Brandon Blaney, Iowa State’s new offensive line coach on the football team, will have a huge task ahead of him to both adjust to a new team and establish an offensive line that has a history of, well, not being that great. Bringing in NFL experience, he hopes to turn that culture around.
Nov 2, 2013; Manhattan, KS, USA; Iowa State Cyclones offensive linesman Tom Farniok (74) prepares to snap the ball against the Kansas State Wildcats during the first half at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Blaney talked to the Iowa State Daily on multiple subjects heading into spring practice. First, he talked about how easy of a transition it was to work under offensive coordinator Mark Mangino. Both of them worked together previously with the Kansas Jayhawks during Mangino’s tenure as head coach.
"“Any time you take over on a job as a position coach and you have a level of history with the coordinator, it really makes the transition so much easier,” Blaney said. “The best part about working with someone you have that history with is that you already know what the expectations are. Not only that, but they know what’s expected of you. There’s a certain level of trust, and that filters down to the players too.”"
Blaney was a recruiting coordinator for the Jayhawks from 2002-2009. After Mangino’s exit, Blaney got a job as a defensive quality control coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011, and was promoted to defensive assistant coach in 2012 and 2013.
Sure, it’s the Jaguars, and anybody that follows the NFL knows that team has been one of the doormats of the league since 2008. But the defense has always been the better part of the team under Jack Del Rio and now Gus Bradley. Blaney was a part of that.
A positive heading into the 2014 season for Iowa State is the return of seven upperclassmen. That talent includes leader Tom Farniok, Jacob Gannon, and Jamison Lalk.
"“I think it’s a pretty athletic group,” Blaney said. “There’s a good group of athletes that are out there, and there’s a certain level of toughness I see with these guys.”"
Last season, the offensive line continued to show some improvement throughout the year, and that showed as the running game could become more established and Grant Rohach continued to improve by receiving more time to throw the ball and make plays with his legs.
It’s a tough job for Blaney, but he’s been successful with both Kansas in the collegiate level and Jacksonville in the NFL. We’ll see how his tenure goes with Iowa State.