the field and had trouble converting any first downs.

The best play of the season came against Minnesota, when Davis gave the call for the ol’ flea-flicker, and the play was never called again. Against Michigan, Martin-Manley was the only wide receiver who logged a catch. In numerous games, when the play-action rollout was actually working, the plays stopped being called in the second half.

If Ferentz truly thinks his team has the potential to have a winning record, he should realize that Davis’ offense isn’t helping that goal. Iowa will never have the kind of talent Davis coached at Texas. Without it, his offense will not work, and therefore it makes no sense to keep Davis on staff.

— by Matt Cabel

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