As fun as the Paul Rhoads era has been in Iowa State football, one position has been in constant flux since he first joined the team. Perhaps entering into his sixth season, he finally made the right move on his coaching staff.
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Randy Peterson of The Des Moines Register had a feature on Wednesday that focused on Rhoads finally adding a position on his staff that’s strictly for overseeing the quarterback. Todd Sturdy, former wide receivers coach, was moved to quarterbacks this offseason after a steady diet of having the offensive coordinator also work with the quarterbacks.
At the end of the day, former coordinator-QB coaches Tom Herman and Courtney Messingham were gone in the Rhoads era. While it began with a steady quarterback with Austin Arnaud, here’s the following list of QBs that have started games for the Cyclones: Jerome Tiller, Steele Jantz, Jared Barnett, Sam Richardson, and Grant Rohach.
There’s been a serious lack of consistency at quarterback, and Rhoads and his staff aren’t shy to pull someone out during the game or to start somebody different if things aren’t working. They’ve gotten away with it and still made bowl games, but the position needs a solid leader — it’s the most important position on the football team.
The only way the team is going to have solidified starter is if it has a solidified coach for the position. It’s proven to be too much work for the offensive coordinator to also have the job to keep the quarterbacks in check. Even if it was in Rhoads’ belief that it’s a good link to have the coordinator with the quarterbacks, he needs to have a separate sounding board that’s clearly focused on the situation during games and the ability to access any frustration the players may have.
What’s most interesting about Sturdy in the DMR article is Sturdy’s demand in the passing game. Even though Richardson is more of a scrambler, there still should be more passing in this up-tempo offense. It’s a perfect thought process with the arsenal of weapons they have at receiver. This is it for players like Quenton Bundrage and E.J. Bibbs — might as well utilize them as much as possible.